Spot the difference?

Bybroganrogantrevinoandhogan

Spot the difference?

Good Afternoon.

Announcing outstanding financial successes for Rangers PLC the then Chairman of the club opened his Chairman’s report in the annual financial statements with the following words:

“Last summer I explained that the Club, after many years of significant investment in our playing squad
and more recently in our state of the art facility at Murray Park, had embarked on a three year business
plan to stabilise and improve the Club’s finances. The plan also recognised the need to react to the
challenging economic conditions facing football clubs around the world.

Following a trend over a number of years of increasing year on year losses, I am pleased to report that
in the first year of this plan we have made important progress by reversing this trend. Our trading loss
for last year of £11.2m reflects a £7.9m improvement versus the £19.1m loss for the previous year and
although it will take more time to completely reach our goals, this is a key milestone. We also intend to
make significant further progress by the end of the current financial year. This improvement is the
consequence of having a solid strategy and the commitment and energy to implement the changes it requires”

Later on in the same statement the chairman would add:

“Another key part of our plan is associated with the Rangers brand and our Retail Division goes from strength to strength. Our financial results this year have been significantly enhanced by an outstanding performance in merchandising Rangers products, in particular replica kit, which makes our Retail Division one of the most successful in Europe.”

In the same set of financial reports, the CEO would report:

“To further strengthen Rangers hospitality portfolio, a new dedicated sponsor’s lounge was unveiled this season. The Carling Lounge is a first for the Club and was developed in conjunction with our new sponsor, Carling. ”

and

“Our innovative events programme continues to grow and this year saw a record number of official events including the highly successful annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, Player of the Year and 50 Championships Gala Dinner, all of which catered for up to 1000 guests.

At Rangers, we continually develop our portfolio of products and as a key area of income for the Club, we evaluate the market for new revenue opportunities on an ongoing basis in order to exceed our existing and potential customer expectations and needs.

Demand for season tickets reached an all time high last season with a record 42,508 season ticket holders in comparison with the previous season`s figure of 40,320. Over 36,000 of these season ticket holders renewed for this season – a record number.

For the new season, we are delighted to welcome brewing giant, Carling on board as our Official Club sponsor. Carling is one of the UK’s leading consumer brands with a proven track record in football sponsorship.
The Club also continues to work with a number of multinational blue chip brands such as National Car Rental, Sony Playstation 2, Bank of Scotland and Coca-Cola. This year, we will also experience the evolution of the Honda deal via Hyndland Honda and welcome the mobile communications giant T-Mobile to our ranks.”.

The year was 2003 and in the previous 24 months Rangers Football Club, owned and operated as a private fiefdom by Sir David Murray, had made operational losses of some £30 million.

Yes – 30 MILLION POUNDS.

Of course the chairman’s report for 2003 was written by John F Mclelland CBE and the CEO was one Martin Bain Esq.

As Mr Mclelland clearly stated, by 2003 the club already had a trend of increasing year on year losses covering a number of years and was losing annual sums which stretched into millions, if not tens of millions, of pounds.

However, the acquisition of Rangers Football Club was absolutely vital to David Murray’s personal business growth, and his complete control of the club as his own private business key was more important than any other business decision he had made before buying Rangers or since.

When he persuaded Gavin Masterton to finance 100% of the purchase price of the club, Murray had his finest business moment.

By getting control of Rangers, Murray was able to offer entertainment, hospitality, seeming privilege and bestow favour on others in a way that was hitherto undreamed of, and he bestowed that largesse on any number of “existing and potential clients” and contacts – be they the clients and contacts related to Rangers Football Club or the existing and potential clients of David Murray, his businesses, his banks, or anyone in any field that he chose to court for the purposes of potential business.

His business.

It wasn’t only journalists who benefited from the succulent lamb treatment.

Accountants,lawyers, surveyors, broadcasters, football officials, people in industry and construction, utilities, financiers and other areas of business were all invited inside the sacred House of Murray and given access to the great man of business “and owner of Rangers” while attending the “record number of official (hospitality) events”.

Twelve months on from when John McLelland made those statements in the 2003 accounts, David Murray was back in the chair at Ibrox and he presented the 2004 financials.

In the intervening 12 months Rangers had gained an additional £10 million from Champions League income and had received £8.6 million in transfer fees from the sale of Messrs Ferguson, Amoruso and McCann. Not only that, the Rangers board had managed to reduce the club’s wage bill by £5 million. Taking all three figures together comes to some £23.6 million in extra income or savings.

Yet, the accounts for 2004 showed that the club made an operational loss of almost £6 million and overall debt had risen by an additional £7 million to £97.4 million.

However, the 2004 accounts were also interesting for another reason.

Rangers PLC had introduced payments “to employees trusts” into their accounts for the first time in 2001 and in that year they had paid £1million into those trusts. Just three years later, the trust payments recorded in the accounts had risen to £7.3 million per annum — or to put it another way to 25% of the annual wage bill though no one in Scottish Football asked any questions about that!

