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  1. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-murray-denies-executive-salaries-claim-1-3123399
  2. In the teeth of fierce fan dissent - and a continued campaign to dislodge existing Rangers directors by a group of investors including the former chairman, Malcolm Murray - the Ibrox chief executive, Craig Mather, mounted a forceful defence of the accounts issued on Tuesday which posted an operating loss of £14 million for the 13 months to June this year. The results were in vivid contrast to those of Celtic, revealed last month, which showed a pre-tax profit of £9.74 million on a group turnover of £75.82 million. Rangers’ turnover to June was £19.1 million, most of which was derived from gate receipts and hospitality income. Playing squad salaries fell during the period but so too did earnings from sponsorship and the media. Throughout the accounting period and also subsequently there has been a persistent concern amongst supporters and some investors that the cash burn at Ibrox has been out of control. Asked why the costs associated with the public share offer last December were as high as £6.1 million, Mather replied: “There are the physical IPO costs, the costs of raising money and what we would deem non-reoccurring costs - for example, exceptional costs in excess of £4 million. “Nobody can shy away from the fact that the IPO cost was high and the cost of raising money was high but if you go into the detail of that – and the devil is in the detail, without fear of contradiction – at the time, when I wasn’t CEO, just for clarity - there was no football security. What I mean by that is the club didn’t know what league they would be playing in. “It was never ever going to be cheap to raise money against that backdrop but Rangers had to be saved. For me, and to five million fans looking at it around the world, it was imperative that this club was saved. “Under normal circumstances, people in the City would take a view of somewhere up to 7.5 per cent is a normal cost of raising funds. This wasn’t normal and I’m not trying to defend the people involved - I wasn’t there, I wasn’t party to it - but it’s obvious that you have to look at what you can offer the investor in return for the investment. “If you can’t tell them if you’re going to be able to kick a football, or if you’re going to be able to play in a certain division or get membership of the SFA it’s not an easy sell.” Another bone of contention is that the directors have set their own remuneration, to which Mather replied: “It was a decision taken by the remunerations committee and the chairman at the time, which was Malcolm Murray. “So Malcolm Murray decided the remunerations for Charles Green and Brian Stockbridge and unfortunately the directors are duty bound to honour those scenarios historically. I can assure you on my watch that won’t be happening. “If you look at my pay, there was talk about £500,000 but the actual amount I agreed to in the end was £300,000. Brian Stockbridge was on £200,000 plus a contractual bonus. Again, quite openly he’s agreed to waive that contractual bonus of his own accord.” The accounts reveal that £6.75 million was used to purchase trade and assets. Some critics have suggested that Charles Green’s consortium did not buy Rangers, but rather that the club itself did. “That’s categorically untrue,” said Mather. “It’s just mischief making. The club was bought by the Green consortium and I wasn’t part of it at that juncture. Monies were paid in good faith for those trading assets, full stop.” As to the Ally McCoist’s wages, Mather said: “I’m not suggesting Alistair become the lowest paid manager but he’s very happy to take a pay cut of his own volition. It’s a substantial pay cut.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/rangers/10348112/Malcolm-Murray-to-blame-for-Rangers-directors-high-wages-claims-Craig-Mather.html
  3. LET me start with a confession: I like Monster Munch. In fact, I’m particularly fond of pickled onion. There you go, I just wanted to get that out in the open because something happened at Forfar at the weekend that made my mind drift back to one of the most controversial periods of my career. And, yes, I realise there were a few. But there was nothing quite like the time when Paul Le Guen told me I was finished at Rangers and people tried to make it out it was over a bag of crisps. For those who don’t remember, sit back and let me explain. We’ll start last Sunday at Station Park where Rangers struggled to a 1-0 win and got slaughtered for their display. I didn’t see it but by all accounts it was dire and a throwback to last season when Ally McCoist had a hard time of things in the Third Division. But there was one big difference between Sunday and the worst days of the previous campaign when so many points were dropped at places such as Peterhead, Stirling and Berwick. The difference was Rangers won. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying for a second there’s any excuse for a team like Rangers to be struggling to win at Forfar. There isn’t. What I am saying, however, is that even though they had a bad day at least they left the place with three points. That wasn’t always the case last season and, to me, it’s a sign some of the club’s old standards are on the way back. Standards that I was raised on. Standards that Rangers were built on. Standards that I thought might disappear for good during Le Guen’s time in charge seven years ago. A lot has been made about my relationship with the Frenchman. I know there are Rangers fans out there who still think I undermined him or stabbed him in the back. So I’d like to use this column to set a few things straight. First, you have to understand the way I was brought up as a kid working under John Brown and John McGregor. They kept things simple: At Rangers nothing less than three points is ever acceptable. Yes, they wanted us to play well and encouraged us to express ourselves but the most important lesson they taught us was that you’ll never cut it as a Rangers player if you pull that shirt on and think it’s OK to lose. That was driven into my head every day of my young life until it became a state of mind and a way of life. So yes, I’ll hold my hands up right now. To this day I am guilty of wanting to win every game I play. I know I run around with my wee face all screwed up, moaning at everyone and everything but it’s only because I care so much about winning. To me, that’s just the Rangers way – if you don’t care if you lose or draw then you’ve no business being there. And that’s was the root of my problem under Le Guen. The truth is, the longer it went on the more I was struggling to recognise the Rangers I had grown up with. Under Le Guen, it was becoming acceptable to drop points on a Saturday. In fact, it was becoming the norm. And I admit I just couldn’t get my head around it. Now, people have their own opinions about what went on between us. But I was there, I know what went on inside that dressing room and I’d challenge him to deny or contradict anything I’m about to tell you. Week after week I walked off the pitch to be told: “It’s OK, let’s stick together and just move on to the next game.” That’s alright after one bad game. Or maybe if a team is going through a wee sticky patch. But not EVERY week. After EVERY embarrassing result. It was a gradual build-up, over weeks and months. His shrug-of -the-shoulders attitude was eating away at me inside because this was the club I loved. I was the Rangers captain and these results were killing me. It was humiliating. And the worst bit of it was, I could see it rubbing off on others until there were players sitting in that dressing room who didn’t seem to care if we won, lost or drew. The standards I had grown up with were disappearing. I held my tongue as best I could but it was only a matter of time until I eventually snapped. That day came on December 27, 2006, at Inverness. We had been winning 1-0 but ended up losing 2-1. I think we slipped to fourth or fifth in the table. I mean, it was getting ridiculous. And what did I hear when I walked into that dressing room? “It’s OK. We must stick together.” That was it, I just couldn’t listen to it any more. So I said: “Aye, we must stick together. But it’s not f****** OK that we’ve lost another three points. What part of that don’t you get? This is Glasgow Rangers you are working for.” I admit I lost the head. I was just so angered by the lack of passion. I couldn’t look round any more at people who didn’t care if Rangers won or lost. Yes, maybe I was guilty of letting my emotions boil over. Maybe I lost my cool in that dressing room on that day. But I just couldn’t take any more of it. But that was it. It wasn’t as if I asked the guy outside for a square-go. I put my hand on my heart and say, I never caused that man one problem. I never once knocked down his door. Yes, OK I might have eaten the occasional packet of Monster Munch which might have been against his nutritional rules but come on? Listen, I’m all for players looking after themselves and eating well. But no one is going to tell me a packet of pickled onion now and again is going to take years off your career. It’s nonsense. Is that what people mean when they say I undermined him? Honestly, I don’t know where all that comes from and it makes me angry just thinking about it. It was all I read in the papers or heard on the phone-ins. I swear none of it was true. I was guilty of one thing – being passionate about my club and going a bit daft at Inverness. But I had no idea the price he wanted me to pay for it until I walked into Murray Park a few days later to prepare for an away game at Motherwell. His assistant, Yves Colleu, shouted for me and I went into the manager’s office and Le Guen began to speak to me like I was some sort of alien. I wasn’t even allowed to sit down. He just told me I’d never play for the club again and to leave the building. I was in a daze. I got my bag and walked to my car without saying anything to the other lads. I got a few hundred yards down the road before I pulled in and realised what had just happened. I was shattered. As things turned out, it was Le Guen’s Rangers career that was over. Very soon after that, Walter Smith was back in charge. And overnight Rangers got their standards back. That’s why the result at Forfar pleased me the other day. And put me right in the mood for a packet of my favourite crisps.
