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About Me




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  1. We had around �£4.5m in the bank at 30th June and an unused �£15m credit facility (overdraft), but what do we have now? The �£15m credit facility is reviewed each November. I can't see HBOS having agreed to increase it given their current problems, and if they had decreased it thenm we would be in real trouble so I have to assume that it remained at the same level. If we look at the 2007 accounts as a base (being more representative of this year than 2008) it can be seen that we have outgoings of around �£40m for the year. The wages of the squad appear to have increased so let's say it's now �£44m. We get our season ticket cash in largely in May and June so let's say we get in around another �£20m of income during the year. We got cash in for Cuellar but probably spent more in terms of cashflow on Mendes, Davis and Edu, but to offset that we have some Hutton cash to come in and �£1m of a loan repayment to make, so for simplicity let's assume that they all net off to zero. It therefore appears that we an average of �£2m cash per month going out of the club (44m - 20m = �£24m for the year or �£2m per month). We have therefore �£12m of cash going out of the club up to the end of December which means that we have used �£7.5m of the credit facility and have a remaining �£7.5m, or around 4 months of facility left until we run out of cash. Our season ticket money will start coming in during May and should keep us going then, but this shows that we have absolutely no cash available to spend on transfers in the transfer window, and we are down to our bare bones in respect of cashflow. Non-qualification for next season's CL could have severe consequences.
  2. Velicka another million down the toilet pan. Well done Walter your bargain buy's are worse than my wife's.
  3. According to the BBC gossip column. Would be a cracking loan signing. Would SAF let him go though and would he get a game under Smith?
  4. Part 1 Overview In a year when Rangers qualified for the group stages of the Champions League and then went on and reached the UEFA Cup final the club made a loss, before the sale of players, of Ã?£1.1 million. The sale of Alan Hutton was required to show a profit for the year. This highlights the financial plight of the club, being as successful as we were in Europe we still need to sell players to make a profit. Why did we not make a higher profit? Income increased by Ã?£23 million over 2007 ââ?¬â?? This including Ã?£11 million from UEFA for the Champions League/UEFA Cup and Ã?£10 million in additional gate receipts due to the number of games played. Net Operating expenses increased by Ã?£13.7 million - This is mainly due to a Ã?£10 million increase in staff costs (see next section). Amortisation (write-off) of playersââ?¬â?¢ values increased by Ã?£3.2 million ââ?¬â?? the cost of players is written off over the period of their contracts and the purchase of players costing over Ã?£10 million at the start of the season resulted in an increase in the write-off over the prior year. With the increase in income being offset by the higher operating costs and higher amortisation of players it resulted in the prior yearââ?¬â?¢s operating loss of Ã?£5.1 million becoming an operating profit of Ã?£641,000. Interest payable of Ã?£1.7 million, an increase of Ã?£454,000 over the prior year due to the increase in debt, is then deducted which results in a loss before the sale of players of Ã?£1.1 million. The sale of players, primarily Hutton, generated a profit of Ã?£7.7 million which meant that we made a profit before tax for the year of Ã?£6.6 million. The bottom line is that profits were lower than everyone predicted due to higher wages paid to the players. Staff costs Staff costs increased by Ã?£10 million, from Ã?£24 million to Ã?£34 million, with Wages and Salaries increasing by a whopping 60%! The reasons for this are that average salaries were increased when the squad was strengthened (the new players must be on relatively higher salaries), and there were huge bonuses allegedly totalling Ã?£7 million paid to the players due to the successful run in Europe. The club apparently made practically no money from one of the rounds in Europe as most of the cash generated from the financially hard-pressed fans had to go in bonus payments. Murray and Bain must take a large degree of criticism for this as it suggests that the bonus levels were allowed to be negotiated at too high a rate, possibly because their own expectations of success were low. The accounts try and justify this by pointing out that wages to turnover ratio fell from 58% to 53%, but with turnover increasing by 54%, I would expect a much larger fall in the ratio, and the relatively poor results have to be partly blamed on the badly negotiated playersââ?¬â?¢ bonuses. Net debt The net debt has increased by Ã?£5 million to Ã?£21.6 million. Why did this happen when we made a profit for the year? There are a number of factors, but the main reason is that we spent more on players than we received. In terms of actual cash incomings and outgoings we spent Ã?£10.6 million on players and only received Ã?£3.9 million. The Hutton deal is spread over a period to June 2010. Part of this is due to timing with a most 2007/8 purchases being included in this yearââ?¬â?