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  1. SCOTLAND look set to rise to 27th place when the new rankings are revealed in September, with England dropping to 26th. SCOTLAND will be just ONE place behind England when the latest FIFA rankings are unveiled. Gordon Strachan’s side have made steady progress up the ratings after being as low as 78th in May last year. The Scots will rise one spot to 27th when the new table is published on September 18 while the Auld Enemy will drop six places to 26th ahead of their trip north to play us in a friendly at Celtic Park in November . England and Scotland will be one place above Wales who soar 14 places to 28th. Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifying rivals Germany will be No.1 after their World Cup triumph in June . But the other teams in the group are a long way behind us, according to FIFA. Ireland will languish back in 54th, Poland in 71st and Georgia will be 107th while Gibraltar don’t have a ranking yet. Scotland have never been above England since the Rankings started in August 1993. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scotland-set-just-one-place-4098430
  2. ....and double television audience. THE exact numbers for last season are being kept under wraps for the moment, but are believed to be almost twice as high as the final campaign before the SPL merged with the SFL. VIEWING figures for Scottish 
football have nearly doubled since the SPFL came into being. While the exact numbers for last season are being kept under wraps for the moment, it’s understood they were almost twice as high as the final campaign before the SPL merged with the SFL. The TV audience nosedived in 2012/13 with the loss of Old Firm games after Rangers plummeted down to the Third Division. But ratings have been boosted with the revitalised Ibrox side 
powering back up the leagues while last season’s relegation derbies between Hearts and Hibs also proved compelling viewing with the figures now back close to where they were two years ago. SPFL commercial director Scott Steedman said: “I was as surprised as anyone when I saw the totals. “This shows it’s not all doom and gloom in Scottish football and I think it’s down to the fact that last year was a good one for the game” The current agreements with Sky and BT run until 2016 but they will be renegotiated next year. Sky will show 23 Premiership games, five Rangers matches and two Edinburgh derbies this term while BT will screen 28 top-flight clashes, 10 Rangers games and two Hibs v Hearts clashes. The SPFL are also believed to be on the verge of announcing a title sponsor – with four offers under serious consideration. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/scottish-professional-football-league-box-3920957
  3. IMO this question should come before the one about on-field exploits. There are many things to take into consideration and perhaps the Financial Bears could map out what they see as a probable/conditional route through the next 12 months. Some of the obvious questions that scream out are:- - Where is the money coming from to keep the lights-on? - Will there be an insolvency event? - What will be the final ST number? - Will game by game maintain it's attraction? - How long will it take to get a share issue up and running and will it be successful? - Is there money to carry out plans mapped out in business review? - How deep could austerity hit us? - How exactly will austerity hit ut? - How will severe austerity be paid for? (pay-offs) - When do the assets go? - Do you trust who is in control of the board (including the Easdale proxy block)? etc.
  4. Another weekend with no game...sigh. Here's your Sunday morning 'long piece' a day or so early. Today's musical accompaniment is Hannah Georgas with 'Enemies'. Takes a while to get going but grows on you, kind of like a modern Suzanne Vega. Living with other people isn't always easy. Look at cities - the number of urban dwellers who look for ways to escape tells its own story: living with other people creates tension. So it's no wonder that many of the 20th century's finest thinkers on cities and how to live in them from countries which suffered the most devastation to their cities: having seen their countries convulsed for the better part of the entire 100 years, you can't be surprised that so many French and German intellectuals turned their minds toward how to improve the world for the future. Le Certeau, Foucault, the wonderfully named Lyotard...but what about the Germans? Unfortunately, for many Brits raised on a TV diet these last 40 years, mention of the word 'Germans' brings on a kneejerk reaction where an image of Hitler appears unbidden in your mind, either sauntering 'neath the Eiffel Tower or giving it laldy at one of the lads' night's out he and the rest of the gang were fond of. There he is at the podium, one fist turned backward on his left hip, his right hand karate-chopping an imaginary swarm of bees as he yells 'Niemals! Niemals! Niemals!' A strange man, indeed. But hardly the definitive image we want to take forward of that country, surely? Adolf's ubiquity on British cable TV is now such that it is only a matter of time before someone decides to hive off another arm of the History Channel into a dedicated Hitlery Channel. They may as well: from serious, academic studies such as The Nazis: A Warning From