John Clark Meets “The SFA”

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John Clark Meets “The SFA”

Regular posters and contributors to the SFM may remember that in October last year I wrote to Mr McRae, President of the SFA.

I posted the text of my letter on 28th October http://www.sfmonitor.org/whose-assets-are-they-anyway/?cid=20786

I had not received a reply or acknowledgement by 12th December, so I sent a reminder. I received a reply to that reminder, dated 16 December 2015, in which Mr McRae apologised for not having responded to my previous letter, and invited me to come and see him. We arranged that I should visit him at Hampden on 19 January 2016 at 2.00 p.m.

Following the meeting, I wrote a summary of the conversation. I emailed that summary to Mr Darryl Broadfoot, Head of Communications, asking him to check whether my recollections were accurate, because I was my intention to post the summary on SFM.

I have not had a reply and I think I have waited a fair enough time, so, here is the summary of an approximately 45 minute conversation.

I should first make it clear that Mr McRae said that he had no recollection of airing any of the views recorded in my letter as attributed to him. I should also say that I made it clear that while I contribute to SFM, I was not there as ‘officially representing’ SFM, although what I would say broadly reflected the view of many.


 

“Note of informal meeting between me, and Alan McRae, President of the SFA, with Darryl Broadfoot, Press Officer, at Hampden park, 2.00 pm Tuesday, 19th January.

Background: I had written to Mr McRae in October 2015, to ask whether Mr McRae had really (as had been reported to me) aired the following opinions:

  1. that Rangers FC were not Liquidated
  2. that Rangers FC were put down to the third Division
  3. that Rangers FC were bought by Charles Green and that the team currently playing out of Ibrox Stadium and calling itself The Rangers Football Club Ltd is one and the same as the club known as Rangers Football Club, which is currently in Liquidation.

Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, went through the points one by one.

On point one, there was no difficulty in agreeing that RFC had been Liquidated. That was accepted as a matter of fact.

On point two, I argued that;

  • Mr Green’s new club had had to apply for league and SFA membership, and were therefore admitted as a new club to Scottish Football and allowed into SFL Third Division.
  • They had as an emergency measure been granted conditional membership, and had had to seek the Administrators’ and Football Authorities’ agreement to the use of certain RFC (IL) players who had decided to sign on with the new club in order to play their first game as a new club.
  • They were ‘put in ‘the Third Division as a new club, not as an existing club being relegated.

Mr McRae, through Mr Broadfoot, argued that ‘put in’ and ‘admitted to’ are pretty much the same thing, and that the legal advice obtained was that Mr Green’s new club was not a new club, and the Authorities were stuck with that.

I referred to the 5-way Agreement, and made the point that two entities other than league or SFA representatives were signatories to that agreement: RFC (IL) and Mr Green’s new club. The two could not be one.

Mr Broadfoot said that was a matter of opinion.

I said that it was rather a matter of fact.

Likewise, on the third point, there was disagreement.

Mr Broadfoot, for Mr McRae, argued that Charles Green bought the club (and Mr McRae personally added ‘and the “goodwill”’).

I pointed out that Mr Green had NOT bought the club out of Administration, as had happened with other clubs, but merely had bought the assets of a former club that was NOT able to bought out of administration and was consequently Liquidated.

Mr Broadfoot said that Celtic and Rangers supporters might continue to disagree but that could only be expected.

I pointed out that this was not at all a Celtic-Rangers supporters’ issue, and that the Scottish Football Monitor, for instance, represented the views of supporters of many clubs. I further made the point that many sports administrative bodies had come under the spotlight in current times and people were naturally concerned that the governance of football should be above suspicion: and that substantial numbers feel that the Football Authorities have been at fault, in permitting a new club to claim to be an old club and pretend to the honours and titles etc etc.

Reference was made in the passing to some allegations that had been made that certain evidence relating to the Discounted Option Scheme had been withheld from the LNS commission, which occasioned Lord Nimmo Smith to be misled; and to the apparent negligent performance of the SFA administration under the previous President, who, both on account of his personal knowledge of the use of the DOS by Sir David Murray, and as a subsequent recipient of an EBT, might reasonably have been expected to ensure a thorough and diligent examination of the information provided by clubs about payments to players.

Mr Broadfoot ruled out discussion of the first of these matters because ‘there was no evidence’, and the second matter was also ruled out because, he asserted, the previous president is a man of the highest integrity.

I replied that work was in hand to provide evidence, and that the question of negligent performance of duties was not a question of ‘personal integrity’.

Mr Broadfoot opined that the future would show whether Scottish Football supporters were really concerned about the old club/new club debate, if huge numbers turned their backs on the game.

I replied that a sport based on a false proposition, on what could be seen as a lie, no matter on what pragmatic reasons, would certainly wither if and when people thought the sport could be rigged.

As the meeting drew to a close, I was asked if, coming from Edinburgh, I was a Hibs or Hearts supporter, or perhaps a Celtic supporter? And whether I was going to tonight’s (Celtic were playing that evening at home) game?

I replied that as my name suggests, I was of Irish extraction and perhaps conclusions could be drawn from that. Also that I would not be going to tonight’s game, and that my interest in the present matter was rather more academic and objective than partisan.

The meeting ended cordially at about 2.45.pm “


 

I think I can say that Mr Broadfoot, opening the meeting, explained that

“for the purposes of this meeting, I am the SFA.”

Mr McRae’s personal contribution to the conversation was therefore very little more than mentioned above, Mr Broadfoot doing most of the talking.

I will say further that I spoke to BP, and consulted one or two other posters before I went to the meeting, in order to make sure that my general understanding both of the principal events of the ‘saga’ and of the thrust of most of SFM’s contributors, who are drawn from supporters of many clubs, was sufficiently sound.

I give it as my opinion that I may have been invited to a personal meeting only because it might have been thought in some quarters that I was in possession of an electronic recording of what I told Mr McRae that he was reported as having said.

And, finally, I declare here that my note of the meeting was written within two hours of the meeting, and reflects the substance of the conversation. It is exactly the note I sent by email to Broadfoot, except that I corrected a typo in the spelling of Darryll (I had ‘Caryll’), have omitted my own surname, and changed references to myself from the third person to the first person.

 

 

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John Clark author

1,392 Comments so far

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ReiverPosted on10:02 am - Feb 1, 2016


1000 reached. Will now start the next step.

https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-673d2730-4863-4499-8b6d-b4c6e908318f

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on10:07 am - Feb 1, 2016


oddjob 1st February 2016 at 8:49 am #Much has been said about Mr Spiers’ article. Does anyone have a copy? I did see that the director supposedly concerned, was named on one of the TRFC sites, but have no recollection of the actual “offending” article.

http://forums.scottishfootballforums.co.uk/topic/22740-graham-spiers-is-he-right-or-wrong-lets-just-ban-him-anyway/

You will find a full copy of the article at the link above.
I am truly struggling to connect this article with the  maelstrom which has ensued. There is something being played out here which has very little to do with the article, in my opinion.
I also find it impossible to reconcile the Herald’s apology with Spiers’ own statement. Here is the first part of the Herald apology-

In a recent column for heraldscotland, Graham Spiers said an un-named Rangers director had praised the song The Billy Boys.
He also questioned the willingness of Rangers directors to tackle offensive behaviour, and The Herald and Graham Spiers accept this was inaccurate.

And this from Spiers-

The Herald told me repeatedly that they now had to find a way to a public resolution with Rangers. Having searched many avenues to reach an agreement with the club, the newspaper ultimately denied my request to withhold any clarification/apology until my own position was clearer.

I have to conclude that the Herald’s apology was incorrect, since clearly Spiers does not accept that his story is inaccurate, and did not agree to the apology being published. When Spiers points this out publicly, he gets sacked. Bizarre! 
This must be about more than the “great song” comment. As Smugas and others have pointed out, the director could simply respond, yes, I did say it was a great song- what I meant was the tune”. End of story. It is a great tune. So there really must be more to it than that.
The rest of the article is a pure opinion piece. All it says is that the current Board should do more. There is no accusation against the Board in respect of its own views. He just thinks they should do more. Surely that can’t be actionable, outside of North Korea?
The rumour is that “Rangers” wanted Spiers’ head on a plate, and used commercial pressure on the Herald to get it. Plus Heggarty’s head for afters. Is that really true? If so, I would have to conclude that the Rangers board have well and truly lost the plot. Do they really believe that they can suppress totally any expression of opinion that they dislike, basically by putting commercial pressure on the newspapers? Or maybe they really can. I’m certainly not seeing any signs of a fightback by our doughty fourth estate. I wonder who’s next in line?
And what’s the Heggarty thing all about? Why would “Rangers” want her sacked?  Does she even write about football? Well, she does now, I suppose, even if she didn’t before. She was allegedly sacked for undermining the Herald apology. I’ve already pointed out the slight flaw in that apology, which undermines itself by claiming Spiers’ agreement, which the Herald clearly didn’t have.
I can only assume that both Spiers and Heggarty are freelancers with zero employment right. Otherwise the Herald could be down a lot more than £40k once an employment tribunal had its say.
I think this whole mess might mark the end for any meaningful Scottish print journalism. The situation was dire already. This just puts the tin lid on it.