¢s accounts, but they also include 2008/9 buys of Lafferty, Miller and Velicka. The sale of players Alan Hutton and Filip Sebo were sold during the year. It was widely reported that Hutton was sold for Ã?£9 million and Sebo was sold for Ã?£1 million. The clubââ?¬â?¢s website states that ââ?¬Å?It is understood that the (Hutton) transfer fee could top Ã?£9millionââ?¬Â. The strange thing is that the proceeds reflected in the accounts only come to Ã?£8.7 million. What has happened to the missing Ã?£1.3 million? Perhaps the widely reported ââ?¬Å?pay-offââ?¬Â to Hutton of around Ã?£1 million was made by Spurs as a ââ?¬Å?golden helloââ?¬Â and they reduced the transfer fee by that amount? Perhaps the actual fees were previously exaggerated, or there were payments to third parties which required to be netted off? There are no further amounts to be added to the Ã?£8.7 million dependent on games etc, as there are no contingent assets disclosed in the accounts. Any payments to anyone in the club, Hutton pay-off bonuses to directors relating to transfers received would be included in Staff Costs and not netted off against income. If there were such payments then it shows the income from transfers in an even worse light. Whatever the reason, it appears that we got less than was expected. Martin Bain Martin Bainââ?¬â?¢s emoluments for the year were Ã?£668,000, an increase of 87% over the previous year! In last yearââ?¬â?¢s review, I commented that his salary was too high based on the size of the company, but this point is obviously being ignored by SDM. It continues to be far too high for the size that Rangers are. Peter Lawwell earned Ã?£393,000 in 2007, which was a big increase on 2006, possibly because of a comparison with Bainââ?¬â?¢s package, with Lawwell arguably having greater responsibilities and autonomy. It is presumed that the large increase in Bainââ?¬â?¢s salary is due to a performance based bonus. It is rumoured that this is based on income (which would appear to make sense as his large bonus in 2006 appears to have been due to the JJB deal), which implies that it is due to the Hutton transfer. If that is the case I fail to see why Bain should get a percentage of it as he is only doing his job, and had nothing to do with the vast majority of the amount received. If Murray is serious about wanting to keep expenditure under control, he should start by reviewing the package of his Chief Executive. Fixed assets Over the last few years the freehold property owned by the club (the Stadium and Murray Park) have been valued based on a ââ?¬Å?depreciated replacement costââ?¬Â basis. While this is allowed under accounting standards, I have been critical of this approach. Imagine you owned a house that you could sell for Ã?£100,000, but it would cost Ã?£150,000 to rebuild it. The cost to rebuild it is fairly irrelevant to you, and you would generally think of the house as being worth Ã?£100,000 but itââ?¬â?¢s this approach that has been used in previous years. There has been a change this year, with the property being valued based on its ââ?¬Å?recoverable amountââ?¬Â (although this value is exactly the same as the amount in last yearââ?¬â?¢s accounts). I do not know much about property, but I would not be confident in the ability to sell the stadium and Murray Park for Ã?£120 million. A valuation was carried out using last yearââ?¬â?¢s method, but this was not used in the accounts. It is not known whether this showed a (likely) increase in value which the directors have decided to hold back for another year or a decrease in value that they did not want to put through as it would weaken the balance sheet. JJB deal It appears that the club only received their standard Ã?£3 million from JJB in respect of the ongoing agreement, which is surprising following the huge amount of shirt sales in the run-up to Manchester. How many more strips need to be sold for the bonus payments to kick in? It looks like it is an impossibly high target, despite the optimism given by the Rangers Board at the time of the initial announcement. Related party transactions This section of the accounts highlights the amount of business that Rangers do with the other parts of the Murray Group. Murray has been criticised in a number of quarters for this over the years, but it should be noted that services provided this year of Ã?£1.2 million are less than the prior year of Ã?£1.9 million, and this has been a steady trend of reduction in services from the peak of Ã?£4.3 million in 2004. The services provided relate to call centre (tickets) and mail order but I am unaware of why there is a reduction in the charge in a busy year, other than the fact that IT services were mentioned last year but not this year. It should also be noted that Rangers would have to pay someone for these services and as long as we are paying what we would be charged by a third party then I do not see an issue with it being done by a company within the Murray Group. Share issue There were Ã?£50,000 of shares issued during the year in respect of the Rangers Supporters Trustââ?¬â?¢s Gersave scheme. Five year summary The average attendance is shown as 46,278, which is a drop of 2,239 from the previous year. This is the lowest average attendance since 1995/96. This is surprising but appears to be due to the low attendance at domestic cup games resulting from financial pressure put on fans following the record number of games that were played last season.
