Armageddon? What Armageddon?

ByBig Pink

Armageddon? What Armageddon?

Now that we are at the end of the league season, and with respect to the job still to be done at Tannadice and McDiarmid Park, it seems like a good time for a post holocaust report.

Average Weekly Attendances SPL 2011-2014

Fig 1 Average Weekly Attendances SPL 2011-2014

Peppered around this page are three charts and a table* showing the attendance figures for the SPL in the last three seasons. A school kid could tell you that there is a positive trend in those charts and figures, but the people who run our national sport will look you straight in the eye and tell you “that can’t be right – Armageddon is coming!”

It is one of the most ridiculous and mendacious situations I have ever come across. The people who run our national game, aided and abetted by those in the MSM (sans the eye contact though) are actually trying to persuade us of how awful our game is and how unsustainable it will be in the absence of one, just one, club.

Think about that. The SFA and the SPFL trying to talk us out of supporting the game unless we all recognise the unique importance of one, just one, club. That is what has happened, no matter how they try to spin it. And despite evidence to the contrary contained in these figures, not one of them has admitted to an error, never mind the downright lies that they told to support the position they held, the one where anyone speaking of sporting integrity was mocked and ridiculed.

 

Whilst growing up as football supporter in the 60s, one of things I was constantly bombarded with via the medium of the tabloid newspapers was that football clubs should be grateful for the publicity afforded them via their back pages. These were probably reasonable claims, especially in the light of the relative lack of access to players and officials conceded to the hacks in those days, and the pre-eminent cultural position in which they helped to place football. Alongside that, the broadcast media, particularly Archie Macpherson’s Sportscene and Arthur Montford’s Scotsport could be relied on to talk the game up. Of course, there was something in it for the papers – sales. The more column inches devoted to the national sport, the further northward their sales, and consequently advertising revenues travelled.

ex Celtic & Rangers

Fig 2 Avg. Attendances excl Celtic & Rangers

The situation was further cemented by the fact that the press in that ante-interweb era held a monopoly over the exchange and dissemination of information. That symbiotic, win-win relationship between football and the press was as much a part of football reality as the Hampden Roar. It also endured for decades. The press would talk up the game to such an extent that folk often remarked that they hadn’t realised how much they had enjoyed a particular match until they had read Malky Munro or Hughie Taylor’s report the next day. Archie Macpherson is on record as having said the same thing about legendary commentator David Francey, “It was a much better game to listen to than to see!”

Today that symbiosis is broken. The press themselves, in print and in front of microphones consistently belittle the product, talk of crises and Armageddon, of our own version of the Eisenhower domino effect of clubs going to the wall one after another.

Aided and abetted by the two chief bureaucrats in charge of Scottish football, Stuart Regan and Neil Doncaster, who have consistently helped to hammer home the message that Scottish football is not good enough, and cannot sustain itself financially without Rangers, a club that could not itself sustain itself financially to the extent that it is being liquidated.

At a time when Scottish football was clearly in crisis, and badly in need of sponsorship which could mitigate the effects of that crisis, the press and the authorities sought to strengthen their own negotiating hand by making negative claims about the state of the game which never came to pass, and for which they have never apologised. The actual situation, which would not have been hard to predict had anyone actually bothered to analyse the business of Scottish football, is summarised quite easily by saying this;

  1. Since Rangers’ liquidation and subsequent absence from the top league, the average home attendance of the other clubs has INCREASED overall (See Fig 2).
  2. In this season, the other clubs have added 50,000 fans to home attendances compared to 2011-12 (the last year Rangers were in competition).
  3. In that time the league has been won (twice) by Celtic, and the other honours have been claimed by St, Mirren, Aberdeen, Celtic and (either) Dundee United or St Johnstone.
  4. In that time, both Dunfermline Athletic and Hearts (who both had historical financial problems) entered – and exited – administration after fan-led buyouts.
  5. Dundee United have cleared off their bank debt.
  6. Kilmarnock have restructured their bank debt, freeing the club from a precarious long-term situation.
  7. League reconstruction has allowed some money to trickle down to the second tier clubs in an attempt to mitigate the immediate effects of relegation and to reward ambitious clubs.

table

Looking at the table of attendances above, it is pretty clear that immediately upon Rangers exit, the overall figures took a dip. However there was little difference the in the figures if you leave Rangers out of the equation (Fig 3) – despite Celtic’s attendance taking a hit that year (down by around 5,000 per home match).

Taking Celtic out of the calculations, it is clear that there is a 6,000 uplift in this average (Fig 2).

It is still undeniable that less people overall are watching football (Fig 1), but the trend is upward if one leaves the Ibrox club out of the picture.

Furthermore, this statistic exposes the double edged sword that is retention of home gates. The fact that gates are not shared is predicated upon the notion that the bigger clubs do not depend on the smaller clubs for income. And since the smaller clubs are no longer recipients of big club largesse, their fortunes are not affected, at least not as much as was suggested by the Regans, Doncasters and Traynors of this parish. The “Trickle-Down” theory of Reganomics said otherwise – but clearly and demonstrably it was wrong.

The abandonment of gate sharing has made Scottish football less interdependent than it once was, but the irony is that it works both ways. There is hardly a club in the country that depends on Rangers for their own existence, and here is the news; small clubs are no longer financially dependent on the former Old Firm.

Excluding Celtic

Fig 3 Excluding Celtic

The fact, that is F-A-C-T, is that Scottish Football attendances in the top division are on the increase. The absence of Rangers has made no appreciably negative difference to any other club, far less caused a catastrophe of biblical proportions.

Even if the fools who were the harbingers of our doom were simply guilty of making an honest mistake, it is clear that they are uncontaminated with the slightest notion of how the game in this country operates. The Old Firm may be dead, but the OF prism is still being peered through by Stuart Regan, Neil Doncaster and the vast majority of print journalists. The latter who failed to honour that age-old football/press symbiosis because they believed, erroneously that David Murray’s dinner table was the hand that has fed them for over a century.

The irony is that as job opportunities diminish in the print sector, so too will the fine dining and patronage. I think they call that evolution.

 

Two years ago, in the wake of the fans’ season ticket revolt which saw the new Rangers forced to apply for membership of the league and begin at the bottom, those same MSM hacks taunted fans about putting their money where their mouths were. The fans responded splendidly as our statistics demonstrate, but typically there has been no recognition of this either at Hampden or in the media.

And the message from those fans is this: Scottish football is not dying. Not any more. At least not as surely as it was when David Murray started to choke the life out of it in the late 80s. The supporters are returning in numbers to see a competition untainted by the outrageous liberty-taking and rule-breaking of the last couple of decades, and all but one club has emerged from the mire of the Moonbeam Millennium looking forward to a new era.

If authorities allow the new era to thrive by restoring sporting integrity to the agenda, then the numbers, like the opportunities available to more and more clubs, will grow. The question is … will they?

Admittedly, these figures, like any set of statistics, can be cherry-picked to suit almost any argument that you care to construct. The fact remains though, that whilst it would be fanciful and ridiculously over-optimistic to claim that they bear witness to a burgeoning industry, it is utterly dishonest to conclude that they represent financial Armageddon. Armageddon? Aye right!

* Source ESPN          

About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

2,810 Comments so far

CastofthousandsPosted on8:56 pm - Jun 3, 2014


twopanda says:
June 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm

“If – and If – the signatures were forged – kinda think we`d sure have heard about it by now.”
—————————————–
That article sums up the conundrum quite publicly, in a way that it is nowhere else quite so succinctly exposed. Your conclusion is the only logical one that could be arrived at given the provenance of events.

The only thing that appears to be in doubt is the ‘consideration’, or more properly, the compensation for the absence of that consideration that is due to Whyte for foregoing the opportunity to acquire RFC(IL) assets. I’d have thought his opportunity to go to court has potentially been missed. His letter before claim was issued over a year ago now which would be sufficient time for a response I would have thought. My next thought would be that to avoid costly legal action eating into his compensation he is holding back hoping to encumber the assets in any future sale. However since Whyte might merely be a conduit for (S)DM, King, Ticketus or any combination of these three, the modus operandi is difficult to predict.

That article is a nice public summation of the situation. I would keep it handy for future reference.

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parttimearabPosted on9:23 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm
His letter before claim was issued over a year ago now
——————————————————————————
A question….is there a time bar on this claim or does it simply hang around like a bad smell until Whyte or RIFC PLC decide to do something with/about it?

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CastofthousandsPosted on9:28 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
June 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

“Oddly enough, the current financial poverty of Scottish football may be the saving of the decent game.”
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I suppose its analogous to starving out the spivs at Ibrox. It is a pity that a body would have to disable itself to rid itself of parasites but it would not be an unnatural course of action.

The governance model certainly needs to be overhauled. In a commercial sphere, shoddy oversight would lead to company failure. However I fear many organisations sustain themselves by jiggery pokery so the world of commerce cannot really be held up as a shining example. Indeed the ongoing financial crisis illustrates that catastrophic failures in governance straddle many field of human endeavour. What is interesting in the parallel between banks and football is that they are both occasions when ailing organisations were precluded from failure; the former because of the havoc that would be wrought and the latter because of undying allegiance sworn by fans and supporters. Both of these environments appears to encourage behaviour that is ultimately self harming.