  4. Ally McCoist on Friday night revealed he has taken a wage cut in a bid to help Rangers slash costs. The Ibrox boss and his management team have agreed to a reduction in their salaries amid fears much of the £22million raised last December through an institutional share issue has been wiped out. A promise by finance chief Brian Stockbridge to produce audited accounts by mid-September has so far failed to materialise, while sacked commercial director Imran Ahmad has launched a £500,000 court battle against the club. As the club’s finances take centre stage at a bloody boardroom battle at an AGM next month, however, McCoist has agreed to ease the burden by scaling down his £700,000-a-year salary. ‘It’s just been agreed that the management team are certainly taking a wage cut,’ the Rangers boss on Friday night told plzsoccer.com’s Football Show. ‘I didn’t feel under pressure to do it because effectively I signed a contract. People forget that when I became manager of the club someone put a contract in front of me and I just signed it as simple as that. ‘I didn’t even look at it, to be quite honest with you. I didn’t look at wages or length of contract, I just said: “I’m signing that because it’s what I want to do”. ‘So I think it is a little bit harsh criticising someone when you don’t know what is going to happen in the future.’ McCoist, meanwhile, appealed to Rangers fans to throw their support behind betting bad boy Ian Black. The Ibrox midfielder returns to the team against Stenhousemuir on Saturday after a three-match suspension imposed for breaching SFA rules on gambling on football matches and McCoist hopes supporters will back their man. ‘I’d be very hopeful that it’s now the case that we can all move on,’ said McCoist. Black is a regular target for opposition supporters — but has yet to experience booing from his own fans. McCoist believes the midfielder will cope with that if it happens. ‘Listen, football divides opinion all the time — especially at this club in the last two years,’ he said. ‘That’s a natural part of being involved at this club. I get stick myself about performances and team selections. It’s part and parcel. That will continue to be the case. ‘But I feel the most important thing is that, while we all have different opinions and opinions will be divided, the main focus and sole aim is the club’s focus to get back to where we want to be.’ Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2436100/Ally-McCoist-takes-Rangers-pay-cut.html#ixzz2gAQuhqlE Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
  5. Lifted from FF: I have been hearing from various sources that we as a group are being met with mixed reviews from forums etc so decided to come on and let everyone know a bit about us and our aims to allow each to make their own mind up We have been accused of being many people from tims to M Dingwall to D Leggat and even malcolm murray. We are none of these we are only normal concerned fans and if you read attachment below it will give you a better idea of who we are and how we came about. We only have 3 aims and I would question any fan who didnt want these things from their club regardless of who they are and which team they follow 1) Keep the stadium in clubs name to avoid Coventry situation 2) clear accounts which prove proper running of the club 3) a board that keep the club off the front pages and are above reproach We do not have any aims that can divide a support and only actually which to unite fans from all groups against a clear and present danger The following is a post from our facebook page that was first posted 2 weeks ago when we first started. Please take the few minutes to read and DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE surrounding The Sons of Struth https://www.facebook.com/SonsOfStruth Here we go I will try and explain in as short a post a possible who is involved to date with the Sons of Struth and how this page came about. One of our main points of agenda and a main Struthism is openness. Some of you may be aware of the Rangers Rumours website and a regular poster named George or George protester number 1. I picked up on his postings only 1 week ago and was intrigued to know what his feelings and understanding of our clubs current plight was. George arranged to travel from London on Friday and meet anyone interested in what he had to say at Ibrox. Due to my own worries about our club I felt I had nothing to lose other than 10 minutes of my time and a whole lot to gain if he had any information that could fill my appetite to fully understand the situation at our club. The fact that only 10 people turned up confirmed my general feeling that our fans are very apathetic towards the current situation and George was very disappointed also. He did, as many have since held against him, arrive minus the promised leaflets and did introduce himself as a representative of George. Both these points seem to have angered some but I understand why he done both when as he could have possibly been faced with a far greater number of fans who he didn’t know who they where and he was let down by a local printer which was a point later proven to me. To the 10 who were at the first meeting and others who visit the Rangers Rumours site, I was the guy with the red jacket who some believed was Georges minder and I post on the site as Craig protester number 2 BFH. To set the record straight I had never met George before Friday and purely turned up as a disgruntled fan searching for some knowledge. I appeared to pick up on what George was saying very quickly but so did others around me, however George seemed to like the questions I asked him and what I had to say so he asked me after the meeting if I would like to talk further on a one to one basis. This “private” meeting consisted more of us talking like true fans and swapping stories of our favourite experiences following our club than it did about revelations which weren’t disclosed at the full meeting. We did prove our love for our club and our concerns for the future just as many discussions would go between Rangers fans all over the world when two strangers meet and they find they both support Rangers. We decided we would talk again during his stay in Glasgow and exchanged numbers. During the course of last weekend we talked several times over the telephone and agreed to meet on Monday and I would introduce him to my friend Sandy who was also interested to hear what George had to say. During the course of the weekend George had put his leaflet online as he promised. George, Sandy and I met on Monday and again the discussion was no different to hundreds of chats between Rangers fans many times over. We discussed our favourite games, best goals,most manic away trips and the like but most importantly we shared a huge concern over the current state of our dearly held club and a desire to do something about. We all agreed that doing something and failing was more acceptable than doing nothing but with the hope we could make a difference even if it was just to give the proper fans some information that may put some fire in the belly and arouse some passion from within the fan base. We then involved the man power from a well known body of fans, who if they wish to disclose their important and welcome involvement is matter for them, who helped along with hastily recruited normal fans like Paisley Gary to help with the distribution of Georges leaflets prior to Tuesdays game. The leaflets went out and received a mixture of reactions. On Tuesday not long before I left for the game I started the Sons of Struth facebook page. The reasons for this is to give the normal fan who wants our club to return to a stewardship of which we would expect from Rangers. You pick up a paper on Monday going to work and you are faced with another scandal about our club. You discuss it and try to make sense of it but before you have a chance to get your head round it a few days later you’re faced with another earth shaking scandal. This is not what we expect from the custodians of our club. The mere inclusion of the Struth name in the page harks back to an era when our custodians conducted themselves with dignity, honesty and respect. We must install this again from our boardroom. Who am I? I am a nobody. Not attached to any fan group or organisation. I am you. A fan and season ticket holder since the age of 8 years old. What do I want? I want to talk about my favourite memories of Rangers and idols and goals again, not have to discuss and deal with on a daily basis another boardroom scandal and just get back to the football. I want a board that won’t embarrass me and treat me like a fan without hiding facts from me. I want to be assured that the stadium where I have had many happy memories will be in the ownership of my club and not sold off and rented back to us by some spiv. The stadium holds the spirit of not one but three disasters and has to remain ours to honour those who did not return. It has to remain for the thousands who have the names of lost loved ones chiselled on the very bricks in their memory. It is not the crown jewels it is far more important to the very soul of every fan who has ever walked through the turnstiles. Who are the Sons of Struth? We all are and can be ordinary fans or members from any other fan body. If you are a Union Bear or a Supporters Trust member, as long as your principles and desires are the same as ours then we welcome your input and support. We are not affiliated to any other fan body but welcome their involvement and discuss common aims. Our biggest and most immediate threat is the possible sale of our stadium and let me explain why. The ground swell of opinion is the current board may not have 51% of the shareholder support in the near future and as such leaves them in a position of one last heist. Let me explain in simple terms and use your house as an example. You require cash due to your ailing financial position and own a home with a market value of £200k. I agree to give you £100k cash today to solve your short term financial problems and I will rent you the house back for £2k per month. I will also agree to allow you to buy it back anytime in the next 10 years for £300k. I cant lose. I either 1) have you in the home and draw £24k a year of you in rental 2) Get £2k a month off you until your able to give me £300k to get it back 3) You leave the house and I have a building costing me half market value. Now turn this story to Ibrox and what a spiv could do. Sell the stadium to a carefully selected company that a trusted friend owns and the spiv has a vested interest in and do it soon before he loses the majority of shareholders. Couldnt happen? Think of the Monday morning paper stories we have all had to deal with in the last couple of years. SONS OF STRUTH DEMAND THE TRUTH SHOW YOU CARE AND SHARE WITH A BEAR Craig
  6. Stolen from FF by MD. Looks like Craig Mather is about to be knocked into a cocked hat A wee birdie in the print side of the Record's operation tells me the opposition have a belter of a candidate in the bag lined up to take his job should they win at the AGM. Story in Saturday's Record - usually they put the front and back pages online around midnight.