  5. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=663&Itemid=1 Carlos Cuellar has gone then and going by recent years it’s extremely unlikely to be a case of ‘The King is dead; long Live the King’. The 21st Century has seen a large number of quality players leave the club with the chairman proclaiming they will be replaced with players of a similar standard. In almost all cases – particularly with regard to our midfield – that has not been the case. From the Van Bronckhorsts to the Reynas, to the Numans, to the Amorusos; the decline in quality has been a steady one since our club’s downsizing began in earnest. It’s now reached the stage where not only the continuity of the team is threatened but the very future of the club is being brought into disrepute. What options does that leave us with? Do we protest or will our apathy contribute to our downfall? Firstly, I think it’s important that we address the issue objectively. It is far too easy to be vocally critical and while that may satisfy for a short while; it won’t do any good without solutions for the problems we face. One of the biggest and most valid criticisms of the Murray reign at Rangers is that of short-termism. We shouldn’t be guilty of the same flaw. Thus, if we are to protest – and I certainly empathise with that view – we need to be careful in how we go about it. ‘Murray out’ is the cry from many. ‘Walter Smith’s time is up’ is even more prevalent. Fair points as both deserve a lot of criticism for their work recently. Unfortunately, neither is likely to be replaced and I see little alternatives offered by those who shout loudest. Quite simply, while it may be agreeable that it’s time for a new owner (none more agree than Sir David Murray), we don’t have a knight in shining armour with a spare Ã?£100million to put into Rangers. Let’s face it – any new owner(s) would need around Ã?£20-30million to buy the club; Ã?£20million to underwrite the existing club debt; and at least Ã?£50million in reserve, to not only supply an annual transfer budgets equalling the last two years but to implement the various improvements we’d all like to see to the club. A new ticket office, a better youth system, a museum, stadium development (not to mention upkeep), improved retail/marketing and a genuine worldwide scouting system would need considerable investment just to get off the ground; never mind run on an annual basis. Not many investors have that kind of money to hand – especially when one considers the market we operate in. Even if we discount the problems we face on the field, the last paragraph shows just how serious things are at Rangers. The most positive supporters can surely now see how the under-performance of the club generally is affecting the general malaise at the club. There’s no doubt while some people may exaggerate some of these issues; there’s also no doubt the challenges we face as a club are serious ones and need urgent attention. In fact, most of them have needed attention for a number of years but it’s only now some supporters are awakening to them. And that’s where my concern is. Realism regarding the financial climate needn’t be an acceptance of under-achievement and inefficiency. Football fans – and particularly Rangers fans – are demanding sorts. Success should be regular, failure is not an option and everything is measured by an SPL title-winning barometer. This is how many supporters view our club but in my view it’s far too empirical and it’s this flawed vision that has helped put us in the position we are today. More seriously though, it’s not just the support that is guilty of this – the Rangers board of directors are similarly short-sighted and far more culpable. My single biggest criticism of Sir David Murray’s Rangers’ tenure is one which goes against how the man made his impressive business reputation. After a successful initial period, investment into the club (out with transfers) wasn’t enough, was only ever based on the short-term and failed to ensure our club’s position as the number one football club in Scotland. Remember we were Ã?£30million in the black around 1998 and only a few short years and Ã?£100million later we were Ã?£83million in the red - with next to nothing to show for it. Sure, at the insistence of Dick Advocaat, Murray Park was built but even that has taken a number of years to deliver while only showing inconsistent performance given it’s not the Youth Academy many believed it would be. Where are we then? Are we any further forward than late 1988 when SDM bought the club? Of course there are lots of positives during those 20 years and they shouldn’t be forgotten or ignored in the haste to vilify. However, the fact remains, the last 10 years of the reign have been inconsistent, lacking in quality, ambition has been lost and our future bleak. Much like what was happening under Murray’s predecessors it could be said. Protest is the answer then? Yes, it is, but probably not in the way some agitators would prefer. Firstly, we need to ensure that our support of the team and players isn’t compromised. While Walter Smith is just as much to blame for our current woes as anyone else and while we all agree certain players are simply not good enough to play for Rangers, difficult times require extra support – not less. I’m not suggesting blind loyalty – that would be equally wrong – but enough support to help the team regain the confidence and form to win matches. After all, not winning the title would only make things much, much worse. However, I’ve already said winning titles should not be a barometer of how successful our club is. After all, we didn’t win the title last season but generally it was a successful one in terms of European performance and incoming finance. Importantly though, it’s how we use this success that really matters. And that’s where we’ve failed this summer and in previous times. We’ve simply not achieved consistent domestic and European success. Ergo, that’s where any protest must be focussed. Thus, while bizarre 60 minute walk outs may indicate our displeasure; and while fans reps in the media provide further obvious methods of channelling our frustration; neither will be successful without constructive alternatives. By all means protest but it has to be done at the right time and place. The status quo is unlikely to change because a few hundred fans walk out unnoticed or because a few congregate outside the front door. That will only result in further division and problems. Genuine protest has to have a goal behind it. While the ultimate goal may be one of regime change, that’s not one that is immediately possible or one that would yield immediate results anyway. As such, any protest should have aims that are possible. Obviously, that is also much more difficult to achieve. What can we do to improve the club? How can we reach the people to responsible for that improvement? Can we catalyse them via workable solutions? That place is the Rangers AGM in the next month or so. That’s where ALL the guilty parties will be present. That’s where ALL the relevant questions should be asked. That’s where ALL the board of directors can be brought to task on their under-achievement. That’s where the manager can be challenged. That’s where positive change can be implemented. That’s where the Rangers supporters can rise to the challenge. That’s where leadership can be sought in the presence of ALL the people who can make the difference. We can help shape our future. We can never be accused of not being loyal or being supportive of the club through difficult times. Let’s continue to do so by cheering the team to victory over 90mins and keeping our criticism for the place where it really matters.
