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  1. By Chris McLaughlin Lalit Modi, the first commissioner of cricket's Indian Premier League, has expressed an interest in buying a large shareholding in Rangers. BBC Scotland has learned Modi's representatives made contact with the chairman of Rangers' football board, Sandy Easdale, earlier this week. The groups talked about the potential sale of the 26% stake Easdale controls. It is believed a price has already been discussed. And a meeting could take place as early as next week. Modi was banned for life by the Indian Cricket Board of Control after they charged him with misconduct relating to financial irregularities. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31168745
  2. Glasgow Rangers bidding to sign clutch of Newcastle United fringe players on deadline day Glasgow Rangers are hoping to tie up a multiple loan deal for a clutch of Newcastle United fringe players on deadline day. The Ibrox club are eager to bolster their squad in order to keep a tight grip on the Scottish Championship play-off spot they are currently occupying. With Hearts the runaway leaders, Rangers’ hopes of promotion will go up in smoke if they slip out of second place with Hibernian breathing down their neck. Now Rangers hope to sign some of United’s fringe players which could see the likes of Haris Vuckic, Gael Bigirimana and Kevin Mbabu going north of the border. Today is the last day that international loan deals can be completed and that includes moves to Scotland. I haven't a clue about these players, but I'm sure they'll be better than what we have at the moment. http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/glasgow-rangers-bidding-sign-clutch-8561228?
  3. Strapped in for yet another transfer window? Well, here we go! Graeme Shinnie (Left-back, 23, Inverness Caledonian Thistle) Max Power (attacking midfielder, 21, Tranmere Rovers) Express Graeme Shinnie on wiki
  4. THERE was a rare moment of unity between Rangers fans groups and the Scottish Football Association when the governing body blocked Mike Ashley’s proposals to increase his stake in the club last month. Then, a Union of Fans statement spoke of the SFA having “done the right thing” in observing their rules on dual ownership by refusing to approve the Newcastle United owner’s bid to increase his Rangers stake from around 9 per cent to 29 per cent. Yet, those same supporters are unlikely to be so taken by the SFA obeying their articles of association should Dave King succeed in his mission to oust the current board. King revealed his intentions on Friday night when he requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting (egm). The South Africa-based businessman, Rangers’ largest single shareholder with a 16 per cent stake, is “confident” he can muster the 50 per cent shareholder support he needs to remove chairman David Somers, James Easdale, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach from their directorship. His plan is to replace them with himself, Paul Murray and John Gilligan. And therein lies the rub. At an egm, which the current Rangers board could stall for six weeks, King could expect the support of the 20 per cent stake controlled by the Donald Park, George Letham and George Taylor consortium. In addition, he is believed to have the ear of a couple of the hedge funds with a 10 per cent holding between them, while individual supporters whose share totals add up to a further 10 per cent would back his efforts to put the Ibrox club into the hands of supporters. That is all well and good, and Ashley deserves to be removed because of his callous disregard for the club and its followers in this week’s moves to gain security over Ibrox and Murray Park. The current board maintain this was in return for the £10 million loan Rangers need to see out the season. But it is important to look beyond Ashley’s game-playing and not forget how we arrived at this point. In the independent inquiry chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith under the auspices of the SFA, the old board were criticised for failing to blow the whistle on Craig Whyte as he sent the club on the road to ruin after taking over in May 2011. King was a member of that board. And it cannot be forgotten either that the reason King was in no position to buy the assets once the old Rangers had been condemned to liquidation the following summer, and save it from the clutches of Charles Green, was that the Castlemilk-born businessman was then in the midst of a decade-long legal battle with the South African Revenue Service. He settled last year by pleading guilty to 42 