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Buteo ButeoPosted on10:14 am - Feb 1, 2016


oddjob 1st February 2016 at 8:49 am #Much has been said about Mr Spiers’ article. Does anyone have a copy?
Full article at bottom of this Wings over Scotland piece oddjob
http://wingsoverscotland.com/hullo-hullo-we-are-the-bully-boys/#more-81205

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jean7brodie

jean7brodiePosted on10:17 am - Feb 1, 2016


oddjob 1st February 2016 at 8:49 am #

Have sent you a PM.

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jimmciPosted on10:34 am - Feb 1, 2016


The whole Speirs/ Haggerty / Rangers / Herald saga stinks.
I searched the Rangers Hibs game on BT Sport. The singing was very loud, very long, very bigotted and, as a consequence, BT have decided to move microphone to protect our ears! Dear Lord, what’s that all about?
Spiers article to me seemed pretty balanced and in the main supportive of positive strides made over the course of the past few years, particularly in home games.
The reaction by Rangers wreaked of a vengeful, baying mob. Just go to Rangers Media to see how the bears are rejoicing. Truly shameful.
A relatively unknown columnist who,only a few weeks previously, the Sunday Herald were proclaiming as a new, fresh voice to Scottish journalism ( Haggerty ) becomes “involved” by sympathising with Spiers on a Tweet. Clearly she IS new since the rest do her Scottish media colleagues clearly know the score. Rangers voice must be heard, respected and listened to and certainly not criticised or challenged. Who would want any of these supine, spineless people as peers?
The Herald bin her which is, in my view an OTT reaction. However to tell her she is banned from all 300 or so Newsquest titles as well as the Herald Group……. Seriously, how can that ever be possibly justified based on one Tweet?
What this episode demonstrates in that the Rangers Boardroom, including some reasonably successful businessmen as well as some less so, are every bit as spiteful, hate filled and perhaps, deep-down, insecure as many of the fans who follow them and chant their vile. Newsquest papers are totally worthless if looking for a fair and balanced read.
We’ve missed Rangers at the top table? You’re having a laugh.

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on10:42 am - Feb 1, 2016


Neepheid,
Thanks.
Jean7Brodie
Read and replied,
Thanks.

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oddjob

oddjobPosted on10:45 am - Feb 1, 2016


Buteo buteo,
My thanks to you also!

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on1:25 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Another piece from Roy Greenslade,  01 February 2016
http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/feb/01/why-the-heralds-editor-fired-a-columnist-in-row-with-rangers?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet

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TrisidiumPosted on1:34 pm - Feb 1, 2016


I think that there is a plan at work here with respect to the off message members of the press.

Spiers and Haggerty are the latest, but Chris McLaughlin has had his creds withdrawn., and Jim Spence has also been the subject of an RST complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (IPSO) for an article in the Courier in which he said that the CoS had ruled the use of EBTs as ‘illegal’.

Could be just coincidence of course, but the battle fronts are multiplying all the time.

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on1:55 pm - Feb 1, 2016


jimmci 1st February 2016 at 10:34 am #      

    BT have decided to move microphone to protect our ears!

Let’s hope they don’t relocate them to the Director’s Box !    

On a serious note, I was talking to some TRFC -supporting mates .  A couple of years ago, they thought they had lost everything -their club had died and Scotland was on the cusp of independence .  The referendum result galvanised them. It is still “their” country and will be run for “their” benefit . They still have a club to support, playing out of Ibrox wearing blue strips .  The traditional songs are them re-marking their territory, re-establishing where they see themselves to be in our society . None of them, to my knowledge, is sectarian  but I’ve heard them belt out BB with gusto .Take out  the offensive lyrics and it is a good rallying song ,but other people will still recognise it for what it is – an odious, sectarian (illegal) chant .  My mates are happy with what they’ve presently got – not the real Rangers but a decent Championship team with a great chance of promotion who, with a few quality additions, will be able to establish themselves in the top tier and prosper . Meanwhile, CFC appear to be stagnating at best ,although they look to be completing their CL qualifiers squad early this year .

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yourhavingalaugh

yourhavingalaughPosted on2:00 pm - Feb 1, 2016


It appears to me that Magnus bottled it,a man in charge of a newspaper that was once the intellectual persons read,not any more,lucky if it’s anyone’s read now,Magnus,how many stories have you had to question in your time as an editor and how many never made it to print,do tell,you should have fell on your sword letting this get past the editorial stage,that would have been accepting the responsibility that comes with your position,why did you not go to the Rangers Director and offer yourself as the man responsible for not editing the story,surely knowing that any reporting would be challenged regarding the new club ,particularly ones that may contain bad news should not have went to print without you having cast your eye over it,you do not need to do this now as it’s quite clear what the message is from the Herald stance on the new club,no bad news even if it’s true,you may as well shut up shop now Magnus,a true RRM.

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SmugasPosted on2:26 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Paddy Malarky,

So why the need for the Big Lie ((c) JC)?
You say yourself as long as they had their Ref victory the timing and result of which was co-incidental, but I agree influenced them nonetheless, 11 men in blue to sing victorious hubristic pap about (and which at no point did anyone say they wouldn’t have*) then they would be quite happy – well as happy as they ever can be.  So why not give them their club, technically a new one but in the flesh it doesn’t matter either way – we would sing about our version of events, they would sing about theirs (perhaps we could meet in the chorus 03) but crucially the liquidation threat would remain in place, as everyone understood it before, to avoid any repeat.

What was gained by going down the other more, em,  creative route? 

* by which I mean a 4th division entry pass, not entirely disimilar to the one they got in fact!

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on2:29 pm - Feb 1, 2016


The Cat NR1 1st February 2016 at 1:19 am #John Clark 31st January 2016 at 2:02 pm #The Cat NR1 31st January 2016 at 1:48 pm ‘….but is it possible for someone to source a full list of titles please?I and I’m sure many others demand to know the names.’ ________ This link might help. http://www.newsquest.co.uk/portfolio/our-titles/ =============== Cheers JC. That wasn’t quite the list of hard-hitting titles that I anticipated. I’d heard of the Argus(Brighton), Telegraph & Argus (Bradford) and and Oxford Mail, but the rest seem like advert sheets very much like our local weekly freebie. I’ll check out Stretford, Urmston Messenger and Crewe & Nantwich Guardian with a local contact, but I can’t believe that there is any journalistic freedom at threat in those publications.
==================
Further to the above, I have received response from my source in the northwest.
He advised me that the Stretford, Urmston Messenger is delivered through his letterbox as a weekly free advertiser. Likewise, the Crewe & Nantwich Guardian was a weekly free delivery when he lived down in Cheshire.
Neither of those titles are paragons of journalistic virtue, so is that the way ahead for the Herald following their withdrawal from attempting to carry on as a reputable newspaper?

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TaysiderPosted on2:43 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Trisidium 1st February 2016 at 1:34 pm #I think that there is a plan at work here with respect to the off message members of the press.
—–
Not such a subtle plan? As far as I’m aware no mention of the Spiers / Herald story on Sportsound over the weekend (happy to be corrected, I listen to it less and less). No Tam and Stuart at the least sending up a situation involving a regular guest on their programme?
Maybe there is a line out there in BBC management and elsewhere that it is time to move on. It’s not unreasonable though to think that an element of at best the desire for a quiet life, at worst fear, is at play here. Heggarty, Spiers, Jim Spence, Mark Daly, you’re either with us or against us for some sad folk. I actually thought Spiers was an Ibrox club supporter FWIW (apparently not much).
So where are we heading? I can only see mistrust of the MSM continuing to grow with this story, not just for the action by the Herald but also for how the rest of the MSM have either ignored it or given it low billing. So is it unreasonable to wonder if all Scottish papers are a waste of time in terms of impartial coverage. Is the same increasingly true of Sportsound? For the state broadcaster to have Richard Wilson, Keith Jackson, Kenny MacIntyre all on at once on an evening suggests a lack of concern over credibility and balance. I’d be curious to know what their audience figures have been in recent years.
There again, if fear is increasingly an issue, if a London based respected journalist who proved his mettle reporting from war zones is one of the very few I look to for honest reporting, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

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Gym TrainerPosted on2:54 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Further to the above, I have received response from my source in the northwest.He advised me that the Stretford, Urmston Messenger is delivered through his letterbox as a weekly free advertiser. Likewise, the Crewe & Nantwich Guardian was a weekly free delivery when he lived down in Cheshire.Neither of those titles are paragons of journalistic virtue, so is that the way ahead for the Herald following their withdrawal from attempting to carry on as a reputable newspaper?

