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  1. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/332-rangers-2014-accounts-analysed An informed and dispassionate analysis of the accounts from Arnold Black.
  2. Some more analysis from Graham McLaren on TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/331-what-now-for-dave-king
  3. 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
  4. .....as bill for winding up oldco Rangers continues to soar. Jun 09, 2014 12:26 By Keith Jackson THE staggering figures are revealed in the latest six month report from insolvency experts BDO - which shows more than £1m has been spent on legal fees and outlays ACCOUNTANTS and lawyers have raked in a staggering £2m in 12 months as the bill for winding up oldco Rangers continues to soar. The mind blowing figures have been detailed in the latest six month report from insolvency experts BDO who were appointed as liquidators of the Rangers Football Club PLC after it failed to emerge from administration following Craig Whyte’s ruinous 10 month reign. And the unfathomable strategy adopted by Whyte is further highlighted by the fact that almost half of this latest £2m bill has been covered by the final instalment of the £4.5m deal which saw Nikica Jelavic sold off to Everton just two weeks before the club was plunged into financial chaos in February 2012. The BDO report, which was completed at the end of last month, reveals that a cheque for £975k is expected to arrive from the Goodison Park club ‘shortly after 31 May 2014’. But that windfall won’t come close to covering th.e spiraling costs of the on-going liquidation process - as BDO gear up for a potential multi-million pound courtroom battle with Collyer Bristow, the law firm who advised Whyte during his takeover in 2011. In total, more than £1m has been spent on legal fees and outlays with more than £650,000 of it going to solicitors Stephenson Harwood, who are preparing the case against Collyer Bristow. The report says that a trial date is ‘currently set for the beginning of 2015’ but it is anticipated that a deal could be negotiated and an out of court settlement agreed. BDO are also carrying out a probe into the conduct of administrators Duff and Phelps, who sold the club’s assets to Charles Green for a knock-down £5.5m. But the report stresses: “Due to the highly sensitive nature of certain aspects of these investigations, we consider that it is not appropriate to provide full details in respect of our investigations to date,”. BDO reveal that the creditors pot has been boosted by a payment of £75k ‘in relation to the transfer of Charlie Adam’. But, while they are attempting to claw together as much cash as possible for those who suffered from the Rangers collapse, their own running total for remuneration stands at more than £1m which, the report says, has already been drawn down. BDO expect more money to trickle into the account through from a sell-on clause triggered by Jelavic’s January move from Everton to Hull City, possibly as much £187,500 so long as the Croat helps keep his new club in the Premiership next season. But one creditor who has received this latest update from BDO told Record Sport last night: “The fact that Everton still owe almost £1m from the initial Jalvic deal defies belief. It’s good new for the creditors but it makes you wonder what on earth Whyte was thinking about when he did that deal, just a fortnight before placing the club in administration. “He sold the club’s best player for a snip and yet he didn’t even demand that the money was paid up front. It’s incredible as, for that matter, are the sums of money involved in this on-going process. The collapse of Rangers has made an awful lot of money for an awful lot of people.” But another source said: "BDO are doing a highly professional job in going after as much money as possible for the creditors. The fact they are ploughing so much into the legal cases is an indication of where this thing is headed. "There should be a lot of very worried people out there because BDO are going after them like a dog at a bone." BDO admit, two years into the process, there is no sign of it coming to a conclusion any time soon. Not only is the court action against Collyer Bristow still to be settled but an ongoing dispute with HMRC over the club’s use of the controversial EBT scheme also continues to rumble on. The report says: “If HMRC are successful in the appeal their potential claim in the liquidation could be significant and have a material impact upon any dividend that may ultimately be payable to unsecured creditors,”. And it ends: “Due to the significant issues to be resolved in the liquidation, the joint liquidators do not expect to be in a position to bring this case to a conclusion for some considerable time. Further reports will be circulated to creditors within six weeks of each six month anniversary of the date of liquidation.” http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/revealed-accountants-lawyers-rake-2m-3665381
  5. Some comparisons with Ann Budge's Hearts and our Rangers from yours truly on TRS: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/323-rangers-own-budgement-day-is-coming
  6. Just been sent an amazing image of a 1924 letter which invites James Bowie (later our chairman) onto the RFC board. Former player Bowie, later became chairman in 1935 for 12 years before the author of the letter, W. Rogers Simpson succeeded him. You can read more about the events of that period via this superb TRS article from last year: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/club-history/261-the-1947-battle-for-the-blue-room-and-its-consequences-today The letter (in amazing condition) has been found inside an original version of the 'The story of Rangers 1873-1923' by John Allan which is being put up for sale/auction soon. A tremendous and topical piece of original memorabilia!