Trying to predict the future is a thankless task so setting up alternative structures of governance inevitably runs the risk of dredging up a whole new set of unintended consequences. As sannoffymesssoitizz says above, the likes of TSFM might offer one possibility whereby questionable conduct might be scrutinised.

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CastofthousandsPosted on9:44 pm - Jun 3, 2014


parttimearab says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm

“…is there a time bar on this claim or does it simply hang around like a bad smell until Whyte or RIFC PLC decide to do something with/about it?”
————————————–
I don’t have any specialised knowledge but logic would suggest that such a claim would not endure indefinitely. For a claim to have legitimacy it would need to be pursued. It is in the very nature of the thing.

The letter before claim is part of this pursuant process. I understand the process exists so that court action cannot be used as an ambush. The intention to go to law is set out beforehand in a letter before claim to enable the possibility of the disagreement to be settled without the need for legal redress.

My logic is that having undertaken such a step, at some reasonable point in time thereafter court action would ensue. Of course this presumes that the issue is still subject to dispute. If agreement had been reached or was in the process of being reached then court action would not necessarily follow. Exactly how long such negotiations might take is impossible for me to know but a year sounds like a fairly chunky period of time.

I’d imagine the longer the claim remains unresolved then the less tight its grip would be. If a claim were half-hearted it’s chance of success is diminished. For an effective claim to be made it should be forceful and expeditious.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:01 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Was there not a LBA after the LBC. If my memory is correct did Alex Thomson not report on it?

This may be it
http://blogs.channel4.com/alex-thomsons-view/craig-whytes-lawyers-send-letter-action/4906

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Angus1983Posted on10:11 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm

For an effective claim to be made it should be forceful and expeditious.
——
Trite comment: Try telling that to many 1970s TV presenters.

Real comment: Evidence gathering can take a long time, particularly where co-operation is not forthcoming. Justice is operated by heavy, slow-moving wheels.

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:39 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Cluster One says:
June 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

“Was there not a LBA after the LBC.”
———————————————-
I think the terms ‘letter before claim’ and ‘letter before action’ are synonymous.

Having had a squint at the stuff Charlotte revealed, the ‘Letter before claim’ was dated 12th December 2012 and was issued by Sevco 5088. As I recall Green/Ahmad did not acknowledge receipt of this correspondence and as a result a further more formal letter was issued about a year later. There is a letter providing legal advice from Merchant Legal LLP dated 22 March 2013 advising Aidan Earley and Worthington Group of the legitimacy of their claim. So the precise date on which the LBC/LBA was issued to TRFCL/Sevco Scotland is not clear but a year ago seems a conservative estimate.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:58 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Castofthousands says:

June 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm So the precise date on which the LBC/LBA was issued to TRFCL/Sevco Scotland is not clear but a year ago seems a conservative estimate. Wednesday 29 May 2013 was the AT story so you are correct 🙂

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parttimearabPosted on11:11 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm
————————-
Thanks for the explanation COT, looks good to me.

Having been pondering some more I now wonder if the reason that the claim has not been taken further or no attempt has been made to contest it is that both parties are uncomfortable with what might come to light in court?

The longer it goes on, going by your explanation, the weaker Whytes claim becomes.
At the same time RIFC are unable to use assets to borrow against.

Not a clever situation for either party you’d think.

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fara1968Posted on11:28 pm - Jun 3, 2014


ecobhoy says:
June 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm
24 12 Rate This

fara1968 says:
June 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Now that Richard Wilson has joined the BBC I can no longer stomach reading their football pages. Along with being unable to listen to their broadcasts Chico/Jackson why should I have to pay for this tripe. It is really sad that these individuals have their hands in our public purse.
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I have had issues with some things that RW has said in the past but on balance I always found him to be a fairly balanced reporter with a bit of a brain and often throws-up points that other journos don’t go
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I’m sorry Eco but we are worlds apart on this one.
I can think of many things that should have been written about the omnishambles and like the rest of them Wilson hasn’t went there either.
His recent guff on the beeb is off topic on here but I consider it way below my expectations of what the BBC should be producing but the norm for him.

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SquigglePosted on11:45 pm - Jun 3, 2014


Cluster One says:
June 3, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Was there not a LBA after the LBC. If my memory is correct did Alex Thomson not report on it?

This has come up before Cluster. I’m actually answering a post which follows your initial query on letters. I am not a lawyer, but based on experience i think i know why both terms have been used.

They are different. Depending on which court you expect to see your adversary in a ‘letter before action’ is a letter sent before one party exercises a right, as provided for by various acts of legislation, before taking another party into High Court under a writ. And note that this is the case in England only. There are a number of pre-action protocols across industries designed to minimise High Court requests. In England. Not so up here. But, if you receive a letter before action, unless you are solid in your case, you must respond in accordance with the relevant protocol. Cases in front of the High Court where one party did not respect the pre-action protocols are short lived for the claimant.

A letter before claim is a weapon anyone can use in any court to test the metal of the opponent. It is not required to have been issued before a writ.

I’m not sure how much we know about this given that no writ or summons have been issued.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:12 am - Jun 4, 2014


fara1968 says:
June 3, 2014 at 11:28 pm
ecobhoy says:
June 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

fara1968 says:
June 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Now that Richard Wilson has joined the BBC I can no longer stomach reading their football pages. Along with being unable to listen to their broadcasts Chico/Jackson why should I have to pay for this tripe. It is really sad that these individuals have their hands in our public purse.
===========================================
I have had issues with some things that RW has said in the past but on balance I always found him to be a fairly balanced reporter with a bit of a brain and often throws-up points that other journos don’t go
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
I’m sorry Eco but we are worlds apart on this one.
I can think of many things that should have been written about the omnishambles and like the rest of them Wilson hasn’t went there either.
His recent guff on the beeb is off topic on here but I consider it way below my expectations of what the BBC should be producing but the norm for him.
==========================
We might not be world’s apart. Please explaim what RW has stated that you are obviously very upset about and then we can discuss the issue. Perhaps you could also explain if his ‘norm’ has changed from his GH employment days

Amd since his performance has obviously greatly upset you have you made an official complaint to the BBC?

At the end of the day he was the first and only SMSM journo who flagged-up the involvement of Rizvi. In my book that took courage so I look forward to hearing what he has done recently that has so obviously rattled your cage

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ecobhoyPosted on12:42 am - Jun 4, 2014


chancer67 says:
June 3, 2014 at 2:11 pm

I stand by what I said that my PM was edited by ecobhoy, if he wants to play the school bully that’s fine but bullies always get a taste of their own medicine eventually.
===========================================
I really don’t wish this distraction to the blog to continue. However chancer I will repeat what I said yesterday. If you think I ‘edited’ your PM then post what you claim to be your ‘actual’ PM.

I will ask TSFM to look at what I posted and what you have posted and if I have ‘edited’ your post then I will leave this site and never post here again. I know that’s what you and your buddies are trying to achieve but you’ll never ever get up early enough in the monring to do it.

I also happen to be an honest guy who makes mistakes and when I realise that I apologise – I have made no mistakes about you. Quite simply: Put up or shut up and go back to the land bear twitter site where I believe you belong.

As to school bullies – well I was never a school bully but I used to kick the ass out of any I ever spotted and as a life-long socialist and trade unionist I have fought that fight on a much larger scale. You don’t even register on the radar 😆

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CastofthousandsPosted on1:23 am - Jun 4, 2014


Squiggle says:
June 3, 2014 at 11:45 pm

“They are different”
—————————————-
Good stuff Squiggle. Thanks for the correction/clarification.

The 12th December 2012 document is definitely headed ‘Letter Before Claim’. It is from Sevco 5088’s London office to CG and IA c/o TRFCL.

I recall that TRFCL disputed the receipt of this LBC and as a result it was re-issued. I had the impression that the re-issue was formalised and may have came from a legal representative rather than Sevco 5088 though I can’t confirm this without doing a lot of digging.

As Cluster One illustrates, AT describes his document as a LBA. From your description this would appear to be a more weighty submission.

Perhaps this indicates the possibility of parallel proceedings in Scotland and England or merely just the threat of such proceedings.

What really struck me was the article Twopanda posted up and the logical conclusion that if the dispute over Sevco 5088/Scotland had been based on a forged signature then this could have been expected to be resolved by now. For a while I thought CW’s claim might be a bit spurious and it might yet be. However there have been a few snippets lately that suggest it might yet have some life in it.

I have no legal insight other than that which common logic provides and this suggests to me that CW cannot sit on this prospective action indefinitely. I believe it is necessary to act timeously in legal matters and that to allow a claim to drift might attract the conclusion that the claim lacked legitimacy. Failing to challenge CG/IA’s acquisition of RFC(IL) assets in a timeous manner will bring with it its own conclusions I believe.