  6. After the woeful performances against Lithuanian Hearts, we are faced with the prospect of life without our stand-out player King Carlos. Carlos has activated a release clause in his contract and is on his way to Aston Villa. Depending on whether you believed the rumours, this move may have come as a surprise to some of us, but can any of us say we are shocked that our prize asset has been sold? Failing to qualify for the Champions League was always going to leave a gaping hole in our financial report and the only way to fill this hole was to sell players. The only player we currently have on our books who is worth any sort of money is Carlos. So it doesn’t take a genius to work out that he’d be the one that we’d lose. Some fans chose to believe SDM’s latest ramblings that any money recouped from transfers would be given to WS to strengthen the squad. I remain sceptical on this happening and await the closure of the transfer window with interest. Already the rumours (no doubt initiated by SDM’s lapdogs in the media) are flying through cyberspace on Rangers forums claiming that Lovenkrands, Loovens, Maloney et al are queuing up at Ross Hall for medicals prior to signing for Rangers. There are also rumours of bust-ups between McCoist and Bain and claims that McCoist has walked from his post. All in all, not the best publicity for our club and certainly not the behaviour you expect for Scotland’s premier club. So where does that leave Rangers FC? Well, we are a worse team / squad than we were last season and going on the 3 competitive games played this season, we look a team devoid of ideas, of guile and of genuine football players. I would venture to say that in the last week, our club has become a laughing stock and whilst this is hard to stomach, we have also take of the blinkers and acknowledge that we are also trailing our bitterest rivals both on and off the pitch. This is galling admission given how far ahead we were a decade ago. Whilst typing this disjointed article I can feel a lump in my throat and feel my stress levels reaching breaking point. The most frustrating thing about it, the majority of fans will just shrug this latest catastrophe off and still believe that SDM will deliver his promise of ‘moonbeams of success’. This certainly isn’t the Rangers that we deserve, and this certainly isn’t the Rangers that we all love. In fact, if this Rangers were your wife you would have divorced her, and if this Rangers were a family member, you’d have disowned them. However, this is OUR club and we are hardier than that. Will this downturn (downsizing) get any better? Not under the current regime and I can’t see enough support for change so we are stuck with what we have. Don’t know if any of the above makes sense, but I am seething at the moment so not much is making sense to be perfectly honest. Farewell Carlos, thanks for the memories and good luck in the future. For those of us left behind, strap yourselves in, its going to be a helter-skelter ride as fans of this great club vent their frustrations in ways that we all won’t agree on. Cammy F:rfc:
  7. Now that the dust has well and truly settled on last season and we are hurtling towards the new season, it is time to look retrospectively on how well, or badly our success rates in regards to our ââ?¬Ë?quadrupleââ?¬â?¢ expectations. If you say it fast enough, winning both domestic trophies, taking the SPL title to the wire and getting to the UEFA Cup final, you could actually believe that last season was a success. I may be cynical, but I would rate last season as a failure. Whilst we won our first trophies in 3 seasons, we capitulated in the SPL run-in and handed the title to Celtc. We can point to the ridiculous schedule we had to endure and we can reflect on many dubious refereeing decisions, but the bottom line is, we were streets ahead in the title race and we let our leas slip and our form towards the ends of the season was horrendous. Getting to our first European Final in 36 years was the highlight of the season. We played (and defeated) some very decent teams in the CL and UEFA Cup and nothing should detract from the marvellous achievement of getting to Manchester. I believe that we were very unlucky to come up against a team managed by former boss Dick Advocaat. He would have installed a ââ?¬Ë?donââ?¬â?¢t underestimate Rangersââ?¬â?¢ mentality in St Petersburg and in reality, when they scored the opening goal, we all could have gone home. The team faded drastically after that and sitting at Fir park the following Sunday watching Rangers limp to a 1-1 draw, I think it was then that it finally sunk in that we had lost the UEFA Cup and the SPL title. So, me being an old cynic, I fear that we have another long hard season ahead of us. Unless WS pulls some cracking transfers out the bag, we havenââ?¬â?¢t improved one position in our team from last season. We are still short of a right and left back, a centre to partner King Carlos, a creative midfield player and a ââ?¬Ë?linkââ?¬â?¢ between the midfield and forwards. We now also require a player (or players) to replace our injured captain, Barry Ferguson. His injury is a massive blow and our whole season will hinge on our resolve in his absence. We donââ?¬â?¢t have anyone (currently) in our squad who can replace Barry Ferguson and I fear for our chances without him. We arenââ?¬â?¢t a one-man team and for all his faults, Ferguson gives us a ââ?¬Ë?leaderââ?¬â?¢ and he can be inspirational at times. To ensure that we donââ?¬â?¢t let ââ?¬Ë?themââ?¬â?¢ get their 4th successive title, all the above positions need to be addressed and strengthened. Not winning the title for a 3rd consecutive season was both heart-breaking and gut-wrenching, not winning it this season is not only unthinkable, but it simply canââ?¬â?¢t be allowed to happen. Cammy F
  8. Follow Follow..... We all know that Glasgow Rangers have lost out on the Uefa Cup but what we gained on the road was money and alot of it.... Who do you think our club, Glasgow Rangers, should splash the cash out on and remember to be realistic? When considering this question - rattle through the premier league teams and other football leagues across europe and pick 10 players max with your reasons why you chose him and how much u think the club should pay? I hope that this gets all the Teddy Bear fans thinking... We are the people!!