  7. Firstly allow me to clarify something – the content of this blog and the information shared is done so with the express permission of the Union of Fans – following a full and frank discussion between myself and Chris Graham. Those who are interested in the finer details and legal aspects of the Season Ticket Trust are probably going to be disappointed; any queries you have will have to wait until the ST Trust website is up and operational. What I did ask however was this: If the board acquiesce to UOF demands who will then hold first charge/security on the stadium rights to our club ? The answer, as many undoubtedly suspected, is Dave King and Richard Gough, under the auspice of Dave King’s new company, Ibrox 1972 Ltd. Quite simply as far as The UOF are concerned it all boils down to a question of trust, and they trust King more, far more, than they do the current board. It is all hypothetical of course, dependent on their scheme being successful, the Rangers board acquiescing to their demands and relinquishing the security for both stadium and Auchenhowie. Many will have realised by now this would mean handing over the security of our club’s 2 biggest assets to 2 men who currently are not even shareholders in our club. They will not be accountable to the board or to shareholders, which at least in theory, is the current status quo. I hope for the sake of our club, should this scenario ever come to fruition, that the UOF have exercised sound judgement in their assessment of Dave King, otherwise it will qualify as a blunder on a scale of magnitude with the ill-fated Men of Troy. As the current board and King, with their respective aide-de-camps, battle vigorously for not only our hearts and minds, but also our season ticket monies, the whole debate has become extremely polarised, the language and tone war like, with little opportunity for either constructive or conciliatory dialogue. The problem is however that the dominant voices in the debate do not necessarily reflect the feelings of our support. Keith Jackson touched on this last week in an article when he referred to the silent majority of the Rangers support – the ones who have no interest in off-field politics and whose sole interest is turning up each week to see the Rangers. Furthermore the polarisation of the situation and debate fails to take cognisance of fans who have no confidence in the current board but who are equally unenamoured by Dave King. Rather than choose between the two best prospective candidates it is more akin to choosing the lesser of 2 evils. A particularly sad indictment of where we currently are as a club. To date, the considerable failings of governance by our current board which I highlighted in a previous blog, remain unresolved. In particular the veracity of the 120 day review remains under question as a consequence of claims by the Daily Record regarding the withdrawal of credit and debit card provision. Before we file these claims as the ranting of a “Rangers hating rhag” perhaps we should check the filing cabinet – look under “BBC & Craig Whyte”. I can only re-iterate the warning of a previous blog – we cannot afford to make the same mistakes of the past. A few have commented on the madness of the situation facing us as a support. With trepidation, and a tinge of embarrassment, I quote from Dan Brown’s book Inferno, “Madness breeds madness” The Rangers support should bookmark this moment in time, with its paucity of choice, for a future date, when next we sit down with any conviction to consider the merits of fan ownership.
