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  1. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/309-seconds-out-dave-king-v-mike-ashley-the-big-fight-continues Ding Ding! As the bell rings out for another round of a fight that appears to have been ongoing for at least two years, one can’t help shake the feeling we’re now reaching the closing stages of this ceaseless contest. With Mike Ashley now having played all his secured loan cards and Dave King finally putting his money where his mouth is, surely the next three weeks will see this hitherto open-ended bout be won by one or the other? Certainly an EGM in early March looks as if it will, for the short term at least, decide the winner. In the Blue corner we have Dave King: a Rangers fan, wealthy South African businessman and carrying the backing of other high net worth ‘Rangers minded’ individuals (as well as the main fan groups) on his side. In the Red corner, sits the heavyweight Mike Ashley: an admired billionaire entrepreneur, a no-nonsense negotiator and with the advantage of having his backers already directly involved with the club. It would take a brave man to try and separate these successful prize-fighters. But with no knock-out blow in sight, the decision will be made by the three judges: Mr AIM from Fit-and-Proper Street, London; Mr Regan from Puppet Place, Hampden; and thousands of Rangers shareholders – all of whom have their own specific interest in this bout. Who will prevail? Certainly, the press conference of Dave King yesterday was one of a confident man. Open, transparent, knowledgeable and with just the right amount of sincerity; there weren’t many Rangers fans complaining about his performance. Yes, many of us have held doubts over King’s less than impressive historic ownership efforts but in recent times, he has clearly upped his game. Firstly by buying shares himself, secondly by cleverly (apparently) working in tandem (though not concert) with other financially independent bears and, finally, unlike Ashley’s camp, coming to Scotland to show he’s not afraid of meeting the media (and his critics) on their terms. No-one can deny today’s subsequent press coverage is impressive. However, while some may swoon at the promises he makes; his opponents (plural) will not. To begin with, Mike Ashley has not made his fortune through weakness. Throughout his business career, he’s faced many a negative period. From risky investments losing their worth, to media and political pressure on his activities; despite his success and contribution to British business, Ashley has never been an immediately popular figure. Not amongst his peers, not amongst Newcastle supporters and certainly not revered by Rangers fans. As such, while Dave King’s poise yesterday may have impressed you or me, Ashley will be equally assured in his position and determined to defend his Rangers interests. Dave King may feel the EGM is already won but there will be no throwing in of the towel by Ashley – that’s for sure. Indeed, if we delve deeper into King’s comments, although he spoke of an ‘indifference’ to Ashley’s involvement and tried to play down the significance of the Englishman’s stake in Rangers, there was tentative evidence of an olive branch being offered. Yes, King may not want to do a boardroom deal ahead of next month’s general meeting but there has to be (and appeared to be) an acknowledgement Rangers’ ties to Ashley won’t be so easily cut. In that sense, it’s interesting to note that King (on the face of it at least) hasn’t written off working with him in the future. And why would he? After all, in many ways they’re kindred spirits. Both are less than popular with the SFA, both are less than popular with the Establishment and both are as stubborn as business people can get. Perhaps (probably?) that obdurateness may mean an obvious partnership is impossible but a short-to-medium term truce may well benefit both them and the club going forward. I can’t be the only Rangers fan intrigued in that possibility. I’d also imagine investors – both at supporter and institutional level may be attracted to such. In point of fact, it’s that very attraction that will prove key to Rangers going forward. Not only do we need the investment King and his associated are offering but we need share issues, contracts and external agreements to ensure the club is financially viable. Most importantly, we need an engaged fan-base; not just in terms of buying season tickets at pre-2014/15 levels or ordering various pieces of merchandise but via actual investment in the club – both emotionally and objectively as part of an increased say for supporters. Recent years have shown us how important it is for fans to be involved in the decision-making process and recent months has seen an agreeable upsurge in regard for fan/share ownership schemes. If we juxtapose that with events at Hearts and Motherwell then fan ownership in conjunction with philanthropic, affluent supporters is now a very real possibility. Further, if we consider the problems the Scottish game faces with its rapidly decreasing reputation and sponsorship reputation some would argue it will be a necessity. Ergo, the quicker we and all involved with the club realise that, the better. We need not be ever-reliant on bank loans, unfavourable contracts and greedy players – let’s now belatedly take the opportunity to build a sustainable club with its foundations built in the Govan community and beyond. Yes, this wouldn’t happen overnight and Paul Murray is correct to caution us in that regard. However, nurturing the seed of something better, more durable and more resilient is surely something worth waiting for. With that in mind, the coming weeks and months shouldn’t just be about cheering Dave King, Mike Ashley or anyone else to victory in their efforts. Yes, one or both or none may be worth backing at some point but the truth is, in the fight for Rangers’ future, it is the club and the fans that have been on the ropes and punch drunk for almost four years now. Therefore, it’s now time for us to take control of our own destiny and we have to realise we have the strongest punch when it comes to the future. We just need to use that power wisely. The rumoured March 6th EGM will be our first test. However, the fight will go on and we must take ownership of our own fate. Let’s get ready to rumble.