  7. I'm freaked out on this... Is there a 'cabal' in our club?
  8. http://www.thecoplandroad.org/2013/09/boardroom-cliches.html?spref=tw by Garry Carmody | Contributor As most football fans are able to get on with their "game of two halves", we fans that enjoy watching our football at Ibrox are still embroiled in one of the most notable boardroom battles in the club's history. It has gotten to the point that as a supporter of Rangers, I pine for the day when the most important debate becomes "4-4-2 or 4-5-1?". Instead, in the never-ending boardroom arguments, there is rarely time for this discussion to take a prominent place. Although the discussion is different, clichés most certainly still remain; "let's wait until the accounts are released" and "we should let the board get on with their job". In recent times, the above have become the official lines amongst many - the general idea is that we should all take a step back and let the norm continue. After all, why would the board do us wrong? Why would these individuals dare to affect the club lifelong supporters hold so dearly? There are a few very simple answers as to why those two familiar lines are simply doing us no good. "Wait until accounts are published" - Although no fan knows the details that will be included in the soon-to-be published accounts (any day now...), at the recent fan meeting at Ibrox, Financial Director, Brian Stockbridge, gave us an outline of what to expect. On the very basis that he "believes" that there is approximately £10 million left in the bank, can that possibly give any hope to fans looking for reassurance? This is the same board that have torn through an astonishingly high eight figure sum of money in the last 12 months - how can we possibly believe that this amount of money will last? It is also crucial to remember that this figure came from the same Stockbridge that told fans to their faces that he didn't know how much of the IPO money remained, but when it came to a cosy interview with The Sun, he was finally willing to lay bare the fact that not a single penny of the £22 million raised less than 12 months ago remains. The same Stockbridge that laughed his way to the bank after cashing in on his 100% bonus for Rangers winning the Third Division against part-timers. Is it really necessary to wait until accounts are published? Even behind the spin and avoidance of this current board, it doesn't take an expert to work out that these figures do not match up. Sure, a view of audited accounts will give a certain amount of confirmation, but unless an investor has recently ploughed a large sum of cash into the club without the boards' poodles letting fans know, the accounts will not be looking attractive at best – dire at worst. Search back within recent memory - can you name one isolated incident that shows that these are the right people to sort the issue out? There's also the idea that we should "let the board get on with their job". These people have been given the jobs for a reason - who are we to question what they do? For a start, the board have played fast and loose with the truth in previous times – for example, James Easdale was appointed to the board as media outlets reported that he personally held a shareholding of 6%, when in reality; he held approximately 0.5%, making the appointment somewhat baffling. Then there's the reappointment of Media House to deal with PR issues within the club - the same name that became toxic with fans due to their part in the cover-up of Craig Whyte's pillage of Rangers. The same Media House, of which employee, Jack Irvine, supposedly called "Greatest Ever Ranger", John Greig, 'thick'. That being the incident that CEO Craig Mather promised to act upon, but over three weeks later, it would appear evident that this has not happened. It is another incident that shows the complete lack of respect that is being shown to fans by the board which was also shown in bringing back Media House. It begs the question - are these spin doctors really there to protect the interests of the club or to safeguard the interests of individuals? Let's also not forget that this is the same board that voted against Chairman, Walter Smith, to allow Charles Green to return to the club as a "consultant". The move forced Smith into a position where he felt he had to quit and in his statement, said he felt the board were "dysfunctional", and urged fans to back change. If the board were to be commended by many for one reason, it would be their promise to tackle BBC Scotland on their constant mis-reporting and antagonising statements. However, that positive is clouded by the fact that some breaking stories are still making their way from the boardroom into the hands of BBC journalists. In the upcoming weeks, the AGM will be held. What is left inside Ibrox will be laid bare for all to see, and the board members will finally be up for judgement. If you believe you can decipher why they've earned our time, then by all means – continue to back the current regime. Or, if like me, you have sat for months on end in awe of how these men still remain in jobs, I would urge fans to take full advantage of the AGM. It is easy for fans to say "Our vote means nothing". If the split between investors is as close as both factions make out, this couldn't be further from the case. With approximately 12% of the club owned by fans, it is time fans started to make their voices heard. There may not be a better time. clichés
  9. According to Leggo, RFC are being investigated by the Procurator Fiscal after allegations of fraud. It's getting nastier... #agm http://davidleggat-leggoland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/procurator-fiscal-launches-fraud-probe.html
  10. From the Herald: Shareholders claim Rangers' broker blocked compromise agreement with club's current directors Published on 13 September 2013 The shareholders who were seeking boardroom change at Rangers claim the club's broker blocked their compromise agreement with the current directors. Rangers announced on Thursday that a requisition to remove three directors and appoint Paul Murray and Frank Blin to the board had been withdrawn in return for a guarantee that their annual general meeting would be held before the end of October. The two groups had appeared close to an agreement the previous week when Rangers released a statement claiming that Murray, Blin, Sandy Easdale and John McClelland would be appointed to a new nine-man board. But the "requisitioners" then denied agreeing to a vote of confidence in the current board. Talks continued but broke down this week as signalled by the club's statement to the London Stock Exchange, and Blin has now withdrawn from the entire process. Revolution remains on the agenda The disgruntled shareholders have now said that Strand Hanson, the club's nominated advisor (Nomad) and broker, vetoed any deal but did not explain why. The fate of the current five-man board - Craig Mather, Brian Stockbridge, Bryan Smart, James Easdale and Ian Hart - now rests with the shareholders at the AGM. In a statement, a spokesman for the requisitioners said: "We embarked on this exercise seven weeks ago at the request of shareholders speaking for 28% of the club's shares. "They had concerns over a lack of corporate governance and financial transparency at the club and they wanted those issues addressed by the appointment of Paul Murray and Frank Blin to the board and the removal of Craig Mather, Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart. "Two significant events have occurred since we started this process. Firstly, Walter Smith resigned as chairman and secondly, the board informed us that the Easdale family had secured control over a significant minority of the club's shares. "As a result we came to the conclusion that the best way to secure a stable board and avoid further shareholder challenges was to negotiate a compromise with the board. "We have engaged in compromise discussions for the last three weeks. A key element of any compromise was that we could not give any guarantees to the current board members. It is democratic and fair that all directors, existing and new, will have to offer themselves up for a re-election vote at the AGM in October. "On this basis we agreed a compromise agreement with the board but on Monday evening they informed us that the Nomad, Strand Hanson, were refusing to approve it. Despite repeated attempts by us, Strand Hanson have refused to engage with us to explain the reasons for their stance. "With compromise impossible we have continued discussions over the last few days with a view to combining the AGM and the GM. These discussions broke down on Wednesday when the board refused to agree to our request that no further board members could be appointed in the run-up to the AGM. Without this protection Paul Murray and Frank Blin would have been uncertain as to what board they might be joining. As a consequence, Frank Blin will not seek election to the board and will have no further involvement. "In addition, the board informed us yesterday that Strand Hanson were not prepared to support Paul Murray's election to the board at the AGM. Yet again they have refused to engage with us to explain their reasons. "On the basis of the constantly changing circumstances and the lack of consistency in people's positions we have therefore decided to withdraw the requisition. We have done this on the condition that the AGM is held no later than 31 October. "We now believe that the AGM will provide the platform for the shareholders to decide who should lead the club. All the directors will have to offer themselves for re-election and we would encourage all shareholders to vote and show whether they have confidence in the current board or not." Strand Hanson was not available for comment. The company was appointed by Rangers on July 9, replacing Cenkos Securities, on the same day as former chairman Malcolm Murray and Phil Cartmell left the board and James Easdale was appointed.