By the following year, the chairman announced that the 2004 operational loss had in fact been £10.4million but that the good news was that the 2005 operational loss was only £7.8 million. However Rangers were able to post a profit before taxation if they included the money obtained from transfers (£8.4 million) and the inclusion of an extraordinary profit of £14,999,999 made on buying back the shares of a subsidiary company for £1 which they had previously sold for £15 million.

All of which added up to a whopping great profit of ……… £12.4 million!

I will leave you to do the maths on 2005.

Oh and of course these accounts included the detail that 3000 Rangers fans had joined David Murray in participating in the November ’94 share issue where the club managed to raise £51,430,995 in fresh capital most of which was provided by Mr Murray… sorry I mean MIH ….. sorry that should read Bank of Scotland …… or their shareholders……. or should that be the public purse?

The notable items in the 2006 accounts included the announcement of a ten year deal with JJB Sports to take over the merchandising operation of the club and increased revenue from an extended run in the Champion’s League. However, the profit before tax was declared at only£0.1 million in comparison to the £12.4 million of the year before but then again that £12.4 million had included player sales of £8.4 million and the £15 million sweety bonus from  the repurchase of ones own former subsidiary shares for £1.

Jumping to 2008 Rangers saw a record year in terms of turnover which had risen to £64.5 million which enabled the company to record a profit on ordinary activities before taxation of  £6.57 million although it should be pointed out that wages and bonuses were up at 77% of turnover and that a big factor in the Rangers income stream was corporate hospitality and the top line of income was shown as “gate receipts and hospitality”.

However, 2009 saw a calamitous set of figures. Whilst Alastair Johnston tried to put a brave chairman’s face on it, the year saw an operating loss of £17.325 million which was softened only by player disposals leading to a loss before taxation of a mere £14.085 million.

Fortunately Sir David did not have to report these figures as he chose to stand down as chairman in August and so Johnston stepped in and announced that he was deeply honoured to do so.

In 2010, the income stream jumped from £39.7 million to over £56 million with the result that the club showed a profit before taxation of £4.209 million.

However, by that time the corporate hospitality ticket that was Rangers Football Club was done for as a result of matters that had nothing to do with events on the football field in the main.

First, the emergence of the Fergus McCann run Celtic had brought a real business and sporting challenge. This was something that Murray had not previously faced in the football business.

Second,the Bank of Scotland had gone bust and Lloyds could not and would not allow Murray to continually borrow vast sums of money on the basis of revalued assets and outrageous hospitality.

Third, the UEFA fair play rules came into being and demanded that clubs at least act on a semblance of proper corporate governance and fiscal propriety.

Lastly,Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs tightened up the law on the use of EBT’s which meant that Rangers could no longer afford to buy in the players that brought almost guaranteed success against domestic opposition.

On average, since 2002 Rangers PLC had lost between £7 million – £8 million per year – or roughly £650,000 per month if you like – yet for the better part of a decade David Murray had been able to persuade the Bank of Scotland that this was a business that was worthy of ever greater financial support or that he himself and his MIH business was of such value that the Banks should support him in supporting the Ibrox club whilst operating in this fashion.

Of course, had Murray’s Rangers paid tax on all player remunerations then the losses would have been far larger.

Meanwhile, all the other clubs in Scottish football who banked with the Bank of Scotland faced funding cuts and demands for repayment with the bank publicly proclaiming that it was overexposed to the football market in Scotland.

But no one asked any questions about why the bank should act one way with Murray’s club but another way with all others. No one in football, no one in the media and no one from the world of business.

Looking back,it is hard to imagine a business which has been run on such a consistent loss making basis being allowed to continue by either its owners or by its bankers. However, a successful and funded Rangers was so important to the Murray group that David Murray was clearly willing to lose millions year after year to keep the Gala dinners and corporate hospitality going.

Rangers were Murray’s big PR vehicle and the club was essentially used by him to open the doors which would allow him to make more money elsewhere on a personal basis and if it meant Rangers cutting every corner and accumulating massive losses, unsustainable losses, then so be it.

Today, the new regime at Ibrox run the current business in a way which clocks up the same colossal annual losses whilst the club competes outwith Scotland’s top division. Each day we hear that the wage bill is unsustainable, that the playing staff are overpaid, that the stadium needs massive investment and that the fans are opposed to the stadium itself being mortgaged and the club being in hawk to lenders.

Yet, in the Murray era the Stadium was revalued time and time again and its revaluation was used as the justification for ever greater borrowing on the Rangers accounts. The playing staff were massively overpaid and financially assisted by the EBT’s and most years the Chairman’s annual statement announced huge losses despite regular claims of record season ticket sales, record hospitality income, European income, shirt sponsorship and the outsourcing of all merchandising to JJB sports instead of Sports Direct.