  2. Mysterious owners and main shareholders behind Scottish football clubs must be revealed, a government report has said. A group set up to examine the involvement of supporters in the running of football clubs in Scotland has published its final report. The report, ordered by the Scottish Government last year, has called on clubs to reveal their owner and main shareholders to fans to increase transparency. Another main recommendation is that details of directors and board meetings are made available to fans of all clubs. There continues to be challenges in identifying the owners of some clubs in Scottish football and this should be resolved, the report stated. The report said: "While the ownership of most Scottish clubs is readily apparent, there have been and continue to be challenges in identifying the owners of some clubs. "Given the contribution these clubs make to communities and to the nation it is clear that supporters and others in a community should have the right to know who owns their football clubs." The group involved in writing the report, which involved senior figures in the SPFL, SFA and sportscotland, recommended that the identity of the "ultimate beneficial owner of a club" should be declared. It added that if the owner was a trust involving a group of people, then the individuals should also be identified. This recommendation is relevant to the situation at Rangers where a number of mysterious trusts and firms hold major shareholdings without fans knowing who they are. The report said: "To participate in the Scottish Professional Football League, a club must declare to the SPFL and to the SFA, and publish, the identity of the ultimate beneficial owner of the club. "Should that owner be a trust, the club must disclose the ultimate beneficiaries of the trust and the name of the trustees. "Of fundamental importance to supporters are the risks to their club where an owner does not have, or does not appear to have, that club’s best interests at heart." The report also recommended: "That further consideration is given as to how best to protect supporters and communities, in circumstances where an owner may be seeking to exploit the value of a club’s assets for personal gain. "Naturally supporter interest in club ownership is concerned with clubs’ financial sustainability, and hence tends to be intensified where a club has financial difficulties. "Indeed in the majority of recent Scottish football club financial failures, supporters have been involved in one form or another in the ownership structure which allowed their club to exit administration." The implementation of these recommendations will be overseen by the working group and taken forward by the clubs and governing bodies. Jamie Hepburn, minister for sport, said: "Supporters should be at the heart of their football clubs, but too often they have felt marginalised and excluded. "We established this working group because we wanted to find ways of making supporter involvement easier, and of strengthening the relationship between clubs and the communities they represent. "The group has come up with some interesting recommendations and it is now dependent on everyone involved, including the Scottish Government, to make these work. "These are challenging times for Scotland’s football clubs. The Scottish Government agrees with the working group that a legislative approach to addressing many of these issues is simply too prescriptive and not desirable or necessary at this stage." Stewart Regan, Scottish FA chief executive, said: "The Scottish FA acknowledges the need for greater supporter involvement in the national game. It is also supportive of the need to enhance fan engagement, not just in-stadia but expanding our digital provision. "We have been pleased with the commitment shown by our colleagues in the working group and look forward to working together to implement the recommendations contained in the report." Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: "Supporters are the lifeblood of the game in Scotland. We welcome initiatives that are designed to increase fans’ engagement with their clubs." http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/308495-football-club-owners-and-shareholders-must-be-revealed-says-report/?
  3. chilledbear

    Egm

    EGM requisition has been delivered to Ibrox within the last couple of minutes. Statement klaxon to follow no doubt.
  4. ...from SFA panel that includes.. Celtic boss Peter Lawwell. Dec 22, 2014 22:30 By Gary Ralston THE Ibrox club's new chief executive will have to set out the blueprint for the future of the club for an SFA group that will include his opposite number at Parkhead. DEREK LLAMBIAS will seek approval for Mike Ashley’s vision for the future of Rangers today from an SFA group that includes Peter Lawwell. The Celtic chief executive is a member of the SFA board that will meet with the new Rangers frontman at Hampden for talks on the way forward for the cash-strapped club. Rangers have been asked to detail the business plan and strategy behind any future investment from the Newcastle United owner. Llambias, who denied he’s on Ashley’s payroll at a stormy Rangers agm yesterday, declined to offer clarity on the Sports Direct tycoon’s involvement at Ibrox. He said: “I’m seeing the SFA and a clearer picture should emerge then.” The SFA board, which also includes chief executive Stewart Regan, president Campbell Ogilvie, Hibs chairman Rod Petrie and SPFL chairman Ralph Topping, have the power to veto any plans. They will be keen to hear if Ashley has ambitions to increase his shareholding or if he or any of his representatives plan to take up positions on the Ibrox board. There has been disquiet among fans about the involvement of Ashley under “dual interest” rules, which frown upon individuals holding key positions at two or more clubs. Strictly speaking, however, Article 13 of the SFA does not forbid Ashley having a sizeable stake in Rangers and Newcastle United, but he would require “prior written consent of the board” to increase his influence at Ibrox. The SFA board will hear Llambias’ blueprint and may ask for further details before giving their judgment on Ashley in the new year. The meeting today has been described as informal, but Llambias will be expected to shed light on a range of issues. He is likely to be asked, for example, why the Rangers board felt they had no option but to accept Ashley’s recent £2million loan when Brian Kennedy and Dave King had also come to the table with investment proposals. Lawwell’s involvement is an intriguing sideshow and, as talks progress, he may decide he is conflicted and step away from discussions. He recently admitted the absence of Rangers from the top flight of the Scottish game was costing his club £10million a year. However, an under-strength and under-funded Rangers effectively gives Celtic a free run at the Champions League each season and the riches it can provide. The talks with the SFA board are separate from the notice of complaint recently issued to Ashley and Rangers by an SFA judicial panel. Ashley and Rangers are accused of breaching an agreement he would not take control of the club and compliance officer Tony McGlennan acted after Ashley’s recent loans, totalling £3million, led to accusations he had been handed the keys to the door. Meanwhile, Rangers fans have urged Ashley to turn to Dave King or other wealthy Bluenose backers after supporters vetoed plans to open the club to £8million of fresh investment from non-shareholders. Only 45 per cent of shareholders backed a resolution aimed at inviting new investors into the club and it’s believed Ashley and the Easdale block voted against the proposals. Chris Graham of the Union of Fans said: “It’s disingenuous for the top table at the agm to recommend the resolution, only to apparently vote against it. “They clearly don’t want others to buy in without them having first interest. Legally, Dave King could still underwrite a new share offer and other backers, such as George Taylor in Hong Kong, have invested heavily recently. “I only hope Derek Llambias acknowledges the scale of the disconnect between club and fans displayed at the agm. He can have Ibrox half full for the foreseeable future or turn it round the other way. “Mike Ashley will still make money if outside investors come into the club.” Sandy Easdale refused to rule out involvement in future from the likes of King and Brian Kennedy. He told shareholders: “I’ve never dismissed any of these guys, they may yet be part of the future of this club.” Llambias, who stepped down as Newcastle managing director in June 2013, told shareholders he was committed to returning the club to the top of the Scottish game. Llambias added: “Not everything I do will be popular but everything I do will be in the club’s long-term interests. “We need financial stability off the pitch and great football on the pitch. We want to get Rangers back into the top flight and the Champions League. “That is our aim and hopefully next year I will give a much better speech.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rangers-chief-derek-llambias-must-4859995?