  8. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/321-rangers-hearts-and-the-case-of-wee-thistle
  9. http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/latest-news/230-markers-and-moonbeams If there is one aspect of the Sir David Murray era that perhaps defines his time in control, it was that of the moonbeam. From the infamous 'for every fiver Celtic spend, we'll spend a tenner’ line to belated and failed promises in terms of investment as his custodianship stumbled towards being ‘duped’ by Craig Whyte; over time Rangers fans gradually realised that the success Murray brought to the club came at a great price. A cost we’re still paying for now. However, if there’s been one positive of the awful last few years, it’s that more and more Rangers fans have become cynical of the bolder claims made by the long line of chancers that attach themselves to the club. Sure, we all want to believe tall tales about tie ups with successful American sports franchises or argue we can secure impressive sponsorship deals with mobile-phone companies but I genuinely think, deep down, we now appreciate modern day Scottish football just doesn’t bring such opportunities. Of course European football may occasionally raise our profile via Champions League participation but the ‘big fish, small pond’ metaphor has never been more accurate – as much as our rivals across the Clyde may pretend otherwise. Nevertheless Rangers remain a big draw for its supporters. Incredible numbers of fans have stayed with the club through administration and our journey back from the (old) Third Division. Indeed to retain 36,000 season ticket holders during this period is something our usual critics must lose sleep over and it’s this annual loyalty which will always form the back-bone of the club’s financial future. This is why the art of the moonbeam became important as SDM started to realise his ambitions soon outweighed his ability; not just in terms of running the business successfully but being able to fund it. Quite simply our season money is the only substantial financial given each year for the club. Ticketus and Charles Green certainly knew this – even if both may have suffered somewhat since. Unfortunately, despite this seasonal show of fiscal fan passion, it remains clear the club will continue to struggle to be viable without the correct business plan and properly qualified directors. That’s why Whyte quickly failed, Green and Ahmad soon departed while other periphery figures also moved on; leaving us with the current stand- off we have now. In one corner we have the incumbent board defending itself from criticism via a rather over-long four month buffers while in the other we have Dave King applying pressure via a £50million media marker. Or is it a moonbeam? The last sentence is a bit harsh of course. After all, if anyone suffered more than most from SDM’s charismatic efforts to raise investment, it was Dave King who didn’t see much return for his £20million investment nearly 14 years ago. Ergo, when people like King talk about such matters, we need to listen and there’s no doubt his suggestions of investment levels are probably correct if Rangers are to ever genuinely challenge Celtic again at the top of Scottish football. With that in mind, I’m certainly glad he’s applying pressure to Graham Wallace ahead of his much-vaunted 120-day plan. Anything less than the £30-50million King speaks of would now look insufficient so the buck is definitely with the existing board over the coming weeks. Their overdue April reaction will be fascinating. However, all this should and must go beyond superficial sound-bites about ‘war-chests’ and/or budget cuts. We’ve heard all this before. What Rangers fans need, more than anything, are demonstrable plans of action. I, for one, don’t doubt the intentions of someone like Dave King but just because he’s a Rangers man or that he’s invested previously doesn’t mean we can have blind faith in his ideals. To obtain that faith, we need as much from him as we’re asking of Graham Wallace: namely a sound business plan which enables to club to be successful but self-sufficient in the longer term. Clearly, an element of risk and initial investment will be required to compete with Celtic in the coming years but how does this square with ensuring the club remains secure for the future? For example, wouldn’t it be dangerous to invest tens of millions into the playing squad if there are doubts over the management team and the lack of scouting? At what level is this risk acceptable without compromising the club’s ongoing progress? Now, all these questions are as valid for the current board as they are for Dave King. Yet, a couple of weeks since my two similar articles on TRS, we’re no closer to seeing genuine answers – widespread media Q&A’s or not. That remains a source of concern so we can only hope all these figureheads are aware of what we expect ahead of the next few weeks. Rangers fans undeniably want to invest in our future but not if it’s just repeating the same old mistakes of the past. It isn’t a surprise that some fans are considering their options so who will be the first to show that they have learned the lessons of the last 15 years? Markers may well be fine but moonbeams certainly are not.