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gherrybhoy57Posted on1:28 am - Jun 4, 2014


I have posted only twice before on this site but have lurked for a couple of years or so.
Chancer67, methinks you are trying to sabotage the site. Ecobhoy researches some very complex issues most thoroughly and is the first to acknowledge any mistake if he makes one. You, by contrast, don’t seem to do any research and knitpick on trifles, masquerading as a serious poster. Please crawl back to wherever you came from, unless you have something constructive to contribute.

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AuldheidPosted on2:26 am - Jun 4, 2014


Danish Pastry
CastofThousands

On football and greed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0206r1n

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chancer67Posted on6:58 am - Jun 4, 2014


For the sake of the blog I will not post the “evidence” as ecobhoy makes a much more significant contribution to the blog and I am willing to let it go and move on.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:03 am - Jun 4, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm
8 0 Rate This

I suppose its analogous to starving out the spivs at Ibrox …
———

Thanks for the thoughtful posts CoT. Feel we’re having a slightly private conversation on the blog. But it’s relatively quiet, so we’ll probably get away with it 🙂

On the above, there could be an Ibrox-Spiv comparison, although I was more thinking along the lines of ‘less is more’. Because our game is not lost in a sea of Sky & BT cash we are getting back to basics, which is, producing young Scottish players. For me that’s important, not just for footballing reasons, but because youth deserves to dream and have opportunity (I’m in die-hard idealist mode now). Football is just one way, but sport in general is a huge force for good at an early age. As a tennis buff I really hope to see an Andy Murray effect in years to come, even though our facilities are limited and often primitive compared to other countries. The Wozniacki effect is obvious over here, but even though very few make it big time, the benefits of a sports lifestyle can help our kids and youth on every level. So if our relative poverty means looking closer to home to develop sporting talent, then all the better.

Yes, banks = bonus-for-failure culture, and the bonuses that have been awarded to Doncaster and his ilk do make me wonder who agreed to them?

——-
CoT: “… so setting up alternative structures of governance inevitably runs the risk of dredging up a whole new set of unintended consequences. As sannoffymesssoitizz says above, the likes of TSFM might offer one possibility whereby questionable conduct might be scrutinised.”
——-

More pie-in-the-sky thinking from me on the setting up of alternative structures, I’m afraid. And yes, as you imply above, alternatives are sometimes no better, especially if set up by the same people. But you never know, if FIFA produce a whitewash on the Qatar thing, it could be the straw that breaks the back of that Middle-Eastern humpy animal. It might just take one powerful country to withdraw, or refuse to take part in qualifying, for others to follow. In the Scottish context, a proper look at the CL place that RFC got in 2011, and if it was awarded in breach of the rules could be enough to cause a small earthquake. All strength to Auldheid and those pushing that one. Certainly got TSFM behind that.

PS @Auldheid, Hardtalk seems to be blocked in my region right now. Pity. Wasn’t he (Purslow) the chap mentioned in connection with Ibrox at one point?

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yakutsukiPosted on7:21 am - Jun 4, 2014


Auldheid says:
June 4, 2014 at 2:26 am

3

0

Rate This

Danish Pastry
CastofThousands

On football and greed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0206r1n
========================================

Good link ‘Auldheid’. We live in hope……

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neepheidPosted on8:54 am - Jun 4, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 4, 2014 at 1:23 am

What really struck me was the article Twopanda posted up and the logical conclusion that if the dispute over Sevco 5088/Scotland had been based on a forged signature then this could have been expected to be resolved by now. For a while I thought CW’s claim might be a bit spurious and it might yet be. However there have been a few snippets lately that suggest it might yet have some life in it.

======================================
My understanding- I am not a lawyer!

The police will have been investigating whether there was sufficient evidence of forgery for the matter to be successfully prosecuted, in other words whether a criminal act could proven in court beyond reasonable doubt. It seems clear after this interval that the police did not find sufficient evidence.

However that does not conclude the matter in Green’s favour. Whyte can still allege in an action in the civil courts that the document was forged, and the court can conclude from the evidence, that it was, on the balance of probabilities, a forgery.

As regards the timing of any court action by Whyte, he will have as much time to act as the law in Scotland provides ( 5 years?). I doubt that the court could draw any adverse inference from any delay within the statutory time limit.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:42 am - Jun 4, 2014


Last throw of the dice?

I suspect the reports that Kenny Miller is signing for TRFC will turn out to be accurate this time round, the last thing the board need to do right now is to ramp up the positive spin only to have to retract it a week or so later. I also suspect that the majority of supporters will remain sceptical, suspecting other players, Lee Wallace in particular, might well be on their way to balance the books (I know, I know), and so continue to hold off buying STs. Graham Wallace’s own words can leave little doubt that the TRFC finances are as near as damn it as bad as many predicted and, as yet, there is still no sign of the austerity that the stock market would demand of a business seeking to go back there to raise more working capital. So what’s the plan?

As I said, I doubt the support are going to see the signing of an aging ex-favourite as a cause for great optimism, and I also doubt that the board can seriously believe they will fall for it and start buying STs at the level the club require. A level that, added to austerity, might just have a chance of persuading the market to throw caution to the wind and pony up for more shares in a couple of month’s time, as the world record support is the only sellable asset, to the market, that the club have.

Could it be that Wallace has sounded out the market and discovered that even the most severe austerity program isn’t going to sway the market sufficiently to raise the money required? Could it be that the board have come to the conclusion that, despite the mess it got the club into, the Green way is the only way left open to them? Have they decided that the only hope they have for the club is to throw everything at the Championship, and promotion to the Premiership, and to have a great start to the season (watch out for early fixtures against Hearts and Hibs) that will make it clear they are going to run away with the ‘greatest league in the world’, attract ever larger crowds, and manage to limp along financially until they have the Championship won, when they will then go to the market with something to sell? Could this trip by Wallace to the US be about raising money, by loans or other means, to see them through to the point they have the league won? With bringing back a favourite, Miller, from the US, allied to the ‘tour’ by the team, seen as building interest over the pond.

We’ve all been amazed by the lack of cost-cutting and now these added costs. There must be a reason why, with the projected ST sales requirement falling miserably short, that rather than cut costs, they are being increased, and if we rule out the possibility that the spivs are trying to engineer administration or liquidation (not saying they are ruling either out), then a win or bust scenario seems to be building. It looks to me very much like the Green era ‘speculate to accumulate’, though Green’s actions were all based on self interest, and a ‘last throw of the dice’ to keep TRFC in business – no doubt while securing, as much as possible, the position of the leading investors.

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wottpiPosted on9:52 am - Jun 4, 2014


The main point about who bought the assets is why and how did Duff & Phelps sell to Sevco Scotland Ltd.
Both Sevco 5088 and Sevco Scotland were in existence at the time of the final sale.
All the press coverage indicates there was a process in place to designate preferred bidder status to allow a single consortium to look deeper at the books and then make an offer.
When Bill Miller pulled out the process started again and the preferred bidder status appear to be offered to Sevco 5088.
If Sevco 5088 did not take up the offer or could not agree a deal then logic and good practice would suggest that the process should have been re-started and the market reopened to allow all potential bidders to reassess the situation.
Somewhere along the line someone seems to have made the decision to ‘privately’ agree the sale to a different corporate entity than the apparent preferred bidder with all other advances, such as the last minute punt by Sir Cardigan, being dismissed.
Press reports after the sale refer to Sevco 5088 being the buyers.
Rangers Spokesmen are quoted saying ‘For the avoidance of doubt’ Sevco 5088 bought the assets then transferred these to Sevco Scotland at a later date.
However in AIM statements from Rangers add to any doubt by saying Sevco 5088 was not the acquisition vehicle
It is just shoddy practice all round and wholly disappointing that mechanisms do not seem to be in place to quickly regulate, investigate, prosecute and punish as required
At the very least any organisation involved in the debacle should be able to publicly pull out the required piece of paper that shows everything was above board and in order. The fact that they won’t or can’t tends to make everyone think the whole thing is a crock of brown stuff.

The trouble is that the Spivs are all taking their cut and the man in the street/on the terracing is still getting screwed shelling out cash and going through mental distress just because he wants to enjoy watching his preferred 11 guys kicking a ball around.

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AwaynRaffleYerBunnetPosted on10:39 am - Jun 4, 2014


neepheid says:
June 4, 2014 at 8:54 am
4 0 Rate This

Castofthousands says:
June 4, 2014 at 1:23 am

What really struck me was the article Twopanda posted up and the logical conclusion that if the dispute over Sevco 5088/Scotland had been based on a forged signature then this could have been expected to be resolved by now. For a while I thought CW’s claim might be a bit spurious and it might yet be. However there have been a few snippets lately that suggest it might yet have some life in it.

======================================
My understanding- I am not a lawyer!

The police will have been investigating whether there was sufficient evidence of forgery for the matter to be successfully prosecuted, in other words whether a criminal act could proven in court beyond reasonable doubt. It seems clear after this interval that the police did not find sufficient evidence.

However that does not conclude the matter in Green’s favour. Whyte can still allege in an action in the civil courts that the document was forged, and the court can conclude from the evidence, that it was, on the balance of probabilities, a forgery.