  5. International Football Club plc ("Rangers" or the "Company") Scottish Professional Football League Limited ("SPFL") Claim. The board of the SPFL has determined that Rangers Football Club Limited (the "Club") is liable to pay the EBT Commission fine of £250,000 levied on RFC 2012 PLC (previously The Rangers Football Club plc) (in liquidation) The SPFL has also decided that this sum will be recovered from the Club by the SPFL withholding broadcasting money and other sums due to the Club but which are paid in the first instance to the SPFL. An appeal has been lodged with the Judicial Panel of the Scottish FA which has confirmed that the decision of the SPFL is suspended pending the outcome of the appeal subject to the SPFL's right to object. The Board is advised that the sum is not due to SPFL and the appeal will be pursued vigorously.
  6. Notices of Complaint: Rangers FC and Michael Ashley Monday, 15 December 2014 The Compliance Officer has issued the following Notices of Complaint: Alleged Party in Breach: Rangers FC Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 1: All members shall: (b) be subject to and comply with (i) the Articles (ii) this protocol. (f) behave towards the Scottish FA and other members with the utmost good faith. Disciplinary Rule 19: Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or © have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club. Disciplinary Rule 77: A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Principal Hearing date: Tuesday, 27th January 2015 Alleged Party in Breach: Michael Ashley Disciplinary Rule(s) allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rule 19: Except with the prior written consent of the Board: (a) no club or nominee of a club; and (b) no person, whether absolutely or as a trustee, either alone or in conjunction with one or more associates or solely through an associate or associates (even where such person has no formal interest), who: (i) is a member of a club; or (ii) is involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of a club, or (iii) has any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration or a club, may at the same time either directly or indirectly:- (a) be a member of another club; or (b) be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management or administration of another club; or © have any power whatsoever to influence the management or administration of another club. Disciplinary Rule 77: A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Principal Hearing date: Tuesday, 27th January 2015 http://scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_fa_news.cfm?page=2566&newsCategoryID=1&newsID=14110
  7. Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan is being considered for the Football Association's general secretary role, the BBC has learned. Alex Horne will leave the post on 30 January after four years in the job. The position was advertised last weekend and Englishman Regan, 50, is under consideration. Regan joined the SFA in July 2010 after four years working in a similar position with Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He succeeded Gordon Smith, who ended his three-year spell in the role for personal reasons. At the time, Regan said he aimed to "achieve the obvious common goal of improving the overall standard of the number one sport in this country". Then SFA president George Peat, who appointed Regan, said at the time: "Stewart's got a business background and that's what we're looking for. The SFA has a £30m turnover - it's a business we're running here." Regan has indicated previously that he would stay in the SFA chief executive role until Henry McLeish's report into the Scottish game has been implemented. Former first minister McLeish's two-part report in 2010 advised on changes to youth development and the governance of Scottish football. Since then, the SFA has implemented a performance strategy spearheaded by Dutchman Mark Wotte. However, Wotte left his performance director post in October, indicating he could do no more in the role. Scotland's national team have experienced improved results since Regan and the SFA board appointed Gordon Strachan to replace head coach Craig Levein in early 2013. The Scots remain in contention for qualification from Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D. The closing date for applications for the FA role is in mid-January. Horne spent 11 years in various roles at the FA and oversaw the opening of the £100m National Football Centre at St George's Park. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30470328
  8. “Give the fans some answers, Alistair” Dear Ally, We’ve known each other a long time. Back at the start of the 1980s, we were on opposing sides in a match between Brighton and Sunderland – and both of us ended up on the scoresheet. We later shared a room on a golf trip to Las Vegas and will forever be linked by our mutual involvement in the events surrounding Rangers’ liquidation in 2012, something I could never have envisaged happening. There have been a lot of questions thrown up since then. I would like, therefore, to make a public appeal to you for answers. Answers to the questions that have left Rangers supporters dazed and confused throughout the events of the last 72 hours. To read on the morning of a crucial Championship match that you had tendered your resignation was unprecedented. To subsequently see you refuse to either confirm or deny those reports was strange in the extreme. I understand sometimes individuals are bound by contractual obligation from communicating as freely as they might wish. In this case though, that simply doesn’t wash. For the support of a huge football club to be left in the dark about something as fundamental as whether or not their manager has resigned is totally unacceptable. So, the first question to be answered is – have you given your notice? And, if not, why didn’t you take the opportunity to shoot down the reports as nonsense? When you are talking about such an important issue, that has to be the course of action. Stability is crucial at any football club. When you are talking about Rangers, a club whose financial problems mean they have