Likewise the Advertiser series in County Durham – those are all the firelighter sheets – delivered free to every house whether you want it or not (I was one of the young lads that delivered the Trader, a competitor of the Advertiser – neither the Advertiser nor the Trader carried any articles at all that I remember… house sales in the front “half”, a pull-out for something like kitchens in the middle and used cars at the back). Loved leaflets and other inserts because they could triple your pay 🙂 (1p/paper, plus 0.1p/per 4 pages over 40; 1p per leaflet, plus 0.5p per additional leaflet)

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Gym TrainerPosted on2:58 pm - Feb 1, 2016


So is it unreasonable to wonder if all Scottish papers are a waste of time in terms of impartial coverage.

It doesn’t have to be impartial per se – the allowance of a plurality of views would be a start! (They need to allow the spectrum of opinions – obviously with the caveat of actual verifiable truth behind it – you know like multiple sources to stand up a story, not just a press release from the interested party)
I don’t think it’s restricted to sport either – it’s been obvious since the iPhone arrived that Apple press releases in particular on product releases are churned out more or less verbatim.

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ReiverPosted on3:10 pm - Feb 1, 2016


As promised the next step has been taken.
Read the update section at
https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-673d2730-4863-4499-8b6d-b4c6e908318f
I f you haven’t already signed you can do so while you are there.

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The Cat NR1

The Cat NR1Posted on3:11 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Trisidium 1st February 2016 at 1:34 pm #I think that there is a plan at work here with respect to the off message members of the press.
Spiers and Haggerty are the latest, but Chris McLaughlin has had his creds withdrawn., and Jim Spence has also been the subject of an RST complaint to the Press Complaints Commission (IPSO) for an article in the Courier in which he said that the CoS had ruled the use of EBTs as ‘illegal’.
 
Could be just coincidence of course, but the battle fronts are multiplying all the time.
=========================
I suspect that the lack of resistance is leading them to become more emboldened.
That mirrors what happened in the boardroom until they more than met their match in Mike Ashley.
At some point, the mob will encounter a press equivalent of Mike Ashley, but I very much doubt that it will be from within Scotland.

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sitcomPosted on3:12 pm - Feb 1, 2016


It would appear that the Herald and the SFA have access to the same legal advisor. Could that be true?
I am deeply saddened that this is happening in my country!

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LUGOSI

LUGOSIPosted on3:31 pm - Feb 1, 2016


The Statement on behalf of the Rangers Supporters Trust makes for interesting reading.
You don’t have to read it for too long before the tone, wording and message all point towards its likely author being Chris Ze List Graham. This Statement has to be the lowpoint in self awareness ever and that is saying something when you consider his previous efforts.
If you read the Statement with any knowledge of the background you would think he was being ironic. But he’s not. He’s serious.
The Statement reeks of a club and its Supporters being maliciously wronged by malevolent forces.
Space is given to having a snide (I think you’ve dropped some of your DNA, Mr Graham?) pop:
“This mob has crowdfunded websites and donations to fund their obsession.”
(Is that even English? How do you crowdfund donations?)
Does he mean us? He surely does. How does everyone feel about being described as part of a mob? Offended? Defamed? Pitchforks and flaming torches at the ready?
I suspect at least one of the targets is the esteemed (by most sentient people) Mr Doleman who has in equal part enraged the people Mr Graham represents and piqued their interest as they follow his reports avidly.
To sneeringly complain about people willingly making a contribution to James Doleman is to miss a rather large elephant in the room.
Mr Doleman asked for contributions and in exchange outlined what he would provide; he raised £2,270. I’ve lost count of the number of reports he’s provided in a variety of cases in a variety of locations. If Mr Doleman is not providing value for money the market will let him know the next time he asks for contributions. (Incidentally James, how the hell do you make a couple of grand stretch that far?)
Given that the Statement is on behalf of a Supporters Trust you would expect some insight into, well, funding.
How does the Supporters Trust think their club is funded?
Do the Supporters not pay their money as a, well, crowd? (Blazer and Brown Brogue wearers, even if only for a day or two, may not be part of this scheme.)
To pluck a for example out of the air their former Manager was on a salary of £825,000 a year.
And a Company Car and a six figure no vouching required expense account. Oh, and a million shares.
How was this funded? A crowd of season tickets?
If you look at the value for money aspect here simple arithmetic tells us that Ally McCoist earned £2,260 per day every day of the calendar year for years including the last year when he didn’t even have to turn up.
There you go contributers, for a tenner less than you gave James Doleman you could have got Ally McCoist. For a day.
There is one glaring omission from the Statement. There is no reference whatsoever to the subject matter of Graham Spiers’ article; the behaviour of the Supporters, the same Supporters on whose behalf the Statement is issued. In particular no reference is made to the song which was heard across Ibrox and the rest of the world on 28th December 2015. And not for the first time. Did the Authorities ever get back to us after Berwick? Hampden? Falkirk?…
We have a song about murdering Catholics. We have a journalist writing about it. We have a journalist sacrificed to appease the baying masses. We have another journalist summarily dismissed for supporting a fellow journalist. If our SMSM has all of a sudden got a fixation with cast iron evidence and proof; double if not triple corroborated, it would explain why Oor Keef has been keeping his head down on Twitter (I’m not even going to bother to see what this week’s Sermon is).
I think I’ll have a go at writing a cheerful, rousing ditty about being up to my knees in Rangers Supporters’ blood.
Seemingly it’s unobjectionable. Seemingly it’s not even worth mentioning.

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on3:46 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Smugas 1st February 2016 at 2:26 pm #
I will need to ask them about the need for the “Big Lie” from their perspective, but I see it as the out-of-touch governors of Scottish football deciding on an acceptable outcome for them and their commercial partners, bearing in mind that they are wedded to a “big two” rivalry with 40 diddy clubs as the supporting cast – the perennial Good v Evil . Pre internet, we would have been expected to, and probably would have swallowed it and tugged the forelock ‘cos they knew best.  The showing up of SMSM as cheerleaders of this state of affairs has damaged them and accelerated their decline, but they have been party to the scheme from the start and probably see it as part of the management of our society .There’s more to this farce than fitba’ .

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on3:54 pm - Feb 1, 2016


woodstein 1st February 2016 at 1:25 pm

Another piece from Roy Greenslade,  01 February 2016

http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/feb/01/why-the-heralds-editor-fired-a-columnist-in-row-with-rangers?
========================

Mr. Greenslade seems to muddy the waters (for me, at least) in his column.

RIFC/TRFC’s issue with Mr. Spier’s column is not that one anonymous director said something a few months ago which ‘may’ have been contentious, but that the author suggested that the board (I’m not sure which one, club or company), as a whole, has failed to address certain behaviours by their supporters. It is the board, not an individual, that the Herald addresses the apology towards. 

…or have I got it all horribly wrong?

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valentinesclown

valentinesclownPosted on4:01 pm - Feb 1, 2016


From JJ
https://t.co/sMdKOWSaT4

How many agree with this sad probable, likely approach from SFA and smsm?  Me for one. 

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goosygoosyPosted on4:07 pm - Feb 1, 2016


jimmci 1st February 2016 at 10:34 am #The whole Speirs/ Haggerty / Rangers / Herald saga stinks.I searched the Rangers Hibs game on BT Sport. The singing was very loud, very long, very bigotted and, as a consequence, BT have decided to move microphone to protect our ears!
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Does this mean we will never hear any more racist chants on BT Sports at games played by English clubs?
Or after match discussions between the pundits about lawbreaking chants?
Or follow up references to law breaking chants on Match of the Day?
,,,,,,,
Or are BT sport an anti racist chanting organisation who condone sectarian  chanting?