History or The World at War, through well meaning but poorly (cheaply) made cut-and-paste jobs like Secrets of the Nazi Gold to the recent, alarming trend in US low budget movie making to use Nazis as almost a comedy stooge - Nazis From the Moon, anyone? It's a real film, although even it is eclipsed by the appalling bad Nazis From the Centre of the Earth. What Jake Busey, so effective as the ghostly psycho the in Michael J Fox movie The Frighteners, is doing in this trash is anyone's guess: but any answer other than paying off a gangster's bill will reflect very badly on him. Hopefully America, given it provides pretty much the cultural compass for the world, won't go down the Nazi obsessed route the British media is addicted to. If you think the next four years, with day by day accounts of World War One are going to be full on, just wait, if you're old enough, until 1933 - I should think you will have a minute by minute account of what Herr Schicklegruber was up to from the day he assumed power until the Fuhrer's butler served up the cyanide and Lugers in the bunker. Given I'll be 63 in 2033 I imagine I will be either (a) dead or (b) gaga so it won't matter to me. I don't envy the rest of you, though! I suppose it shows how getting your image, your public perception out from under some kind of media imposed identity is not easy. Hence the reluctance in Britain to take people seriously who have names like Mearsheimer, Gadamer, or Bauman. Stuck in a Dr Strangelovian timewarp, we see them as sinister candidates for the experiment room rather than people who may offer something positive. Michael Schumacher, it's true, was popular, but his popularity in the UK was of the grudging respect kind last seen in veteran Desert Rats when they were talking about Rommel. In my lifetime I can think of only Prof.Heinz Wolff, woolly-haired boffin of TV science-fest The Great Egg Race, who has been accepted in Britain. Even he was looked upon with grave suspicion by my mother, although admittedly she was bombed out by the Luftwaffe in the 40's and has never forgiven 'the Germans' since. We as Bluenoses know all too well that if you don't control your own image, others will happily control it for you, and those others will almost certainly have nefarious intent. Our current status in the game - if this were India we would rank somewhere between pariah dog and untouchable street sweeper - have led many, me included, to adopt a defiant stance of 'get it up ye!' and to hold ourselves apart from the rest. They'll need us more than we need them, I have said, and meant it. Now, I'm not so sure. When veteran sociologist Zygmunt Bauman recently took a look at urban life, he diagnosed it to be suffering from two separate but connected illnesses, which, in the time honoured fashion of the intellectual, he gave the unfriendly names of mixophobia and mixophilia. The former sees fear of other groups than one's own run rampant, and those who can do so barricade themselves into gated communities with security guards, gradually losing the ability to communicate with the others outside, the fear of whom grows the more they become unknown. A self-perpetuating cycle where no one wins except, presumably, Barratt Homes. Mixophilia, meanwhile, seems a bit optimistic to me, a happy city with lots of mixing between classes and sects, Bauman foresees 'benign, and often deeply gratifying and enjoyable daily encounters with the humanity hiding behind the frighteningly unfamiliar scenic masks of different and alien races, nationalities, Gods and liturgies'. I remain doubtful how enjoyable daily bumping into hordes of celtc fans would be, especially in a city with trams, but I do take his point: hiding ourselves away in a ghetto will, in the long run, do more harm than good. Hang on , though, I hear you cry. What about Timmy? When O'Neill appeared, they drew back into the cultural enclave, they've never come out of it since and they're doing alright, aren't they? Well, not really, no. Although they have people at the top of the game and are very much the country's strongest side, there are two caveats. First, obviously, we handed it them on a plate, both due to our implosion and our mismanagement of the game during the SPL period. If we were to pursue the Germanic theme of this piece a little further, you could call the SPL period the Weimar Republic and the present lot the early days of Adolf. It certainly looks like a one party state, anyway. Given the delusion which appears to run rampant through their support - 'we bring smiles wherever we go' must rank up there as one of the best lines of this or any other year - perhaps Stalin's self-delusional Soviet Union would be a better comparison. Secondly, in broad terms they are dying every bit as much as the game as a whole. Although many Bears see the Sectarianism Legislation as directly only at them, it reflects a wider belief in Scotland that the day of Old Firm bigotry is past. Teams may be multicultural but the fans you are obliged to step past, usually pished and almost always giving it something from some idealised Irish folk history song book certainly are not. Scottish society, which seems to have been taking a look at itself in recent years (probably due to devolution and the independence referendum) has clearly concluded that shibboleths like the Old Firm are shibboleths no longer and must