to win promotion this season, it is a necessity. Players need to know who their leader is and what, within reason, his plans are for the future. Secondly, if you have a desire to quit, then why not go now, under your own terms? Do as I did two years ago and leave Ibrox without seeking money to do so because you think it is in the best interests of Rangers Football Club. You were rightly given credit for the character and mental strength you showed back in 2012 and for staying on and making yourself a focal point at a time when the club was in complete disarray. You famously said then: “We don’t do walking away”. But what if it becomes the honourable thing to do – and practically the only thing to do? There is no way you or any of the coaches were responsible for blowing a two-goal lead at Alloa with 20 minutes remaining of the Petrofac Cup semi-final. That was down to under-performing players. But you do carry the responsibility for the results. You were given every financial advantage over opposition managers at every stage of this journey up through the divisions. Even with the wage cut you agreed to, you have remained the highest-paid manager in Scotland over this period. While the successive titles cannot be taken away from you, the failures of the current campaign threaten to sabotage so much of the progress made. Leaving now would allow a new man to come in and see if he can do better. You know we are not talking about any untried foreign coaches, but about men such as Stuart McCall and Terry Butcher. Former Rangers team-mates of yours, who you know have the best interests of the club at heart and who boast solid managerial credentials. As things stand, the club is not going to win the Championship title. Not with Hearts nine points clear and holding a game in hand. Many, in fact, would argue Rangers will do well to match the Edinburgh outfit’s points haul between now and the end of the season. Yet I believe that the extra impetus caused by a change at the top could make a huge difference. There is an almost chemical reaction that occurs when a new manager takes over a dressing-room. You’ll have seen that for yourself during your playing career, like when Jock Wallace replaced John Greig and when Graeme Souness took over from Big Jock. A galvanised squad would certainly have the ability to string together the kind of long winning-run which is now required to catch Hearts. This brings me to the last of my central questions to you – why is this Rangers team so bad? Men like Kris Boyd, Ian Black, Nicky Law, Jon Daly, Dean Shiels and David Templeton have all individually impressed in the Premier League. I could see why you signed them. Their collective floundering in the lower divisions surely must make you doubt what you yourself have been doing on the training ground at Murray Park? People might argue results are what matter. But the football your teams have produced has been uninspiring to watch – and that has been in games that you have won. It’s little wonder fans are staying away in their droves. You will know that a certain style is demanded by the Rangers supporters, who have been reared on the genius of Davie Cooper, Brian Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne. While everyone accepts the days of multi-million pound transfers are gone from Scottish football, it is not unreasonable for fans, who pay through the nose week-in, week-out, to be offered a decent standard of football. And it is not unreasonable to suggest that more kids should have been brought through from Murray Park to the first team over the past three years. When there is more drama to be found off the pitch than on it, then something has gone seriously wrong. That was added to when the news broke that you had tendered your resignation. You should follow that through by going this week, for the club’s sake – and yours. Yours, Gordon. http://www.sundaypost.com/sport/columnists/gordon-smith/gordon-smith-sends-open-letter-to-mccoist-1.736263
  9. Remember Dundee, Motherwell and Kilmarnock, now it was Jamboland ... Hearts Now, let#s see how the Yahoos react Numero Uno Daily Record No wonder Stokes laughs (again) and into her face. They've got the freedom of Celtland these days.
  10. Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has expressed concern over Rangers' financial position, saying it is "concerning for the Scottish game". The Ibrox club have admitted they may not have enough cash to meet costs between now and the end of the year, having taken £3m in secured loans from Mike Ashley for short-term working capital. "Well obviously it is concerning for the Scottish game," Regan told STV. "We would all like to see Rangers improve their financial position in order to bring money to the game of football in Scotland. "Rangers have got a strong economic impact, not just for Glasgow but for Scotland generally. "In that regard I know the fans are desperate to see success again. They are desperate for stability. "They've had a number of years of ups and downs now and I think they are hopeful they will get some certainty and stability in the future." In a statement to the Stock Exchange earlier this month, Rangers made clear their dire financial situation. "During the autumn, the club has suffered from lower than expected match attendance which has exacerbated the financial condition of the business. "The directors have begun a cost cutting exercise, but further working capital in addition to the facility will be needed before the end of the year." http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/301050-regan-rangers-financial-position-is-concerning-for-scottish-game/
  11. A minute's applause will precede Scotland's friendly against England on Tuesday in tribute to the Scotland fan who died following their victory over the Republic of Ireland on Friday. Nathan McSeveney, 20, died when he fell in a Celtic Park stairwell. Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: "We have all been extremely saddened. "It is fitting that Scotland supporters have an opportunity to pay tribute to one of their own at Celtic Park." The tribute was announced after consultation with McSeveney's family, from Cumnock in Ayrshire.