The comparison between the old business and the current one is clear for all to see.

It should be noted, that since the days of Murray, no major banking institution has agreed to provide the Ibrox business with any banking facilities. Not under Whyte, not under Green, not under anyone.

Yet few ask why that should be.

The destruction of the old Rangers business led those in charge of Scottish football to announce that Armageddon was on the horizon if it had not actually arrived, yet today virtually all Scottish clubs are in a better financial and business state than back in the bad old days of the Bank of Scotland financed SPL. Some have succumbed to insolvency, and others have simply cut their cloth, changed their structure, sought, and in some cases attracted, new owners and moved on in terms of business.

In general, Scottish Football has cleaned house at club level.

Now, David Murray has “cleaned house” in that MIH has bitten the dust and walked down insolvency road.

What is interesting is that the Murray brand still has that capacity to get out a good PR message when it needs to. Despite the MIH pension fund being short of money for some inexplicable reason, last week it was announced that the family controlled Murray Estates had approached those in charge of MIH and had agreed to buy some key MIH assets for something in the region of £13.9 million.

The assets concerned are land banks which at some point will be zoned for planning and which will undoubtedly bring the Murray family considerable profit in the future, with some of those assets already looking as if they will produce a return sooner rather than later.

However, what is not commented upon in the mainstream press is the fact that Murray Estates had the ability to pay £13.9 Million for anything at all and that having that amount of money to spend the Murray camp has chosen not to buy any football club down Govan way.

Perhaps, it has been realised that a football club which loses millions of pounds each year is not such a shrewd investment and that the Murray family money would be better spent elsewhere?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the culture of wining, dining, partying and entertaining to the most lavish and extravagant extent will not result in the banks opening their vaults any more?

Perhaps, it has been realised that the Rangers brand has been so badly damaged over the years that it is no longer the key to the golden door in terms of business, finance and banking and that running a football club in 2015 involves a discipline and a set of skills that David Murray and his team do not have experience of?

What is clear, is that the Murray years at Ibrox were not good for the average Rangers fan in the long term and that when you have a football club – any football club – being run for the private benefit of one rich individual, or group of individuals, then the feelings and passions of the ordinary fan will as often as not be forgotten when that individual or his group choose to move on once they have decided that they no longer wish to play with their toy football club.

David Murray did not make money directly out of Rangers Football Club. He used it as a key to open other doors for him and to get him a seat at other tables and into a different type of “club” altogether. He did not run the club in a day to day fashion that was designed to bring stability and prolonged financial, or playing, success to the club. its investors and its fans. He did not preside over Ibrox during a period of sustained financial gain.

Mike Ashley will not subsidise 2015 version of Rangers to anything like the same extent that the Bank of Scotland did in the 90’s and naughties.

However, Ashley, like Murray, will use his control of the Rangers brand to open doors for him elsewhere in the sports retail market, and he will use the Rangers contract with Sports Direct to make a handsome profit. He will also control all the advertising revenue just as he does at Newcastle. In short, Mr Ashley is only interested in The Rangers with a view to using it as a stepping stone to achieve other things elsewhere.

However, don’t take my word for any of this, take the opinion of someone who knows.

Mr Dave King is quoted today as saying the following about the current board of Directors who are in charge of the current Ibrox holding company.

“History will judge this board as one of the worst the club has ever had. There is not one individual who puts the club above personal interest.”

That is an interesting observation from a man who became a non executive director of the old Rangers holding company in 2000 and who had a front row pew for every set of accounts and all the financial statements referred to above.

Whether or not Mr King is a glib and shameless liar is a matter of South African judicial opinion. Whether or not he can spot someone who puts their own self interest ahead of the interests of Rangers Football Club and the supporters of the club is a matter that should be discussed over some fine wine, some succulent lamb and whatever postprandial entertainment you care to imagine.

I wonder if he has ever read the accounts of Rangers PLC and compared them to the corresponding accounts of MIH for the same period?

 

About the author

broganrogantrevinoandhogan author

Boot wearing football, sport & total nonsense fan-- Gourmet, Bon Viveur and eedgit! - Oh and I write a bit occasionally!

4,992 Comments so far

Resin_lab_dogPosted on6:42 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Barcabhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

46

3

Rate This

Ryan

But the death of an era of Scottish football. Rangers fans made up about 40% of Scottish football fans, they won’t pick a local team, they will leave.

—————————–

No they did not . Not even close.

Every time there is a semblance of symapthy for the ordinary Rangers fan, someone trots out another supremacist claim , in this case you.

Given Celtic hold all financial records and highest attendance records in Scottish football, i suspect even the most blinkered Rangers fan would have to admit to Celtic as being of a similar size.

Your assertion would leave 20% for every other club in Scotland.