As regards the timing of any court action by Whyte, he will have as much time to act as the law in Scotland provides ( 5 years?). I doubt that the court could draw any adverse inference from any delay within the statutory time limit.
—————————————–
Sorry to be picky but the Polis will look for evidence that a crime has been committed. If that evidence is found to be there a case will be presented to the Fiscal’s Office who will then determine whether or not it can be successfully prosecuted-nothing to do with the Polis. Don’t know if it’s still the case but they used to go for it if they were 100% convinced they would be successful. The ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ was based on that.

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Danish PastryPosted on11:05 am - Jun 4, 2014


Allyjambo says:
June 4, 2014 at 9:42 am
8 0 Rate This

… might just have a chance of persuading the market to throw caution to the wind and pony up for more shares in a couple of month’s time, as the world record support is the only sellable asset, to the market, that the club have.
————

Didn’t that very lucrative goodwill (the monetizable support) go for £1?

Miller might well go in the front door, but who is leaving via the tradesman’s entrance? Staff are quietly being offloaded, apparently.

KJ tweeted yesterday that Miller would be on a much reduced contract (well below £7,000-week).

Sensible would be Kenny Miller as player-manager using a Championship budget. I reckon proper fans would turn up for that. Triumphalists would maybe have to find other pursuits.

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neepheidPosted on11:16 am - Jun 4, 2014


AwaynRaffleYerBunnet says:
June 4, 2014 at 10:39 am
2 0 Rate This

Sorry to be picky but the Polis will look for evidence that a crime has been committed. If that evidence is found to be there a case will be presented to the Fiscal’s Office who will then determine whether or not it can be successfully prosecuted-nothing to do with the Polis. Don’t know if it’s still the case but they used to go for it if they were 100% convinced they would be successful. The ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ was based on that.
========================
You are correct that the police don’t decide whether to prosecute, as you say, they gather what evidence they can and pass it to the Crown Office where the procurator decides whether to prosecute. However there is no “close to 100%” test, the procurator decides whether a prosecution is likely to succeed, and whether a prosecution is in the public interest. I believe that the success rate is around 75%.

The “beyond reasonable doubt” test is applied by the criminal court, and has been the standard of proof in criminal cases in all “common law” jurisdictions for hundreds of years. The standard of proof in civil (non criminal) cases is the balance of probabilities, which is a far lower standard, presumably because only money is involved, not life or liberty. So in my view, Whyte isn’t out of the picture just because there is no criminal prosecution for forgery. Forgery is usually very difficult crime to prove to a criminal standard.

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andygraham.66Posted on11:26 am - Jun 4, 2014


Indy 14 said – I think Hearts are clear favs to go up.

I know we dont talk betting here (bar Iain Black) but one bookie is selling the teams as follows as their % chance of winning div 1

Rangers 67%
Hearts 20%
Hibs 20%

(I appreciate the fact 3 out of the 10 already take it over 100% but this is bookies prices with profit built in)

The general man in the street, and i suspect most involved with the Govan club will expect to win the league and the people offering wagers on them doing so will too.

FWIW i agree with Indy to an extent and certainly think the % chance given to each should be a lot closer.

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FinlochPosted on11:33 am - Jun 4, 2014


Kenny Miller has hit the headlines.
In reality an easy press-manipulation story during a lull to tell the bears that good times are around the corner and to consider buying season books.
Big News?
The reality is a veteran journeyman, (Possibly) coming to a division 2 Scottish club that he has left twice before, on a free from a Canadian team nobody knows anything much about.
Even to me as a non Rangers fan a bit less exciting than when SDM signed Butcher, Woods, Gascoigne etc.
And a little less exciting than real news about the stuff that Phil has been asking questions about recently.

That just shows how far they and their pals in the press have fallen.

But Hey – Good times may well be around the corner for the new club – but not for a long time yet and not until the spivs have extracted a lot more and finally departed.

They still hold all the cards and don’t care who they sucker – whether its the fans, the press with pages of daily space to fill about the Glasgow clubs, the city institutions who were daft enough to think there were easy and fast tax-friendly gains to harvest and our administrators (and club chairmen) who backed them with the 5 way agreement.

Suckers each and all and with a seemingly low propensity to learn from past mistakes!

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twopandaPosted on11:52 am - Jun 4, 2014


neepheid says: at 11:16 am
AwaynRaffleYerBunnet says: at 10:39 am
Sorry to be picky but the Polis will look for evidence that a crime has been committed. If that evidence is found to be there a case will be presented to the Fiscal’s Office who will then determine whether or not it can be successfully prosecuted-nothing to do with the Polis. Don’t know if it’s still the case but they used to go for it if they were 100% convinced they would be successful. The ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ was based on that.
========================
You are correct that the police don’t decide whether to prosecute, as you say, they gather what evidence they can and pass it to the Crown Office where the procurator decides whether to prosecute. However there is no “close to 100%” test, the procurator decides whether a prosecution is likely to succeed, and whether a prosecution is in the public interest. I believe that the success rate is around 75%.
The “beyond reasonable doubt” test is applied by the criminal court, and has been the standard of proof in criminal cases in all “common law” jurisdictions for hundreds of years. The standard of proof in civil (non-criminal) cases is the balance of probabilities, which is a far lower standard, presumably because only money is involved, not life or liberty. So in my view, Whyte isn’t out of the picture just because there is no criminal prosecution for forgery. Forgery is usually very difficult crime to prove to a criminal standard.
—-

Forgery is difficult. The `forgery` `allegations` have in effect – with months of `investigation` – given time to try to extinguish sevco5088. It may have stymied any claim action – who know`s. – But the clock is running down. As it stands – they can try, and try again, to dissolve 5088. The real question is IF the signatures are genuine – and the `allegations` have no proven grounds – some could have questions to answer.

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pau1mart1nPosted on12:05 pm - Jun 4, 2014


chuck didn’t say forged did he ?
I think it was “not correct or valid” .
maybe he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he signed them.

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CastofthousandsPosted on12:26 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
June 4, 2014 at 7:03 am

“For me that’s important, not just for footballing reasons, but because youth deserves to dream and have opportunity (I’m in die-hard idealist mode now).”
——————————————-
Perhaps I have dragged you down to my level.

I think there might be a parallel with the independence referendum though I am not necessarily espousing a particular outcome in that arena. There is something about confidence that is self sustaining and the absence of which that is self fulfilling. Humans are designed to adopt a range of attitudes but generally if you tell a person they are no good often enough, that message may have a corrosive effect.

Genetically, Scots (Celts) have a lot in common with Spaniards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-DNA_haplogroups_by_groups_in_Europe

So if the raw material is the same then why is the finished product apparently so different?
Surely it must be down to social conditioning. For decades Spain appeared to underachieve in international football despite their club sides being top notch. Then they broke their hoodoo about ten years ago and the whole vista opened up for them.

England have appeared to under-perform on the soccer stage for decades. They have a big population, lots of active support and participation and lots of experience in high level club competition. Yet they can’t seem to translate this onto an international platform. Is that genetics or is it conditioning? Are they just never going to be good enough or is it just that they will never feel they are good enough? Is there an absence of entitlement?

If Scotland were infused with a spirit of potential then perhaps the raw material could be made into world class finished product. We wouldn’t deny this possibility to The Netherlands, Croatia, Belgium, none of which has a population substantially in excess of Scotland. However we would happily denigrate our own international chances of success. Denmark have won the Euro Championship after all.

Changing mind sets is a slow process and perhaps this will be aided in an environment where the cash is not available to import foreign players and instead there is a need to bring up home grown prospects. However if this poverty of pocket carries with it a poverty of spirit or ambition then we will make no progress. We might need to shed our offshore habit of shunning new ideas and start to take lessons from those that have transformed their fortunes.

I don’t think you necessarily need to don the mantle of unbridled entitlement to unleash a spirit of ambition. There is much to be proud of in Scottish football history and perhaps in our rush to be humble we forget that such humility is borne all the lighter on broad strong shoulders.

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JimBhoyPosted on12:38 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Little out, Telfer out, old boy Miller in, keep up the good work AMcC…. I wonder what impact that will have on SB sales, couple of hundred more to see one of their own from the good old days..

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CastofthousandsPosted on12:50 pm - Jun 4, 2014


I think the problem with honest mistakes is that they may indeed be just that. The pantomime we have seen in the SMSM is preposterous and not without purpose. Every day those match officials glance at the counters in their local newsagent and see the comics or as likely buy them and ingest their fiction. That constant drip, drip of pre-ordained script seeps into the soul and when that split second decision has to be made, instead of the focus being on black and white, it becomes shades of blue (and often green by association). The officials are unable to separate their rational judgement from their psychological conditioning. They may not even appreciate what is happening.

That is why an independent media is so important. It is also why media will never be allowed to be independent; it is too valuable to be given to the public. We will have to earn our insight by investigation. I once heard a phrase that went “If your getting it free then you’re the product”.