  12. http://news.stv.tv/west-central/299623-four-men-detained-after-police-probe-into-sale-of-rangers-in-2012/ I'd like to remind people of their legal obligations in speculating over individuals and alleged criminal behaviour.
  13. CAMPBELL Ogilvie has reiterated the determination of the Scottish Football Association to seek clear answers from Mike Ashley, as the Sports Direct owner continues to increase his influence in the running of Rangers. Ogilvie, president of the SFA, said yesterday the association had written to Ashley – also owner of Newcastle United –looking for ‘clarification’ of his position, but said a reply had not yet been forthcoming. The tycoon owns 8.92 per cent of Rangers, runs the retail division and holds naming rights for Ibrox after buying them for £1 from former chief executive Charles Green. He also gave Rangers a £2 million loan last week. Hours before Ogilvie’s comments, it was announced to the Stock Exchange that former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias was appointed to the Rangers board as a non-executive director, further strengthening Ashley’s position. Ashley has signed an agreement with the SFA that limits him to having no more than a 10 per cent stake in Rangers while he is in command at St James’ Park. The agreement is designed to limit his control over Rangers but it remains unclear if by appointing Llambias or Barry Leach – another of his close associates hired on a consultancy basis – would fall foul of that deal. Ogilvie said the SFA would continue to press Ashley for answers, and a possible meeting to discuss his intentions. “We’ve written to the club itself and to Mike Ashley looking for clarification,” said Ogilvie, a former general secretary anddirector at Rangers. “We’re waiting for replies to that and we’ll take it from there. We need more information at this stage. There could be a meeting. We wrote to them at the end of last week, we’re waiting for a reply. “That could lead to a meeting between the SFA and the club – and, indeed, Mike Ashley and his advisors. That would be the next step. Then we’ll take it from there. But we really need more information. “Fundamentally, the undertaking was not to go above the 10 per cent shareholding – and not to have influence in the running of the club. Fundamentally, that was it. “On the back of the movement last week, we’ve written asking for more information. Until we get that information, we can’t comment further.” Rangers chairman David Somers announced last week that Llambias had been brought in as a consultant but now the club has confirmed he has taken on official duties. The club’s statement said: “The board of Rangers announces that it has appointed Derek Llambias as a non-executive director. In accordance with Rangers’ Articles of Association, Mr Llambias will be subject to re-election by ordinary resolution of the shareholders of the company at the upcoming Annual General Meeting which is expected to be held in December.” Somers previously held non-executive responsibilities as chairman but took over day-to-day running of the club last week as he set about finding replacements for chief executive Graham Wallace and Philip Nash, the former finance director, who were both forced out after failing to stop the club accepting the £2m loan from Ashley. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/sfa-seek-answers-as-llambias-joins-rangers-board-1-3591968
  14. ALLY MCCOIST considers what he interprets as the clamour for Rangers and Celtic to be drawn together in the League Cup later today to be proof of how much the Ibrox club have been missed by Scottish football’s top flight. The Ibrox manager was in impish form yesterday as he pondered the prospect of Rangers meeting with Celtic for the first time in nearly three years. The semi-final draw for the League Cup will be shown live this evening at 5:05pm on BBC 1 Scotland. Although Aberdeen and Dundee United make up the four teams involved, McCoist believes “everybody would look forward to the game” if Rangers and Celtic come out of the hat together. The clubs last met in April 2012, shortly before Rangers were forced to begin a trek back up the leagues after liquidation. McCoist has on several occasions talked of Rangers having to take their medicine. However, there is still clearly a sense of grievance being nursed by the Ibrox club. This was certainly discernible yesterday as McCoist claimed that few people would now argue the Ibrox club’s plight has not been detrimental to the Scottish game. “Gone are the days of this ‘we don’t need Rangers in the top flight’,” he said. “Sadly, because it’s too late, there is now a little bit of common sense being shown. It’s clear we do need Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the top flight. “Gordon [strachan] is doing a fantastic job for the national team, but in the best interest of Scottish football we need our big clubs in the top flight. With Rangers being in the lower divisions there was clearly going to be no scope for an Old Firm game unless we drew each other in the cup. The majority of people, if we do draw each other, can actively look forward to an Old Firm game and I more than anyone can appreciate that.” “I’ve missed them and I think Scottish football has missed them,” he added. McCoist reckoned that “pig-headedness” would be behind some club officials involved in the events of 2012 refusing to acknowledge the damage caused to the game. During that bitter summer, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan envisaged something he described as “Armageddon” for the Scottish game in the event of Rangers being voted out of the top flight. The other 11 then SPL clubs rejected Rangers’ application to rejoin the top tier by a unanimous majority. Later 29 of the 30 SFL clubs accepted Rangers as an associate member of the Scottish Football League but 25 voted for placing the newco club in the bottom tier, as opposed to the First Division. The Ibrox club started their journey back through the divisions with a 2-2 draw at Peterhead in August 2012. There has been no Old Firm clash since Rangers lost 3-0 to Neil Lennon’s Celtic side in April of the same year. The League Cup semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of 31 January/1 February. “Knowing the pig-headedness of some of the people involved, no they won’t,” answered McCoist, when asked whether he felt some now regret how the the situation was handled. “But let’s be honest, was it for the greater good of Scottish football? Of course it wasn’t. It absolutely wasn’t. But we are where we are and things have happened. There is no use in looking back the way because we can’t change anything.” With his side having again made it into the last four of a national cup competition – they reached the Scottish Cup semi-final last season – McCoist