  9. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=587&Itemid=1 From the Rangers FC plc accounts - 30/06/2007 "Net debt at the year end stood at GBP16.5m (2006 - GBP5.9m). The increase in the net debt position from last year primarily reflects the trading loss in the period, working capital movements, investment in the playing squad, and costs associated with the exit from our retail operations." [1] Obviously since then we've also spent around Ã?£12million on transfers (including Carlos Cuellar, Steven Whittaker and Lee McCulloch as well as signing on fees and other associated costs). Our reasonable performance in the Champions' League and the expected sale of Daniel Cousin would probably cancel most of that out. As such, when Rangers release their interim accounts at the end of February, I think it's fair to say that the status quo will be the case when we examine the news with regard to the net debt figure. Given our current 4 point lead in the SPL and our continued presence in all other competitions (including the UEFA Cup), the relative financial gamble taken by the plc board has paid off. Now, as we all know, despite the various sound-bites and extravagant media fairy-tales about Ã?£700million Ibrox regeneration projects, Sir David Murray has been actively trying to sell the club over the last 2 years. Several parties have showed an interest but for whatever reason nothing concrete has resulted. The most obvious reason for that is the increased debt from 06-07 as well as other limited ways for any investors to A) make money or B) be imaginative with almost all club revenue streams being outsourced in the medium-long term. Add in an unsuccessful team for nearly 3 years, Rangers FC are not the glamorous investment opportunity that we all like to think they are. As such, the question that would immediately arise for a chairman who wants to sell is – how can I improve the situation and how can I make the club more attractive to any buyers (let’s not mention large-scale investors as we’ve not had any now for a long time)? That’s a very difficult question to answer and one he’s tried and failed to since 2005. Any solutions have been running out. Step forward Alan Hutton. Hutton has been outstanding since around November 2006. Even under Paul Le Guen he regained the form he showed when he initially broke into the team under Alex McLeish and since then he’s grown in stature at every level. Outstanding Champions’ League performances and Man-of-the-Match displays for Scotland have helped his value soar beyond that of any outfield player in Scottish football history. No shortage of teams have expressed an interest with Spurs being the first to offer a Ã?£10million package to entice the player to London and the wages gravy train that is the English Premier League. Thus, if you deduct that Ã?£10million from the figure in the opening paragraph you have a much improved financial situation to report. In many ways such transfers are the only way our team can compete in monetary terms with the bigger European leagues. Quite simply, we need to survive and profiting from our improving youth system is one such source of oxygen – no matter how disappointed we’d be to lose our better players. Meanwhile with the club leading the league, the fans reasonably happy with progress and consultation reports complete into expanding the stadium (although not to the scale mentioned in the media), suddenly the ‘For Sale’ sign above our stadium seems much more alluring to buyers. More so, if automatic CL qualification is secured and (as revealed recently) the club are again negotiating with the ‘European Club Association’ – an independent body but recognised by FIFA/UEFA. I think it’s fair to say no Rangers fan wants Alan Hutton to leave. However, the above shows that his sale makes business sense from every point of view. Most fans will be happy with a reduced debt offering further opportunity for more transfer funds (who can remember the ‘Capucho Days’ of earlier this decade?) while other fans will be happy that the chances of the club administration and owner moving on have increased. Nevertheless, business sense doesn’t always win trophies in football. That’s what we all want. The SPL championship must return to our club and it’s up to Sir David Murray to deliver it. The sale of Alan Hutton may well be the right thing for the future of our club but compromise must be found in terms of ensuring that when we do have to sell any key players we can still compete successfully. That’s a challenge we’ve failed upon in recent years and another season without domestic silverware is wholly unacceptable. We have to decide what the costs will be in changing that and are we willing to pay them? [1] - http://www.plusmarketsgroup.com/story.shtml?ISIN=GB0007237380/GBP/PLUS-exn&NewsID=25453
  10. http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=582&Itemid=1 As we approach the last 7 days of the January transfer window and lose our most prolific league scorer, The-Insider once again lets us know of the rumours (yes, rumours not fact!) that he has been hearing over the last few days. First off, with Daniel Cousin signing for Fulham all the debate is who will replace him and how much of the �£3million will Walter Smith get to spend. The answer is not very much as once all the parties get their hefty cut of the transfer fee; and Rangers still looking to address their debt, that will only leave around half of the initial �£3million figure. It must disappoint and concern all Ranges fans that in seasons where they continue to support the team so strongly financially (despite no success and little defence from the club when criticised) that certain people continue to make so much money out of transfers. The three most common names linked with a move are S�¸ren Larsen, Luke Moore and, now, Kyle Lafferty of Burnley. Of those Larsen is the most affordable but Rangers retain an interest in all three. Larsen and Lafferty offer the most direct replacement in terms of style of play while Moore has already visted Murray Park and has viewed property in the West End of Glasgow. Unfortunately, Villa want �£3.5million for his services and, at this stage, Rangers cannot afford that fee. To counter the finance issue, as revealed last week by Gersnet, Alan Hutton's Rangers future is still very much in the balance. As we told you last week, Spurs increased their weekly wage offer by over 50% after dealing directly with Rangers and not Hutton's agent. Since then Hutton has sacked his agent John Lonergan and any move to London is still on the table with Rangers being keen to sell. Certainly with Ehiogu and Cousin now having left the club and no replacements brought back in, further pressure will be on Sir David Murray to buy - more so if Hutton and/or Buffel also leave. As we said last week, two or three suitable signings could mean the difference between a title-winning side and not winning any trophies whatsoever. The-Insider will keep you informed over the next week.
  11. When a transfer has been confirmed stick it in here. I'll start........ Robbie Savage - Blackbrun to Derby �£1.5M Waste of money if you ask me.