You need a big strong referee to stand up against all that social conditioning and behind him a big strong refereeing governing body and behind them a big strong sports governing body and behind them a big strong national ethos that espouses fairness and equality. It is asking a lot of any one referee that he change the world all by himself. The social polarisation that exists within Scotland that we are not supposed to talk about (should I call it ‘Macbeth’) means that even high profile football managers cannot exercise their own judgement without fear of heinous retribution so why should we expect individual referees on a moderate income to fill that huge gap in all our myopia.

Honest mistakes! To be honest you can’t really say what the truth is.

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nawlitePosted on1:08 pm - Jun 4, 2014


“I don’t think you necessarily need to don the mantle of unbridled entitlement to unleash a spirit of ambition.”

Great line, CoT. Arrogance bad, confidence good.

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beanosPosted on1:25 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Castofthousands says:
June 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm
—————————————————————————————

great post and couldn’t agree more with the sentiment.

it’s a huge positive to see so much Scottish youth finally getting a chance. i don’t believe there is a shortage of raw talent, more an inability to correctly harness it. An inferiority complex does nobody any good. For far too long, we have had to many coaches with a negative mindset, too much negative media coverage and too much negativity from the heads of our game. How do you expect to sell a product if you can’t at least outwardly present an impression that you believe in it yourself. Similarly, how can we expect players to perform when constantly telling them they aren’t good enough. I want to see players confident enough to take a touch and look for a pass rather than take the low risk option and boot it. It’s confidence you need to do that. they already have the talent.

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John ClarkPosted on1:26 pm - Jun 4, 2014


wottpi says:
June 4, 2014 at 9:52 am
‘….Rangers Spokesmen are quoted saying ‘For the avoidance of doubt’ Sevco 5088 bought the assets then transferred these to Sevco Scotland at a later date.’
——–
I suppose, theoretically speaking of course ( it would never happen in the real world, the authorities would smell all kinds of rat ), the owner of a heavily indebted business could conspire with , say, some individual Insolvency Practitioners, to engineer an ‘Administration’; ask the Court to appoint those practitioners as his “Administrators”, with the express intention of liquidating the company thus getting shot of all its debts; selling the assets dirt cheap to a new company ( set up jointly with two fellow-conspirators), only to find that one of his fellow conspirators double-crosses him , hoodwinks (or further bribes) the Administrators into selling the assets to quite a different company set up secretly by that fellow conspirator, who then of course, has to try to deny that the sale had ever been made to the first ‘new’ company, or that the original owner was never a shareholder of the new company.

If such a conspiracy ,and such a thieves-falling-out ‘doublecross’ were ever (God forbid) to happen in any sphere of business ( crazy to imagine it happening in the tight little, extremely well-governed business world of , say, Scottish Football, with a red-hot investigative sports and broadcast press pack poking and prying into every little dark corner), the huge question would be: how could the tangled mess it might create be untangled?
Theoretically, the original owner would still own the assets, the Administration/Liquidation having to be struck down as fraudulent.(Could the Law , or the business world , allow such a conspiracy to succeed?) Oh, the terrible panic when subsequent ‘owners’ found they had no legal entitlement to the assets, and had to resort to suing the Administrators and/or the conspirators. And the poor individual shareholders likewise losing their money in a monstrous scam!. O,woe, o misery.
Isn’t it a relief that and a bloody good job that our Press, Broadcasting ,Finance, Football, Judicial and Prosecuting Authorities are on the ball, though, to ensure such a situation would never arise, no way, no how.
I take great comfort from that. 😎

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ecobhoyPosted on1:45 pm - Jun 4, 2014


I have undernoted part of a previous post I made on a particularly curious aspect of the Sevco 5088 switcheroo:

I have always doubted if the cops ever managed to pin Green down to give a statement on whether his signature had been ‘forged’ on paperwork submitted to Companies House in connection with Sevco 5088 directors and if I am correct in that supposition then no criminal case could ever proceed IMO.

The BIG problem I see for Green is his public admission on STV that when the Rangers CVA failed he handed Sevco 5088 back to CW. Why would Green hand Sevco 5088 to CW who Green states wasn’t a director nor a shareholder. And ‘handing back’ seems to imply a prior involvement.

Btw – another look at Peter Grant’s grilling of Green is well worth it 😆

An announcement to the Stock Exchange by Rangers on Tuesday said its lawyers Pinsent Masons had reported the matter to Police Scotland. The club said it was only now releasing the information as it did not want to undermine any police investigation.

In its statement, the club said: “Incorrect stories concerning the company have appeared in the media today and yesterday concerning allegations that Craig Whyte still has links to Rangers, which the Company would like to clarify.

“Pinsent Masons has not reported to the police that Craig Whyte has any connections to the company. A separate matter was reported to the police by Pinsent Masons, on behalf of the company. That matter related purely to director appointment form which purported to appoint Craig Whyte as a director of Sevco 5088 Limited.’

I hope Police Scotland are aware that Green publiclly stated on STV that he had “handed back” Sevco 5088 to Mr Whyte after the company was no longer needed once a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was destined to fail. But no documentation confirming Mr Green’s resignation from Sevco 5088 has been filed with Companies House.

So why would Green ‘hand-back’ the firm to Whyte if he wasn’t either a director or a shareholder – I wonder if AIM realise this rather strange ‘flaw’ in the statement published today? Also the old smoke and mirrors being used by Pinsent Masons by using the cover-all term ‘Rangers’ rather than identifying the actual company that CW still has links to or has had links to.

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/222380-rangers-claim-control-of-craig-whytes-firm-sevco-5088-ltd/ and also the televised recording of Green at: http://sport.stv.tv/football/clubs/rangers/221242-extended-video-of-rangers-ceo-charles-greens-interview-with-stv/

I’m sure Police Scotland might want to ask Mr Green why he was handing back Sevco 5088 Ltd to CW – would love to be a fly on the wall to hear that explanation.

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ecobhoyPosted on1:48 pm - Jun 4, 2014


This is a link to a previous post I made charting various twists and turns in the Sevco 5088 saga which some may find useful.

http://scotslawthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/mystery-directors-and-the-rangers-sevco-5088-switcheroo-by-ecojon/

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AllyjamboPosted on2:03 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
June 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

DP,
I’m not sure that the kind of redundancies that can be kept quiet are going to be the kind that will make any sort of telling difference, and how many of these type of lay-offs would it take to cover the, say, £250,000 pa salary of Kenny Miller, and what would the total severance package be for £250,000 of salaries? I just can’t see that they can make enough savings by redundancy or severance of contracts to make their annual costs bearable, while not bursting themselves in the process and I can’t see how signing Miller (or anybody) fits into any austerity plan. It just seems very strange that, having insisted on the need for austerity with a projected ST income of £x + unknown return from further floatation of shares, that now, with an unknown potential ST income that will be late, at best, plus a reduced chance of a successful second visit to the stock market, that any increased expenditure should be sanctioned. This led me to the thought that a ‘last throw of the dice’ scenario might well be what we are seeing. That also led me to the thought that the visit to the US might be to try to persuade wealthy bears to part with a couple of million (pounds, not dollars), it being easier to persuade them if it’s to finance team building, rather than redundancies. They wouldn’t be the first to be duped if the money is then used to fund something different altogether – like boardroom bonuses 👿

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artesianPosted on3:43 pm - Jun 4, 2014


beanos says:
June 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm
“.. i don’t believe there is a shortage of raw talent, more an inability to correctly harness it. ”
In that one sentence you have pretty much summed up the biggest single failing of our national game ,that is, our inability to produce world class players .
The last batch world class players produced in this country were born in the 1950’s ,and I struggle to think of one outfield player born after the early sixties who could be genuinely considered in that category .In other words the Structure(or lack of) or systems we have had in place in the modern era have failed dismally .Everything we have done with regards to the development of football players since the early sixties has proven to be ineffective and there does not seem to be the individual or collective knowledge within our game to rectify the situation either .
To my Simple engineering mind the solution to this apparently baffling problem is to import those skills en mass .Go out and find the people who have actually done it ,pay them to come here and show us how

Its how we do it in the oil Industry and trust me it works .

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mcfcPosted on5:38 pm - Jun 4, 2014


So Mr Miller is returning for a third spell at a two year old club on a freebie at the age of 35.

The less charitable amongst us may suspect that his primary motive is to top up his pension for a year or two under the uncritical management of his old pal.

I do hope, however, that Mr Miller’s agent is an avid TSFM reader and has secured a big chunk of the contracted remuneration up-front – in readies – nothing personal – but I need to protect my client’s interests you understand.

As all TSFM readers will know by now, being a highly paid employee is much like being unemployed when you are also an unsecured creditor of the most successful football club in the entire galaxy.

But if Mr Miller’s agent relies upon the MSM for insights into the Govan financial milieu, all is hunky dory and nothing to worry about at all old chap. See you in August.