  10. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/rfc-politics/320-dundee-united-are-out-of-control
  11. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/318-take-the-power-back? By Ewan McQueen If you asked anyone who knows me well to tell you something I’m passionate about, it’s almost certain they would reply with the answer ‘Rangers Football Club’. It has been a huge part of my life since I started following the club in 1995. Like thousands of others, I live and breathe Rangers every single day and constantly check social media sites and forums to find out the latest developments inside Ibrox. And now it feels like a revolution is brewing amongst the fans. And for my mind it has been a long time coming. The horrors of administration just over two years ago are still raw and can never be understated. However, it should have been a watershed moment for us fans despite the shock we were in. It should never be forgotten that David Murray got us into a real mess before he sold us down the river to Craig Whyte. That has all been well documented and there’s no need to go over it again here. But Whyte’s reign at the club should have proven once and for all that there should be no more days of one man running the club. Like every Rangers fan, I was stunned on Valentine’s Day two years ago. But we missed an opportunity. To its credit, the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund was a superb scheme and raised a wonderful amount of money when there were huge fears Rangers would die. But the RFFF didn’t go far enough. It seemed as though fans were waiting for a saviour, whether it was the Blue Knights, Brian Kennedy, Jim McColl and Walter Smith or, as it transpired, Charles Green and his cronies. Administration should have provided the perfect opportunity for fans to mobilise to ensure it never happened again. After the simply astonishing squandering of money and obscene bonuses to board members under Green’s regime, Rangers can’t rule out admin mark two which is simply disgraceful. And that’s why it’s time to take the power back and create a situation where fans have proper representation in the club and control a significant amount of shares. Ask yourself this: would you rather see the club you love ran by fans that feel the same way as you or by men like the Easdale brothers, hedge fund managers and the continuously mysterious Blue Pitch and Margarita Holdings? For me it is a no brainer. This board aren’t fit for purpose and none of them have any idea what it is like to live and breathe Rangers. They are in it for themselves. And the fact they are now going to be using season ticket money to pay back a loan at a ludicrously high rate of interest just takes the biscuit. For many fans the loans have been the straw that has finally broken the camel’s back. Schemes like Buy Rangers and Rangers First are to be hugely welcomed. For far too long there have been divisions amongst the Rangers support that have held us back. Of course it is only natural that there are debates amongst any club’s support. I regularly have fierce debates about the manager, players and tactics with friends I go to games with. That’s natural. What isn’t natural is that until now Rangers fans haven’t grabbed the chance to gain real power at Ibrox. Look at what the Foundation of Hearts has done after the Gorgie club was run by shysters. They’ve just announced their 8,000th member while the Rangers Supporters Trust currently has 2,500 members. I am one of them and find that stat very depressing. Rangers First seems to have captured the imagination though. First up, the name is simple and extremely effective. For too long we have been run by men who have never put Rangers first. As fans, by selling 72,000 season tickets over the last two seasons to watch football which has been very poor at times, by raising £5.5m in a share issue before Christmas and by simply continuing to follow the team the length and breadth of Scotland, we have always put Rangers First. Modern football offers far too many opportunities for businessmen and ‘spivs’ to make a quick buck at the expense of the people that truly matter at a football club – the fans. You only need to look at the way Vincent Tan is running Cardiff if you want an example. The next few years need to see a massive increase in clubs becoming fan owned or run as a community interest company. As Richard Atkinson of Supporters Direct says, fan ownership isn’t just about owning shares. It is about getting what you want from the club. There is simply no chance of getting that under this board. In simple maths terms, Rangers fans can easily out do what Hearts supporters have achieved. Say only 20,000 of our fanbase paid £15 a month in direct debits. That would equate to income of £3.6m per year and, at current market levels, 5% of shares could be purchased in three months. Both the Rangers First and Buy Rangers options are very reasonably priced as well. The Rangers First option gives you the option of signing up for as little as £5 per month. The price of a fish supper per month to try and reclaim the club I love? Count me in. And I’ve also signed up to the Buy Rangers scheme of purchasing shares in the club from as little as £11.25 per month. Both schemes are simple and I would urge every fan to do something. It is time to show you REALLY care about your favourite club. The Rangers support can be found in corners all over the world. Quite simply, if we don’t do it this time through these projects, then it can be argued we deserve what we get as a support. It feels like the right time. The financial crisis has reached breaking point again. Whilst there might be criticism of performances on the park, we have strolled to the League One title. We have now completed the first two stages of our journey back to the top but we simply can’t afford to be cut adrift when we return there. Hanging over these schemes is of course Dave King. Now, King’s tax issues in South Africa have been gone over more times than I have had hot dinners but what can’t be denied is that he is a Rangers man. It seems baffling that the board call him disruptive when he is a lifelong fan willing to put money into a club he loves. His idea of a season ticket trust is to be welcomed. Let’s get one thing straight, it isn’t a boycott. It is about, as King says himself, getting transparency from the board over the state of the club. At the time of writing, over 5,600 supporters have signed up to the call from the Union of Fans to back King. Again, that is real and decisive action from a significant section of the support. Key to all this is engaging those fans who aren’t online or those who are perhaps switched off from the turmoil. Indeed, I have friends and relatives in this position. Fan ownership remains a long term dream, but it can be driven forward quickly with the right marketing and information that is delivered to the fanbase. Legendary US rock band Rage Against the Machine once sang a ferocious song which shares the title of this article. When the revolution is led by the people (or in this case, fans), the men at the top can find it nigh on impossible to fight back against it. This particular Rangers revolution has only just started but I’m excited what I see on Twitter, Facebook and various forums. We have woken up big time as a support and credit to everyone who has got involved already. It will take a while and it will require patience but we simply must get rid of this board once and for all. We have a voice and it’s the most powerful inside Ibrox- more powerful than Graham Wallace or Sandy Easdale or even Ally McCoist. It’s time to take the power back.