  12. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/...905079.0.0.php WALTER SMITH'S January transfer budget won't be hit by Rangers' failure to make the Champions League last 16. Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Lyon cost the Ibrox club a place in the knock-out stages, plus around an additional �£4m on top of the �£13m they have already made from Uefa payments and five home European ties. Rangers will need to reach the last 16 of the Uefa Cup to make up that lost money. A decent TV pull in the round of 32 draw a week today - with the likes of Spurs, Bolton, Bayern Munich and Fiorentina all possible opponents - would help offset some of the financial hit from the Champions League. Smith's funding for January was already in place, and any additional Euro revenue would not have been filtering through to him. He had cash left in the kitty after splashing out more than �£10m in the summer. That money will be used in January, along with whatever Smith generates from transfers. I understand Brahim Hemdani has an agreement to leave next month after failing to secure an exit in August. The French/Algerian midfielder wanted out before the last window closed but stayed on after Smith told him of his need for experience in the Champions League campaign. But Hemdani is unhappy at not featuring in SPL games and wants to play in the Premiership. He was watched by Middlesbrough and Reading against Lyon, while the man who signed him - Alex McLeish - could yet try to take him to Birmingham City. Hemdani has 18 months left on a �£20,000-a-week deal and is almost certain to get his wish for a move next month. He is likely to be joined by Daniel Cousin. Rangers have been far from impressed with the Gabonese striker's attitude in the past few weeks. The �£1m summer signing from Lens was hooked at half-time in the Lyon match and has already expressed a wish to play in England. He has a �£3m exit clause in the summer, but Rangers are likely to move him on in January for somewhere around �£2m. Thomas Buffel is being tracked by Anderlecht in his homeland. He is another player Smith would happily let go for around the �£1m mark, with the Belgian another high earner on �£17,000-a-week. Fringe players such as Ugo Ehiogu, Chris Burke and one or two others may also be shipped out. Smith would like to bring in three players - a striker, a left-back and another midfielder - and already has his eye on who he wants. But he is loathe to make too many changes after such upheaval in the summer, and it's unlikely any more than three new faces will arrive next month. With Stevie Smith and Andy Webster both set to return to the squad in the next month or so, Smith feels he would be well covered for the second half of the season SPL title battle and the Uefa Cup campaign.
  13. There has been a fair amount of debate recently regarding the formation and tactics deployed by Walter Smith as he attempts to be competitive both domestically and in the Championsââ?¬â?¢ League. Thus, is 4-5-1, described as ââ?¬Ë?anti-footballââ?¬â?¢ by Lionel Messi the spawn of the devil or is that far too simplistic a way to look at it? Firstly, I think itââ?¬â?¢s important to look at the context of when and why this formation is deployed. Obviously a game (home or away) against the cream of European opposition is different from a game against stuffy, well organised Scottish outfits. Thus, while 4-5-1 against Barcelona is exactly that ââ?¬â?? a defensive strategy to try and contain the oppositionââ?¬â?¢s attacking players - a 4-5-1 against Dundee Utd could and should be more attacking in its set up. So far this season Rangers have employed three different variations of this system: 4-5-1 per se with 3 central holding players and only one real attacking midfielder which allows for our strong defensive nature (eg v Barcelona); 4-1-4-1 which is still very defensive but with a strong central spine capable of attacking quickly on the counter (eg v Lyon); and 4-2-3-1 which is a solid unit much more offensive in its outlook (eg v Stuttgart). Moreover, in the majority of our games we have actually seen every one of these sub-formations depending on the in-game situation. Therefore, itââ?¬â?¢s easy to see that while the 4-5-1 formation may be the parent system, it is extremely flexible in situ and hence far too empirical to label it is as defensive outwith the most difficult of games. The formation also fits our current squad very well and we have players capable of playing many roles within it. Even the likes of Kris Boyd can fit into this style as long as the selected players support him properly (see Livorno last season as well as other games). ââ?¬Ë?Whatââ?¬â?¢s the problem then?ââ?¬â?¢ I hear you ask! Well, where this breaks down is the actual choice of players on the day and, indeed, this is where Walter Smith had made the odd error this season resulting in needless dropped points. For example, while it may be agreeable to play 3 holding players against the likes of Barca (Thomson, Hemdani and Ferguson usually); itââ?¬â?¢s not necessarily required against Dundee Utd or Hibs. Recently Smith opted for Thomson, Faye and Ferguson against Utd and because Ferguson isnââ?¬â?¢t consistent in the striker-supporting role we struggled to retain possession in the first half. He then dropped deeper and deeper; the midfield became too congested and chances were few and far between. Add to that the many SPL teams who will also use the same system against us, that then places a lot of onus on our wider players. We know the attacking qualities of Hutton and Beasley but Papac and McCulloch are not so creative and we lose a fair amount of balance in games. The result? Weââ?¬â?¢re easy to read, lop-sided, one-dimensional and unimaginative in our play. As such, this is where the ââ?¬Ë?anti-footballââ?¬â?¢ accusations come in. When we do struggle in games we quickly resort to bypassing the congested midfield and look for the strength and aerial threat of McCulloch and Cousin. Ergo, while the direct route may not be the most attractive of strategies sometimes it has to be used to grind out results. Indeed, this typical British style has helped our teams not just at home but in every European competition. Liverpool, Man Utd, Rangers and most recently Celtic have utilised the traditional route one style to bully opponents not always used to physical threats ââ?¬â?? playing some good stuff along the way. Is this 'anti-football'? Of course not! Football is a sport which changes in style throughout the years but some things never change. Is there a more defensively natured team that the current Italian World Champions? Do German teams achieve success through exciting attacking football or strong, solid team-play? Is English football based on skill and pace only? I think we all know the answers to those questions. Of course teams need to score goals to win matches but without a strong defence, exciting attacking play wonââ?