criminal counts of contravening the country’s tax laws, and kept himself out of prison by plea bargaining on almost 300 other charges, which required him to stump up £41m. As far as failing to meet the SFA’s fit and proper person test, King – who lost £20m he invested in the David Murray Rangers era – does so with bells on. Indeed, it is almost as if the ruling has been written to debar individuals with chequered business careers of King’s ilk. Under section (h) of Article 10.2 that sets out the “considerations” that would be made concerning the board “reserving its discretion” as to whether a person is deemed fit and proper to hold a football directorship, it is stated “[if] he has been convicted within the last ten years of (i) an offence liable to imprisonment of two years or over, (ii) corruption or (iii) fraud.” King was liable for a stretch longer than two years had he not plea-bargained. Moreover, he is caught in a double bind over the fit and proper person rules. Because what also counts against those seeking to meet the criteria is having “been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five-year period preceding such club having undergone an insolvency event”. King and Paul Murray – who was sacked from the Rangers board immediately after Whyte took over – both fall down on this basis. They simply cannot be granted permission by the SFA to take up directorships in any Rangers board if the governing body stands by their own rules, which were tightened up because they had failed to act over Whyte’s dubious business past. King constantly puts it out through sympathetic media sources that he is confident the SFA professional game board would wave him through as a Rangers director in the event of gaining a controlling interest. That sounds like bluster, which, as well as the baggage, has led to legitimate questioning of King’s credentials to lead Rangers out of the mire. At times, though, it must be said he talks a good game. As he did in his statement on Friday in which he claimed that, as well as putting the club on a sound financial footing, a second “important task” would be “to conduct a forensic audit of the management and commercial contracts undertaken over the last few years to determine whether they are truly arm’s length and whether the affairs of the company have been pursued in accordance with the fiduciary obligations of those entrusted with that responsibility”. King thundered at the end of this declaration of intent that “any malfeasance will be pursued aggressively and transparently”. For the South African tax authorities, that might read like a sick joke. http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl-lower-divisions/rangers-dave-king-s-move-faces-taxing-questions-1-3664643
  5. I was trolling through a few Jambo websites, hoping to pick up a couple of titbits for Friday evening's match preview. There is considerable angst among the talk o' ra toon that Rangers have reciprocated the ticket allocation we received at Tynecastle, ie just under a thousand. I can understand maroon frustrations, they all want to there to witness another skelping of the mighty Rangers and be able to say, "I was there" on the hat-trick of administered punishment. Back in the day, I remember the Hearts support trapping at Ibrox circa 10,000 strong. An early season game at the start of the seventies, attendance of 50,000 and a fifth of those in maroon in ra Sellik end, going deservedly berserk in homage to their fleet-footed winger, Kenny Aird ripping us several new ones, as we crumbled 0-3. The early 80s on an ice bound pitch, the whole Broomloan and part of the Main Stand populated by Hearty Harrys, wholly appreciative as their favourites comfortable defeated Rangers, 0-2. Thus, Hearts have the support, should we accommodate them? The cleverer Jambos are playing the common currency card. We need the dosh, the lights could be out as early as next week, why not allow 5,000 Hearts supporters to ease the very real pain? A cash pay-in gate would have some of our current Board members salivating at the possibility of negotiating the marble stair case with bulging pockets? Would an enhanced crowd of between 35-40,000 improve the atmosphere and inspire the Bears to an unexpected victory? Do we demand continued strict adherence to starving out the Board? It's a conundrum for all Bears and given that a considerable percentage of both broadcast and print media NEVER miss an opportunity to twist the knife, I am surprised, genuinely that the situation has not been fully exploited. What do Gersnetters think? Should the old stadium extend the welcoming hand to the boys in maroon?