clearly felt justified in adopting a pugnacious bearing. Rangers also currently sit in second place in the Championship and begin their latest Scottish Cup campaign away to Dumbarton in the third round this afternoon. He has, though, emerged from a week when his future was placed in question following the Rangers board’s acceptance of a £2 million emergency loan from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. The decision led to the departure of one of McCoist’s chief allies in chief executive Graeme Wallace. Ashley’s increased influence led to the arrival of former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias at Ibrox as a “football consultant”. McCoist said he had spoken to current executive chairman David Somers on Thursday and he had “kept him up to speed” about the changes on the board and the search for a new chief executive. He has not spoken with Ashley. But the manager seemed more vexed by the larger issue of the state of Scottish football. McCoist pointed to the thousands of empty seats at both Ibrox and Parkhead in midweek to illustrate how Rangers’ exile from the top tier has harmed the Scottish game. He proposed the notion that a Rangers v Celtic game would “fill the Maracana”. In contrast to comments made following his side’s victory over St Johnstone on Tuesday, McCoist appeared to will a clash with their rivals in the last four. In midweek he was quoted as saying he would prefer to avoid Celtic in tonight’s draw, comments that were interpreted in some quarters as Rangers running scared of Ronny Deila’s team. The Rangers manager welcomed the opportunity yesterday to clarify what he meant. “I need to explain myself because there have been one or two things written and said,” he said. “I am certainly not running scared or hiding behind the couch. I thought it was common sense what I was trying to say and I stand by that. “As everyone can see from the bookies, Celtic are 4/5 favourites, everybody else is 9/2,” he added. “Because the bookies are very rarely wrong I thought it was common sense that you’d like a shot at one of the teams at 9/2 in terms of enhancing your chances of making the final. There is no ‘I want to avoid Celtic at all costs’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Deila observed that Rangers were the weakest team left in the League Cup because they were the only non-top-flight side left in the competition. This comment, too, was given some consideration yesterday by McCoist. “I don’t necessarily agree with that but I can understand his point,” he said. “In normal circumstances he would be right. But in the last few years nothing has been what it seems in Scottish football. “You have three of the five biggest clubs in the country playing in the Championship. I understand Ronny but I don’t necessarily agree with him.” There was a glint in McCoist’s eye as he moved on to deal with John Guidetti’s comments after the Celtic striker scored three times in the 6-0 win over Partick Thistle. The on-loan Manchester City player was portrayed as issuing a brazen warning to Rangers, who he said were “going down” in the event of the teams meeting in the semi-final. McCoist noted his feat of scoring three times against Partick Thistle, who had defender Stuart Brannigan sent off just before half-time. He put Guidetti’s comments down to giddiness. “With the greatest of respect to John, I remember getting excited about my first hat-trick, but that was against 11 men,” smiled McCoist, who scored 28 hat-tricks for Rangers, the first coming in a League Cup final victory over Celtic at Hampden Park in 1984. “He’s entitled to his opinion and that’s the way it is. But maybe, just maybe, he’s got caught up in the excitement of scoring his first hat-trick for Celtic – which, of course, we congratulate him on.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/ally-mccoist-insists-the-top-flight-miss-rangers-1-3590826
  15. Some words on recent events from yours truly via TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/330-the-fog-on-the-clyde
  16. By Chris McLaughlin & Richard Wilson BBC Scotland Rangers were 48 hours from going into administration until a £2m loan was agreed with Mike Ashley, according to one senior Ibrox source. Prospective administrators had been contacted by the Ibrox club. Newcastle owner Ashley put forward a financial package, which includes the option of a new share issue, on Friday and it was agreed on Saturday morning. And, as part of the agreement, chief executive Graham Wallace will follow director Philip Nash in stepping down. The arrangement could be finalised early next week. English businessman Ashley, who owns 8.29% of the Glasgow club's shares, had called for the removal of Nash and Wallace as part of his offer. Under Scottish FA agreement Ashley is not allowed boardroom influence or a shareholding of more than 10%. But his possible underwriting of a share issue could take his stake above that threshold if there is not enough buy-in from other investors. An alternative option could be further loans. The SFA plan to write Rangers next week seeking clarification on the loan agreement with Ashley. Rangers need a financial injection to cover wages beyond November and Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy became a surprise latecomer in the battle for control with a funding package offer of his own. In response to the news that Ashley's offer had been accepted by the board, Kennedy said he was "disappointed for Rangers" but would not be commenting further. Former director Dave King had also offered fresh funding to Rangers but could not agree a deal following talks with key shareholder Sandy Easdale and the board. Before returning to his South African business base on Thursday, King issued a statement saying that his group's offer remained on the table and that he was hopeful it would be accepted. Ashley, who already has control of Rangers' shirt sales and retail division and owns the naming rights for Ibrox Stadium, refused to back King's proposal. Sandy Easdale, who controls a 26% block of shares, also declined to agree to King's proposals. While Ashley is demanding two representatives on the board, King also wanted to choose its chairman. Nash, the former Arsenal and Liverpool executive, had been employed as a financial consultant by Rangers before joining the board in July. Wallace, currently on a family holiday in Greece, and Nash had been supportive of the bid by King's group, which includes fellow Scottish businessmen George Letham and Paul Murray. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29761396
  17. Remember a few months back the VB came out with a couple of articles on some of actions played in our downfall by those in power in Scottish football? There was the "promise" of big news to come, what has happened to this ?