¬â?¢t assure success ââ?¬â?? ask Spain and Holland! We all want to watch such football but I think every football fan would temper their expectations with realism generally. The simple fact is that almost every team at all levels will set their stall out to frustrate on occasion. Rangers are no different. Similarly, while such strategies may at first sight appear negative, itââ?¬â?¢s not always the case. Neither do they necessarily promote a less attractive style of football. The variation of 4-5-1 we played against Lyon showed stout defensive properties but the 3 goals we scored and some of our general footballing play was first class. Such tactics should not be the antipathy of good football but just one more positive example of the game. Walter Smith came back to a Rangers team struggling on many fronts. With a few shrewd transfers, by shoring up a leaky back-line and by giving a physical competitive edge to our midfield heââ?¬â?¢s managed to turn things around to a decent degree. Some results and performances have been excellent ââ?¬â?? some not so good. Generally the team is doing well and with a bit more flexibility, a bit more consistency of attacking personnel and some more time for the younger new players to settle, weââ?¬â?¢re not far off where we want to be. If that means continuing with 4-5-1 for another wee while until we do gel enough to have the kind of attacking understanding that confidence and consistency brings then so be it. That isnââ?¬â?¢t negative or ââ?¬Ë?anti-footballââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬â?? just common sense and playing the percentages to maximise our chances of winning games. Isnââ?¬â?¢t that what the game is about?
  14. Thanks to Gribz and the request to be pinned in a few sections. Hopefully the Mods/Admin can keep on top of further transfer business over the coming weeks. Cheers to Gribz btw
  15. BOSS Walter Smith has revealed that he is checking out a number of players and may make some more moves before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month. The Rangers manager, who has made 10 signings since last season ended, feels that he needs a bit more balance to his squad and may try to bolster some areas. Ally McCoist and Walter SmithHe has confirmed that Portsmouth defender Dejan Stefanovic is one of a number of players he has been looking at. Smith said: "Stefanovic is one of a few players we are looking at and will continue to look at until the transfer window is closed. "We have to continue to look for players for one or two positions where we feel we might be a little bit short. "We have been looking at some players but it doesn't necessarily mean that we will act. "Although we have a big squad of players I still think we are a bit thin on the ground in certain areas, but if we don't make any further signings I will be more than happy to go with what I have. "Some people are suggesting that subsequent transfers may be dependent on qualification to the Champions League group phase but that's not the case. "It's just that we are covered more than adequately in some positions and not as much in others. "We just want a slightly better balance to the squad." Similarly, Smith has revealed that some players could go if clubs come in for them. He added: "Having a slightly bigger group than last year means we have to watch that we don't get frustration from the boys that are not playing. "So if some clubs come along for one or two of the boys then we will consider what they have to say." I remember Stefanovic from his Dutch day's and thought he was a good player. I think we were also linked with him before he went to Portsmouth. A good replacement for Weir imo.
  16. Morrison confirms Scots choice By Graeme Bailey - Created on 31 Jul 2007 BARCLAYCARD FOOTBALL CREDIT CARD The card that rewards true fans: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months (2.5% handling fee applies) 14.9% APR (typical variable) Apply now. Related links Team Pages: England Scotland Middlesbrough Player Pages: James Morrison Middlesbrough's James Morrison has confirmed his intention to play for Scotland. The Darlington-born midfielder has played for England at youth level, but the 21-year-old has now opted to play for Scotland following talks with Scots boss Alex McLeish. "After having a chat with Alex McLeish I have chosen to play for Scotland," he told the Daily Record. "I was born in England and I believe I could do a job for them but it was a question of how long I wanted to wait. "But I've got the chance to help Scotland now and I'm really looking forward to pulling on the shirt." Don't know anything about this guy,but if it helps Scotland then great :cheers:
  17. I'll come clean immediately - I'm a timposter, but not one to deliberately wind anybody up, although I do like a good debate. I'm intrigued by the media treatment of Naismith's possible transfers to Rangers. This may not reflect the views on here or amongst other Rangers fans. If you were NOT selling your house which you thought was worth, let's say �£200,000, and you were initially offered �£40,000 and after three more offers �£75,000 now and the possibility of �£75,000 later depending on certain conditions, would you sell? The precise figures may not be quite right, but I'm sure you get the drift. PS Good site.
  18. Thanks to Gribz and the request to be pinned in a few sections. Hopefully the Mods/Admin can keep on top of further transfer business over the coming weeks. Cheers to Gribz btw
  19. I've highlighted a bit in bold. We may have signed 7 players but does anyone else agree with me that we have only really signed 3 potential first teamers? Obviously the 3 im talking about are Darcheville, Cuellar and Beasley, but the rest are going to be squad players. Now there isnt anything wrong with this as we need fine back up and good numbers but I still think we are crying out for at least 2 more players who will go straight into the first team. Maybe Gow will have a bit more to play as he is a vertisle player who can play in behind the strikers and I have a good feeling about him. But if we arent buying guys who are first pick then we arent improving IMO and we cant go into another season of being average after picking up no silverware in the last 2 seasons. Im not having a dig at Smith's buys here Im just saying in the up coming weeks we still need to buy 2 players who can make a difference.