  6. SIR David Murray has broken his silence on the battle for control of Rangers by praising the efforts of Dave King and The Three Bears consortium to gain influence at Ibrox. But the club's former owner warned the club's cash position remains in a critical condition while uncertainty continues to hang over the ownership of the stricken Glasgow giants. While fans have welcomed moves by the Three Bears consortium - comprising wealthy businessmen Douglas Park, George Letham and George Taylor - and former oldco director King to amass 38.1 per cent of shares between them in recent days, Sir David fears little has changed. He claimed the stalemate between the board and those looking to take over is impeding the investment the club badly needs. Sir David, who famously sold Rangers to Craig Whyte for £1 in 2011, said: "The way I see it at the minute, and this isn't trying to be smart, is people have changed seats at the table. "But the fact of the matter is the club needs money and resources as quickly as possible. "Dave King and the Three Bears I'm sure have the right intentions for the club, but they must be in a dilemma about how they take it to the next stage when the other sides don't seem to be willing partners." He added: "I take my hat off to the people who are trying to do the right thing, and let's hope they're successful, but whatever way they are going to do it it's going to need more money." Sir David, speaking after a £20m takeover bid from US basketball boss Robert Sarver was rejected by the club, criticised the current board and its suitors for failing to come up with a strategy to take Rangers forward. He said: "I don't know what anyone is trying to do at the minute. I don't mean to be smart. What we'd like to see is Rangers in the hands of Rangers-minded people. But I wish someone would come out and tell us what their strategy is. "Is Dave King working solo? Are the Three Bears working solo? If they are, they are going to have to come up with some more money." Fans groups have voiced concern over Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's influence over the Ibrox Club. The Sports Direct boss has a 8.92 per cent stake in the business, control over the club's retail operations and has advanced loans to the company. Asked if he shared those concerns, Sir David said: "We don't know, do we? The problem you've got just now is that nobody is making statements. There is no strategy." Sir David also welcomed moves by supporters to buy shares in the club through organisations such as Rangers First but said the club's cash needs were more pressing. He also fears the club is losing supporters who may never come back. Sir David said: "What concerns me also is that a fair percentage of the hardcore [of fans] may have drifted now, and I don't think it will be like you turn a light switch and they will come back. "This will take time." http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/gers-need-cash-fast-sir-david-says.116118429
  7. Thought this worth sharing from FF: "Lifted this from another forum, some things we didn't know about players, training etc!! Training seems like a hoot! http://www.hat-trick.fr/sebastien-fa...st-jimmy-bell/ You’ve been here for two years now. What does “Rangers” mean to you? (After a long time spent thinking) Well it’s easy to say this and a bit of a cliché, but it’s a religion. There’s football here which is one thing, but then there’s Rangers, the fans, and everyone else associated with the club, it’s amazing…even after the club was relegated to Division 4, people kept their jobs at Ibrox or at Murray Park. And they are just so proud to work here, and they so proud to say “I work for Rangers”. When you are a professional player, you tend to move from club to club, it’s part of the job. It’s not easy to really absorb the culture and ethos of a club, apart from those who stay for years and years and really become ingrained in the fabric of the club, like Lee McCulloch. Sometimes, the supporters shout at you or get angry. But you can’t let it get to you, you can only do your talking on the pitch. They’ve had so much good football over the years that I think they sort of have a right to be angered, to be honest. In any case, playing at Ibrox is far from easy. There’s so much pressure. You can be winning 2-0, but if you misplace just one pass you’ll be whistled. I mean I heard a few boos at the Gerland (Lyon stadium), but never like the one’s you get here sometimes! (laughs) Did it take you long to learn what it meant to play for a club like Rangers? What did you expect when you came over? No, I didn’t expect it to be honest. I knew Rangers were a massive club, but I didn’t know how they were perceived by the other Scottish clubs. The Glasgow clubs really are hated by the other Scottish clubs. It’s incredible! What’s more, you have to understand that I was a but unsure about coming over here in the first place. I said to my agent: “You’re kind, but I’m not sure if I want to be dropping down to play in Division 4 in France” and he said “It’s Division 4 in Scotland”. He said: “Seb, please, just go over for a few days, check out the facilities and the stadium, you’ll soon change your mind.” On the first day of my trial I trained with the reserves, and it went well. That night, I went to see the first team play in