  11. Further to the announcement on 10 September 2013, the Company confirms that the Board's discussions have been continuing with representatives of the group who requisitioned (together the "Requisitioners") a general meeting to consider the proposed resolutions ("Requisition") detailed in the announcement on 2 August 2013 ("General Meeting"). The Company can confirm that the Requisitioners have withdrawn the Requisition which put forward resolutions for the removal of Craig Mather, Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart as Directors of the Company and for the appointment Frank Blin and Paul Murray as Non-Executive Directors of the Company on the condition that the Company convenes its Annual General Meeting to be held no later than 31 October 2013. The Company confirms that all of the current Directors remain in office and that it is not appointing any additional Directors save that as previously announced, the Company confirms that it continues to actively seek to appoint a new Chairman. Further announcements will be made as appropriate. http://www.londonstockexchange.com/e...entId=11707849
  12. No-one likes a thorough examination. It could be a test for English, it could be a check-up at the dentist. God forbid, it could even be the prostate exam from an overweight medico with fingers like fairtrade bananas. This week saw the appointment of that bogeyman figure for many Rangers fans, Peter Lawwell, to the Professional Game Board of the SFA. Leaving aside the hilarious irony of anything connected with the game in our country having the sheer balls to call itself 'professional' - the name of the new league was, for me, the highlight of the summer, an act of self-mockery and criticism not seen since the Red Guards were touring the Chinese countryside in the 1960's - you'd think the raising of another Celtic employee to another administrative role ought to have aroused some examination. As things stand now with the SFL gone, the SPFL Board consists of Steven Thompson of Dundee Utd, Eric Riley of Celtic, Aberdeen’s Duncan Fraser, Les Gray from Hamilton, Mike Mulraney of Cowdenbeath and Bill Darroch of Stenhousemuir plus CEO Neil Doncaster. Even Celtic fans must realise Mssrs Riley and Lawwell's various roles raise some interesting questions. Is it good for the game, or their club? Is it good for them, personally? Can they avoid conflicts of interest, and can they operate best with a work-load of this nature? What does it say about the structures which oversee the much vaunted reconstruction of the game in Scotland? Gersnet poster Brahim Hemdani sums up the bemusement may feel when he said "Quite why the other clubs think that having two represetatives from one club in the top echelons of power is appropriate is beyond my comprehension but that is the state of play that we have to live with." I ask these questions because they will affect us, like every other club, and because the overall coverage of the move has been muted to the point of fearful censorship. Tom English has taken refuge in slating OF fans for being loonballs rather than look at the appointment itself, while no-one else seems to have mentioned it at all. Maybe no-one is a little concerned that one club looms quite so large over the landscape (you may recall Kenny Shiels swift demotion by the ever sensitive Pacific Quay from colourful entertainer to highly suspicious proto-bigot when he touched on this subject), or, more likely, maybe they're worn out by all these saga and don't care anymore. Dangerous attitude, if true. We need to care. My own view is that no-one from either Rangers or celtc should be on any governing body, nor anyone with a connection to them. Rules out a hell of a lot of people, doesn't it? But look at the history! Since the mid-1980's, the Old Firm have more or less run the game. First them then us have been, during that time, complete basket cases. Prior to that, with faceless, anonymous men who enjoyed the benefits, yes, but were primarily upholders of the game as a concept - that is, as a sport - Scotland actually did not too badly, certainly by comparison with its later, hideous self. Of the two potential scenarios - well meaning if possibly bumbling amateurs, or corporate OF types - one would have to be a follower of either side to support the elevation of the latter to the running of the game. If that maybe sounds like accusations of bias toward the media, maybe it is - given the outrage we saw over such issues as contentious capitalist contract practices and internal SFA inquiries, surely they would feel the make up of game boards also need a revolution? No? Happy to carry on as we have for thirty years, are you? Thirty years of continual decline and failure? Quite content to see the setup which has brought the game to the laughable stance of not even having a sponsor - bear in mind, this is a league which reaches both Rangers and celtc fans every week, that's market penetration many a company would give their right arm for; you are looking at well over 2,000,000 potential customers on a more than weekly basis being exposed to your product - and think this is a suitable plan for the future? Well, fair enough. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. But you can hardly be surprised when people raise a quizzical eyebrow, and wonder quite what the reason is for your optimism. celtc's current dominance is the reason put forward, I guess. That ignores their two decades of shambolic behaviour since the early 1980's; no doubt our period of insanity will be as quickly forgotten. It also forgets the wasteland that the rest of the game is; perhaps a momentary lapse in memory by our writers, or again, perhaps they just don't care. The game desperately needs diversity, in terms of cup winners and media coverage. We're unlikely to see the latter, since the media is as self interested as the next man. I can't see how having the people from the top club running the leagues will help create that diversity; the logical outcome will be a set up which favours that leading club. Cravenly avoiding the fairly obvious self interest inherent in this move, and whining about how Old Firm fans are loonies while you pretty much cowardly refuse to actually examine the move, won't impress anyone. Maybe, when this blows up in the face of Scottish football (as OF people running the game always will, in my opinion), those who have airily seen it through on the nod will have the guts to examine their own role in it. I won't be holding my breath, though. As the dire Neil Doncaster happily points out "“The relationship between the SPFL and the SFA is a good one and I think a much better one since the reconstruction’s completion on the 27th June.” This is unsurprising when the same people, two of whom are from the same outfit, sit upon these boards. If blissful happiness and an end to dissent is the aim, I can see the point. If running the game in a progressive and accountable way is the aim, it becomes rather more questionable. But questions are good, in a healthy democracy. We need our media writers to question, to examine. Their current craven obedience will be just something else we will all come to regret.
  13. by Andy McGowan | Contributor Agenda, propaganda, hand wringers, apologists—just a few of the terms thrown around in the Ibrox game of buzzword bingo. The irony of our current situation is that the men throwing these words around seem to be the ones with an end game that isn’t in the best of interests Rangers Football Club. The end game The Copland Road Organization is hoping for? Simply, the best outcome for Rangers and our fans. We have nothing to gain from the current board being cleared out other than that it is what Rangers need to move forward. There’s no blazers or freebees in our future; only attacks from the lunatic fringe backing the current board to all ends for a variety of reasons. The attacks on anyone willing to speak up against our dysfunctional boardroom will no doubt ramp up in the weeks to come with the return of Jack Irvine. I’m sure most Rangers fans hadn’t heard the name Jack Irvine until a few weeks ago, but everyone will remember Media House, the utterly useless PR firm who ‘represented’ us for years under both David Murray and Craig Whyte. Media House oversaw years of dignified silence under Murray while Rangers' name was dragged through the mud by the more extreme elements of the mainstream media. They also helped Whyte act like a playground bully, threatening to sue anyone who dared to reveal the truth about the pretend Billionaire during his time at Ibrox. With the club’s fresh start in SFL 3 it was a chance to reshape the club on and off the park. While we struggled on the park last season we done our best work off it in many years. For all the things Charles Green did wrong one thing he did right was to see the potential of Rangers’ self-produced media. Over the last 12-18 months the work done by staff at Rangers, RTV in particular, has been nothing short of exceptional. From documentaries such as "The Rising," to match day coverage for UK viewers and a fantastic interview with Ally McCoist, it is clear our in-house media had improved substantially. The club even used the official website to deal with propaganda being spread by Celtic bloggers determined to destabilize the club with rehashed versions of the same rumours they have been touting for years which previously went unchallenged. There is also a common misconception of the job Jim Traynor is doing at Ibrox. While our in-house media begun to thrive there was a boardroom war brewing in the mainstream media with both sides of the boardroom using certain newspapers to leak stories about each other. Traynor seems to have spent the majority of his time at Ibrox putting out fires started by our board, mainly those started by Charles Green himself. Jim Traynor worked wonders to have The Sun hold the Craig Whyte/Sevco ownership story to give the club a chance to reply only for Green to start a race row by calling Imran Ahmad a paki the very next day in the same paper. In the few months he’s been here, despite the constant fire fighting, Jim Traynor has done more for Rangers than Media House done in years. There is a lot of criticism of Jim Traynor because we don’t see him in front of the camera more often, but he is the Director of Communications — you don’t often see the Director appear in the movie he is directing. It’s not his job to be in front of the camera. It is his job to try and control how the club presents itself, one that he is doing exceptionally well under the most difficult of circumstances. Such is the good job Traynor and our staff