either change or wither. I think we're both doing a pretty good job of withering at the moment, crowds or no crowds, the mutual hate and societal impact of recent events causing disquiet among those who are fans of neither club. How appealing will the present antipathy be to the generation which comes along after us, which has to have the last few years explained and which, like all new generations, will probably look at us with the same unconcealed contempt my son directs at me when I tell him to cut his nails or tidy his room. Certainly it will keep me going for years, this hate, but as a long term marketing strategy it is lacking. We exist in the Scottish leagues, and we're going to have to come to some kind of understanding with the Scottish leagues. Hans Gadamer, in a book called Truth and Method, explained that mutual understanding can only occur when there is a 'fusion of horizons' between peoples. This fusion can only come about through shared experience and that shared experience can only come about in a shared space: if we exist in a vacuum, our horizons, whatever they may be, will be ignored in favour of everyone else's. Given how much everyone else's appear to accord with those of celtc FC, this is a genuine worry, but more broadly, if the OF continue on their road to cultural isolationism, they may well both be victims of the rest of society's impatience and end up moribund. This may seem needlessly pessimistic to celtc given their CL money, but it goes out as soon as it comes in and even it is far from guaranteed. Another German, philosopher Emmanuel Kant, talked about a general association of mankind: 'allgemeine vereinigung der menschheit'. For this Scot, who suffered at school trying to get his bunged up nose and gutteral, throaty accent around the romantic cadence of French, German is a godsend - it is basically 'say what you see' and none of that Froggie rubbish about silent letters or nasally stops. It even sounds like English. How two countries with so many similarities as the UK and Germany ended up so far apart is one of the great questions of the century gone by, but it's generally ignored in favour of endless programmes about Hitler, Goering and the rest. Unless we take steps to address our current position in the game: no power, no influence, no friends, nothing other than a sometimes useful chip to throw down for small clubs looking for a payday - we may end up more a curiosity rather than a vibrant player, and contribution we might have to make ignored in favour of bone-picking over the last few years. Given the present shambles that is the club, any kind of future vibrancy may seem like lunatic optimism but we fans have a duty to at least try and shove the club into engaging with the outside world. A voice which is constantly telling everyone else to go stuff themselves is unlikely to win many arguments. I suppose at some point we have to engage: even if the ultimate aim remains the annihilation of certain clubs,we don't have to shout it from the rooftops. The AGM is coming up: there will be a possibility of change, though it varies from day to day and depending on who you read. How I hope we seize this chance, for the alternative is terrible: Rangers from the Centre of the Earth, anyone?
  5. 48. Lewis Macleod, Rangers, 19. Living the dream after joining Rangers as a 10-year-old, he might be playing in the Scottish League One, but there are plenty predicting big things for the midfielder. Impressive displays at all levels for Scotland’s youth sides suggest he will continue to be an important player as Rangers climb the divisions. http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/the-top-101-youngsters-in-world-football-don-balon-list-2013/
  6. The last time I wrote a match preview I talked of the need to install a football philosophy. At that time i talked of playing like Barcelona, off playing a high defensive line and pressing the ball high up the park. I was therefore delighted when we played Stenhousemuir at Ibrox recently to see us playing a high line, indeed on several occasions Moshni could be seen urging the defense forward to the half way line. We reaped the rewards of this and ran out 8 - 0 winners with stenny never really making it out of their own half for long spells. So imagine my surprise when on Saturday i tuned into el classico to watch Barca playing classic Walter smith tactics. Everyone behind the ball, working hard to retrieve it then hitting on the break and very impressive they were. Off course Walter learned this from Italian football. Southampton are having a great start to the season playing a high pressing game and of course pep has Byern starting to play this way. I guess this just proves that the style of football it's self is perhaps less important than the team working hard, being organised and having talented players. so far this season we have been working harder and have added some talented players. Hopefully more of the same tomorrow night will see us through to our first ever Ramsdens cup final apparently at Easter Rd. I don't expect the team to vary much on what seems to be allys favored line up. :rf::jig: :ap::ib::lm: :jd: Perhaps only little/clark is debatable. Me personally i would like to see perlata at right back and temps come in at right mid to see how that goes as i think we lack some pace and width, plus foster is poor.