the League Cup again East Fife. It was a Tuesday night, we won 4-0 and almost 40, 000 fans were there. It was…mad, just mad. I called up my agent and said: “If you can sort it out for me, I really want to stay here!” Everything you do and say is reported on and scrutinised at a club like Rangers. Has the press had an influence on the atmosphere at the club? First of all you need to understand that the press and its reporters here are a million times worse than in France! I’m sure I’ve seen the word “crisis” used to describe our club just about every day of the year, even when we win. Taking this into consideration, I do think that it’s had an influence. I must say, not on me personally. To be very honest, I don’t read the papers, apart from when they discuss politics or cover stories from France. But at the level of the club more generally, they have definitely had an influence. Ten days ago, an old team mate of McCoist’s, John Brown, said to the Sun: “You are a disgrace!” The coach brought us the article and he had an argument with Kenny Miller. After we got beaten by Hearts, apparently Miller had called up a journalist wanting to speak to him to tell him the manager had made some bad decisions, although it turned out that he hadn’t. McCoist got so angry: he threw the paper, he stamped on it, he was shouting and screaming! It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him like that. Blacky brings the Sun in every morning, and we read it. McCoist reads all the papers every morning in his office at Murray Park, which by the way is enormous (laughs). I think that its mainly at the level of the club staff that the papers have an impact. In your eyes, who represents the soul of the club? Jimmy Bell the kitman. He’s been here since 1972, I think. It’s amazing that he was taking care of McCoist and Durrant when they were players, and now its them who are in charge. It’s an amazing story and an amazing history, one which you wouldn’t get at many clubs at all. Jimmy’s got his own room in Ibrox where he displays all the Rangers kits and all the Rangers photos that he’s collected over 40 years. In his office at Murray Park, there’s a room, which we are forbidden from entering (laughs), which has all of his souvenirs, his trophies…it’s his very own museum! When it looked like they might be re-possessing Ibrox, he had to pack up all his stuff because he was scared that it would be taken off him. He is really the soul of the club, its him, its Jimmy. He’s a great guy, even if he’s always sulking. You need to get to know him…I remember when I arrived on trial, I didn’t speak English. “You don’t speak English, ****ing French!?” he said (laughs). But I mean really nasty to me! But nowadays, along with Bilel, he tells us loads of stories, loads of jokes. He’s really a top guy, he’s golden. I’m trying to help our readers understand the complete devotion that Rangers inspires in people. To give us more of an insight, is it true that one of the players has got the logo of the club tattooed on his calf? Yeah its Danny Stoney! He’s a good lad who we’ve loaned out to Stranraer. He’s got a tattoo that’s blue, with red around it, and five golden stars in the middle. It’s amazing, simply amazing. When I was at Lyon, even though I was also a Lyon fan, I would never have got a Lyon tattoo. It would never have crossed my mind! It’s just a different type of relationship to the club here. At Lyon, if I’d have got a club tattoo while I was at the academy I’d have had the piss taken out of me! “Suck up!” they’d have said. Here, it is praised! But by contrast, at Lyon if you change your hairstyle or your clothes, people will talk about it. Here, no one cares! The outfits people wear here, and I’m talking about the players, are just….Take Lee Wallace for example, I’ve never seen him wearing jeans (laughs)! At Lyon, you dress well to be stylish or whatever, but here, not at all.
  8. CRAIG Whyte last night protested his innocence of fraud charges over his Rangers takeover and revealed: “I sleep well at night.” Former owner Whyte, who is accused of swindling his way to power at Ibrox, vowed he will clear his name. But as he lifted the lid on his dramatic arrest in Mexico last month, he insisted he has no fear of prison. Whyte, 43, said: “These are huge issues and I don’t take any of it lightly. I always sleep well at night. “I know that I have done absolutely nothing wrong. Over the last six months, I don’t think it has been very difficult. “But if you asked me over the last month, I would say it hasn’t been very pleasant in lots of ways.” Whyte, who plunged Gers into administration during his controversial reign, faces jail time if he is convicted of serious charges. He said: “It wouldn’t be very nice but it doesn’t frighten me. “It’s not something I would wish on anybody but I hope that it doesn’t come to that. “It’s too early to be thinking like that, I’m positive. “I’m not going to mope around and think of the worst things that could happen to me because that’s not the way to live.” The businessman, from Motherwell, blasted prosecutors and cops over his nicking in Mexico City minutes after landing on a flight from Japan. And he branded news reports following his arrest as “bollocks”. He said: “I agreed to surrender on December 8 so I was taken by surprise to be detained in Mexico. “In