have done and the poor job Media House have done that Rangers finally and correctly decided to part ways with the firm much to the delight of anyone who has witnessed their limp-wristed attempts to act on behalf of the club over the years. Sadly, it was a delight that didn’t last long. Despite the best efforts of the men they had been using to attack McColl et al public opinion had turned on Charles Green, Imran Ahmad and the board members who will now put aside what’s best for Rangers in an attempt to hold their positions. They needed a real attack dog, the ramblings of a discredited blogger shouting about politics weren’t cutting it and so Jack’s back. Jack wasted no time in telling us he’s here to represent Rangers and not the board. He certainly has a funny way of defending the club. His cosy relationship with Paul McConville and Scotzine’s Andy Muirhead—two men who have been slandering the club with half-truths and full lies for years now—should set alarm bells ringing for anyone unconvinced about this man’s intentions. There is something very strange about the relationship between these two Rangers haters, Irvine and his PR pawn Bill McMurdo. McConville even has a link on his website dedicated just to McMurdo which is akin to a link on the Rangers website to the Celtic store. Are these the men Rangers fans are willing to put their faith in? Jack has certainly made a great start to his defence of Rangers with the surfacing of his email from the Whyte era insulting the greatest ever Ranger John Greig and showing complete disdain for the fans. It certainly made for an interesting dynamic between Irvine and McMurdo who had to play down the incident on his blog. It’s not often you see the monkey defending the organ grinder. I’m no public relations guru but when the PR man immediately becomes the story, a highly negative story at that, then there is something deeply wrong. The PR campaign is about to be ramped up by Media House and I would urge fans to take everything they read with a pinch of salt. Taking these men at face value is incredibly dangerous for the future of Rangers football club. The recent Craig Mather interview for example which taken in and of itself seemed to be a forthright and robust piece until you look deeper as Shane Nicholson did. Curiously, Irvine chose to do an interview with Scotzine, a website which is nothing but a diet Celtic fanzine. You’d have to ask Jack why he chose Scotzine, a website even McMurdo describes as ‘ESPECIALLY media hostile to Rangers’ to speak through rather than one of the several Rangers websites who would be willing to sit down with him. Maybe he’s worried he wouldn’t be given such an easy ride from those who have Rangers at heart. I have doubts about Jim McColl, Paul Murray and Frank Blin but those doubts pale in comparison to the doubts I have about the men currently in our boardroom. Our CEO speaks well but he’s all talk — he’s tried to play both sides of this divide and now we can all see him for what he is: A yes man who will flip-flop on a moment's notice in an attempt to keep his position at Ibrox secure. We have a Financial Director who isn’t entirely sure how much money we have and a host of undesirables who manage to scare away two chairmen in Malcolm Murray and Walter Smith who, whatever your opinion of them, undeniably have Rangers' best interests at heart. And these men chose to be represented by a firm who did nothing but damage to us for years and who choose to keep the company of Celtic bloggers. We are in danger of seeing all the good work done by our media department undone by Media House who are already peering over their shoulders and who will have full control of our Club's output if Jim Traynor walks away like the many men who put Rangers first already have. There may yet be the opportunity to broker an uneasy peace between the current board and the group demanding change which is potentially a far more palatable outcome than our AGM being hijacked as a vehicle for both sides of the civil war, neither of which is without fault. It is looking more likely we will see a compromise from both sides but however it plays out whoever ends up sitting on the board it changes nothing with regards to Jack Irvine and Media House. Fans demanded the removal of Charles Green as a consultant when he became the story and the fans need to do the same again before Jack Irvine is allowed the time he needs to cause more havoc for the Club. He is here to muddy the waters as much as possible before the AGM and he will do so at the expense of Rangers and its fans in an attempt to keep the current board in power. Don't buy into it. For the avoidance of doubt Jack Irvine does not speak for Rangers. http://www.thecoplandroad.org/2013/09/and-they-couldnt-prevent-jack-from.html
  14. MOST football fans in Scotland do not support Celtic. The majority are not Rangers fans either. MORI and Gallup do not exactly do polls on this sort of stuff so there is no way to be scientific about it, but maybe each of them has about 35-40% of the people who follow a team and the rest are shared around all the other clubs. What those of all allegiances are coming to terms with - whether they rejoice in the fact or resent it - is that Celtic have turned the Scottish game into a one-party state. For most of its history the league title has been an endless tennis rally between Celtic and Rangers, the championship switching from one to the other every year or two. Only now and again has one of them emerged into the clear daylight of a sustained period of dominance. Celtic won six in a row from 1905, Rangers five from 1927. In the late 1960s and early '70s there were times when it looked as if Jock Stein had built a force that would never be caught. When Rangers emulated Stein's nine consecutive titles - latterly buttressed by the bountiful revenue stream of the Champions League - it felt as if Sir David Murray, Graeme Souness and Walter Smith had moved the Ibrox club to a position of power which would obliterate any competition. And what happened? The Lisbon Lions era was built around Stein's individual genius and when his powers waned Celtic were drawn back into the pack. In the late 1990s Rangers grew old and tired, and misspent their resources, to the point a rebuilt Celtic got back among the titles. Currently the record books show only two consecutive league wins for Celtic but that is the equivalent of taking a snapshot of Usain Bolt in the early stages of a 100m race. Everyone can be pretty sure of what is coming next. At Tannadice on Saturday there were the latest renditions of a tune that the Celtic support has been singing for quite a while: "Here we go, 10 in a row." It's part-celebration, part-triumphalism, part-threat to you-know-who. There are 40 clubs which have long grown accustomed to the idea of having no real chance of being Scottish champions any time soon, and one which has a demanding fanbase unused to being denied anything for long. It is common these days to hear people talk about how Celtic have the potential to begin a period of unprecedented domination "if they use their money wisely". What they mean is that if Celtic keep running themselves prudently, employing the right manager and players, staying out of debt and always having money to spend to replenish a winning squad, it is going to take an almighty effort for Rangers to ever catch them. The apocalyptic scenario for Rangers is that Celtic keep getting into the Champions League group every year. They secured £20m in Uefa money alone last season and now they have another £16m this season. That is almost twice as much dough as Rangers raised from a one-off share issue. If Celtic pull off another two qualifications in 2014 and 2015 that would amount to around £80m washing into the club before Rangers even have the chance to take them on in the league. Given that all the fundamentals - season-ticket, commercial and sponsorship income - are otherwise broadly comparable between the Glasgow clubs, the long-term difference between them will be Champions League income. And that means that when a player's agent tries to bring a talent to Glasgow (the same player is often offered to both clubs at the same time), Celtic should be able to pay higher transfer fees and wages every time they both want the same man. All of this is a chilling thought around Ibrox. Horrifying, in fact. The Uefa golden goose that was once Rangers', and then shared, is now exclusively Celtic's. They can thank David Murray and Craig Whyte for that. It used to be the rest of Scottish football that was excluded at one or both of the Old Firm's expense; now Rangers are out in the cold too. Rangers have been in the Champions League group stage 10 times and Celtic are about to play in it for the eighth time. At a very conservative estimate (Champions League income has grown over the past 20 years) that is about £180m of Uefa money the Old Firm have enjoyed, in addition to their already vastly superior regular income. Last season Motherwell made around £195,000 from Uefa, and Hearts and St Johnstone £75,000 each - a tiny fraction of Celtic's £20m. The champions' excellent campaign also meant £100,000 in "solidarity" payments from Uefa for all other top-flight clubs, but that amounts to (welcome) crumbs. The Champions League embodies the concept of a self-perpetuating elite in which the rich get richer. When I spoke to a couple of SPFL Premiership club directors about how they reacted to Celtic generating Uefa income on a scale which makes it impossible for them to be given anything more than the odd bloody nose over the course of a season, one said: "It almost doesn't concern us. We're resigned to them always winning the league now and our competition is to finish second. Most clubs are happy for them to get into the group because it means a bit of Uefa money for us. It's probably very different for Rangers." Every empire falls eventually. The eras of Stein and Souness/Smith came to natural ends. Rosenborg show that even monopolising a country's Champions League access does not guarantee permanent rule. But Celtic's position of strength, and their advantages, are greater than any board of directors have known since Scottish football began. By Michael Grant (Herald)