Now the average attendace of Aberdeen , Hearts and Hibs combined is broadly equal to that of Rangers, yet you claim that its double , not just for those 3 but even double when you include every other club in the country , bar Celtic

The marginalizing of Clubs by Rangers and Rangers fans and the Scottish Football authorities was what caused fans of those clubs to force their boards to reject Regan and Doncasters plans for Rangers to remain in one of the 2 top tiers .

I have some sympathy for Rangers fans because of the way their club was looted and run into the ground by David Murray. However that sympathy is severely tested when false claims are made and the “We are / were The People” mentality is forced on us.

Humility and contrition would be a good start . Apologies should come from the people who committed the offences against Scottish Football. That principally means Murray, Ogilvie and other board members who played deaf dumb and blind. In the meantime the ordinary Rangers supporter might want to take on board that the rest of us don’t share the view that Rangers were ever the be all and end all. In size ,achievement, example or anything else.

______________________________________________________________

Once upon a time there were more Rangers (&Celtic) jerseys to be spied on a casual waft through the Eastage centre or any Highland school sports field than ICT jerseys. 150 miles is how far the capricious influence spread, sucking resources Southwards.
Not so much these days.
Can’t say I am anything other than glad about this direction of movement.

In short, any detriment will be confined to WoS, and for everywhere else I see only benefit in the long term.

Rangers fans may well leave. But their kids will follow Caley and our ilk.

View Comment

yourhavingalaughPosted on6:42 pm - Jan 29, 2015


The Stan Collmore tweet is a dambuster

View Comment

RyanGoslingPosted on6:58 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Barcabhoy,

“someone trots out another supremacist claim , in this case you.”

I did no such thing. I picked a figure out of the air at the moment I was writing to make a point. I could have said 30%, 5%, 15%. I was merely making a simple point. The fact that you have taken my perfectly simple statement and turned it into a “supremacist claim” rather than actually considering the point I made, as resin lab dog did above, suggests to me your motivation was to attack me for reasons best known to yourself.

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PhilMacGiollaBhainPosted on7:19 pm - Jan 29, 2015


RyanGosling says:
January 28, 2015 at 11:26 pm
27 1 Rate This
======================================
Mr Ashley does not intend to kill your club.
RIFC/TRFC must breathe for Rangers Retail to feed from the host.
He has his austerity guys in there to prevent a catastrophic collapse.
There is a significant opportunity cost to MA in having Llambias and Leach in there.
This project currently has value for him, but probably as a lab rat and nothing more.

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TrisidiumPosted on7:36 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Barcabhoy

I take your point but Ryan’s post was anything but supremacist. He may have overestimated the size of Rangers’ cut of the cake, but his comments have never to my mind reeked of supremacism.

He has never – as far as I can see – ever talked of “rightful places”, and let’s be fair, that’s not a sentiment in Rangers monopoly either. On the whole I think Ryan has been refreshingly honest (if understandably sometimes a little touchy) about the Rangers situation on here.

I really don’t think it is fair to deliver that criticism of him.

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crawfordPosted on7:38 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Further to my post last night, the discussion on the pantomime takes place at 8.30pm tonight, Radio 5 live.

Guests include Stuart McCall, Neil Lennon and Alan Stubbs inter alia

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SmugasPosted on7:49 pm - Jan 29, 2015


I thought about debating the 40% myself given what we now know about ‘manipulated’ attendances and that’s not just for rangers btw!

I am interested in the Walking away point. I agree the fans my age would head for the golf course, and those that can afford it, probably some kind of nomadic existence around the top European clubs. I agree with RSL however, the generation below would be fair game to all the clubs including a new RFC were that to happen. Fair game, in the nicest possible sense of course!

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PhilMacGiollaBhainPosted on7:56 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm
14 0 Rate This

RyanGosling says:
January 28, 2015 at 11:26 pm
27 1 Rate This
======================================
Mr Ashley does not intend to kill your club.
RIFC/TRFC must breathe for Rangers Retail to feed from the host.
He has his austerity guys in there to prevent a catastrophic collapse.
There is a significant opportunity cost to MA in having Llambias and Leach in there.
This project currently has value for him, but probably as a lab rat and nothing more.
======================================================================================

The real target of this experimentation-I am told-will be the English Championship in a few years time.
MASH could make serious money in this way for little risk if it is, say, rolled out across ten struggling clubs.

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ParanoidWellFanPosted on7:56 pm - Jan 29, 2015


scapaflow says:

January 29, 2015 at 4:59 pm

You might remember

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/217910-thirteen-arrested-in-aggressive-protest-by-green-brigade-in-gallowgate/

Just in 13 not guilty verdicts

Combined with this wrongful arrest, https://commonspace.scot/articles/108/the-independence-girls-who-stood-up-to-the-unionist-riot it hasn’t been a good week for Police Scotland 😆

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scapaflowPosted on8:09 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Agreed, that’s why it has to be stopped now, Rangers are collateral damage, either way

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ecobhoyPosted on8:12 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm
======================================
Mr Ashley does not intend to kill your club. RIFC/TRFC must breathe for Rangers Retail to feed from the host.