my view the Crown Office and the police did that for the publicity — there was no extradition. “I want to get across all the bollocks that’s been written in the last couple of weeks. “I came back here voluntarily, I have co-operated with prosecutors for the last two years and they have still not asked me a question.” He had on the same smart grey coat he wore when he ran a gauntlet of angry Light Blues fans outside Glasgow Sheriff Court in November. And Whyte, sporting the floppy hairdo and beard that are his new trademark, revealed he has no plans to invest in football again. As he tucked into a burger lunch at a swanky hotel restaurant, tanned Whyte said: “I don’t regret doing it because I think you regret the things you don’t do — but I wouldn’t do it again. “Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wouldn’t be rushing to do a football deal again.” The tycoon, once based in Monaco, became a hate figure among supporters after taking Gers into administration as they tumbled from top-flight football to Division Three. The club was later liquidated, sparking an exodus of top players. He claimed Rangers would have gone under sooner had it not been for his takeover in 2011. He went on: “I never asked for any of it. I’m a private, low-key kind of guy, not at all suited to being involved in a football club. “What everyone forgets is I’m the only person in recent years who hasn’t taken a penny out of Rangers. “Even these current charges, I don’t think I’m accused of taking any money out of Rangers. “I bought a company that was bankrupt for £1. Rangers were already completely bankrupt at the time when I got involved. “All I did was step in to try to rescue a situation that was already way beyond. It was my intention to take it forward as a business and not to see it in the sorry state it is in at the moment.” Asked what went wrong, he said: “Champions League would have been a bonus but if Rangers had got into the Europa League they would not have gone into administration that season.” Whyte reckons only someone with £100 million to chuck at the club could have done a better job than him — and that administration was on the cards before he bought out Sir David Murray. He said: “Given the set of circumstances, it’s difficult for anyone to do unless they were willing to chuck £100 million and make sure they bought the players to get results in Europe and so on. Rangers would have gone into administration, before I came along, they were taking insolvency advice. “Absolutely, no doubt about it. Probably sooner.” Whyte, banned from Scottish football for life in 2012, reckons his relationship with Gers supporters is broken forever but he is just as hurt by the club’s fate. And he believes nothing he could say to the Ibrox faithful could shake his bogey man image. He said: “I’m not angry, you have to play the hand that you are dealt but disappointed is a fair comment. “I’m a Rangers fan myself, my family are Rangers fans. “They have every right to be angry but there is nothing I’m going to say that will make any difference about their anger so it’s pointless trying to have that conversation.” Asked if he thinks there is any chance of the Rangers fans changing their minds about him he added: “You can never say never because never is a long time. Hopefully when the facts come out, and they will in this process, people might form a different view. “There are complex issues but things will come to light that will be explosive in many ways.” He admits none of the turmoil he now faces was expected when he took over the reins but says the mistrust among fans is “entirely unfair”. Whyte added: “Anyone who deals with me and has known me knows that’s not the person they recognise. It’s not a fair reflection of who I am. “I think the average fan, and I don’t want to be patronising here, but they don’t understand the complexities of everything that has been going on. Of course, I sympathise with them.” Before his first court appearance, Whyte hadn’t been seen in Scotland for a year since he gave evidence at Inverness Sheriff Court at the trial of two former workers at his castle home near Grantown-on-Spey, Moray. In September the bank repossessed it after he failed to keep up with remortgage payments. Whyte said: “It was a pain in the arse to be honest. It was empty 90 per cent of the time. “It was just a pile of bills with no benefits. I don’t regret losing it.” He was also hit with a 15-year ban from running a company at the Court of Session. He said: “I didn’t defend it. Partially because I didn’t know about it — they didn’t serve any papers. “Secondly it’s not safe to go to trial in Edinburgh every day and thirdly because it has to be funded at the cost of several hundred thousand pounds.” http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/6181247/Whyte-Ive-no-regrets.html?teaser=true
  9. Thought this deserved its own thread. Hopefully further proof on the way of fraud committed against Rangers. https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-chancery-judges