  18. keith jackson @tedermeatballs · 9s 10 seconds ago OK bed time. Back page will be up soon. Suffice to say a multi million pound bailout offer has been made by a three man consortium. https://twitter.com/tedermeatballs/with_replies
  19. If this can be corroborated then Regan must go ... http://vanguardbears.co.uk/stewart-regans-succulent-lamb.html Stewart Regan's Succulent Lamb Written by: Admin Thursday, 21st of August 2014 The date was 27th of July 2012 and Scotland's biggest and most successful football club faced oblivion. Just two days before the club were due to face Brechin City in the Angus town, Rangers FC had no licence to play football. This doomsday scenario had been created by twisted individuals representing the SFA, SPL and others. Their determination to see Rangers punished to the full for an as yet unproven "charge" (a charge which the club was subsequently found not guilty) was matched only by an underlying driven agenda to see Rangers damaged as much as possible, perhaps beyond repair. The club had been given a stark choice - accept sanctions and trophy stripping or be granted no licence to play football, in any league, anywhere. Rangers, with Ally McCoist and Charles Green representing, had fought bravely to retain the clubs' history, heritage and sporting record in the face of those determined to steal it away at any cost. In defiance of the Scottish Football authorities equivalent of a firing squad they fought valiantly for a club that had already lost most of its first team squad following SPFA and agent interference allied to greedy individuals who saw a fast buck. The future of the Scottish game lay in the hands of those men sat round a table. Their dirty game of chess had reached stalemate; their attempted "Five-Way Agreement" had morphed into a carefully contrived monster that included: •stripping of 5 SPL titles •stripping of 6 Scottish Cups •a signing embargo The message delivered was loud and clear. Accept "guilt", and accept our punishments or we put you out of the game. We feel it's necessary to repeat this; no ruling had yet been made on EBTs from Lord Nimmo Smith, and two years and two appeals later, the EBTs are still judged in law to be loans that did not give Rangers any footballing advantage in the years the scheme was in use. Whilst SPL Chief Ralph Topping was regaling anyone who'd listen with tales of Armageddon and insisting the SFL accept a club the SPL had thrown to the wolves, the SPL looked to maximise revenue from that same club they had just kicked out. So, on that day 27th of July 2012, the last possible day that agreement could be reached, the SFA's lawyers Levy & Macrae hosted all senior stakeholders in the Rangers issue to their office in St Vincent Street, Glasgow. By this stage, Rangers had forced the title stripping off the agenda, however, they were not to be meekly handed a punishment free passage in to the SFL. Other measures were being quickly discussed. The determination of some to punish the club as much as possible at a late stage where desperation saw them more likely to accept to get the licence and keep the club alive hadn't waned. The presence of Duff and Phelps could not help the Rangers cause; they were now bystanders only interested that the business entity they were representing wouldn't have any financial liability thrown in its direction. With a draft agreement on paper and separate signature pages at the back (to be signed upon all attendees reaching agreement on the conditions of Rangers re-entry in to the SFL and SFA), talks got underway. All in attendance agreed that a conclusion had to be reached and papers signed off that day, no matter what. The future of Scottish Football and that of its biggest member club was at stake. Reaching agreement on any issue was difficult, and the meeting was interrupted several times as Stewart Regan answered his mobile phone and left the room. An expectant wife was calling from Yorkshire. Mr. Regan was reminded he had a dinner date that evening. With no indication that middle ground could be found regards the many sticking points and Scottish football facing disaster the SFA Chief Executive took a remarkable and shocking decision that reinforced the belief of many that he is inept and has zero interest in the welfare of the beautiful game here. At 5pm, with the document far from finalised and even further from being agreed, he took the SFA signature page from the table and signed it, informing all of those present that he would put his name to whatever was agreed, had a dinner engagement with his wife and friends in Leeds, and wasn't going to cancel. In essence, Regan signed a blank piece of paper. The Chief Executive of the SFA, with overall responsibility for the game in Scotland, was more interested in having dinner, than leading the decision makers to reach an agreement to safeguard the future of both Rangers, and Scottish Football. The meeting lasted approximately another four hours before a conclusion was reached. Rangers were forced to accept their second transfer embargo in 4 months, and various other financial penalties including the signing over of television rights, and the payment of football debts, on the agreement that they wouldn't have rights to SPL prize money, or debts owed to the club. There were a number of revisions to the draft document in Regan's absence which already had his signature, as he travelled to Leeds and made his way out to dinner. To the best of our knowledge Regan didn't phone anyone in attendance after his departure for a progress update. Regan's signature page was simply inserted into the final document and issued as the Five-Way Agreement. This absolute disdain for the future of Rangers and Scottish football has never left that room, until now. One month earlier, Mr Regan had shown a similar lack of interest when an email written by him had been leaked to the press. In his email, amongst a bunch of 'decisions' he had pre-determined, Regan revealed that while Scottish Football was in disarray, he was off on holiday. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/Regan-controversial What would Regan have done the following day if any of the people in the room had simply scribbled 'I, Stewart Regan, knowing that I am unfit to hold the position of Chief Executive of the SFA, hereby tender my immediate resignation.' Vanguard Bears henceforth ask that members of the SFA, SPFL and SFL demand Stewart Regan's resignation. This man should not be heading up Scottish Football, especially at this very crucial time where attendances are dwindling and sponsorship is drying up. The phrase "NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE" has never been more apt.