This project currently has value for him, but probably as a lab rat and nothing more.
————————————————————-
However when the experiment ends there is seldom a rosy future for the lab rats who usually end-up surplus to requirements 🙁

Meantime I have difficulty in understanding why Ashley seems to have no qualms about totally teeing-off the Rangers Retail customers. I thought his business model was built round shifting mountains of gear.

Yet I see more and more resistance to him from Bears and it must affect retail sales so what is Ashley’s hypothesis the experiment is attempting to validate? For me that is the question.

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BarcabhoyPosted on8:28 pm - Jan 29, 2015


TSFM and Ryan

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Ryan can claim that he could have used any % , but he didn’t. He claimed 40% , a ridiculous figure.

This exaggeration of Rangers size and importance is typical of the “Armageddon proponents “. The theme is that Scottish football can’t exist without Rangers . If that’s not an example of supremacist thinking then I’ll need a new definition.

I welcome Ryan’s involvement on the site , however he supports a team who have disgraced the game here. That may be painful for him, however that’s the territory we are in. The attitude of the majority of the Rangers support in claiming victimhood , due to conspiracies by Celtic or Hibs or DUFC, has hardened attitudes. As had the ludicrous denials of cheating . There is little evidence of acceptance of past crimes, and over exaggeration of size is typical of the attitude

Ryan may want to address the many other points made in my post, because so far he’s completely ignored them .

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StevieBCPosted on8:36 pm - Jan 29, 2015


ecobhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm

PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm
======================================
Mr Ashley does not intend to kill your club. RIFC/TRFC must breathe for Rangers Retail to feed from the host.

========

Yet I see more and more resistance to him from Bears and it must affect retail sales so what is Ashley’s hypothesis the experiment is attempting to validate? For me that is the question.
================
Yes, it’s curious.
At some point he has to start building a rapport with the TRFC fans – you would think ? [Although he doesn’t seem popular at NUFC, but unaware if his shops there suffer poorer sales?].

What if Ashley ‘personally’ funds a new signing before the end of the transfer window ? A decent player maybe from the EPL, but on the wrong side of 30, so happy to take the money.
Or worst case, a loan of a decent NUFC, first team player ?
Might get the bears interested, and hopeful that he’ll spend more cash.
Except he won’t.
And repeat exercise for each ST renewal period.

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johntheredPosted on8:40 pm - Jan 29, 2015


@mungoboy

Can’t repeat your post obviously but it was b****y hilarious 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

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ChristyboyPosted on8:49 pm - Jan 29, 2015


It’s like Mikeyboy’s attempting a re-run of the film Coma, except the lab will be full of shells of previous football clubs, all kept alive and monitored by a central “BEING”, technically alive but no chance of recovery. Money coming in for the storage from families living on the belief that there’s always a chance, a small chance, that they’ll come back to them….. There’s no chance. None .

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PhilMacGiollaBhainPosted on8:53 pm - Jan 29, 2015


ecobhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm
3 0 Rate This
==================================================
Agreed.
Treating the customers with contempt seems to be a strange marketing strategy.

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TrisidiumPosted on8:54 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Barcabhoy says:

January 29, 2015 at 8:28 pm

TSFM and Ryan

We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Ryan can claim that he could have used any % , but he didn’t. He claimed 40% , a ridiculous figure.

This exaggeration of Rangers size and importance is typical of the “Armageddon proponents “. The theme is that Scottish football can’t exist without Rangers . If that’s not an example of supremacist thinking then I’ll need a new definition.
_________________________________________________

BB

I think it is a shame that we need to disagree on the definition of something so simple and straightforward.

It is ridiculous to say that Ryan’s 40% remark was suprmacist – with all the dark negative overtones that word carries. I don’t know if you’ve just had a bad day, but I am disappointed that you are persisting with it. As far as I can see, Ryan made some fairly uncontroversial (albeit mistaken) observations.

He needs to be able to do so without fear of that kind of name calling.

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scapaflowPosted on9:00 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Phil & Eco

I don’t think he cares, seems to believe that his stores will shift sports kit, regardless of what football fans think of him. Besides, if he offloads a hollowed out football company whose only real income stream is gate money, its not really his problem any more is it?

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andygraham.66Posted on9:11 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Collymore:

@StanCollymore
And Call Collymore will be all over the first ever Celtic v Rangers clash on Sunday!

@talkSPORT LIVE

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BarcabhoyPosted on9:11 pm - Jan 29, 2015


TSFM

read back what I posted. I said the claim was supremacist. I didn’t call anyone anything
, and it’s wrong to suggest that.