  10. Note that in two or more countries Whyte "had no fondness for the people". Must have failed to reach his loft ethical standards, eh? Note also France...Chateau Green perchance? or Chateau Murray.... ------------ FRAUD suspect Craig Whyte spent time in the Balkans this year as prosecutors built a case against him. Whyte has moved from country to country since his involvement with Rangers ended in disaster. We can reveal the list of countries where he spent time since then ranges from Europe to the Far East and central America. Whyte was arrested after arriving in the UK on Friday from Mexico where he had been detained. He had flown into the central American country from Japan en route to Costa Rica where he formerly lived and where one of his three children was born. We can also reveal his Swedish girlfriend – with whom Whyte is reported to have had a relationship since splitting from wife Kim – has not seen or heard from him for almost two years. A source told the Sunday Mail: “In the last couple of years Craig Whyte is believed to have been in Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, France and Japan. “There may be others. He has connections with central America going back over a decade when he stayed there after getting married in Florida. “He didn’t really like it in Costa Rica. There were connections with Panama and Mexico as well. But he just didn’t like that part of the world and had no fondness for the people. “He’s not been in Monaco since his dealings with Rangers made the headlines. The authorities in Monte Carlo don’t care for negative publicity. “This year alone he has been in Albania, Croatia and Montenegro, moving from country to country, and has also popped up in France.” Whyte was detained by Mexican authorities on Thursday after flying in from Japan where a passport check flagged up the warrant out against him. It’s believed Whyte travelled alone for much of the past two years after Swede Izabella Andersson confirmed that their relationship had ended. Izabella, who has links with Monaco and London, told us last week: “I haven’t seen or heard from Craig Whyte since January 2013.” Whyte bought Castle Grant, near Grantown-on-Spey, for £800,000 in 2006 with a 110 per cent mortgage but it was repossessed in April after he failed to pay the £7000-a-month fees. He took control of Rangers in May 2011 but they went into administration the following February. He was released on bail after a court appearance on Friday over his allegedly fraudulent takeover of the Ibrox club. Whyte, 43, was granted bail by Glasgow Sheriff Andrew Normand after a 45-minute hearing held in private. He is due in court again next week. He is accused of funding his Ibrox takeover by selling off season tickets and pretending to then owner Sir David Murray the cash was his own. He’s also accused of failing to pay VAT and National Insurance which led to Rangers going into administration. Four other men have already appeared in court charged with fraudulent activity following the investigation into the sale of Rangers. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/albania-panama-reveal-travels-craig-4721957 A second arrest warrant was issued for Whyte earlier this month after he failed to attend a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in a separate case.
  11. FUGITIVE Craig Whyte has been arrested in Mexico, prosecutors said last night. The former Rangers owner was held when scores of police swooped to execute an arrest warrant. Whyte, 43, is understood to have been living in the central American country for a number of months. A Crown Office spokesman said they would now take the necessary steps to secure his appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court. A police warrant was issued two weeks ago in connection with Whyte’s purchase of the Ibrox club for £1 from Sir David Murray in 2011. A second warrant was issued by a High Court judge last week when Motherwell-born Whyte failed to appear for a trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Walter Smith and David Murray lead star witnesses called to give evidence at Rangers fraud case Crown Office officials will now examine the UK’s extradition treaty with Mexico. But it is possible the shamed entrepreneur could waive his right to challenge the proceedings and agree to the extradition. In recent days, Whyte said he would return voluntarily to assist police with their probe into the takeover. He said: “I will return to Britain at the beginning of December and hand myself in for questioning.” The SFA are also determined to see Whyte brought to justice over more than £200,000 in unpaid fines, although privately they admit they do not expect he will be in a position to pay. Three men who worked for Rangers’ administrators Duff & Phelps – Paul Clark, David Whitehouse and David Greer – appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court last week along with solicitor Gary Withey, who worked for Whyte’s law firm. They made no plea or declaration. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/fugitive-craig-whyte-arrested-major-4703408
  12. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/craig-whyte-facing-arrest-again-4661435 he failed to show up in court in London to face the Ticketus trial where he is being sued. There's a 28 day custodial attached to the warrant
  13. At a RFC plc Board meeting the matter of a repayment of funds to Ticketus came up in relation to the transfer of Jelavic. Donald Muir took a great interest in the deal and spent a lot of time to ensure he fully understood it. Subsequently Whyte's interest stepped up.