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twopandaPosted on6:30 pm - Jun 4, 2014


MSM Ally signs stuff – I thought McCoist was in the States on Honeymoon. Silly me 😉

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parttimearabPosted on6:52 pm - Jun 4, 2014


I see that author Val McDermid is sponsoring Raith Rovers next season.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27701316

Which got me thinking…the SPFL are still minus a sponsor…any authors with an interest in Scottish football out there willing to step up to the plate…

C’mon Phil…you know you want to… 🙂 🙂 🙂

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scottcPosted on6:53 pm - Jun 4, 2014


twopanda says:
June 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

MSM Ally signs stuff – I thought McCoist was in the States on Honeymoon. Silly me 😉

No, he had to come back early as he is going on holiday on Saturday

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theredpillPosted on7:15 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Thought this might be of interest and worth a listen FIFA ,apologies if posted already.starts 11:00

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045bwrc#programme-broadcasts

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easyJamboPosted on7:39 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Sons of Struth ‏@SonsofStruth · 41m
Latest figure on season ticket sales. 14,000. Oh and no loans repaid announcement to the stock exchange

If SoS is correct its bad news for GW and co.

The last average ST price published by RIFC was £210 (net of VAT). Increasing that by this season’s quoted average 18% takes it up to £250 The £1.5M loans therefore equate to approx. 6,000 STs,

The money from the remaining 8,000 STs won’t last very long.

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RyanGoslingPosted on8:10 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Atresia, world class Scottish players post 60s, tough one. You could perhaps argue for Paul Lambert, champions league winner? Maybe I’m grasping. You’re right, it’s tough to think of any. Possibly some like Darren Fletcher weren’t too far off given the level they played at. But nowhere near the volume of players we used to produce. I’m not arguing with your point, just trying to think of some, positive outlook and all that!

I believe I posted within hours of Kenny Miller being released from his contract that I was sure he was gonna end up at Rangers, and wasn’t thrilled at the prospect. Now that it has happened…I’m still not thrilled. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he still has plenty in the locker and will do a good job, but for a club in Rangers financial state it’s a bad move and from a footballing perspective I think he will keep younger, hungrier guys out the team who will therefore not develop. Which will mean rangers need to sign experience again in future. For money. Hence the whole cycle will begin again ad infinitum, if it lasts that long. Don’t know where we are getting the money to sign him from anyway, unless he’s on lower wages than the guys who are leaving, and even then I don’t know how you finance it without selling season tickets.

Sorry, perhaps more of a fans forum appropriate post in the last half of that.

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paulsatimPosted on9:01 pm - Jun 4, 2014


easyJambo says:
June 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Plus, how many are on pay monthly schemes? That will affect cashflow, I’d expect.

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neepheidPosted on9:42 pm - Jun 4, 2014


easyJambo says:
June 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm

The last average ST price published by RIFC was £210 (net of VAT). Increasing that by this season’s quoted average 18% takes it up to £250 The £1.5M loans therefore equate to approx. 6,000 STs,

The money from the remaining 8,000 STs won’t last very long.
====================
That is around £2m which should cover a month’s outgoings. But then there’s exceptional stuff, like Kenny Miller’s signing on fee. I’m afraid that my fag packet gave up months ago. The whole financial side simply does not and cannot add up. Unless new shares (and lots of them) are issued very soon, or a property is sold or mortgaged, then the cash must surely run out within weeks. No signs of austerity, Dave King posted missing, a deafening silence from the Blue Room- what’s going on?

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Cluster OnePosted on9:50 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Miller signs for Rangers again ….How do they work that one out then?

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sickofitallPosted on9:58 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Inside The SPFL ‏@AgentScotland 52s
Hearing Rangers have shifted approximately 12,000 Season Tickets

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John ClarkPosted on10:03 pm - Jun 4, 2014


A propos the FIFA/Qatar alleged bribery business, I caught BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Media Show’ this afternoon at 4.30. Being interviewed, Andrew Jennings,a real( English) journalist who has been investigating football scandals for 15 years had some pretty damning comments to make about the refusal of newspaper editors to allow their real investigative reporting staff to investigate and report on the ‘business- crime’ side of domestic and world football. He also had a go at the BBC’s schizophrenic approach which somehow keeps stories of sports corruption and financial malpractice as ‘purely Sports Department ‘ stories. He dismissed the ‘defence’ that the BBC needed to keep ‘sport’ sweet to stay on side and not rock the ‘broadcasting rights’ gravy boat, and meaningfully did not comment on the reasons why newspaper editors kept schtum.
Those of you who know how to get BBC podcasts would perhaps find it quite interesting, short as the interview was.
He was also a wee bit more charitable in what he had to say about football sports hacks’ in allowing that they would not necessarily have the requisite ‘investigative’ skill and talents, even if their editors permitted them to do any investigative reporting.
Many of us on this blog have had no difficulty in believing that, indeed, some, many, most our sports hacks know little more about business matters and financial tycoons and wealth-of-the-radar tax evaders than we do. And I don’t believe we particularly faulted them on that score so much as on the fact that,stuffed with the old lamb, they were deeply disinclined even to think of ‘investigating’ as opposed to writing ridiculous, uncritical puff pieces.

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macfurglyPosted on10:20 pm - Jun 4, 2014


John Clark says:
June 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm
———-
What I found interesting about that interview was his observation that editors are really the ones not doing their job and, to paraphrase, any decent editor would say to a journalist
“Is there a story? Get on it or get your books as you leave”.
I have no doubt that the smsm, or most of them, are partial to lamb, but who appoints them and on what basis? Who manages them?
Mr Jennings has been doggedly pursuing FIFA for 14 years: get him up here.

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macfurglyPosted on10:42 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Furthermore, surely it has now come to the point that with TRFC fans in despair, disarray and confusion, lamb no longer on the menu and newspaper circulation dropping faster than a pair of lead knickers, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain for someone to do a proper investigative job on the whole saga, increase sales in the short term and maybe even become a Champion of the Peepul?.
Or are they really so afraid that by doing so they would be the one to finally put the beast out of its misery?

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JagsmanPosted on11:19 pm - Jun 4, 2014


It is subjective, but I don’t think it is quite true to say that Scotland has produced no world class players since the 60’s. There were many Scottish players who won European Cup medals up to the mid-80’s. The Forest teams had about half a dozen Scots (John Robertson, Kenny Burns spring to mind) while Dalglish, Hansen and Souness were crucial to Liverpool’s success. The Villa team also had a number of Scots such as Des Bremner and even after the banning of English clubs post-Heysel, Stevie Archibald appeared in the final for Barcelona, though the next Scot to make an appearance was Paul Lambert in 1997. We did also qualify for 6 of the 7 World Cup finals between 1974 and 1998 (even if we under-performed on certain occasions once there).

Have we really stop producing good players or have other countries just start producing more (and better) players at the same time as gaining access to what had been the main marketplace for Scottish talent (i.e. England)? I would suggest that the later was the initial problem followed more recently by the former.

The appearances of Steve Archibald and Paul Lambert in European Cup finals straddle the dissolution of the socialist bloc and the break up of the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia into multiple smaller states. This alone resulted in a large increase in the footballing labour force available to compete against Scots produce. Ditto, the more serious development of the game in some smaller European countries (e.g. Norway and Denmark), but more importantly Africa and the far East. The increased movement of players from these previously under-developed footballing nations to the money-market of Europe (England in particular) resulted in a downward pressure on demand for Scottish players at the highest level of the traditional market.

If anything really appears to act as a watershed in terms of producing home-grown talent it is the creation of the SPL in 1998 (coinciding with the last time we qualified for an international tournament). Scottish football became an absolute economic basket case in the SPL era and the generation of native talent took a true dive. As has been pointed out, economic reality is forcing the game back to basics and there are some green shoots appearing in conjunction with an apparent willingness to play the game in a more refined manner as opposed to the “higher, harder, longer” school of fitba.

That said, feet need to be kept on the ground. The recent thumpings for Scotland U-17s and U-21s by their Dutch counterparts shows there is a very long way to go.

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John ClarkPosted on11:33 pm - Jun 4, 2014


ecobhoy says:
June 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm
‘..This is a link to a previous post I made.’
———–
And a truly seminal post it was, too.
It appeared on the day my Australian twin granddaughters were born (and we were busting a gut to get over there), so I remember it well.
And re-reading it , I cannot now imagine that BDO could conceivably NOT have arrived at the same general position: that there are very hard questions to ask of every aspect of the Administration, Liquidation and sale of the assets , and of the information that was given to AIM and Companies House and the action/non-action that resulted or did not result.
Prescinding ( I love that word!) from the football context, it would be a matter of great public concern if a small-to-medium company could be hi-jacked ( hi, Jack, if you’re still around!) by a band of conspirators because of deficiencies in AIM or Companies House regulations or powers.
Where are our journalists when you need them?

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wottpiPosted on11:57 pm - Jun 4, 2014


Re the lack of Scottish world class players.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Our ability to produce a few shining stars has been more luck than good judgement.
For if we had good judgement we would be churning them out on a conveyor belt.
The reality is that while the power houses got better and the emerging nations improved we stood still.
As a nation we have never been able to build on the successes we have had at club and national level.
Maybe its the weather???

