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  1. The Rangers Supporters Trust wishes to express its concern at what we consider to be a clear attempt by some online elements of the Celtic support to incite trouble ahead of an Old Firm game which already has the potential to be a powder keg fixture. We, along with the vast majority of the Rangers support, noted with some amusement the recent advert taken out by Celtic supporters in a once respected Sunday newspaper. However, what has followed makes us considerably more uneasy. There is now no question that a hardcore element of the Celtic support are not content with the troubles which have plagued our club over the past few years. For them, Rangers Football Club, and by extension its fans, must cease to exist. Whether this stems from an inferiority complex amongst part of a generation who had to live through Nine-In-A Row, or whether it is down to a more ingrained bigotry, a fierce football rivalry is not sufficient for these people. We are extremely concerned that the rhetoric and hatred spewed out by the likes of Phil MacGiollabhain, Angela Haggerty, Paul Brennan’s CQN website and others, is a deliberate attempt to try to stoke sectarian fires and incite violence at the upcoming fixture. One need only view the reaction of some Celtic fans to the recent blog by MacGiollabhain entitled “The ****** Blood Festival” to see how these people operate. MacGiollabhain himself has never challenged the assertion that he is “tarred with a sickening sectarian brush” and he has willing servants in Miss Haggerty, CQN and several other online Celtic sites. We urge all sane Celtic fans to ignore their bile. We hope the upcoming fixture will be fiercely contested. We hope, despite being clear underdogs, that Rangers will win. We also hope that fans of both teams will be able to travel to and watch the match safely. We hope that Police Scotland, as well as policing the day effectively, will take careful note of those who continue to try to incite violence at the upcoming fixture. It would be an odd legal system that arrested people for singing songs but ignored hate speech and incitement of violence. Should the worst happen, we hope the full force of the law will be brought to bear not only on the perpetrators of any trouble but also those who encourage it online. Rangers and our fans have many challenges to face in the months and years ahead. Challenges which are considerably more important to our long term future than this upcoming Old Firm game. We urge Rangers fans to stay safe, behave in a way which can make us all proud of our club and enjoy their day." - See more at: http://www.therst.co.uk/news/rst-concerns-over-upcoming-old-firm-game/#sthash.dvHYDWc2.dpuf
  2. http://www.rangers.co.uk/images/FansBoard/Minutes/RFB_Minutes_080115.pdf
  3. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/colin-duncan-fares-not-fair-4697316 "THE widespread condemnation which followed Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s alleged racist and anti-Semitic outburst last week was understandable. His Alf Garnett-esque comments in the wake of appointing Malky Mackay manager added to the outrage . Mackay is subject to an FA probe, investigating texts and emails of a racist, sexist and homophobic nature. The anti-discriminatory bodies didn’t miss Whelan who could now find himself in the dock alongside his manager. Football Against Racism in Europe were among the many campaign groups who, quite rightly, took the pair to task. Yet where was the outcry from bodies such as FARE when this month Aleksandar Tonev was hit with a seven-game ban by the SFA for racist conduct? The Celtic midfielder was found guilty by an independent tribunal of abusing Aberdeen’s Shay Logan, reportedly calling him a “f*****g black c***.’ What happened to showing racism the red card? There was not so much as a yellow from their executive director Piara Powar who is also on FIFA’s anti-racism task force. Surely if you are the head of an organisation which vows to fight all forms of racism you cannot pick and choose which abhorrent acts to condemn. And while not for one minute playing down the severity of Mackay and Whelan referring to Chinese people as “Chinks” surely, on a sliding scale, calling a fellow professional a “black c***” is far more offensive? When John Terry and Luis Suarez were found guilty of similar racist offences Powar and his colleagues couldn’t have been any more critical. Yet not a word when Tonev was found guilty of “excessive misconduct by the use of offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature”. Regardless of the fact no hard evidence was presented – it was one Aberdeen’s word against Celtic’s – the case against Tonev was proved. Last year former Rangers chief executive Charles Green was fined by the SFA for “offensive and racist comments” in an interview that referred to former Ibrox commercial director Imran Ahmad. Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths also has a racism charge hanging over his head after being caught on camera singing inappropriate songs along with fellow Hibs supporters. Again this seems unworthy of FARE’s intervention. Powar’s name may be familiar to Rangers fans as his organisation was forced to deny claims of a “deliberate and targeted campaign” against the Ibrox club three years ago. Rangers were disciplined, and correctly so, by UEFA after it emerged supporters sang sectarian songs during the home and away Europa League clashes with PSV Eindhoven. On both occasions they were reported on the basis of submissions from FARE, rather than the UEFA match delegate. At the time Powar said: “There are explicit suggestions emanating from Rangers FC of ‘a deliberate and targeted campaign against the club’. “The FARE network is focused only on our core mission of tackling discrimination in football and encouraging social inclusion through the game. We have no axe to grind with any club.” In 1999 Rangers defender Lorenzo Amoruso racially abused Nigerian striker Victor Ipkeba during a European clash with Borussia Dortmund. Again the incident was not included in the UEFA delegate’s report but Powar, then with anti-racism group Kick it Out, demanded it be investigated. Fast forward to 2013 and former Celtic player Paul Elliot had to resign from his positions within the FA and Kick it Out after he branded ex-Charlton defender Richard Rufus a “n****r” in a text conversation. Powar was quick to Elliot’s defence insisting: “I can understand the concern over the use of the n-word, whoever uses it, in whichever context. “However, I cannot accept it is racist to use it between two friends and business colleagues in a private text. “Racism and other forms of discrimination are not simply about words. It may be difficult for some to accept the difference between those words used with discriminatory intent and those that are not.” But when the League Managers Association misguidedly dismissed Mackay’s comments, which were also sent by text and email, as friendly banter Powar’s private text argument suddenly didn’t hold water. He tweeted: “Wow! The LMA defending the indefensible. Why would you put out something so utterly ridiculous? Because you haven’t a clue.” Now this is not about Rangers and Celtic but about what is fair and what isn’t. And when it comes to removing the ugly stain of racism it would seem FARE is not always FAIR"
  4. I see the SFA have charge Tonev with racist abuse, using the Duncan Ferguson affair as a precedent should the Police now step in and charge this guy after all he has alledgedly broken the law and the confines of a football pitch doesn't exempt you from prosecution if you break the law.
  5. ... for the handover from tyranny to terraces. Gordon Waddell discusses the relationship football has with its fans and how Ann Budge's statement to Hearts support is a masterpiece. Football is an imperfect world. One man’s satisfaction is always another’s rage. But imagine a club with a functional relationship with its fans. A club who respect their support for the money they spend and the loyalty they show. Who communicate regularly and honestly, who pay fairly and on time, whose charitable wing is strong, 
whose academy and its philosophy is treasured, and whose leadership is a byword for trust and integrity. Pie in the sky? An impossibility to tick every box in a cruel environment plagued by too many who are in it to 
see what they can get out of it? Or just a template for Hearts’ story of redemption? Honestly, take a look at Ann Budge’s statement to the Hearts support this week if you haven’t already seen it. An absolute masterpiece. And a marker of faith that, if you really want to, you CAN run a football club with values and with decency. Back in February I said that the deal to take Hearts out of administration and onwards was the result of months of good leadership, good governance, good PR, good organisation but, 
most of all, good intentions. And 
what the Jambos have emerged with 
from their post-Romanov apocalypse 
appears to be progressing as the 
perfect template for the handover from tyranny to the terraces. Thanks, in the main, to one woman. When Budge put her money up as the backstop to the Foundation of Hearts’ ultimate dream of fan ownership, and then said she’d steer the ship towards safety on a pro-bono basis, it was always going to be the best thing that ever 
happened to the club. But even in the most far-flung reaches of their support’s imagination, they couldn’t have dreamed she would do as well by them as this. Never mind 
what’s happening on the 