Maybe a clear and concise indication of that to Ryan would assist then? It certainly appeared like name-calling to me. Happy to see it cleared up
TSFM

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TincksPosted on9:19 pm - Jan 29, 2015


ecobhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm

PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm
======================================
Mr Ashley does not intend to kill your club. RIFC/TRFC must breathe for Rangers Retail to feed from the host.
This project currently has value for him, but probably as a lab rat and nothing more.
————————————————————-
However when the experiment ends there is seldom a rosy future for the lab rats who usually end-up surplus to requirements
Meantime I have difficulty in understanding why Ashley seems to have no qualms about totally teeing-off the Rangers Retail customers. I thought his business model was built round shifting mountains of gear.
Yet I see more and more resistance to him from Bears and it must affect retail sales so what is Ashley’s hypothesis the experiment is attempting to validate? For me that is the question.
————————————————————-

Eco, likewise I am struggling to see where MA is going with this.

My mind is going back to Ticketus. Can anyone explain to me their MO? The £22m they lent to CW to fund his takeover, was it their own money they were investing? Or was it a clients money, where they were advising and taking a percentage?

If it was the latter, has the client ever been identified?

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Bayview GoldPosted on9:19 pm - Jan 29, 2015


borussiabeefburg says:
January 28, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Another Spot the Difference

Noting that the SFA appeared to be able to ‘fast track’ their work where Livingston FC was concerned, this in comparison to the sluggishness with which they’re dealing with MA and TRFC, I have wondered, yet never seen queried at all here or in the papers, why East Fife FC has been seen as blameless by the football authorities.

All four breaches of the disciplinary rules which Livingston were punished for mention Neil Rankine ‘holds interests’ in East Fife while being a shareholder of Livingston FC’s parent company.

Therefore, why has no disciplinary tribunal been held pertaining to the Methil club?

been lurking for a long time, but saw this and wanted to comment. In the interest of full disclosure – the main reason I followed RTC & TSFM was the inherent unfairness and special treatment given to TRFC knowing that my club EFFC would have been dealt with more harshly. (as would the other ‘diddy’ clubs) , so I am all for equal fair treatment.

Borussia’s post seemed to imply that EFFC are getting special treatment, or Livi are getting unfairly treated or both. Whilst not trying to get into the heads of our esteemed SFA (perish the thought) I thought there may be some rational here. (it is also worth noting that Dumbarton are linked to this mess)

The case hinges on Neil Rankine – in the case of Livi he has a formal ownership connection with a substantial (50%?) block of the shares of a company that to all intents owns Livi. With EFFC though there is no direct formal connection, he or any associated companies do not hold an interest in EFFC, the link here is through a third party(s) the Twiggs, mother & daughter and his influence on the club through them personally.

For their part EFFC board claim he has no say in the running of the club or any formal position. But like Imran’s maw he does seem to have some connection through the Twiggs, this is what SFA are objecting to. I’m not sure of the strength of the SFAs case here and won’t comment on that.

In my opinion the ownership and influence at EFFC stinks, the financial situation is parlous 🙂 to say the least and there are ongoing efforts to take the club into fan ownership. I have not and will not advocate that because as it stands the valuation of the club by the present owners is in my view probably double the real value. If other fans want to invest at that level to save the club then I am not going to criticise, but there is saving the club and lining pockets.

As for Rankine – he is behind some of this but the paper trail directly to EFFC is weak.

So why are SFA punishing Livi and not Rankine or EFFC? my view (for what it is worth) they are punishing Livi because that is their only option, they only have ‘jurisdiction’ over the member clubs and not an individual shareholder, (I don’t think he is on the board currently), who isn’t on the board, Livi (or its holding company) are in their view guilty by accepting his involvement, who knows?. In the EFFC case – the club may be being influenced through private channels but they have no formal connection or allowed any formal connection so to punish them may seem to be punishing the victim. Or to ask it another way – what could EFFC board do to prevent this? not clear to me.

Anyway regardless – I also feel that it is harsh to punish Livingston when the guilty party is Rankine, but this is the problem with the intersect of business and sport, how do you restrict individuals, for example – what is to stop me buying shares in CFC, TRFC, HMFC and EFFC tomorrow? nothing, and if they are a handful then no-one cares or would need to know. The levels of where this becomes problematic are not spelled out in the sporting context. 5%? 10%? (board members or directors are a different case and they should declare interests – or their wife’s 🙂 ) even worse when the influence is indirect as is the case at EFFC, there you are really relying on individual ethics and when it comes to business or sport those don’t go a long way in the upper strata.

Don’t know if I helped Borussia any but I can say from experience that EFFC are not in the ‘in-crowd’ when it comes to SFA AFAIK.