  20. Gribz

    Squad Cover

    Just running through each position for the team and IF (big if) the Beasley and Faubert transfers went through we would only be maybe a right back and keeper away from having good all round numbers. GK - McGregor / Robinson and possibly Graeme Smith to come in as back up? The fans are split on whether this is good enough or not, but whatever happens we have the numbers there again. Its just my opinion but id prefer a keeper with higher quality to come in. RB - Hutton is a hands down starter but Lowing hasnt nearly had enough games. He may make the step up next season but someone with a bit more experience may be the better option and allow Lowing out on loan for a season. This the the one position we need another body. LB - Smith / Papac / Murray - plenty cover, we could even release Murray. CH - Weir / Ehiogu / Broadfoot / Svensson - Plus Papac and Hemdani can fit in and Webster may sign on along with either Cuellar or Todd - enough cover there but a long term partnership needs to be resolved. Centre midfield - Ferguson / Hemdani / Thomson / Buffel? - 1 or 2 injuries would see us in a bit of bother here and Buffel is still not confirmed to be staying nor is a centre midfielder unless he is infront of diamond which is unlikely to be played. Would Quashie be a good signing here? Wingers - Burke / Sionko / Adam / Gow - They are the 4 currently on the books but Beasley and Faubert would be great additions and allow Sionko to leave making Burke and Adam good back ups. Novo can also play there. Strikers - Darcheville / Boyd / Sebo / Novo / Lennon - Every team needs 4 and we have that at the moment although Sebo and Novos futures still not confirmed. It may be we add here but time will tell. Young Lennon could make the step up this season. Gow can also play there Conclusion - So I would like a keeper as a priority. Weare linked with Danny Mills at RB, this could be a good loan signing if it could work that way to allow the development of Lowing. We are ok for numbers at centre half but age is against a few of them and there isnt a long term partnership, although I dont think its a top priority this season as Weir easy has this season in him.
  21. Platini's plans for UEFA and the European leagues. This could have an impact and even things up a bit (although linking wages to turnover doesn't help even things up given the TV revenues for the larger nations). From Sporting Life http://www.sportinglife.com/football/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/07/03/14/SOCCER_Platini_Nightlead.html UEFA president Michel Platini has spelt out his plans for a new era in European football including a proposal for 'play-offs' for Champions League qualification. Platini is proposing a new final qualifying round where there could be play-off-style matches, where the lowest-placed qualifiers from England, Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal would play against each other. The current system works on seeding, meaning clubs from the major leagues usually avoid each other in the final qualifying round and have easier games against smaller teams. Platini said: "It's not about disturbing England, Italy or Spain, but about finding a good balance. "My problem is that the two English, Spanish and Italian teams in the final qualifying round do not play against each other, they play against smaller teams. "Perhaps the teams from the bigger countries, who have four and three qualifying teams, should play against each other. "We want to add some of the other countries to the competition and to do that we have take some of the others away. I'm not sure that the fourth clubs from Spain, Italy and England are more important than the champions of Poland, the Czech Republic and Denmark." Platini's other ideas, revealed in a media briefing in London, include: Establishing a UEFA strategic committee where UEFA, the European leagues, the clubs and the players' union FIFPro would each have an equal voice in deciding changes in European club football. Banning players going on loan to teams playing in the same competitions as the club that owns them. Preventing European clubs from signing players who are still owned by agents or companies - as happened with West Ham and the Argentinian players Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Having tougher penalties for players who damage the image of the game by becoming involved in unsavoury incidents such as mass brawls. Backing the introduction of a rule where clubs can only spend a percentage of their turnover on player wages and transfers. Encouraging referees to abandon matches where there is overt racist abuse. The Champions League proposal will be one of the first issues dealt with by the new strategic committee. The committee has to be ratified by a special UEFA Congress on May 27, but if approved it will include three voices from English football - Football Association chairman and UEFA vice-president Geoff Thompson, Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon. Four clubs have been voted in as representatives by the European Club Forum - Chelsea, AC Milan, Barcelona and Ajax, - and Platini's backing for the strategic committee will give Kenyon a powerful voice in European football. In relation to changing the rules on loan players, Platini added: "If a player is on loan at one club it is logical for me that he is excluded in playing in the same competition as the club who owns him. "He should not be able to play in the same league as his own club." The issue has grabbed public attention in relation to Chelsea's connection with Brazilian defender Alex, who is currently at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. The clubs could face each other in the Champions League semi-final but Chelsea say there are no eligibility issues because the player is not on loan at PSV, merely that they have an option to sign him. Proposed changes to the Champions League are set to be debated at the strategic committee's meeting in Monaco in August, before being voted on by UEFA's executive committee the following month. Any changes to the format would not come into force until the 2009-10 season.
  22. Bardsley joins Villa Aston Villa have taken Manchester United full-back Phil Bardsley on loan. Black Cats capture Stokes Sunderland have completed the capture of Arsenal's Anthony Stokes for �£2million. http://msnsport.skysports.com/transfers.aspx?cpid=8
  23. pete

    Nicolae Dica

    Never believe much printed in the sun so this is probably more crap.
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