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tony

tonyPosted on5:51 pm - Feb 1, 2016


valentinesclown
i’ve already put the key in the door,all i need to do is open the door then close it behind me and scottish football will be dead to me,every club in scotland will be sacrificed for the sake of one club, it’s not a sport it’s a fix,plain and simple

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sickofitallPosted on6:12 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Does the signing of o halleren  now finally put to bed the romours of rangers being skint going to have an administration event or failing to pay there monthly wage bill  .Just asking

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Big PinkPosted on6:25 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall 1st February 2016 at 6:12 pm

Does the signing of o halleren  now finally put to bed the romours of rangers being skint going to have an administration event or failing to pay there monthly wage bill  .Just asking

I think that is fair comment. It certainly seems to have blown our predictions out of the water. One for the forensic accountants maybe?

Definitely a result for Rangers. The boy is a good player (for half a mill) and it will be a huge morale booster for TRFC and their fans.

Interestingly, no KJ tweets in advance of that one. His Tweet to say that confirmation of O’Halleron was ‘only minutes away’ was actually AFTER cconfirmation.

He was out of the loop it seems? Still, he’s reinvented himself as a tennis expert today. Diversification is everything in a disappearing industry 🙂

For once though, TRFC did everything right – and kudos for that.

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tony

tonyPosted on6:28 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall
not really,same thing in 2012,what happened?

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paddy malarkey

paddy malarkeyPosted on6:33 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall 1st February 2016 at 6:12 pm #

For the time being, imo . I reckon there will be a re adjustment in the close season and they will carry a 15 point penalty into the Premiership . They should be strong enough to stay up .

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easyJamboPosted on6:41 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall 1st February 2016 at 6:12 pm #
Does the signing of o halleren  now finally put to bed the romours of rangers being skint going to have an administration event or failing to pay there monthly wage bill  .Just asking
===========================
Personally speaking I think you have to.

We have been told that the operating loss for the first half of the year was £500K.  With ST sales of over 34,000 and average home league gates approaching 45,000, their income from gate receipts and hospitality will be up by around £3M over the season.

Add to that a reduction in player and coaching budgets, with McCoist, McDowall, McCulloch, Black, Boyd, Daly, Smith, Foster all off the payroll, then the saving will be significant (say £1.5M to £2M?) despite the recruitment of replacements.

Boardroom costs have also been slashed despite the likelihood of expense accounts being used. Director costs were £383K in 2015.  

The debt situation, while not comfortable at approaching £11M, seems under control with RRM providing the funds in the form of loans that we are told will eventually be turned into equity.

Even the Retail deal will start to generate some income for the club as the furore around the Sports Direct legal actions starts to diminish and “boycotts” are no longer in vogue.

The imponderables remain questions over the assets should there be guilty verdicts in the Fraudco trial, but that will be a least another year down the road. Legal fees must be mounting up, however even those are not out of control, given recent decisions in the club’s favour.

I think that the annual loss will now be in the region of £3M-£4M for 2015/16, with a close to break even position the following season, assuming that there are no unexpected liabilities arising.

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upthehoopsPosted on6:45 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall 1st February 2016 at 6:12 pm #Does the signing of o halleren  now finally put to bed the romours of rangers being skint going to have an administration event or failing to pay there monthly wage bill  .Just asking
=========================

I wouldn’t know but I can certainly see where you’re coming from. Another soft loan perhaps? However, it shouldn’t be forgotten the old Rangers were handing out massive new deals to players like McGregor and Whittaker in 2011, just before they stopped paying tax. Appearances can be deceptive, but they’ve kept the fans on board. Despite their unfathomable blind faith in Dave King he simply had to deliver something of substance during this window. 

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sannoffymesssoitizzPosted on7:12 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Please sign and share on social media if you’ve not already done so.
https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-94421b40-2d6b-4d4b-9cff-912c9849478f/u/15242142?tk=5MoFj1VzR-bBdTG9ZXgkBfVA5NbnxoSSDyjEy4oPpmE&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

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DenPosted on7:22 pm - Feb 1, 2016


sickofitall 1st February 2016 at 6:12 pm #
It is the signing of one player for an undisclosed fee, 
The signing may be a signal that the Financial position is not desperate, however it may be a gamble by the board to save face.
 The evidence from the annual accounts is that more funding will be required to see out the season. This is a position endorsed by the Board and their Auditors.
When the accounts show that the losses have been stemmed and/ or additional funding has been secured I may change my views.

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tamjartmarquezPosted on7:30 pm - Feb 1, 2016


FWIW My tuppence worth on Herald/Spiersgate. I suspect that the reaction to the Spiers article is really what this is all about. A call to arms by those who are consumed by perceived attacks on their ‘culture’ Rangersness.
 There sing-songs are all that remains of a superiority complex that is built on sand. Defiance and attack the truth, these guys are now, wait for it, rebels.01
We know-that they know that we know Rangers* as is – is not the Rangers as was. The team they grew up supporting. They know its gone, they all damn well know it. 
The trying to silence remove the truth is to their understanding a ‘victory’ – No one likes us we don’t care.
They tilt at windmills  ‘No-one will remove our titles’, they do not need to be removed, they were not fairly won.
They cheated. No matter what they say ‘ they were won fairly on the park’. They also know that this not true.
I have been in the company of, otherwise, rational men who I have witnessed, react with, classic passive aggression.   When presented with the truth, these friends, normal rational men,go strangely quiet, at a loss. It must not be mentioned it polite circles. It is a definite No No.  It is pathetic and I pity them.
 

What is now being challenged, not by the usual so called minority underclass, that attached itself to Sevco. But by their board, those that must be obeyed. Their previously accepted way of life it is all about Rangersness. It really is their release valve, their comfort blanket that tells them all i well with the world. they congregate inside, on way too Ibrox, they rejoice in their Rangersness.
Rangersness is the connective tissue bonding the old to the new.
Its all they have left from a superiority complex that is unbelievably misplaced. It really is quite sad to see the breakdown. 

But if I know, they know, and they know I know.  When I meet these guys now, and it really is a no-no to discuss Sevco, not discussed in my company anyhoos.
I see broken men, the crux of their life Rangers gone forever like woolworths. They know it and it is really quite sad. Sir Walter admitted so in lucid moment, but like the gardener was partial to the bloo pound.

This Rangersness squirrel is to distract our clubs/ the authorities/ us from no fear or favour handling of the rules, to allow a completely new club, with no accounts etc, special licence etc. Its all about treating the new club as the true heirs of rangersness, and encourage a false sense of victimhood.  But the rule makers, the custodians of the game are themselves , imbued with Rangersness, one and all. 
They, our clubs, know, we  (all of Scottish football supporters –they who invest in season tickets, attend matches, etc) know that this has gone far too far, the genie is not going back in the bottle this is not going to end well. Supporters of football cannot let this go on. It should have been nipped in the bud, but a raging, seethin monster, hell bent on evening imaginary scores (list of enemies). And it will not be by reasoned debate, hell no, it is not the Rangers way. If the Govan entity earn, or otherwise are in the top division. Scottish fitba will be a no-go area, for me anyway. THAT WILL BE ARMAGGEDON.
They want the discussion to be based on Sectarianism/ banned songs- it is not, its about a cheating football club that was flogged to death by a custodian knight, supported by legends who too gorged to death on the blue pound. It died of greed , hubris killed from within. A complicit media and authorities (given tacit approval by our clubs) who allowed a non-entitled bast*rd club access to the league, to carry on the myth. 
Please can a leader no just stand up and say it stops now. Turnbull Hutton RIP
Scottish fitba would be better of without.
i didnt listen to off the ball, or sportsound this weekend, i dont believe there was an ‘i am Spartacus’ from the sportsguys. they all kowtow. Ruth Davidson, was the only political voice to speak up, why? 

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easyJamboPosted on8:07 pm - Feb 1, 2016


tamjartmarquez 1st February 2016 at 7:30 pm #
Ruth Davidson, was the only political voice to speak up, why? 
===============================
There were others:
Michael Russell MSP ‏@Feorlean Jan 29 Michael Russell MSP Retweeted Herald Editor
Magnus, the job of a serious newspaper is to explain the complicated and expose the truth…

Patrick Harvie ‏@patrickharvie Jan 29 Patrick Harvie Retweeted Storm Haggerty
This is truly a disgrace. Journalistic freedom must be robustly defended.

Angus Robertson ‏@AngusRobertson Jan 29
As someone proud to have worked as journalist and still member of @NUJScotland I am horrified by these developments

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tamjartmarquezPosted on8:21 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Thanks EJ, glad to hear it. Though would have hoped all our elected representatives would be more supportive. did it get a mention from Tam & Stuart or sportsound?

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woodstein

woodsteinPosted on8:46 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Jingso.Jimsie 1st February 2016 at 3:54 pm #
 

“Mr. Greenslade seems to muddy the waters (for me, at least) in his column
…or have I got it all horribly wrong?”