  15. PLENTY of players are let go on transfer deadline day but this may be the first time an entire club feels a sense of release. For the past year, Rangers have been subject to the registration embargo, an imposition that has prevented Ally McCoist fielding all of his summer recruits. With restrictions on the number of trialists that can play before the embargo expires at midnight tonight, it has created an artificial start to the season with the majority of Rangers' prospective signings spending matchdays in the stand, ineligible to take to the field. From tomorrow, however, they will be free men once more, It means that this afternoon's SPFL League 1 match against East Fife takes on added significance. It is the last day for the likes of Stevie Smith and Richard Foster to watch from the stands and also the final opportunity for those who have started the season to show they deserve to hang on to their jerseys once McCoist has his full squad to choose from. It is a nice position for the manager to be in. There is an argument that a club like Rangers should not need such a spread of resources to win the third tier of Scottish football but McCoist wonders aloud whether a lack of competition for places last season was one the reason for the team's inconsistent form. He is excited by the idea of having the option of flooding his team with eight new signings but also challenged the incumbents to show they deserve to hang on to their place. "I firmly believe that if you're in the team and playing well then you deserve to stay there," he said. "It goes without saying that we've brought in good players who will benefit the squad but if you're in the team on merit you've got to try to stay there. Competition for places is one thing we didn't have last year. Whether that was the reason for the lack of consistency I don't know. It might be in your mind that you're going to play every week, which can't be a good thing. But certainly this year we feel we've got boys in the squad, when they're not playing, will push the boys that are." The Scottish Football Association has elected to close their transfer window this evening, rather than extending it until Monday to acknowledge the deadline falling on a weekend. Had Scotland followed the lead of England, Germany, Italy, France and others by allowing the clubs to do transfer business for a further two days it would have afforded Rangers with the chance to sign players on Sunday and Monday, thus calling into the question the effectiveness of their embargo. McCoist had been unaware of the potential loophole but admitted his surprise. "It's unbelievable," he said, of a decision that the SFA claimed was taken because Saturday is a "working day" for them. "It would be worth asking why they went against UEFA because it is a little bit strange not to go with the other associations. If we'd had those extra two days it might have changed things for us." Kenny Miller falls into the category as someone who could, in theory, have been signed had the window been extended. McCoist has spoken about the possibility of bringing the striker back to Ibrox for a third spell and plans on revisiting that possibility in January. "I just feel a player of that type would be great, for Nicky Clark especially. A lot of people might wonder why [we are considering signing Miller] but we feel that a player like that would help us on the training pitch as much as anything else. "He's under contract, and has just extended it another six months, so that avenue is closed to us at that moment in time. But we'll re-assess it in January. You could make a real argument that he's the best striker the country's got at the moment so it would be ridiculous of me not to pursue it if we could." McCoist confirmed Herald Sport's story that he is considering a salary reduction as part of the club's cost-cutting reduction. He also welcomed the investigation by Craig Mather, the Ibrox chief executive, into an email apparently sent by one of the club's media advisors denigrating John Greig and hoped the man voted the Greatest Ever Ranger would be back at the club soon. "I wasn't aware of the email until this morning," McCoist said. "It would be wrong of me to comment on something that Craig is going to have a look into. That said, he's the Greatest Living Ranger as voted by the fans and I think the world of John and what he's done for me and the club. I'd love to see him back. I've said all along John Greig, Sandy Jardine, Walter Smith . . . that's the line right through the club for me." http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/one-window-closes-another-one-opens-for-mccoist-as-embargo-ends.22019764
  16. In times of trouble, the crown fits old Rangers King - The Herald 'IT would be reasonable to suppose that the Glasgow experience of John Barnes would have been enough to make the former Liverpool player shrink at a Scottish accent and positively bridle at the mere mention of the game north of the border. However, Barnes speaks of his brief tenure as Celtic manager with some insight and maintains a strong connection to the Scottish game through his role as a media pundit and his friendship with Dave King, the Scottish businessman and former Rangers director based in South Africa, who has been vocal in the unfolding turmoil at the Ibrox club. Barnes travels the world in his role as a football analyst and met King in South Africa, where the former England internationalist comments on both Barclays Premier League and Champions League matches. He believes strongly that King has a role to play as the power struggle continues at Rangers. The businessman lost £20m when the club was owned by Sir David Murray and has warned they could be in administration by Christmas. Barnes believes he was a victim of that high-spending Rangers, too, with his coaching career bludgeoned by the reality that he was facing greater resources at Ibrox. He also insists King could be the leader who rescues Rangers from in-fighting and brings the club back to the top league and to financial stability. Barnes lasted from June 1999 to February 2000 as Celtic manager, with a Scottish Cup defeat by Inverness Caledonian Thistle precipitating his demise. "I was not there long enough to learn a lot," he says, his sunny demeanour failing to disguise the disappointment of a opportunity that proved short-lived. Barnes was part of a "dream ticket", coming to Celtic Park in tandem with Kenny Dalglish, his one-time manager at Liverpool. He dismisses any notions he was an innocent thrown into the jungle of Scottish football. "Nothing happened there that I did not expect. I knew the expectations were high. I knew we were second to Rangers and if that continued it would mean that it would not work out." Standing in the BT studios in London where he is about to give his opinions on the English game, he pauses to reflect on the state of Scottish football then and now. "I think a lot of people are now looking at the dynamics of the game north of the border and saying it is not as easy at it seems. In those days it was very different. In those days David Murray was spending a lot of money. Rangers had better players and much more money than Celtic. They were signing such as Joerg Albertz and Michael Mols to join the good players they already had." Barnes was consumed by the imperative to defeat Rangers but with lesser resources. "It is strange to see how it has gone with Celtic and Rangers," he says. "The dynamic is different and it shows the way Celtic were doing things from a financial point of view was the right way and the necessary way to do it." He states bluntly: "Rangers are paying the price for that period." His friendship with King has given him the inside story on his rivals when he was manager of Celtic. King, who took up his role as a non-executive director in March 2000, began his formal association with Rangers as Barnes was ending his with Celtic but King and he have become close after regular trips to South Africa. "He tells me stories of what it was like back then," says Barnes, now 49 and travelling to the Middle East and elsewhere to talk football. "He tells me of the money Rangers were spending and that has impacted on where they are now. It is shame because they're a huge club." In March, King announced his intention to sue Murray, stating: "I seem to be one of the few people who actually invested cash into the club. I have made a claim of £20m the basis of non-disclosure by the then chairman, David Murray, of Rangers' true financial position as far back as 2000." Murray said he would vigorously contend any such claim if and when it was lodged. The past at Rangers is thus clouded with much animosity for King, but Barnes is optimistic on the club's future if his friend becomes involved. "He would be good for Rangers because he is a fan. He wants what is right for Rangers. It is a huge brand that can be hugely successful and it will be successful once again. It may take a few years but the more they can have people like him involved from a footballing perspective the better. If you are a football supporter, you want people like him to involved in football." Barnes, too, would like to become more closely involved in football. He managed the Jamaican national team for a season, taking them to first place in the 2008 Caribbean Championships, and then joined Tranmere Rovers in June 2009, lasting just five months before being sacked. "I would love to get back into management but it is hard. There are a lot of ex-managers who want to get back in. Fortunately, I have the opportunity to do TV work but if something came up I would definitely look at it again." And what of a return to Scotland? Has his experience at Celtic soured him? "It was fantastic up there," he says. "Obviously, the politics were not great but the football was good. I loved it, " he says.' ______________________________________________ Excuses excuses Barnes. Not like those associated with the dark side to revise history is it?. There's no denying we spent a lot of money overall during the DA era. However, lets take a look at transfer activity of the season in question.... The Poor Wee Souls Players In Stiliyan Petrov £2.8m Ian Wright - Free? Rafael Scheidt - £5m Eyal Berkovic - £5.75m Olivier Tébily - £1.25m Players Out Craig Burley - £3m Phil O'Donnell - Free Simon Donnelly - Free Darren Jackson - Free Total loss = £11.8m Us Dirty Cheats that Bought Our Tainted Titles Players In Dariusz Adamczuk - Free Michael Mols - £4m Tero Penttilä - £0.3m Thomas Myhre Loan Billy Dodds - £1.3m Tugay Kerimoğlu £1.3m Players Out Theo Snelders - Retired Jonas Thern - Retired Luigi Riccio - Released Stephane Guivarc'h - £3.4m Charlie Miller - £0.45m Antti Niemi - £0.4m Derek McInnes - £0.3m Ian Ferguson - Free Gabriel Amato - £3.75m Colin Hendry - £0.75m Paul McKnight - Nominal Total profit = £2,150,000 Except Albertz had already been with us for 2 seasons at that point. The simple fact of the matter is that we had a good team and good manager while they had John Barnes who was about as shite as Scheidt.