  7. ON the advice of police, Brian Stockbridge, the Rangers finance director, has had to improve the security system at his family home following a photograph of the property being published on the front page of a newspaper on Friday. Police went to his home and installed “what can be legitimately called a panic button” according to a person familiar with the story. Stockbridge has come in for heavy criticism over the way he has managed Rangers’ finances and incurred the wrath of the fans when videoing Malcolm Murray when the former chairman was under the influence of alcohol. Much of the flak has been par for the course for an executive in his position, but lately there has been a number of more objectionable threats made online and the publication of a picture of his distinctive home alerted the police to a possible risk to his safety and the safety of his family. On various supporters’ websites there was anger over Stockbridge purchasing the house with the help of a £200,000 bonus awarded to him when Rangers won the Third Division title. The house was purchased a year before, however. Stockbridge has resisted calls to resign, but protests are ongoing. Stockbridge and James Easdale are the only remaining directors on the plc board following the recent departures of Ian Hart, Bryan Smart and Craig Mather. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-brian-stockbridge-improves-home-security-1-3148990
  8. New Pitch Laid At MP WRITTEN BY ANDREW DICKSON http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/5251-new-pitch-laid-at-mp
  9. What are your player ratings (marks out of ten) for the game today and who was your man of the match? I never find scoring player ratings particularly easy, but I'll go for: 6 - Bell 5 - Foster 6 - McCulloch 8 - Mohsni (MOTM) 7 - Wallace 5 - Peralta 7 - Black 6 - Law 7 - Macleod 7 - Little 6 - Daly I haven't included Templeton or Crawford, since they weren't on the pitch for very long. Add a comment for each player too if you feel like it.
  10. Tam Cowan dropped by BBC Scotland after sexist newspaper column (Herald) Saturday 28 September 2013 Tam Cowan was ousted today by BBC Scotland from his normal Saturday lunchtime radio show after the publication of a newspaper column that was widely seen as unacceptably sexist. His article in the Daily Record belittled the Scottish women's football team's 7-0 win Bosnia Herzegovina at Fir Park, which was shown on BBC Alba TV. Cowan's column, which included a number of crude jokes, caused a storm of angry reaction on social media networks, and prompted the paper to add an editor's footnote to the online version, saying it should be "taken with a large pinch of salt". However, BBC Scotland decided to ban him from Off the Ball today. Management are thought to have seen the column as unacceptable. It is not known yet if his absence is temporary or permanent. Cowan, 44, was taken off air before the show went out at lunchtime, and was replaced at short notice by Annie McGuire, who has previously worked with Jim Traynor on his BBC Radio fans' call-in. At the start of Off the Ball, co-host Stuart Cosgrove made no reference to the Daily Record column, but explained Cowan's absence by saying: "Alas, Tam's been delayed today…we're looking for him. He's out there somewhere." Cowan's Record column began: "If I had my way, today's Premiership fixture between Motherwell and Ross County would have been cancelled. That's because Fir Park should have been torched on Thursday in order to cleanse the stadium after it played host to women's football. Why do they still persevere with this turgid spectacle? And why was it allowed anywhere near Motherwell's hallowed turf?" He added: "Admittedly, I've not seen a lot of women's football…and I'm not having a pop at the people taking part. Just the other week, I bumped into a couple of women footballers (I've still got the bruises to prove it) and they were honestly two of the nicest blokes I've ever met… "…Face it, folks, nobody cares about women's football. There was barely a thousand inside the ground, shocking for an international in ANY sport, and I guess putting the girlies head-to-head with Emmerdale and Eastenders was a bit daft." Among the critics on Twitter were Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who tweeted: "Fire up the Hillman Imp, Tam Cowan's going back to the 70s with his views on women's football." SNP MSP Humza Yousaf added: "Invite Tam Cowan to come watch Glasgow Girls FC with me one day - he'll eat his words! Top quality football and great atmosphere too!" Comedian Janey Godley said: "I like Tam Cowan but am disappointed he turned into a 70s misogynist ranter & tried to pass it off as 'comedy' Jim Davidson would be proud." Leading novelist Ian Rankin added: "I wonder if anyone's told Tam Cowan that Charlotte Green read out the football results tonight (on Radio 5 Live - the first female to do so)." After the backlash, the Record's online article was amended with the inclusion of an editor's note, which read: "Folks, we would like to point out Tam is a professional funnyman and what he has to say should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Also, his views are not necessarily those of the Daily Record as a whole." The Record then tweeted: "Tam Cowan's piece today is HIS opinion. Read it and make up your own minds. Not publishing would be censorship." Cowan is an ardent Motherwell fan and Daily Record columnist since 1998, producing a bi-weekly sports column and a weekly restaurant review. He has presented Off The Ball for many years in tandem with his friend Cosgrove, who holds a senior position with Channel 4. In February 2010, Cowan presented a six-part STV documentary series on literacy and numeracy difficulties among adults. In 2011, Cowan was also a co-presenter for STV's lifestyle magazine show The Hour, with Michelle McManus. The programme was axed four weeks after a move to a weekly prime time slot and a revamp led to low ratings.
  11. Rangers surge nine points clear at the top of the SPL with another solid victory - this time at home to Hibernian. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=447:rangers-1-0-hibernian-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=1:articles&Itemid=67 :gw: I think the lad is getting better with every game. Improvement in his decision-making, stronger on the ball and generally more consistent with his distribution. Really gives us a good balance on the left.