 
It does appear confusing, but  this is the opening part of the Herald statement on the 29th of January 2016
“A Graham Spiers column published on heraldscotland in December made a claim about an un-named member of the six-strong board of Rangers. This presented a legal issue which had to be addressed and which was discussed at length, by all parties involved. The issue was whether we could defend in court a contentious statement and the advice given was that we could not. Finally, on clear legal advice, we were left with no option other than to apologise and seek to draw a line under the matter. “
So this by Mr Greenslade appears to be correct,
“My understanding is that a single sentence in Spiers’s column, an allegation about a Rangers board director, was regarded as defamatory”
 
It is actually the other information that is in Mr Greenslades piece that is
 interesting.
“Scottish PEN, wrote a letter to the paper’s editor-in-chief, Magnus Llewellin”
His (Greenslade) email to Llewellin and reply.
His final comment

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Billy BoycePosted on9:10 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Big Pink 1st February 2016 65 p.m.
, no KJ tweets in advance of that one. His Tweet to say that confirmation of O’Halleron was ‘only minutes away’ was actually AFTER confirmation.
—————————————————————————
Talking about confirmation, I see that the award winning sports journalist was well and truly out-tweeted this afternoon.

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John ClarkPosted on11:11 pm - Feb 1, 2016


tamjartmarquez 1st February 2016 at 8:21 pm
‘… did it get a mention from Tam & Stuart or sportsound?’
____________
I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I was glad to hear Speirs himself on Sportsound. (Perhaps the  Sportsound editor(s) were a wee bit chary about summarily throwing an actual ‘supporter’ to the wolves, in the way they did with  Spency !
But ,sadly, Speirs  seemed to fawn a little  over the O’Halloran signing and to be a shade over-compensatory in his enthusiasm for the future success of his team, as if to make amends for daring to have been critical of ‘the Board’.

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jimboPosted on11:43 pm - Feb 1, 2016


So Celtic have signed Colin K Richards.   I have my doubts, however welcome to Scotland and good luck.  Especially with our journalists.  212121

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briggsbhoyPosted on11:48 pm - Feb 1, 2016


Michael O’Halloran:
I have regarded the above as a good player, liked his speed, body strength and ball skills and exciting when going forward. I must admit I would have preferred to see him go anywhere other than The Rangers and I’m disappointed that St Johnstone have taken the silver. Surprised also that there seemed to be no genuine interest from down south. What gauls me though is that The Rangers find money apparently to pay for this player whilst claiming to be the same club that went into liquidation owing money, sticks in my throat it does. I must admit there may be some jealousy but I know how I would feel if someone owed me money and goes off an spends. It’s a bit like being told by a debtor that they are skint and you meet them the following day and you discover they have booked a holiday or turned up in a new car. I doubt our man Brown at St Johnstone was daft enough not to take full or some sort of secured payment, hell mend him if it goes belly up.
We often talk on here about TR and hanging on financially and then they spend money, are we getting it wrong ?

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cuddlybearPosted on12:34 am - Feb 2, 2016


Wanted to put in my blue tuppence worth regarding Spiers.
A small point but an important one that seems not to have been made was, by not naming the director who apparently praised TBB, he was in effect making every one of the Rangers board a potential culprit. Looked at this way, is it of any surprise that those individuals (the majority of whom were innocent of the allegation, presuming it was true in the first place) should seek to have it withdrawn?
Without anything to substantiate the story, the Herald’s hands were tied. A retraction and apology was the only possible solution.
I can’t help thinking that to make such a serious allegation, in a clumsy manner (implicating multiple individuals of whom, at least all but one, were entirely innocent), without anything to substantiate it, was simply an error on Graham’s part. Not to mention the Herald for printing it in the first place.

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gunnerbPosted on12:41 am - Feb 2, 2016


briggsbhoy 1st February 2016 at 11:48 pm
“We often talk on here about TR and hanging on financially and then they spend money, are we getting it wrong ?”
_____________________________________
There is plenty hidden from view as a consequence of suspension of trading in the shares of TRFC. I am still hopeful that the forthcoming case regarding Ashley and the SFA might shed some light but in the meantime this signing may possibly have been at the insistence of the magic hat ?

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jimboPosted on1:09 am - Feb 2, 2016


Cuddlybear, a good point well made.   I’m not sure what the answer is.  By including his reference about one unnamed director with a general criticism of the whole board made it difficult.  My view is this:

I don’t believe for one moment that GS was lying.  He didn’t just have a flash one day and say ‘I’m going to say something outrageous’.  If you have read his stuff over the years, that it is not his style.  I believe him.  If he was not prepared to disclose who it was should he have kept it for his memoirs? Maybe.  Unless he had a hidden recording device then it is one mans word against another. 

Without referencing this director, he was on stronger ground.  The whole board and club at TRFC need to come out in no uncertain terms and shout down this song and this attitude.  The last time I heard them saying anything about it – I paraphrase – ‘I’ts no us it’s the police’  That is not good enough.  It is wrong because it is wrong, end of.

I mentioned the other day, Anne Budge did not miss and hit the wall when condemming her own supports misbehaviour.  She want Hearts to be a ‘family’ club.  As I do for my club.  As I’m sure you do for your club.

I knew when you said ‘a serious allegation’  that you were a poster and supporter worth engaging with.

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John ClarkPosted on1:19 am - Feb 2, 2016


cuddlybear 2nd February 2016 at 12:34 am
‘..by not naming the director who apparently praised TBB, he was in effect making every one of the Rangers board a potential culprit. ‘
________
Not at all, or at least not any more than any  Cabinet minister is a potential culprit when we shout our views that , for instance, the ‘ Scottish Government’ are whatever, or the UK Cabinet are murdering warmongers or whatever.
If someone were to state that ‘a’ contributor to this blog was a bad bast.rd of a moron, I doubt if any particular contributor could bring a defamation suit!
There may be such a beast. But if it is an non-specific beast, wo is being defamed?
The whole thing is a piece of blo.dy nonsense.
And, in my view, the Newsquest Group should change their lawyers.

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jimboPosted on2:08 am - Feb 2, 2016


When you read the full article GS made a general point that the board of TRFC needs to do more to condemn the sectarian songs and chants in the Ibrox support.  He then went on, as if to emphasise his view that he had spoken to one individual director who had no problem with TBB. 

From my point of view, I do not take from that, that all directors feel the same way.

With regards the political comparison, read the Crossman Diaries, see how united Harold Wilsons cabinet was.  And you could say the same for every cabinet since whether in London or Edinburgh.

I blame Blair for Iraq, but certainly not for every minister in that cabinet.  Some were cowards, some were ambitious.     I blame both Blair & Brown for sucking up to the City of London and taking off all the brakes on financial regulations for Britains role in the crash (Masterton etc.) but I don’t blame the whole cabinet.

GS made two distinct points.  The easy answer would have been for TRFC to come out with a withering attack on the sentiment of TBB.  It didn’t happen they dealt with it in a disgraceful way.  Bullying.

The Herald’s response leave’s me lost for words.  Someone passed that that article ‘fit to print’. (imprimatur)  And then caved in.  In some ways their editor in chief is worse than TRFC.

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shug

shugPosted on4:41 am - Feb 2, 2016


cuddlybear 2nd February 2016 at 12:34 am #Wanted to put in my blue tuppence worth regarding Spiers.A small point but an important one that seems not to have been made was, by not naming the director who apparently praised TBB, he was in effect making every one of the Rangers board a potential culprit. Looked at this way, is it of any surprise that those individuals (the majority of whom were innocent of the allegation, presuming it was true in the first place) should seek to have it withdrawn?Without anything to substantiate the story, the Herald’s hands were tied. A retraction and apology was the only possible solution.I can’t help thinking that to make such a serious allegation, in a clumsy manner (implicating multiple individuals of whom, at least all but one, were entirely innocent), without anything to substantiate it, was simply an error on Graham’s part. Not to mention the Herald for printing it in the first place.
==================

As my old da used to say fly with the crows get shot with the crows make of it what you will.