  12. alex thomson ‏@alextomo 28m Rangers to go into Administration on Wednesday? At least one senior Glasgow accountant is saying so tonight. https://twitter.com/alextomo
  13. http://www.unionoffans.org/statements/2014/2/27/union-of-fans-statement-270214'>http://www.unionoffans.org/statements/2014/2/27/union-of-fans-statement-270214
  14. New Loan Offer made to Rangers By The Rangers Standard Following an email to a fan from Colin Kingsnorth of Laxey last night in which he reportedly stated that “if they want to offer the money cheaper go for it…no problem cancelling it”, George Letham, the Rangers fan and wealthy businessman who had previously tried to make contact to offer a loan, today approached the club through a third party and has complied with a request that he make any offer in writing to CEO Graham Wallace. Speaking to the Rangers Standard, Mr Letham indicated that he was happy to stand by the terms he outlined in our article yesterday. “Graham Wallace is now in receipt of written confirmation that I am happy to replace the Laxey loan, on condition that it is cancelled, with no penalty to the club, and that any security over property offered to Laxey is also cancelled. I have offered the loan on the same terms but with the interest payable reduced from £150,000 to £75,000. It is my intention to convert this interest into shares as I have no wish to take cash out of the club.” “If the club are unable to convert the interest to shares, then any cash sum I received from the loan would be reinvested into the club via a future share issue to further the cause of fan ownership. My only motivation in this is to ensure that the club is secure, has as much involvement as possible from those who care about it and that its vital assets remain available to it at all times.” “I am making this offer public in the hope that a degree of transparency can be brought to this process for the fans and hope that the board will give my offer due consideration.” http://t.co/y9ZonOlMO2
  15. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/rfc-politics/310-dr-waiton-on-rangers-free-speech-and-sectarianism It's an excellent read (the Spiers part especially), very well done to John.
  16. More from my good self on TRS today: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/316-making-your-mind-up
  17. http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/314-laxey-loan-alternatives-ignored
  18. Some of my latest musings on the King/RFC debate on TRS for your persual: http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/current-affairs/313-the-battle-for-rangers-the-120-day-war
  19. 'Fisking' is an online term for deconstructing an article and showing the flaws in the argument in 'real time'. Graham Spiers' recent article for The Herald “Celtic, a Roll of Honour, and point-scoring galore” is a perfect candidate. Graham Spiers' words are in italics, while my commentary is in normal font. A pretty remarkable thing has happened in Scottish football in recent days - the Celtic fans have in effect just stormed the national charts with 'Roll of Honour', the Irish rebel song.The song, recorded by The Irish Brigade, laments the fate of the IRA hunger strikers who died in the Maze Prison in 1981, and cites all 10 of them as the verses unfold. It is a song which a more politically-active section of the Celtic support has chanted and, in this current scenario of national chart success, is aimed at cocking a snook at the confused - some say plainly botched - Offensive Behaviour At Football Act in Scotland. Graham immediately gets his facts wrong. Seven were affiliated to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA or PIRA) and three with the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA). It is beyond doubt that both groups collectively murdered thousands and are illegal in the UK and Ireland. Many of their victims were targeted solely for their nationality or religion. During 1981 alone – never mind before or since - the Provisional IRA and INLA murdered many people. Those the song 'laments' were part of these groups and must have approved of the killings and violence. The ten themselves had been found guilty of crimes including possession of firearms, grenades and explosives, manslaughter, punishment shootings, hijackings, attempted murder and murder. Keep these hard facts in mind. By John Gow Read more...http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/rfc-politics/311-fisking-graham-spiers
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