  17. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/281-toxic-mediahouse-and-rangers-toxic-board Once again the Rangers fans have been treated with contempt by a Rangers board which continues to show it is totally out of touch of with the fans and often reality. The re-appointment of Jack Irvine as a PR adviser to the club, just weeks after his organisation, Mediahouse, were correctly removed from their position, smacks of the same type of weakness which saw Charles Green return as a consultant. Mediahouse have had a long and troubled association with Rangers. Their meddling in the club’s affairs did not stop when they were recently removed from their position as the club’s media advisers. When Jim Traynor said recently that “Jack Irvine does not speak for this club” he was correct, and he is still correct despite their reappointment by Craig Mather. Jack Irvine and Mediahouse have never represented Rangers Football Club. They have represented a number of regimes, including the toxic Craig Whyte, which have failed to put the club and the fans first. It is clear from the nature of this appointment that Irvine will be representing the wishes of a board of directors who are desperate to cling to power and not the interests of the club we all love. Let us not forget the record of Mediahouse during their time at our club. They presided over a complete capitulation to UEFA, and the authorities in general, over the behaviour of our fans. Yes, at times that behaviour was indefensible but Mediahouse allowed every single negative headline, and at times baseless accusations, to go unchallenged. The term “dignified silence” has often been used to describe Rangers’ inability to challenge our critics even when we had the opportunity. That was a policy which continued during the years Mediahouse called the shots. Only recently have we seen any attempt to fight back. It is no coincidence that the fight back stepped up in pace after the removal of Mediahouse. Documents leaked on the internet suggest that Jack Irvine actively assisted Craig Whyte in gaining control of Rangers by suppressing negative media stories which may have brought his past to light ahead of his takeover. This was done whilst Mediahouse were supposed to be working for Rangers. Mediahouse set up the recent interviews which saw Charles Green make a mockery of the club and its board. The board know this. They themselves condemned Green’s actions in front of the fans at a recent meeting, but have now seen fit to hire the company who put that strategy in place. I know of nobody who can name a single benefit that Mediahouse have brought to our club, although I am sure Craig Whyte was delighted with Irvine’s assistance. However, it is worth noting that none of this is Mediahouse or Jack Irvine’s fault. They do what they are paid to do. If someone like Whyte wants to ensure their interests are put before those of the club, and they are willing to pay, then Mediahouse will accommodate them. It is not up to Mediahouse to do anything other than what they are paid for. The issue is that once again the club are paying for them to put the interests of individuals ahead of those of the club. It was recently announced that Jim McColl was willing to forgo a GM in order to roll the institutional investor proposals for the club’s board into the AGM. This was seen as a sensible approach to save the club up to £80k because it would allow just one meeting of shareholders to take place rather than two. The board have taken that money (and probably considerably more of the club’s money) and handed it to Mediahouse. They have hired expensive media consultants to defend their own jobs and positions at the club. It is reprehensible behaviour but entirely in keeping with the actions of a board which thought that bringing back Charles Green was a good idea and then had to perform an embarassing U-turn. It is incredible to think that, in a week which saw Craig Mather’s ham fisted attempt to take credit for the decision to combine the GM and AGM, we see the club squander money on yet another unnecessary expense. Does Mather not appreciate how this looks? He cannot stop the GM without the consent of McColl’s group of shareholders, yet tries to take credit and then goes out and spends the money that could have been saved. We already have a Director of Communications in Jim Traynor. Someone who has not only been taking the fight to our detractors with the BBC Scotland ban and legal letters to the Daily Record, but who has also been improving our club media platforms immeasurably. The club also already pay media consultants Keith Bishop Associates, brought in by Charles Green as part of the Sports Direct deal but who do no obvious work for the club, £140k a year. So what will Mediahouse be doing for Rangers Football Club? The answer is nothing - they will be working for the individuals on the board. The club will simply be paying for it. Perhaps Brian Stockbridge could have used some of his £200k bonus for the team winning the league last year to pay for the defence of his untenable position at the club? Perhaps Craig Mather could have used some of his £300k salary to pay for this attempt to keep him in position? Instead, the money will come from the dwindling reserves of season ticket money that our loyal fans have poured into the club. Mather’s actions are particularly disappointing. He had an opportunity to show he was the right man for the CEO position, and that he could whip this hapless board into shape, but he capitulated over the return of Green. He has now done the same with the return of Mediahouse. It is also now clear that this board are willing to stoop to any level to cling to power. Jack Irvine’s first move was to issue a veiled threat to the representatives of concerned shareholders. It was disgraceful. Is this what Rangers Football Club has been lowered to? Can this board not win the day based on their own record, their plans and their reputations? Exactly what type of “media scrutiny” is it that Jack Irvine would like to subject people to? Has he answered to the board for the allegations, via leaked emails, that he ensured a smooth path to power for Craig Whyte by supressing negative media stories about him? Did they even ask Irvine to explain this before they rehired him to defend their own interests? Are the board comfortable with Irvine’s approach? I wonder how comfortable they would be with their own actions being subjected to “media scrutiny”? Irvine, it appears, will do literally anything to spread his message. That extends to the promotion of the work of Paul McConville. McConville is a Celtic blogger (and discredited lawyer) who has spent the last two years attacking the club at every opportunity, but Irvine was happy to promote a recent article of his on Twitter because it suited his own agenda. Principle is left at the door. Furthermore this move raises questions of exactly who is running the club. It is clear that the board did not consult Jim Traynor before reappointing Mediahouse - this despite Mather, Hart and Stockbridge all nodding their approval for allowing Traynor to direct media strategy at the recent fan meeting. Traynor appealed for the directors to allow him to do his job and they have failed to do what they committed to. This is becoming a regular occurrence for them. Say one thing and do another. Who would blame Traynor if he decides to follow Walter Smith and walk away from this toxic board? Jack Irvine is the Easdale family spokesman. Do the Easdales now run Rangers Football Club? Did his work for them, despite its eccentricity, lead to them being appointed again at Rangers? Rumours abound that Sandy Easdale is now taking an active part in the decision making of the club’s directors despite not having a place on the board so it seems an obvious conclusion that Mediahouse are back at their behest. The RST, Assembly and RSA have continued their unified approach and expressed their contempt for this decision and the toxicity of Mediahouse is an issue which seems to unite even the most fractured elements of our support. Is it always going to be up to the fans to explain to this dysfunctional board what is acceptable and what isn’t? What next? Should we expect to see them bring Charles Green back a third time? Nothing this board now do would surprise me. It’s clear that anything goes in their desperation to cling to the power that they regularly abuse. They are beyond contempt and beyond parody. They are also unfit to represent our great football club and I sincerely hope the attempts to remove them are successful. If they are not then our club faces an uncertain future.
  18. http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2565&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=12361 As if we haven't got enough going on.