  14. Seven members of the Green Brigade group of Celtic fans are to stand trial next month charged with singing a pro-IRA song. They are alleged to have behaved in a way that "is likely or would be likely to incite public disorder" by singing the Roll of Honour at Celtic Park. Paul Duke (38), Ross Gallagher (30), Christopher Bateman (29) David Gallacher (23), Sean Cowden (22), Kieran Duffy (19) and Greg Robertson (29) are charged with the offence. Duke and Gallagher, both of East Kilbride, Bateman, of Irvine, Gallacher, of Glasgow, Cowden, of Rutherglen and Duffy, of Coatbridge, are accused of singing the song at the Champions League qualifier match at a Celtic against Elfsborg match on July 31, 2013. Gallagher, Bateman and Robertson, also of Glasgow, are accused of singing the song at a league match against Ross County on August 3 last year. Robertson faces the same allegation along with Gallacher in connection with match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on August 24 last year. The case against all seven - who plead not guilty - today called for a hearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court. They were ordered to return for trial, which is set to start next month. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/u/seven-green-brigade-members-face-trial-over-pro-ira-song.1414595076
  15. Noticed this on FF, T4C also had a post on it last week I'm sure, QUESTIONS have been raised over Rangers' commercial deals as it emerged that Sports Direct, headed up by billionaire Mike Ashley, have had effective control of the club's retail operation for nearly two years. According to official documents, while Rangers Football Club Ltd have 51% of the joint venture and Sports Direct 49%, Ashley and Sports Direct have the upper hand. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the company rules for Rangers Retail Limited were changed in November 2012, three months after the joint venture was established. Rangers Retail's amended Articles of Association showed Sports Direct receive two votes for every share on "financial matters", ensuring Mr Ashley's company has effective control. When Rangers' joint venture with Sports Direct was confirmed by the club under then chief executive Charles Green in August 2012, it was promoted as enabling Rangers "to once again control its retail operation and give supporters the chance to buy direct from the club and in doing so, continue to invest in its future". At the time, there were no details of any money changing hands to seal the deal and details of how the club benefit have been sketchy. Rangers Retail run the club's entire retail operation, including the Rangers Megastore, and hold the rights under licence to the club's famous crests. Details of the terms of the joint venture between Sports Direct and The Rangers Football Club Ltd, the club's operating company headed by controversial chairman Sandy Easdale, came as supporters registered their disquiet over the acceptance of a £2 million emergency loan from Ashley amid unsubstantiated claims the business was days from insolvency. As working capital was running out, as of June, £2.72m relating to Rangers Retail was included in the £4.26m cash balances of parent company Rangers International Football Club plc. But, according to their accounts, this sum was "not immediately available as working capital to the group". Ashley has already bought the stadium naming rights, so far unused, for £1 in 2012. It is understood he has a deal for the operation of the club's shops and that he controls a portion of Rangers' revenue through that contract, which sees club merchandise sold in Sports Direct stores. According to Sports Direct's latest accounts, it has registered sales of £3.843m to Ashley-controlled Rangers Retail in the year to April 2014. Craig Houston, of the Sons of Struth supporters' group, said Ashley appeared to have control of every part of the money-making side of the club and has made it "unsellable". He said: "All a buyer seems to have is ticket sales and TV rights." The terms of Ashley's £2m emergency loan also gave him security over the Albion car park and Edmiston House facility next to Ibrox. Under the previous 10-year retail agreement with JJB struck by Sir David Murray in 2006, Rangers accepted an initial £18m from the sports firm, while it was also guaranteed a minimum royalty fee of £3m per year until 2016. As a result, JJB held exclusive rights to design, develop, source and retail merchandise associated with the club. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/ashley-firm-had-financial-control-of-rangers-retail-2-years-ago.25756326