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BarcabhoyPosted on9:22 pm - Jan 29, 2015


TSFM

I Can’t be any clearer than I was in my post , the one you just edited

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Bayview GoldPosted on9:24 pm - Jan 29, 2015


I would add if anyone does have deep pockets or knows a basketball owner or other billionaire wanting to invest in a Scottish Football club with a proud history (world record first club to capture three Scottish League cups) then here is where to go :

http://www.buyeastfife.org/

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scapaflowPosted on9:24 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Andy

Stan the man has the right attitude to it though

“Stan Collymore ‏@StanCollymore 1h1 hour ago
Last time I saw this many a Union Flags on my timeline it was last night of the proms, or was it the Jubilee? ”

He’s not giving an inch, the internet trolls are out gunned and out classed

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jimmciPosted on9:28 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Listening to a radio 5 programme being broadcast across the uk just now.
There is no attempt whatsoever attempted at balance on the show.
To use Smith, so long departed with a heavy purse from Ibrox, lecture morality on a loaded question re Guidetti’s “hat-trick” desire was absolutely pathetic.
BBC Scotland production at it’s pathetic worst.

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neebs67Posted on9:43 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Lawwell (for whatever reason) stated the club (Celtic) lose £10 Million PA by virtue of no Rangers, Champions League income dwarfs that.

The above is an extract from apost by “Bawsman” earlier today. I think what PL said was that rangers not being in the top league had cost Celtic £10m to date, not per annum.

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TrisidiumPosted on9:43 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Re. the “Supremacist” spat:

Barcabhoy has been clear enough. Sadly.

The tone of the original remark towards Ryan was unacceptable, and a line needs to be drawn under it in the absence of an apology.

If there are any “supremacist” comments posted on the blog, everyone can trust that the mods will deal with it. No such post has been received – from Ryan – tonight.

My main failing in this incident is that as mod on duty tonight, I should have removed the post with the “supremacist” claim. I didn’t – mainly due to BB’s previous commitment to the ethos of the blog.

My apologies to Ryan and everyone else for that. Hopefully it is not a mistake i will repeat.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:48 pm - Jan 29, 2015


jimmci says:
January 29, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Player says he’s going to score a hat-trick in upcoming semi-final – shock revelation. Imagine that! A man showing confidence about his ability to shine in what will be the biggest match Hampden has witnessed since the day before!

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howiemacPosted on9:53 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Allyjambo says:
January 29, 2015 at 9:48 pm

…what will be the biggest match Hampden has witnessed since the day before!

nice one AJ 😀

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SmugasPosted on10:02 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Had to smile tonight. There’s an ad on sky sports running where basically they’ve got a dozen footie celebs to read a prepared statement and then they patch it together a sentence at a time. It starts with Graeme Souness stating something like, it’s the biggest game of the season by far….

I wonder how many viewers are then disappointed to find out it’s some English fixture they’re talking about?

And before anyone gets too cocky, I suspect if it was Kenny dalgliesh with the opening bars just as many would be drawn in, mistakenly.

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AllyjamboPosted on10:12 pm - Jan 29, 2015


How sweet it would be if Guidetti did score a hat-trick, not because it would secure a win for Celtic, or sicken the TRFC supporters, but it would put such a wonderful look on Walter Smith’s face. I hope the BBC have at least one camera ready to get a close up of him after each goal, just in case 😈

A wee interview with Chick immediately after the match would be in order, I think.

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scapaflowPosted on10:14 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Oh dear, Stan’s getting the UVF photos treatment now, still not giving one inch though.

Seriously, this stuff does the Rangers fan’s cause nothing but harm

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borussiabeefburgPosted on10:15 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Bayview Gold says:
January 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Borussia’s post seemed to imply that EFFC are getting special treatment, or Livi are getting unfairly treated or both. Whilst not trying to get into the heads of our esteemed SFA (perish the thought) I thought there may be some rational here. (it is also worth noting that Dumbarton are linked to this mess)

Thank you for the detailed response.

I didn’t think your club was being specially treated; it is the handling of Livingston by the authorities I am questioning.

Neil Rankine has had involvement in these three clubs (all coincidentally with the same club colours, he must have a black and gold scarf), but not to the extent of, as an obvious example, of…. let me think….oh, aye, Mike Ashley, who has influence at Boundary Park, and clearly runs the clubs playing out of St James Park and Ibrox, nominating board members at both.

Though by way of a parallel, didn’t Rankine install Sid Columbine as chairman at Dumbarton and then East Fife?

Don’t know if I helped Borussia any but I can say from experience that EFFC are not in the ‘in-crowd’ when it comes to SFA AFAIK.

You did help! It’s great to hear detail from supporters from a variety of clubs, several of which are in a right ‘honest’ mess behind the scenes.

The ‘in-crowd’ at the SFA is very, very small. Don’t feel left out.

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StevieBCPosted on10:17 pm - Jan 29, 2015


I do have a bit of sympathy for McDowall, who obviously does not want to be at Ibrox – and certainly will not be comfortable about being in charge of TRFC on Sunday.