  19. Interesting change from business journalist as opposed to the normal sports variety http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/opinion/investors-must-provide-ending-to-sorry-soap-opera-at-rangers.21937520
  20. On Saturday, not long after the Stranraer match, the club published a statement entitled, “For the Avoidance of Doubt”. The article was written under the tag, ‘Rangers Football Club’, although almost everyone acknowledges that it was probably penned by the club’s Director of Communications, James Traynor. Although the statement was generally well received by Rangers fans, it was more noticeable for what it didn’t say, rather than what it actually did say. Whilst the statement is welcome, it is long overdue, and I doubt if it will have any substantive or meaningful impact on the serial Rangers haters who constantly misrepresent and malign our club. I suspect that most Rangers fans consider the statement to be much too terse, and would have preferred a more comprehensive, robust and forceful statement. Certainly given the nature and content of the statement, it is noticeable for its failure to comment on the serial offenders at Rangers who consistently utilise the local anti-Rangers media to further their own agendas, or censure those Rangers bloggers who are aligned with one side or another in the current Boardroom wars, and who often give interviews to the local rags, including the Daily Record. In fact it fails to confront the leaks that are clearly emanating from Ibrox, and it doesn’t ‘sit well’ with the fact that our board of directors, club officials and employees regularly utilise the local rags for their own ends. Fine words from James Traynor – but actions speak much louder than words! It is for that reason I have penned an alternative version of “For the Avoidance of Doubt”. For The Avoidance of Doubt (Alternative version) “Rangers Football Club is aware of wildly inaccurate stories circulating on various websites and would like fans to know that these flights of fancy will be monitored by our lawyers. Where it is considered necessary, we will instruct our lawyers to initiate legal action against the owners and administrators of any website, or any other media vehicle, that publishes (or disseminates by any other means) material that is inaccurate, libellous or misrepresents the club’s position in any way. The club will keep fans advised of any action initiated as a consequence of this monitoring process and will provide regular updates on the club’s official platforms. In particular, our lawyers are examining a malicious piece which seems to suggest that the club does not own its facilities. That suggestion is, of course, utter nonsense, and the club wishes to make it unequivocally clear that the club owns all of its facilities in their entirety. We urge Rangers fans to treat these idiotic and lumbering articles with the contempt they deserve. Better still, ignore them completely. However, we acknowledge that many fans may wish to analyse and assess them and, where appropriate, respond to their misrepresentations by means of their own websites and blogs. Indeed the club recognises the very practical assistance provided by the fans in monitoring these articles and responding in circumstances where the club is, either, unable or unwilling to do so. But we must also stress we cannot waste time responding publicly to every blog or ridiculous claim against the club, although we acknowledge the magnificent work that has been done by Rangers fans in challenging the reprehensible Rangers Tax Case blog; BBC Scotland’s consistent misrepresentations and its inaccurate and biased reporting; the vindictive and malign blogs of those such as Alex-Thomson of Channel 4, Phil Four Names, Paul McConville and, of course, those journalists in the mainstream media such as Graham Spiers, Tom English, Keith Jackson etc. who continually misrepresent, and unreasonably, attack our club. There is also a dangerous proliferation of anonymous obsessive’s on various social media sites and we will not give them any credence, although we will continue to monitor the material they publish and seek to identify the source of any leaks, particularly where specific material is proven to be genuine correspondence emanating from Rangers Football Club. In such circumstances we will take appropriate action against any director or officer of the club who is found responsible for leaking confidential information including, if necessary, precautionary suspension and summary dismissal. Nor can we react to every journalist and publication that appears to pursue an anti-Rangers agenda; publications such as the Daily Record which today boasts yet another headline which does not accurately reflect what manager Ally McCoist said in his press conference yesterday. The paper’s intent is clear, and we urge our fans to see it for what it is, as we urge those prominent bloggers who are closely aligned to the Club, and prepared to give interviews to the Daily Record, and provide them with information relating to the business of our board, its shareholders and the club’s operations, to desist forthwith. In this regard, the club will make every effort to ensure that no member of its board, any shareholder, club official or employee will provide information to, or give interviews to, the Daily Record or any of the other recognised anti- Rangers media. If Rangers fans want the truth they will find it only on the club’s official platforms, and we will make every effort to ensure that, from this point onward, there is substantive and meaningful information available to fans on the club’s platforms in relation to current anti-Rangers news stories, statements that misrepresent the club’s stated position and those that are causing significant concern to the fans. This is particularly relevant given the current boardroom upheavals. Finally, Jack Irvine of Media House does not speak for this Club, although we can confirm that he and Media House currently represent the interests of the Easdale brothers who are major shareholders in Rangers Football Club.”
  21. Sure to be an interesting day ahead as the board meet to discuss various issues... 1. Charles Green's position as a consultant - sack, censure or promote? 2. EGM requisition - do they accept it's requested board changes, confirm the EGM or reject the requisition altogether? 3. New chairman - erm, see 1. 4. Expedited publishing of audited accounts 5. Reaction to Ian Black notice of complaint I'm currently standing outside the Norton House Hotel awaiting the arrival of the key players...
  22. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/155-mccoll-the-messiah-some-key-questions From a cursory look across the various forums this sunny Wednesday morning, I note Jim McColl et al appears to be requesting EGM support from the Rangers supporters who are shareholders (apparently around 12% of the whole). Fair enough and not an unexpected development but this is actually an important issue so please allow me to labour the point somewhat. First of all, I'd fancy, under normal circumstances Jim McColl would be exactly the kind of investor and/or board member and/or outright owner our fans would literally carry up the marble staircase to victory. He's substantially rich, apparently a genuine fan and his business reputation is clearly impressive given his various successes. What's not to like? Unfortunately, as we know, the situation at Ibrox is far from normal and McColl’s influence with specific regard to Rangers has hardly been impressive in recent times: 1. McColl has been involved with previous failed bids – including an aborted attempt at fan ownership in conjunction with the RST and purportedly a rejected post-D&P deadline bid for the club along with Walter Smith last year. Has he learned from these experiences? 2. McColl has always come across as reluctant at best and quirky to a fault when it comes to Rangers. Sure, a football club can’t be seen as a sound investment by someone used to making money rather than losing it but, if he’s a fan, then his involvement would only ever be an emotional one anyway. Where does he draw the line between personal concern and business? 3. Fan trust of anyone involved is at an all-time low. The most recent regimes from Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte have failed completely whilst the current incumbents are struggling to retain supporter backing with a variety of poor decisions. Thus, anyone who wants to control Rangers has to accept public scrutiny will be higher than anything they’ll have experienced before. Does that fit with McColl’s preference for remaining in the background? 4. His current share-holding is hardly impressive (even if he may have the backing of others). No-one knows just how many shares McColl owns but it must be lower than the LSE-notifiable 3%. Is that reflective of his overall interest or just someone who prefers to stay under the radar? Just how much money is he willing to spend? 5. McColl and/or his group have never made their plans clear and, in fact, it's impossible to tell from one day to the next if they want to buy the club and/or if they just want to be a short-term controlling bloc to ensure ‘effective’ ownership (perhaps via a new share issue) is transferred to someone else like Dave King. How exactly do they see the club’s financial future? All these valid questions means, instead of having the automatic backing of a huge majority of supporters (and indeed other shareholders), many people are - quite rightly - less than clear about what he's offering. Ergo, to make calls for fan backing without being completely open on his intentions is not the best strategy in my opinion. Indeed, it could be said he’s suffering from the same problems the Blue Knights stumbled into last year; namely failing to grasp supporter attention amidst a variety of strategic errors. To conclude, I'll say again: Jim McColl should be the right man for the job, but the very fact we have doubters (based on constructive criticism rather than daft stuff about his politics), doesn't reflect well on his efforts so far. Thus, I'd argue that McColl still has a bit of work to do if he wants to be successful; even if the fact he's come this far suggests he's clearly confident. However, if it's a straight choice between a Charles Green and a Frank Blin along with an Imran Ahmad and a Jim McColl, I don't see many fans opting for the former. Of course, as always, it's not as simple as that so McColl and his group would be well advised to avoid complacency and/or assume fan backing. If not, he only needs to phone Paul Murray to release what over-confidence can do to your reputation. What Rangers fans want more than anything is a well-run, self-sustainable club. If McColl can provide that, then great but instead of hiding from the debate on how this can happen, why not show the support why you’re the right man for the job. That’s real leadership quality and, if the plans are viable, then backing would be a given. Over to you, Jim…
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