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Johnbud78

Johnbud78Posted on4:56 am - Feb 2, 2016


Not posted for a while, and even at that rarely do!
I was pretty disgusted by the whole Herald debacle, even more so when Angela informed me via twitter that she was entirely happy with her editors attempts to keep her in her job and was happy with him, but it really shouldn’t surprise us anymore? I read JC’s interview notes and just shook my head (Oh belated thanks and well done as always John), the arrogance that comes through it is matched only by it’s cowardice and it is this that is replicated in the herald episode. 
Saw MOH has signed, and Celtic get a a wee $5k windfall from it, gave me a laugh anyway!
Keep up the good work lads, very much appreciated by all the lurkers and infrequent posters 0103

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upthehoopsPosted on7:20 am - Feb 2, 2016


John Clark 1st February 2016 at 11:11 pm #tamjartmarquez 1st February 2016 at 8:21 pm‘… did it get a mention from Tam & Stuart or sportsound?’____________I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but I was glad to hear Speirs himself on Sportsound. (Perhaps the  Sportsound editor(s) were a wee bit chary about summarily throwing an actual ‘supporter’ to the wolves, in the way they did with  Spency !But ,sadly, Speirs  seemed to fawn a little  over the O’Halloran signing and to be a shade over-compensatory in his enthusiasm for the future success of his team, as if to make amends for daring to have been critical of ‘the Board’.
=======================

As many on here have stated Graham Spiers seems to be an honest man of high integrity, like many other Rangers fans are. However he is just that , a Rangers fan. Him fawning over the football aspect of Ibrox is nothing new. Indeed, a large number of interviews he did for the Herald were with people associated with Rangers, much more so than any other club. Ergo, in time honoured fashion, he stated on Twitter he is ‘chuffed to bits’ for Ross County after their win on Sunday, exactly what he said about Aberdeen when they beat Celtic earlier in the season, and ICT after their semi final win last season.  There is nothing wrong with being a Rangers fan, but there is something wrong with the national broadcaster having too many of them on Sportsound. The host of the show who directs the conversation openly admits to a fondness for Ibrox too. In summary Spiers seems a good guy, but in my view he is as biased as the rest of us fans. It’s just that we don’t get paid money from the public purse to express our bias. I pay my money because it’s illegal not to, but I honesty feel I get very little balance in return for it. 

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Carfins FinestPosted on7:51 am - Feb 2, 2016


TRFC still owe the SFA £400.000 in fines and charges. They can spend on new playing staff but cannot pay outstanding fines. Are the SFA happy with this arrangement. You bet they are. Any other club………..pay up now…

We don’t know that to be the case CF.
Tris

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coineanachantaighePosted on8:26 am - Feb 2, 2016


riggsbhoy 1st February 2016 at 11:48 pm #Michael O’Halloran: We often talk on here about TR and hanging on financially and then they spend money, are we getting it wrong ?

I don’t think we are getting it completely wrong.  If we were there would have been more and bigger signings before this.  Maybe not completely daft signings as there seems to be some sense creeping into the way the team is run and surely they wouldn’t have been declaring earlier (IIRC) they needed extra money to keep the club running till the end of the season.
I think it is in line with the paying off of Ashley.  They realise they have to do this or the club goes under and so money has been got (possibly with harsh terms) to pay him off and there has been felt a need to show the bears the club is still “the big club” and so the O’Halloran signing.  I do note the lack of clarity in the figure paid so wonder if Brown has felt pressure from somewhere to accept a bid that isn’t completely cash up front.
I think what it really is is that the powers that be in football (and people of importance and money) in our society want Rangers to continue (even though they might not be willing to spend too much of thier own money) and so throughout this saga some way has always been found to keep them going no matter what mess they get into.

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incredibleadamspark

incredibleadamsparkPosted on9:19 am - Feb 2, 2016


coineanachantaighe 2nd February 2016 at 8:26 am

The lack of clarity in the O’Halloran transfer is the same lack of clarity in the Soutter and Kazim-Richards deals; the fees were all undisclosed. The St Johnstone chairman is quoted as saying ‘I’m satisfied with the transfer fee which reflects our full valuation of the player.’

Looks like Rangers, St Johnstone and the player are all happy with the outcome of this one. It’s just the transfer of one player and I wouldn’t read too much into it.

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neepheid

neepheidPosted on9:31 am - Feb 2, 2016


Carfins Finest 2nd February 2016 at 7:51 am #TRFC still owe the SFA £400.000 in fines and charges. They can spend on new playing staff but cannot pay outstanding fines. Are the SFA happy with this arrangement. You bet they are. Any other club………..pay up now…

I am not clear on the current status of this fine. This is the most recent reference to it that I can find- http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13197137.Rangers_vow_to_take_EBT_fine_to_arbitration_after_losing_SFA_appeal/
Sorry it’s the Herald, so here’s the meat of it-

Rangers face more financial pressures after failing to secure permission to appeal against the imposition of a £250,000 fine for undisclosed payments to players.
Rangers are fighting the Scottish Professional Football League’s (SPFL) attempts to recover the fine, which was handed down over the oldco club’s failure to disclose many untaxed payments to players throughout the first decade of this century.
The club announced they had lost an appeal with a Scottish Football Association (SFA) judicial panel and would take the matter to arbitration, but it is understood that their fight did not get past a preliminary hearing.

That followed this BBC article-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/30510604

The Scottish Professional Football League is withholding £250,000 of broadcast money due to Rangers in a bid to recoup a fine imposed for the club’s use of a controversial tax scheme.
Lord Nimmo Smith imposed the fine in February 2013 after finding Rangers broke league rules in their use of an employee benefit trust (EBT) scheme.
Rangers say they will appeal against the SPFL decision “vigorously”.

So it looks as if the SPFL have, quite correctly, withheld the £250k from TV money due to the club. That decision was appealed to the SFA, and the appeal was kicked out. The only further appeal would be to the Council for Arbitration in Sport. Although there was a lot of huffing and puffing from Ibrox at the time, there is no indication that such an appeal was lodged. Maybe going to court to argue that they’re a different club from the one that was fined was a bit of an ask!
I think we can say that the £250k has now been recovered by the SPFL. I don’t know where the figure of £400k originated, I think it was based on a guess of penalties and interest for late payment? Anyway my assumption is that under the 5WA, which appears to form the basis of the SPFL’s claim, Sevco agreed to pay the fine, but nothing was said in the agreement about interest and penalties. So the SPFL may have to claim the £150k from BDO as liquidators of RFC, or maybe just write it off, since it could be difficult to hold RFC liable for interest arising due to late payment by Sevco..

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SmugasPosted on9:47 am - Feb 2, 2016


Just on the Spiers thing again. Apologies for dragging it out but I feel a need to once again clarify the point.

The entire saga is not predicated on TBB being a sectarian song.  It is not predicated on a director, at some point in the past saying its a great song.

My understanding is that Spiers used this unattributed quote to demonstrate a more general unwillingness to deal with the general sectarian problem, as demonstrated again at the recent Hibs match.  Rangers, in whatever guise (including Park’s Motors) took offence at this generalised comment about their ability/willingness to deal with the problem.

I repeat BP/Tris’ earlier comment.  There were cleverer ways to deal with this than has actually occurred.  It is unclear why that would be the case, but those choosing to go down said route should not then claim to be surprised by the reactions by both sides. 

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SmugasPosted on9:50 am - Feb 2, 2016


neepheid,

What if there was a side letter to the 5WA that agreed that RFCnew would pay the 250k fine of RFCold and that would be an end to it.  Of course, with the %WA predating LNS by some distance  I doubt that it was interest and monetary penalties that they would have had in mind!

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SmugasPosted on9:52 am - Feb 2, 2016


And finally, before I go to work.

That’s a fantastic signing for RFC in the circumstances, on so many levels.  As long as it was above board and no subsequent issues evolve particularly meaning StJ didn’t get paid then I’m the first to congratulate them.  

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cuddlybearPosted on9:59 am - Feb 2, 2016


jimbo 2nd February 2016 at 2:08 am
It’s an illegal chant, fans are/have been getting lifted for it, that’s not going to change. There is no debate within the Rangers support about any of that.
But, also, it is one ingrained into the songbook of Rangers fans over generations, so rare outbursts in the midst of the passion of a big game – like on the 28th – are inevitable.
100s (1000s?) of singing fans being arrested en masse, or banned en masse, is never going to happen. Nor should it of course. Neither is point deductions, or even fines whilst strict liability is resisted by the clubs.
The reality is that the status quo will continue, where the odd fan here and there will be arrested and criminalised, realisation of that danger will sink in, the occasional media outcry will spring up on high profile airings, and gradually less and less will be prone to slipping into a rendition. That has been the process going on for 10 years now. It’s night and day compared with back then, albeit the issue is not solved.
I think the problem of offensive chanting is one thing, but with regards to wider sectarianism issue, I am reassured once again by this latest signing of Michael Francis O’Halloran. For a number of reasons he could barely be any more of a caricature of the kind of guy Rangers fans are supposed to despise, yet not a single negative word have I seen or heard on social media towards him in that regard. Complete opposite in fact. I personally place more value on that reality than all the stereotyping that is stirred up when the long-running problem of offensive chanting rears its head. Times are changing, times have changed.