park. It’s not an irrelevance but nor 
in the grand scheme of them redeeming themselves from 
an era of financial abuse is 
it the main thing they must get right. What she’s achieving off it is. And when you look at the latest update, it’s clear Hearts are running to a set of principles that all but a few in our game can only dream about matching. She covered everything from hot water in the toilets to kids’ clubs, to improved websites, to finally getting shareholders issued with the evidence of their investment which the 
previous incumbent happily took from 
them and then flushed down the pan. She promised audited accounts on time, an agm before the year’s out and even an explanation of why it costs so much to post them out and how they tried to save 10 grand in the process. A step up from that though, she committed the club to paying the Living Wage. Which, when it comes to the likes of catering staff and security, will make a significant difference. It will cost the club but it will be worth it because they can look themselves in the mirror in the morning. Finally, a kick-in-the-teeth threat of a lifetime ban for the zoomers setting off flares in the midst of their support, lest anyone thought she was some kind of soft touch as a 66-year-old grandmother. Budge didn’t put a foot wrong. She hasn’t yet. You can say what you like about how Hearts got there, about the immorality of skipping your debts through 
administration, but you can’t question what they’ve done since. And it all got me thinking... Who else could be doing with that calibre of 
leadership and foresight? Which other organisations need 
more clarity, better communication, more respect for the fans, shrewder 
judgment? Anyone? Anyone? It’s a bit like the interview I did back in the summer with Roy MacGregor. Arguably the best businessman in 
Scottish football, a man whose empire turns over half a billion a year, yet who has never been asked to participate in the administration of our sport. Not even for an opinion. Amongst all the macho posturing going on between the hierarchies of the SPFL and SFA, why wouldn’t you ask someone of Budge’s obvious qualities to share her expertise? Are the league’s executive 
leadership scared to be shown up? Are the SFA’s old guard fearful of change and new ideas? We all know the answer to that. It should be a no-brainer that the cream of the game’s business talent should be contributing to its future wellbeing. Then again, the chances are they might face some stiff competition from a Hearts support who may never want Budge to leave, despite her well-defined exit strategy. Who could blame them for trying? ** You can’t blame FAI chief John Delaney for trying to get Irish fans a bigger slice of Celtic Park for the Euro qualifier. But his outburst at the SFA’s refusal is a bit rich and probably a deflection from him diverting a chunk of their ticket allocation away from the rank-and-file fans. Parkhead was chosen due to its segregation arrangements that could minimise the presence of the Irish. They get 3000 briefs and the rest is a mass of Scotland fans. Exactly how Gordon Strachan will want it. ** The Aleksandar Tonev racism
 row will rumble on. Lawyers will have a field day with a Judicial Panel 
protocol that at its core only has a “balance of probability” as its burden of proof. Shay Logan is a credible guy who you would never expect to fabricate something. Sad thing is he’s the 
victim again, on the 
receiving end of an abhorrent 
attitude, and he’ll be 
forgotten in the fight to ensue between Celtic and the SFA. ** Interesting stats from the States. MLS crowds for 2014 averaged 19,151 across their 19 clubs, up nearly a third in a decade. Next season’s reshuffle will see it go even higher. Sawker is definitely getting there. ** In the next hilarious episode of ‘Rangers’... Derek Llambias whacks Sandy Easdale with a swinging ladder as he washes the Ibrox windows to cut costs and Dave King walks in at an inopportune moment – again! Comedy Central. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/jambos-find-perfect-template-handover-4552636
  6. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/258-book-review-born-under-a-union-flag-rangers-the-union-scottish-independence
  7. As title - What is wrong with the guy? Who the f*#k bites people??????? (Dracula excluded obv)