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enough is enoughPosted on12:05 am - Jun 5, 2014


Apologies if OT but I need to get this off my chest, and I’d rather do it here than on Facebook as I think the average IQ of posters here is well above my FB friends (Dear Lord I hope they are not looking)

Just watched BBC Panorama programme about Brazil and it’s suitability as a host for world cup.

The reporter focused on under-age prostitutes and rent boys in various cities in Brazil. Pretty sad I’ll grant you.

How would we have reacted if a Brazilian TV programme had reported on under-age prostitution and rent boys in London before the Olympics, or Glasgow before the CG ?

I’ve not been to London since I was a kid and I don’t wish to, but I’m pretty sure they have under-age prostitutes and rent boys(as will Glasgow and all major cities) as bad as , if not worse than Brazil. but the BBC want us to focus on Rio and other Brazilian cities.Message to BBC … look in your own back yard before criticising anothers. Our MSM journalists are shi*e. Thanks for reading — rant over

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John ClarkPosted on12:40 am - Jun 5, 2014


Jagsman says:
June 4, 2014 at 11:19 pm
‘…the break up of the USSR, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia into multiple smaller states. This alone resulted in a large increase in the footballing labour force available to compete against Scots produce…’
——–
But that sort of begs the question.
Why should it have been that footballers in those now independent countries ( sit down, that boy who shouted ‘Freeeedom!’) should have been better footballers?
The children of the eastern bloc, like the children of Africa, or Israel,or Brazil, or even of Australia or the USA, are not genetically programmed to be better footballers than the children of Scotland [ always assuming general parity of health and nutrition and physical capacity).
Something went very badly wrong in Scottish Football. But I’m not sure that the formation of the SPL was THE cause, or even A cause.
I would rather say that the cause was the utter stupidity of our Local Authorities’ ( and of particular, stupid councillors who put personal electoral advantage above any kind of broader vision of what was in the best interests of the people who elected them) who provoked the Teacher’s ‘strike’.

I still fizz with anger at the way that the cack-handedness of those ‘politicians’ destroyed that wonderfully generous contribution to football that many male ( and at that time, the occasional female) primary and secondary school-teacher made, by giving up, unpaid, their Saturday mornings to take the school team to games, home and away.
Every school. Every Saturday in the season.
A voluntary service, killed by self-serving worse-than-football sports hacks local politicians. And my generation let them get away with it.

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artesianPosted on1:09 am - Jun 5, 2014


Jagsman I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to make ,All of the players you listed apart from. Paul Lambert were born in the 50 s .The fine motor skills were honed and developed in the Sixties and early seventies .They came to maturity as top class players in the 80 s .Paul Lambert fine player that he was wasn’t truly world class .

The main point I was trying to make ,and I apologise if my incoherent ramblings confused matters ,is that all the hurdles we face in producing world class football are not insurmountable .Other nations our size and smaller do it on a regular basis .Croatia ,Serbia ,Uruguay ,to name but a few ,all manage to produce a steady stream of world class players . Therefore the obvious answer to me is to employ coaches from said countries to show us what to do .Simples .
Japan basically did this in the 80s .They imported coaches from all over Europe and South America ..It worked .

I

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sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on3:00 am - Jun 5, 2014


Auldheid says: June 4, 2014 at 2:26 am

Danish Pastry, CastofThousands

On football greed and FFP..

Here’s a link to the full HARDtalk interview with Christian Purslow – Liverpool FC Managing Director, 2009 – 2010 and venture capitalist from BBC iPlayer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b045lmy2/hardtalk-christian-purslow-liverpool-fc-managing-director-2009-2010

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TartanwulverPosted on6:29 am - Jun 5, 2014


John Clark
June 4, 2014 at 10.03pm

Many of us on this blog have had no difficulty in believing that, indeed, some, many, most our sports hacks know little more about business matters and financial tycoons and wealth-of-the-radar tax evaders than we do. And I don’t believe we particularly faulted them on that score so much as on the fact that,stuffed with the old lamb, they were deeply disinclined even to think of ‘investigating’ as opposed to writing ridiculous, uncritical puff pieces.
———————————-
James Doleman on twitter points to the following article in the Economist, however

@TheEconomist: Studies suggest that even the smartest investors struggle to outdo a blindfolded monkey http://t.co/jkfAbe381j http://t.co/uxG3Ra4af0
—————————-
So how come the blindfolded monkeys of the Scottish media can’t manage to write about it!

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TartanwulverPosted on6:56 am - Jun 5, 2014


macfurgly says:
June 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Furthermore, surely it has now come to the point that with TRFC fans in despair, disarray and confusion, lamb no longer on the menu and newspaper circulation dropping faster than a pair of lead knickers, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain for someone to do a proper investigative job on the whole saga, increase sales in the short term and maybe even become a Champion of the Peepul?.
Or are they really so afraid that by doing so they would be the one to finally put the beast out of its misery?
———————————-
The great irony of the press (non) coverage of so many crucial aspects of the story of Rangers’ demise is that it has kept the vast majority of Rangers fans in ignorance, and provided a facade of normality behind which many abnormal things have been going on – as has been discussed here before. Who gains from that? Perhaps newspapers, if they have assessed their likely purchasers’ tastes well enough (and the media can always do a shameless about-face any time they want if they think the wind has changed direction). Certainly those behind the scenes at Ibrox who have been allowed to perform some shocking manoeuvres that would have been questioned by many fans I’m sure if they had been presented critically at the time. But surely most if all, it is the proponents of the ‘fabric of society’ argument who gain from the Rangers fans being anaesthetised in such a way. As their club (yes, I know) is slowly gutted from within, rather than its possible eventual death being a shock to the relevant parts of society, the fan base will have been slowly whittled down (see season ticket sales) and the remainder made to face reality and lower expectations bit by bit. I don’t think the SMSM necessarily see it this way, but I think the game they are playing is one of the most powerful elements facilitating Rangers’ demise. The only upside of the media’s kid gloves from a Rangers perspective seems to me to be that if they were going to be neutered, at least they’ve been anaesthetised first.

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Madbhoy24941Posted on8:20 am - Jun 5, 2014


JOHN CLARK says:
June 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm

He was also a wee bit more charitable in what he had to say about football sports hacks’ in allowing that they would not necessarily have the requisite ‘investigative’ skill and talents, even if their editors permitted them to do any investigative reporting.
Many of us on this blog have had no difficulty in believing that, indeed, some, many, most our sports hacks know little more about business matters and financial tycoons and wealth-of-the-radar tax evaders than we do. And I don’t believe we particularly faulted them on that score so much as on the fact that,stuffed with the old lamb, they were deeply disinclined even to think of ‘investigating’ as opposed to writing ridiculous, uncritical puff pieces.
————————————————————————————

John,

I agree with you but only to a certain extent, not knowing about business matters does not preclude you from asking the obvious questions, there is absolutely no defence for the silence displayed by our media.

For example, as a journalist you don’t need lots of time or be a member of Mensa to do this one simple thing, call up a board member at Ibrox and ask:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty around finances and the Dave King initiative, Rangers fans are keen to know the current financial status. Can you please confirm the number of season books currently sold?

That is the job of the media, to ask the questions and inform the wider audience. As said previously, there is absolutely no defence!

Over the last 7 days I have seen 10 different amounts ranging from 4-20k, all of them from so called respected media outlets.

Nobody actually knows how many tickets are sold, why is that?

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joe millers shortsPosted on8:55 am - Jun 5, 2014


The late sixties was a golden period for scottish and english football. However i would argue that at that time our competitors in europe had not properly built up their football after the war. many coumtries were in physical and economic ruins after WW2 and football would not have been a priority. Later as european football developed and progressed we were standing still.
Poor quality pitches have held back our development for years, it is not possible to play the sort of football played by the best teams in europe on scottish pitches. Becuase of pitches we have too many coaches that play long ball football and too many that prioritise a “winning” (agressive) mentality ahead good technique.
On a more optimistic note we have a generation of kids that are being brought up playing on astro, and most (but not all) are playing good techical, passing football.

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Danish PastryPosted on8:57 am - Jun 5, 2014


sannoffymesssoitizz says:
June 5, 2014 at 3:00 am
1 0 Rate This

Auldheid says: June 4, 2014 at 2:26 am

Danish Pastry, CastofThousands

On football greed and FFP..

Here’s a link to the full HARDtalk interview with Christian Purslow – Liverpool FC Managing Director, 2009 – 2010 and venture capitalist from BBC iPlayer.
———-

Cheers @sannoffy but iPlayer content is blocked here in the Nordic region.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:11 am - Jun 5, 2014


Madbhoy24941 says:
June 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

as a journalist you don’t need lots of time or be a member of Mensa to do this one simple thing, call up a board member at Ibrox and ask:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty around finances and the Dave King initiative, Rangers fans are keen to know the current financial status. Can you please confirm the number of season books currently sold?

That is the job of the media, to ask the questions and inform the wider audience. As said previously, there is absolutely no defence!