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Bawsman

BawsmanPosted on10:03 am - Feb 2, 2016


Edinburgh HC
HMA v Paul CLARK 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Edinburgh HC
HMA v Charles GREEN 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Edinburgh HC
HMA v David GRIER 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Edinburgh HC
HMA v David WHITEHOUSE 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Edinburgh HC
HMA v Craig WHYTE 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941 CO14000356 Edinburgh HC
HMA v Gary WITHEY 02-FEB-16 Preliminary Hearing Continued SCS/2015-152941REPLY

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SmugasPosted on10:14 am - Feb 2, 2016


Cuddly bear @ 9.59
It’s an illegal chant, fans are/have been getting lifted for it, that’s not going to change. There is no debate within the Rangers support about any of that. But, also, it is one ingrained into the songbook of Rangers fans over generations, so rare outbursts in the midst of the passion of a big game – like on the 28th – are inevitable.

Sorry.  If you’re told not to sing it you don’t sing it.  There are dangers with strict liability – off the top of my head I can easily imagine a misguided opposition supporter going to the wrong end and setting off a flare for instance, but this one, with points deductions at risk (unless someone can suggest another effective alternative), just seems such an easy one to fix.  And that, rather than the merits or otherwise of TBB was, I believe, the point GS was trying to make albeit solely based on the willingness to try within the board, to which they took exception.

But its not about the song!  

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John ClarkPosted on10:22 am - Feb 2, 2016


It’s my own fault, of course. I checked last night, should have checked again this morning, but I’m just back from Edinburgh High Court where I was told at 9.30  that the continuation of the Preliminary Hearing was kicked forward until tomorrow.
I have been critical of the Royal Courts of Justice, so let me be fair, and express my Victor Meldrew view that the Scottish Courts Administration seems to be no better! Not that the world revolves around me, of course, but wtf!
But at least the chap at security was most polite, unlike the off-hand git of a judge’s clerk in the RCJ.

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Kopweb

KopwebPosted on10:32 am - Feb 2, 2016


Smugas
It is worth re-reading the Spiers article, bearing in mind this was an opinion piece in a supposedly ‘quality’ newspaper. Compared to what Ian Archer wrote about the old club in the same newspaper 40 years ago, the degree of criticism is very mild indeed. The only potential block on a legal defence of veritas would have been Spiers’ desire to protect source confidentiality.
But the newspaper appears to have crumbled at the slightest whiff of legal action and/or loss of advertising revenue. Can you imagine one of the London-based ‘quality’ papers backing off that easily? And I fail to see how Angela Haggerty’s tweet could in any sense be seen legally as within the control of the Herald.
What seems to have slipped under the radar is that the ban is across all Newsquest publications. So the decision must have been taken at group level, not within the Herald. The Newsquest CEO is ex-Scotsman so there may be some connection there that we don’t know about – or more likely it was a commercial decision in an environment of drastic cost-cutting (as Roy Greenslade’s article implies).
Either way, it does not bode well for the future of ‘quality’ print journalism in Scotland.

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Prohibby

ProhibbyPosted on10:36 am - Feb 2, 2016


cuddlybear 2nd February 2016 at 12:34 am #Wanted to put in my blue tuppence worth regarding Spiers.A small point but an important one that seems not to have been made was, by not naming the director who apparently praised TBB, he was in effect making every one of the Rangers board a potential culprit. Looked at this way, is it of any surprise that those individuals (the majority of whom were innocent of the allegation, presuming it was true in the first place) should seek to have it withdrawn?Without anything to substantiate the story, the Herald’s hands were tied. A retraction and apology was the only possible solution.I can’t help thinking that to make such a serious allegation, in a clumsy manner (implicating multiple individuals of whom, at least all but one, were entirely innocent), without anything to substantiate it, was simply an error on Graham’s part. Not to mention the Herald for printing it in the first place.
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cuddlybear, I respect your as a fair-minded and tolerant contributor and fan but have to say that I think characterising Speirs and his report in the Herald by use of the phrases “clumsy manner” and “simply an error” is a mistake.  Speirs’ account was substantiated, he heard it with his own ears, not through some third party account!  I grant you, so far, it has not been corroborated but the man put his reputation on the line – as a journalist, an honest, decent man and as a fan because he is troubled by what he has seen and heard.  Personally, I think the Club made a mistake in not saying to him, “Graham, why don’t you come in and talk to us about these issues which are as much a concern to us as they are to you?”  

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tearsofjoyPosted on10:50 am - Feb 2, 2016


I think the problem of offensive chanting is one thing, but with regards to wider sectarianism issue, I am reassured once again by this latest signing of Michael Francis O’Halloran. For a number of reasons he could barely be any more of a caricature of the kind of guy Rangers fans are supposed to despise, yet not a single negative word have I seen or heard on social media towards him in that regard. Complete opposite in fact. I personally place more value on that reality than all the stereotyping that is stirred up when the long-running problem of offensive chanting rears its head. Times are changing, times have changed.
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CB I’m not clear about what you are trying to say – “offensive chanting is one thing” .
Isn’t it part of the “sectarianism issue” ?

I agree with your comments surrounding the signing of O’Halloran – but in this day and age should we expect any less ?

With all the current frenzy around surrounding Spiers et al we seem to have (conveniently) lost focus about what happened at the Rangers v Hibs game.

Just for the record – what have Rangers actually said they intend to do given what happened, what are they going to do that they have not already done ? Are Rangers simply wringing their hands and proclaiming ” we can do no more ” ? Cos that’s how it looks to me. No one at the club is willing to confront the fans on this – do you agree ?

I’d welcome your comments on this question : why do Rangers fans refuse to desist with this particular song ?
They don’t know the damage it does to the clubs reputation (or they don’t care) ? What about the potential adverse impact in attracting sponsors ?

At what point do Rangers fans join the 21stcentury and stop embarrassing themselves and Scottish football (after all, they’re the biggest club in Scotland, world record of title wins, etc, etc, etc).

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easyJamboPosted on11:05 am - Feb 2, 2016


John Clark 2nd February 2016 at 10:22 am #
It’s my own fault, of course. I checked last night, should have checked again this morning, but I’m just back from Edinburgh High Court where I was told at 9.30  that the continuation of the Preliminary Hearing was kicked forward until tomorrow.
==================================
Ditto!  06

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on11:16 am - Feb 2, 2016


cuddlybear 2nd February 2016 at 12:34 am # Wanted to put in my blue tuppence worth regarding Spiers. A small point but an important one that seems not to have been made was, by not naming the director who apparently praised TBB, he was in effect making every one of the Rangers board a potential culprit. Looked at this way, is it of any surprise that those individuals (the majority of whom were innocent of the allegation, presuming it was true in the first place) should seek to have it withdrawn? Without anything to substantiate the story, the Herald’s hands were tied. A retraction and apology was the only possible solution. I can’t help thinking that to make such a serious allegation, in a clumsy manner (implicating multiple individuals of whom, at least all but one, were entirely innocent), without anything to substantiate it, was simply an error on Graham’s part. Not to mention the Herald for printing it in the first place.
____________________________________-

And yet not one member of that board (or any Ibrox board) has ever come out to condemn the song itself. Not one has explained why they would find it defamatory to be described as liking the song. Not one has demanded the supporters stop singing the song for any other reason than it’s doing the club harm.

If the Herald had called their bluff, the plaintiffs would have had to establish that what GS said was, indeed, defamatory. They would have had to condemn the song as the vile anthem of hate sung by a Neanderthal section of society, in praise of a fascist thug, and that to sing, or support the singing of, that song is to align yourself with the Neanderthals and bigoted razor slashing thugs.

In short, I don’t think they’d be prepared to do that, for they’d be tarring the huge bulk of their club’s support (everyone who’d ever sung the song) with the same brush they claim GS is tarring them (or the individual board member), and they’d also be alienating a large section of their support who support TRFC as a focal point of their warped minds. They’d also have to be very sure that no one has proof of them ever having sung that song themselves!

I reckon that if the Herald had not been so hell-bent in appeasing the board of a club they need to stay onside with, they’d have worked that out and stood by their journalists (assuming they do have some integrity). 

What’s more, the longer the TRFC board go without condemning that song (and all the others like it, and the mind-set of that bigotry that causes it to be sung), the more those who don’t align themselves with such bigotry will believe the what GS said, was true!

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wottpiPosted on11:22 am - Feb 2, 2016


Re T’Rangers finances.