  16. South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been accused of being a "deceitful witness" who told the court a "snowball of lies", at the start of closing arguments in his trial for murder. Mr Pistorius denies murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He says he mistook her for an intruder, but the prosecution says he deliberately shot her after a row. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel began his concluding remarks on Thursday, with the defence due to follow on Friday. Ms Steenkamp was killed at Mr Pistorius' home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, on 14 February last year. His long-running trial was adjourned last month ahead of closing arguments. At the court in Pretoria, Mr Nel began his closing argument by accusing the athlete's lawyers of presenting two lines of defence that "can never be reconciled". Mr Pistorius said he had fired both involuntarily and also out of fear, Mr Nel argued, insisting the court had to choose only one of his defences. He said the court "should have no difficulty in rejecting" the athlete's version of events because it was "devoid of any truth". Mr Pistorius told so many lies in such a short space of time, Mr Nel said, that they had a "snowball effect" and forced him to tell more. He also attacked Mr Pistorius for presenting himself as "a victim of circumstance." Mr Pistorius' estranged father, Henke, was in the packed courtroom for the first time during the trial. It was also the first time that Barry Steenkamp, Reeva's father, had attended. Showdown The BBC's Karen Allen in Pretoria says Mr Nel is seeking to build a picture of a man who knew the consequences of his actions. The defence team has sought to portray Mr Pistorius as vulnerable due to his disability and anxious because of his difficult childhood in a country with a high crime rate. But Mr Nel said the athlete had anxiety "on call", suggesting that he had manufactured a fear of crime to help his defence. Last month, a psychiatric report said Mr Pistorius had post-traumatic stress disorder but no mental illness that could prevent him being held criminally responsible for his actions. Judge Thokozile Masipa, a subdued presence in the trial so far, had been expected to intervene more in the closing statements and perhaps provide hints about a future verdict But the BBC's Africa correspondent, Andrew Harding, says she rarely interjected in Thursday morning's proceedings. Oscar Pistorius' lawyer, Barry Roux, will give his closing remarks after Mr Nel, in what correspondents say is the final showdown between two of South Africa's top legal minds. Judge Masipa is expected to adjourn the trial after hearing the arguments to consider her ruling, a process that analysts say will take in between a week to a month. There is no jury. If found guilty of murder, the 27-year-old, who went on trial on 3 March, could face life imprisonment. If he is acquitted of that charge, the court will consider an alternative charge of culpable homicide, for which he could - if convicted - receive about 15 years in prison. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28684109 Has to be a verdict of culpable homicide at the very least surely, if not murder and perhaps reduced on appeal.
  17. Not sure if it'll benefit us when we do eventually play under the lights of Ibrox in the CL again. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29562047 One can only hope!
  18. ...over alleged £3.2m tax fraud. MESSI and his dad, Jorge, are accused of taking part in a plot to cheat the Spanish authorities out of £3.2million by hiding the footballer's huge earnings from sponsorship deals. LIONEL Messi was yesterday ordered to stand trial accused of a £3million tax scam that carries a maximum six-year jail sentence. The world’s greatest footballer will stand in the dock next to his father and agent, Jorge. They are accused of taking part in a plot to cheat the Spanish authorities out of £3.2million by hiding Messi’s huge earnings from sponsorship deals. It’s alleged the father and son used front companies in tax havens including Belize and Uruguay to sell Messi’s image rights between 2007 and 2009. The Barcelona and Argentina superstar has deals with companies including Adidas, Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, Danone, the Kuwait Food Company and Catalan bank Banco Sabadell. Messi and his dad thought they were in the clear after handing over a £3.9million “corrective payment” – £3.2million plus interest – last year. In return, prosecutors asked for the case to be dropped, but the Spanish treasury objected and a magistrate yesterday ordered a trial. Messi told a court last September that he knew nothing about any scam, adding: “My dad deals with all the money.” But the magistrate in Gava, near Barcelona, insisted yesterday that Messi “may have consented to the evasion of tax”. He added: “It is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations. “It is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.” Messi has scored 248 goals for Barcelona and won three Champions League and six Spanish league titles. The four-time World Player of the Year captained Argentina to the World Cup final this summer. He reportedly earns £22m a year at Barcelona and pays £12m of his wages in income tax. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/barcelona-star-lionel-messi-faces-4375534
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