  12. Rangers go back to the SPL summit despite unconvincing display at home to Aberdeen. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=438:rangers-2-0-aberdeen-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 One fantastic save to claw Boca header away from his post, once again we had to rely on the 'keeper's quality.
  13. Rangers storm to the top of the SPL with convincing away win in sunny Lanarkshire. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=433:motherwell-0-3-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :sd: One or two average performances this season aside, our new captain really has thrived with the added responsibility. Seemed to be everywhere on the park yesterday and only disappointment was his Bertie-yarder that didn't quite dip enough before hitting the bar. Nods of approval for Goian (again), Naismith and Ortiz in particular. Also very happy with McMillan and Perry.
  14. Rangers lose important European tie amid farcical defending and further profligacy in attack. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=432:maribor-2-1-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :dg: The big man looks a snip at less than �£1million and already looks like our best centre half. Really was Jekyll and Hyde performance from other players. Lots of decent work ruined after half-time.
  15. Rangers go out of the Champions League despite fine attempt against all the odds in Sweden. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=429:malmo-1-2-1-1-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=1:articles&Itemid=67 :sd: I thought a few players did well but I feel Davis was our best player for most of the game. Starting to sympathise with him as we literally have no-one else contributing creatively from open play at the moment. Nods to Edu and Ortiz who both played well.
  16. Rangers take the spoils with workmanlike performance in sunny Perth. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=427:st-johnstone-0-2-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :sd: Managed to see most of the game after all and the skipper once again stood out as our best player. More of the same on Wednesday please Steven! Jelavic, Naismith and Wallace all did well but I think Papac deserves a special mention for his bizarre afternoon at left-midfield then the holding role. :wub:
  17. Rangers compound poor domestic start with dreadful display at home to Malmo in Champions League qualifier. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=425:rangers-0-1-malmo-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 If it wasn't for Shagger, we'd all be even more upset this morning.
  18. Rangers get off to slow start in season 2011/12 with home draw against Hearts. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=422:rangers-1-1-hearts-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :sd: One of a few players who actually looked 'fired up and ready' like the new banners. Nods of approval for Edu and McGregor also.
  19. Rangers take all three points with authoritative home win over dangerous Dundee Utd side so are now just one away win from a record 54th league title. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=413:rangers-2-0-dundee-utd-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 So fitting that our club captain was man of the match on his 41st birthday. By and large Weir has had another fine season and his performance last night typified the quality he has brought to the club over the last 4.5 years. Nods to Naismith, Davis, Lafferty and Edu who were all superb last night again. No coincidence that our midfield functioning properly again has resulted in more comfortable results. One more game lads - one more game! :spl:
  20. Solid home win against Hearts at Ibrox means Rangers are now just two wins away from a third consecutive SPL title. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=411:rangers-4-0-hearts-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :sp: I don't think Papac has had a great season and his attitude/form lately has been suspect. However, like a few players on Saturday he was at the top of his game and showed he's still worth a new contract in the summer. Nods of appreciation to Edu, Davis and Lafferty who also played well. Jelavic is just a joy to watch - on a different level at times.
  21. Missed chances prove important as Rangers now become second favourites for the SPL title with disappointing draw at home to Celtic. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=404:rangers-0-0-celtic-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 Keeper didn't put a foot wrong so gets a 10 which doesn't happen often! Kyle Lafferty also had a fine match while our defence played pretty well over the piece.
  22. Rangers go four points clear with easy victory away in Dundee including three penalties! http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=402:dundee-utd-0-4-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=1:articles&Itemid=67 :sd: The wee man looked sharp, hungry and confident for the first time in a while last night. He has to take this form into Sunday's game and, if he does, we will win. Also thought Lafferty had a fine, fine match last night. :spl:
  23. Rangers go back to the top of the SPL with hard fought win against St Mirren at Ibrox Stadium. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=398:rangers-2-1-st-mirren-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=35:analysis&Itemid=67 :nj: for me. Strange game on Saturday. We controlled the game easily enough but never really looked like scoring. We still need more from our midfield and full-backs to help out our attack. Not confident about tomorrow night unless we can change that.
  24. Rangers take the points despite ragged performance on dreadful pitch in Perth. http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=390:st-johnstone-v-rangers-player-ratings-and-mom-poll&catid=1:articles&Itemid=67 Crucial save at 1-0 won us the points as much as anything else last night. Nods of approval for Lafferty and Whittaker also!
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