Have long said the talk of administration and not paying wages was not going to happen anytime soon due the ability of the RRM to keep drip feeding cash for the meantime.

The reports are that the wearer of the magic hat is saying he got his man in OHalloran and is happy with the January transfer dealings. To give him his due he has always been reported as only wanting 1 or 2 new players  this window, despite the prattling of DCK and the talk of over-investment and hitting the ground running etc.

Whether or not dishing out top dollar (reported £450k to £500k) for OHalloran was at the board’s insistence or Warburton’s is unknown. The last minute deal does however seem very similar to the rushed signing of Templeton a few years back to keep the Bears on side.

However Warburton is now on record as wanting 4 to 6 new players come the summer.

A marker has been set with a rumoured £7k/week salary for the ex- St Johnstone player.  Money for salaries will be available if high earners of the likes Shiels, Templeton etc are let go come the summer when contracts expire but some Bears may now expect players of value £500k and upwards to be the norm.

Also if those existing high earners  go will the overall squad be any better or larger with the replacements brought in?

I would expect the tougher Premiership campaign to bring up more injuries, tiredness and the likes so a decent sized squad with the required quality will be required.

With a potential increase in ticket money from promotion new / replacement signings are potentially achievable but it is the combined cost of acquisition and increased wage bill that will see that new money go out the door as soon as it comes in. Thus overall operating costs are unlikely to reduce significantly and the club/company will still be loss making with no line of credit from the bank.

The question is, as it has always been, is the club up for being run in a more sustainable manner with measured and clever signings or at some point will they go for bust if they feel they are not making quick enough progress.

Despite King’s proclamations, it looks like it be more of the ‘Douglas Park’ long term approach at the moment. 

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wottpiPosted on11:40 am - Feb 2, 2016


Not had a chance to bring it up but with regard to the court proceedings re the MASH injunction the other week I didn’t see any comment on the following from JC report

Judge: What about 9.3.2—-this is ongoing by the defender trying to get a Resolution passed/
Dawson:…….
Judge: Isn’t it odd that these are drafted in the present tense?
Dawson: This was drafted by me, I take responsibility for that..
Judge: Mr McColl says that there is a point in carrying on..
Dawson: But there is no necessity, because if an AGM was called notice of resolutions would have to be given.But I think we should drop the business.[ referred to an English case relating to ‘abuse of process’]
Judge; the proceedings put in 9.3.2 haven’t helped!
Dawson:It is not the intention that these resolutions will be tabled at a future meeting..


Maybe JC can clear this up.
What resolutions was Dawson referring to?
I thought the issue was solely about Resolution 11 relating to the wish to deny Ashley his vote due to his involvement in Newcastle?

At the very least is it the now case that Ashley has got his money back and that the company/club appear (according to their counsel) dropped their desire to block his voting rights in the future?

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Bawsman

BawsmanPosted on12:12 pm - Feb 2, 2016


The Rangers (Sevco, RIFC, TRFC, Whatevs) annual accounts were signed off on the basis of modest gains from the sale of players in January.
How did that pan out?

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ReiverPosted on12:25 pm - Feb 2, 2016


The following has been sent to every premiership football club. Similar has been sent to the SFA, SPFL and Ladbrokes.
Dear sirs
It may have come to your attention already but there is currently in place a petition to return the running of the sport of football in Scotland to a standard of fairness and integrity that has been increasingly lacking over recent years. As you are a member of the SPFL and therefore carry some responsibility for the running of that organisation I believe it is only fair to keep you abreast of any actions taken in support of this petition.
On the number of signatures reaching 1000, an event that took three days to reach, UEFA was contacted to make them aware of our concerns. I enclose a copy of the correspondence sent to UEFA along with a copy of the text of the petition. The petition can be accessed at –
https://www.change.org/p/scottish-football-association-return-integrity-to-football-administration-in-scotland-94421b40-2d6b-4d4b-9cff-912c9849478f
Letters have also been sent to the SPFL, sponsors Ladbrokes and every club in the Premiership. The next trigger point is the petition reaching 5000. So, with the rate that people are currently signing, I expect to be in touch again soon.
Yours
SIGN the PETITION

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cuddlybearPosted on12:45 pm - Feb 2, 2016


To the original poster John Clark,
Out of curiousity having re-read the above, did Broadfoot and McRae request that you did not make a recording of the meeting at the time?
I presume they have not yet responded regarding your account of what was said at the meeting. That seems odd, given they went to the trouble of meeting you in person!

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Allyjambo

AllyjamboPosted on1:00 pm - Feb 2, 2016


Bawsman 2nd February 2016 at 12:12 pm # The Rangers (Sevco, RIFC, TRFC, Whatevs) annual accounts were signed off on the basis of modest gains from the sale of players in January. How did that pan out?
_____________________

Perhaps by ‘sales’ the auditors meant ‘transfers out’? A common mistake, I think.

Of course, ‘transfers out’; how did that pan out? 14

Whether they meant actual income or a reduction in the wage bill, I can’t think either has been achieved, more likely a negative change has occurred with the purchase price and wages of O’Halloran.

Added to which, they had to find additional funding of £2.5m, according to the auditors, of which they’ve found £1.5m, perhaps £300+K of which is winging it’s way to Perth as I write.

They may have found some unannounced additional funding, or are living for today on that additional £1.5m, but I reckon that after the transfer window, the additional requirement of £1m has now reached £1.5m(ish), taking into account the lack of sales/minimal reduction in playing staff/O’Halloran.

They may already have it (the shortfall of the additional funding), but are not announcing it for some reason, and maybe that requirement mentioned in the accounts was exaggerated for some reason, but they must be close to running on fumes, or are winging it on a belief that, because they are ‘Rangers’, something will come along.

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Homunculus

HomunculusPosted on1:08 pm - Feb 2, 2016


I think it is fair to say that the one PR disaster Rangers could not cope with just now is for the Manager to either speak out against them, or worse walk away.

It seems to have been fairly commonly accepted that he wanted two specific players during January.  One of them went to Leeds, so O’Halloran simply had to go to Rangers. There was simply no option as far as I can see. The Manager is probably the only person thought more highly of than Dave King just now and the former speaking out against the latter would have been unthinkable.

I’m sure the people running St Johnstone knew this and held out for terms they were happy with. If they did manage to get £500K or so that would be very good business. That figure itself represents something like 10% of their entire turnover.

It seems to me that Rangers will be happy, the player will be happy and St Johnstone will be happy.

What it says about the liquidity of the club is another matter though. Buying players and paying their wages based on loans, which is exactly what we are talking about, is not a great place to be. Not for a loss making business with no line of credit other than it’s major shareholders.

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John ClarkPosted on1:17 pm - Feb 2, 2016


wottpi 2nd February 2016 at 11:40 am
“…….I thought the issue was solely about Resolution 11 relating to the wish to deny Ashley his vote due to his involvement in Newcastle?.”
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My understanding was that Counsel for MASH was  trying to make sure that any interdict  already granted last time continues in force to prevent a re-introduction of a similar vote-denying resolution at a freshly-called EGM or at another AGM.
I think the judge was genuinely puzzled, and a wee bit vexed at both  Counsel forwhat seemed a pointless  waste of time. Interdict had already been granted, and no one was seeking NOW [although his Lordship did comment that the fact that para 9.3.2 was written (by Dawson) in the present tense was unhelpful]  to propose a new meeting and re-introduce  the resolution.

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John ClarkPosted on1:29 pm - Feb 2, 2016


cuddlybear 2nd February 2016 at 12:45 pm
‘..did Broadfoot and McRae request that you did not make a recording of the meeting at the time?’
______________
No.And, of course, I sent my note of the meeting to them for their observations, comments, objections or whatever. They chose not to respond, for whatever reason.That is their prerogative, of course, and they are busy men.

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easyJamboPosted on1:30 pm - Feb 2, 2016


Allyjambo 2nd February 2016 at 1:00 pm #
Bawsman 2nd February 2016 at 12:12 pm #
Homunculus 2nd February 2016 at 1:08 pm #                 
============================
The actual statement in the accounts read as follows:

The forecast cash flows assume conservative amounts generated from player sales.

The cash flows referred to would cover a period of 12 months from the sign off of the accounts, which, for the auditors, was on 29 October 2015.  As a result, the “sales” could be achieved in either the window just closed, or in the summer of 2016.  

I think the likely improvement in income achieved through gate receipts and cuts in playing and coaching costs will probably negate the need for any significant player sales in the January window.  I would expect further surgery to the squad in the summer as the club seeks to cash in on any player whose value has increased while at Ibrox, then spent on wages for further Bosman signings of a higher(?) quality.

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