  8. Article submitted by Andy Steele: SDS Survey: No Issues? No Chance! News that a survey by fans' body Supporters' Direct Scotland has found that while the vast majority of fans felt the game in Scotland had no issues with racism or homophobia, it had a big, big problem with sectarianism. This highlights not just the issue of social attitudes and football, but, sadly, the problem people have with perceiving themselves as part of the problem. One can assume fairly safely that for such a result to be obtained a good proportion of respondents were either non-Old Firm fans, or if Old Firm fans, Celtic supporters. I would be willing to place a hefty wager that the only fans who feel strongly that there is little sectarianism in Scotland would be those supporters the others consider to be the problem: Rangers fans. One must always, in such debates, pander to the thin skinned and establish that yes, one does think there is an issue and yes, Rangers fans most of all need to deal with it. A major issue, though? I don't see it in my day-to-day life, though I may of course simply be lucky or blinkered. Having established that denial is not on the agenda, though, I'd like to examine the other two aspects mentioned, homophobia and racism. If Scottish football has no issue with racism it is because the game is played, watched, commentated on and written about in what is a virtual monoculture. The BBC can count Kheredine Iddeshane, who to guess from his name may be of middle east extraction, and STV Rhaman Bardwan, but that's about it. The sight of players from non-European backgrounds has diminished of late, while managers and chairmen are exclusively white. No racism? Well, maybe if we understand that creating an almost exclusively European ethnic identity for the game will go a long way to excluding those from without such a background, it may expain why there's 'no racism': there's no cultural mix in which it might appear. Perhaps, if we actively created an environment which encouraged diversity, and focused on policing the resultant mix effectively, we may find we're not quite so tolerant as we might like to think. Or we may not - who knows? Casual racism has certainly been part of my west of Scotland experience: I am inclined to believe that 'no issue' is a complacent and boastful conclusion not based on evidence. But since many have called long and loud for such an approach to sectarianism, it seems only logical to apply it to these other areas as well. And what about homophobia? 'Get fucking up, ya poofy cunt' is, for the student of English, a fascinating sentence, but it's hardly indicative of a tolerant atmosphere. You'll hear it, and variants thereon, at every ground every week when an opposition player is apparently injured, though: 'no issue'? When 'Off the Ball' described a poor flag as 'poofy' I actually, for the first time in my life, got off my arse and complained. I got a reply: it was drivel. Credit where it's due, though, the programme presumably realised they were out of order and have since addressed the issue interestingly and humourously. What the incident that riled me shows, though, is that many of us are actively discriminatory without even realising it: Stuart Cosgrove was no more actively trying to put down homosexuality than I am actively trying to create a Protestant theocracy when I sing 'No Surrender' at Ibrox. The effect, nevertheless, can be non-inclusive. My singing of that song is based on the fact that it creates a great atmosphere first and last, and not in any way because I care about or know about Irish or religious history. Others, though, hear my singing and feel excluded or offended by it. What to me is a noise is to others an insult - if Tom English, easily the best analyst of the game at the moment, is freaked out by it I have to think twice. That's not to say I will agree with him, but it gives pause for thought. Plainly all these issues are hyper-sensitive with absolutes thin on the ground, but there's simply no way we have absolutely 'no issue' with racism or homophobia. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that in our game, all three of these issues exist to varying degrees, but only one is taken seriously and, conveniently, it's the one that can be blamed on someone else. Sectarianism deserves to be taken seriously, but so too do other forms of bigotry: not least sexism, which in Scotland remains rampant. I find women as sexually stimulating as the next man, assuming he's straight, but that's no reason to objectify them or base a professional appraisal on their chests or backsides: that's still the default position of far too many men. We've plenty issues which could do with being addressed both in the game and in the country, but the first step we take will have to be from our own front doors. Blaming everything on Rangers and Rangers fans while insisting the rest of the land is a paradise of tolerance and diversity is doing no-one any favours: a more honest appraisal of our own prejudices would reveal some or all of these issues, far from being non-existent, might be visible in the mirror tomorrow morning as you shave. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/252-sds-survey-no-issues-no-chance
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