The problem is that most journalists – and that possibly includes 1 or 2 sports journos – are aware that under AIM Rules such information must first be disclosed to the market as it undoubtedly is financial information of a nature that could effect the share price.

But a clever journalist with a little bit of courage can ask when this information will be released and also ask whether it will be released when there is enough to cover the £1.5 million in loand advanced or even just Letham’s £1 million portion of them.

Rangers might still refuse to comment but there is more than enough to run a story if there was the editorial will and that comes down to an editor’s decision and not just an individual journo.

It’s a difficult place for a journo to be in if they are a good journo wanting to get at the truth. If he/she pushes too hard – especially if they have certain religious connections – then they will quietly be labelled as an obsessive who has lost their objectivity and their stories won’t see the light of day.

Nothing is said or spoken about directly – it just happens and everyone knows why and the career dangers that follow not toeing the editorial line. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the ‘editorial line’ is always determined by what school you went to or the team that you support.

It is more likely to be made wrt an eye on circulation and profits and also the hassle factor which can come from the pitchfork brigade or lawyers on 24-hour retainers to protect their client’s interest by muzzling the press.

But Rangers are going to hit the buffers when the tickets go on public sale – they have a huge decision to make at that point. Do they actually reveal all the unsold seats or do they leave some of them out? And if they do the latter then a lot of Ibrox employees will know about it and some may well have grudges as to how they or colleagues are being treated.

So I would think that if the figures are as shocking as has been suggested then we will find out and Wallace has to decide whether to have a controlled release of that info or one over which he has no control at a time which might be highly damaging.

IMO if the figures are as bad as suggested then it could collapse Rangers although because of the nature of the shareholdings I have never been sure that shares would drop as far as to cause shares to plummet low enough for AIM to suspend the company.

One thing that might happen is that the institutional investors might decides enough is enough and get out. That, of course, has its own consequences because if they go then the assurances given to the court in Imran’s case will be null and void.

Imran has more than enough City contacts to know if the investors pull out and will be back in court in a flash and this time I can’t see his motion for ring-fencing being rejected.

Even if the Indstitutional Investors don’t pull-out and sell their shares are they really going to take-up their rights issue – I know if they don’t they will suffer dilution but what the hell by that stage their share vale will already be devalued by approx 70%. And if they buy at the rights issue to prevent dilution they will have to do so again at the subsequent Public Offer to follow.

Somehow I can’t see it which means that either the anonymous mystery overseas shareholders who, in reality, control Rangers will have to spend their hard cash and somehow I think their blueprint is to extract cash from Ibrox and not to inject it.

So what is Wallace to do? He has to find fresh Mugs – but Charles Green he ain’t so I think he’ll fail dismally on that one. And if he can’t sell STs to fans he ain’t going to sell shares to them.

Really the only hope is a Sugar Daddy – but like buses and cops there are never any about when you need one in a hurry 😆

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paulsatimPosted on9:27 am - Jun 5, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
June 5, 2014 at 8:57 am
0 0 Rate This

Cheers @sannoffy but iPlayer content is blocked here in the Nordic region.
==============================
Hi DP, if you use Google Chrome browser, they have a great free app called Hola which allows UK content worldwide, Iplayer, sky player, etc.
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hola-better-internet/gkojfkhlekighikafcpjkiklfbnlmeio?hl=en

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ecobhoyPosted on9:37 am - Jun 5, 2014


Tartanwulver says:
June 5, 2014 at 6:56 am

I think your piece on the media role is interesting and a lot very close to the sub-text going on. The big problem of course is that so many disparate strands have been woven into the rope of ‘Rangersness’.

It becomes impossible to work out which of the fraying strands will break under the remorseless pressure being applied.

The problem with the media approach which you have described is that by sedating the Bears to keep them docile during the journey is that when they are rudely awakened by a juddering halt at an unscheduled stop – which becomes the final destination – there will be a lot of anger and angst because they have ben kept in the dark.

OK they should have asked more questions and should have done more – hindsight is a wonderful thing . . . afterwards 🙁

But they also deserved to be told the truth along the way and the media and the Footbal Authorities collectively failed them for a variety of reasons but they will escape the wrath of any social discontent which actually takes place.

But I hope enough Bears are wakening-up to be able to see what has actually happened to their club and to correctly identify those responsible and also are able to take a long hard look at some of the cultural issues which have no place in a football club or, indeed, in a modern more-inclusive Scotland. And let’s never forget they are not alone in requiring a bit of soul-searching.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:38 am - Jun 5, 2014


wottpi says:
June 4, 2014 at 11:57 pm
4 0 Rate This

Re the lack of Scottish world class players.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Our ability to produce a few shining stars has been more luck than good judgement.
For if we had good judgement we would be churning them out on a conveyor belt.
The reality is that while the power houses got better and the emerging nations improved we stood still.
As a nation we have never been able to build on the successes we have had at club and national level.
Maybe its the weather???
————

From my entirely subjective viewpoint I’d say we have produced great players in years past because of desire and opportunity, not luck. The desire was always there, and probably still is, among so many young people. We were still producing very decent players by the 1980s. But with the arrival of Souness at Ibrox and the beginning of the era of imported players, money and energy that could have gone on a Dutch or Scandinavian style youth development programme went on ‘big names’. That many other clubs went down the same path sent a message to Scots lads that they simply ‘weren’t good enough’. I don’t think the phrase ‘not genetically programmed’ was used, but it might as well have been. Disgraceful neglect of our own, especially at a time when Mrs T was doing her worst for coming generations.

I watched this retrograde development from abroad while all around me Scotland’s neighbours created their own talents. If Sweden can get to a World Cup semi, and consistently perform at a high level, and the Danes win a Euro Championship and feed a stream of talented players to several countries, it’s not to do with their superior weather, because the winters are much the same, though with even more snow 🙂

We’ve all seen the young chap leave Ibrox for Dundee while yesterday’s man arrives, looking tanned and ‘Aye Ready’, but even the die-hard supporters are bemused. The short-termist philosophy that was Sounessism lives on in its has-been acolytes.

No, heaven be praised that we’ve got a Hamilton Accies in the top tier with their emphasis on youth. They are nurturing the future of Scottish football as others are now doing. Long may that continue.

Scottish football has long been associated with a unique mix of skill, commitment and fight. The sort of spirit we see in Andy Murray. It has been respected abroad for these traits. It’s what makes our own leagues worth watching. The time has hopefully returned when we once again give opportunity to our own.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:00 am - Jun 5, 2014


I wonder if anyone with some AIM expertise could explain this one to me. There were no trades in RFC shares yesterday and just after 9.00am this morning 1 share was bought.

Probably a simple technical explanation but it would be nice to know.

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JimBhoyPosted on10:41 am - Jun 5, 2014


Greig Thomas whoever he is gushing about the return of a player who should be on the golf course..

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfer-news/kenny-miller-ive-not-smile-3647566

— No wonder Miller hasn’t got the smile off his face, I read before that he is on £3k a week basic with a further £8k per game, no doubt further bonuses in that contract.. Of course AMcC wouldn’t know that as he doesn’t check contract detail. Probably > £50k a month to play football in the second division for a team skint and laying off staff to cut costs..Only at the rangers..

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JimBhoyPosted on10:43 am - Jun 5, 2014


@ECO somebody had a spare 26p???

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valentinesclownPosted on10:51 am - Jun 5, 2014


Tartanwulver says:
June 5, 2014 at 6:56 am
29 1 Rate This

macfurgly says:
June 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Furthermore, surely it has now come to the point that with TRFC fans in despair, disarray and confusion, lamb no longer on the menu and newspaper circulation dropping faster than a pair of lead knickers,
—————————————————————————–
Lead knickers (made me laugh)
All almighty efforts have been made to save the fabric and allow the myth of same club to continue and the people who benefit are not the people, it is the investors in the background of this team that plays at |brox. People at the highest level in Government contacted HMRC to help keep this tax evading club alive, no remorse for the creditors at all. The SMSM have certainly played their part in the myth that is rangers but they are not the only ones. LNS , Internal Investigations, SFA , D&P and on and on. Shame on them all and this shame is now like a black shadow over our sport. Why oh why do the team from Govan have to be treated above all others and make no mistake this IMO is the truth. Liquidation occurred to Glasgow Rangers but the myth continues in the shape of The Rangers. Unbelievable and really quite sickening. History of all our clubs is everything, it is what we pass on to our children, it is what we talk about to other fans, it is great memories of football. Will the history of our game in the future be forever tainted (or spoke in whispers) because of how one club could not be properly liquidated as they were more important than all others.

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twopandaPosted on11:01 am - Jun 5, 2014


MSM Blitzkreig on a Mr K Miller
Newsworthy – but what`s really happening under such intense black smoke?
& World Cup in a week
Last date for a public BDO report 11 June – one day before said World Cup
Guess we`re old hands at this now
I`d wager the landscape will have completely changed in a month – but surreptitiously done
All – should be on alert – and QED – take it that nothing of substance will come from PR`d MSM

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Gym TrainerPosted on11:16 am - Jun 5, 2014


@Danish Pastry – you have a PM…

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