  20. 2013 - European transfer deadline 11pm on Monday 2nd September as the 31st August fell on a weekend. 2014 - European transfer deadline 11pm on Monday 1st September as the 31st August fell on a weekend. 2014 - SFA follows other European countries without any fuss, statements or similar. 2013 - SFA closes deadline on Sat 31st August, as to extend it to Monday in line with the rest of Europe was not following "Sporting Integrity" Whats the difference I hear you ask? In 2013 Rangers illegal transfer embargo finished on 31 August 2013, therefore giving our club a very short window to sign players before the European deadline passed on the Monday. It was nothing to do with the Rangers situation according to the SFA it was to do with sticking to the Sporting Integrity of the deadline. Seems nobody in Media-land has the balls to bring up this clear breach of their own Integrity laws. Rhegan must be pissing himself all the way to Yorkshire with another pay cheque successfully banked.
  21. Bill Leckie; Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If they don’t heed those words as the vultures circle Ibrox once again, then hell mend them. First time their club went to the wall, they manned the barricades to protect it from a big, nasty outside world. For that, no matter what other thoughts you have on the matter, their loyalty surely deserves to be applauded. But now? Two-and-a-half years on? If, despite being given a second chance to repair the horrendous mistakes of the past, a club with this level of support goes into administration AGAIN? Sorry, but if it was me I wouldn’t give them another penny. On Saturday, once more, thousands turned up brandishing red cards to express their unhappiness at the way the love of their lives is being mismanaged. And, once more, those responsible for the mismanagement laughed up their sleeves at the pointlessness of the protest. Because to brandish those red cards, you have to pay your money to get inside the stadium. Which hands yet more cash to the people you’re protesting at so they can go ahead and waste it. Listen, what do I know? They’re not my club and the one I do follow has never been to the heights Rangers have reached to suffer such a humiliating, disorientating fall. I’m just someone looking in and wondering how the hell, in all good conscience, Bluenoses can carry on regardless if and when the accountants take over the asylum once more. Actually, don’t answer that. It’s not a can of worms that’s worth opening, this We-Are-The-People, Rangers-Till-I-Die, stick-your-fingers-in-your-ears-and-sing-Follow-Follow mindset. So, for what it’s worth, let me instead pass on my suggestion for what they should do if their club re-enters the abyss. Sod it. Turn their backs on it. Give it, as a man on the other side of Glasgow once said, not one more thin dime. And instead, invest in the future of Scottish clubs who DO run their affairs honestly and who DO have respect for those who click the turnstiles. Go and back your old skipper Barry Ferguson as he tries to make things happen at Clyde. Go and see what another ex-player in Gary Bollan’s doing with Airdrie. If you’re from Fife, go and watch East Fife or Cowdenbeath. If you’re in Angus, hand your tenner to Arbroath or Brechin, Forfar or Montrose. If you donÂ’t want to give up your wee jaunt over from Northern Ireland, get off the ferry and stroll up to Stair Park. There’s been a school of thought among some these last couple of years that Rangers being forced to do the grand tour of the colonies meant the lower divisions should have been grateful for the gate receipts and the TV handouts. For me, this always got it the wrong way round. It was those inside Ibrox should have been thankful that they were in still in business and ABLE to head for Elgin and Berwick and Stranraer. Now, as fresh financial catastrophe looms, I’d put it to Rangers fans that they could do far more good for far more people if they stopped pouring money into what has long since ceased to be “their” club and started drip-feeding it to those who genuinely are the game’s lifeblood. Why? I’ll give you three good reasons. One, those halfwits in your directors’ box shouldn’t be trusted with the remote for the telly, never mind your wages. Two, that 30,000-odd of you spread among the country’s 20-odd part-time clubs would not only create better atmospheres but also help to cement football in communities for the long term. And three? You might just get to relax and enjoy the game, rather than always being angry and stressed about it. Watching Ayr United play Stenhousemuir might just extend your life. The alternative to this is a simple one. Stand your ground and, by your very presence, condone the halfwits in the directors’ box. Two-and-a-half years on from that first administration and the liquidation that followed, these halfwits need to scramble together £4million in a matter of days to keep their heads above water. To achieve this, they may need to flog their saleable players before the transfer window closes, which will hamper your hopes of promotion back to the top flight. If they don’t raise the money, they stand to suffer a 25-point deduction as punishment for a second spell in administration, all but ending those promotion hopes. How, with the wages they pay and the crowds they attract and the sheer intimidatory force of their name that is a two-goal start against far smaller opposition, can this possibly be? How the lumping hell can the people running a club the size of Rangers be handed the chance they were to start again, to build sensibly, to tool up for their return to where they want to be, and yet fail so utterly miserably? How? The clue is in the word halfwits. So maybe I’ve got this all the wrong way round. And it’s those Ibrox directors who should be sent to the outposts of the footballing empire instead. Maybe Graham Wallace and the Easdales and whoever else is a player in this embarrassing saga are the ones who need to go out into the real world and see how real football people operate. Trust me, if a month shadowing the treasurer at Albion Rovers didn’t shame them into living within their means, liquidation’s too good for them.
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