IMO, he has 2 team choices: park the bus, or be very physical.

But either way, I doubt it will be a ‘good’ game. Controversial perhaps, but probably 100mph and low on skill and entertainment.

And this is the high point of the Scottish game – according to the SFA/SPFL ?

This one fixture which supposedly projects to the world the values, the class, the abilities to be found in Scottish football ?
I don’t think so.

I will watch the game in my local bar, [to see the Celtic banners 😉 ], but maybe the best outcome is that the game is a drab, boring 90 minutes – so that even the neutrals will be wondering why there is so much fuss around TRFC ?

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jimlarkinPosted on10:23 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm
10 0 Rate This

ecobhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm
3 0 Rate This
==================================================
Agreed.
Treating the customers with contempt seems to be a strange marketing strategy.

……………………………….

I reckon he is using the “Tom English” equation on the gullible.

It is only the sheep at the front of the queue (around Govan and the surrounding area) that are really bothered.

The sheep at the back won’t get the message e.g Inverness or Aberdeen etc, so the gullible in those areas will still buy TAT if it is cheap enough (everybody likes a bargain), so he will still be able to sell the TAT and probably make some kind of profit on it, but even if there is little profit in the meantime, it would still be turnover in anycase!?

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TartanwulverPosted on10:29 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Wow – Stan Collymore is not only articulate and willing to offer forthright opinions, but also very well educated on the Rangers saga. And he speaks to an audience in Scotland and beyond. Very refreshing, a few more people in the media like that over the last couple of years would have made a very big difference. Good stuff.

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SmugasPosted on10:56 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Scotland Tonight

Ryan, get yer man (was it Alan Bisset) up front for the public speaking job. Wipes with the floor with C Graham and the like.

The best I can say for (was it Keith McKenna?) at least he was man enough to admit that the financial justification of ‘the old firm’ was the financial betterment of rangers and Celtic. At least on that point I could agree with him.

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Billy BoycePosted on11:01 pm - Jan 29, 2015


Allyjambo says:
January 29, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Player says he’s going to score a hat-trick in upcoming semi-final – shock revelation. Imagine that! A man showing confidence about his ability to shine in what will be the biggest match Hampden has witnessed since the day before!
———————————————————-

John Guidetti subsequently tweeted:

“Just to make one thing clear. They asked me how many I WANT to score against rangers not how many I AM going to score.”

In view of the OC/NC hysteria this week, I wonder why no one thought of asking The Cardigan to explain his ‘best wishes’ statement: “We wish the new Rangers Football Club every good fortune.”

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Bayview GoldPosted on11:12 pm - Jan 29, 2015


borussiabeefburg says:
January 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm

I am glad to have helped somewhat, I agree though the situation is muddy to say the least and if I was a Livi fan I would feel aggrieved esp as the SFA seem to be wading through treacle with respect to other club investigations.

Re Columbine – yes he was ‘nominated’ by Rankine but again that was unofficial wink and a nod, no direct control. 🙄

re the three clubs – for the life of me I have no idea how I missed your observation of the same colours, as you say Rankine’s money doesn’t reach to new scarfs or club ties it seems. 😀

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crawfordPosted on11:17 pm - Jan 29, 2015


allyjambo says

A wee interview with Chick immediately after the match would be in order, I think.

ally, do you think chick would have

a)the gumption

and/or remembering THAT interview

b)the guts

to bring the subject up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG27qGTMXa4&spfreload=10

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The Cat NR1Posted on11:33 pm - Jan 29, 2015


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:53 pm

13

0

Rate This

ecobhoy says:
January 29, 2015 at 8:12 pm
3 0 Rate This
==================================================
Agreed.
Treating the customers with contempt seems to be a strange marketing strategy.
===========================================================
Isn’t he just enthusiastically embracing the attitude that the SFA and SPFL have to their customers?
When in Rome and all that.

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enough is enoughPosted on11:47 pm - Jan 29, 2015


From RM – a comment about Chris Sutton ….

“Mr Bankrupt must be needing the cash…….how many creditors did he shaft! Fud.”

Will they ever understand irony?

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The Cat NR1Posted on12:06 am - Jan 30, 2015


http://thecelticblog.com/2015/01/news/stewart-regan-argument-from-ignorance
Is this Regan TweetGate serious or a Stewart Fakes wind-up?
Surely if it is true, the taxi will be waiting outside the bunker on Sunday after the final whistle of the play-off to see who plays one of the New Firm in the Scottish League Cup (presented by QTS) final.

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John ClarkPosted on1:36 am - Jan 30, 2015


11.19 a.m in 29 degree Brisbane, and I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes in Carindale Public Library catching up. There have been some truly excellent posts, particularly those of Auldheid and James Forrest which keep us sharply focussed on the rottenness at the heart of our Football establishment and in ther hearts of the deceitful running dog SMSM lackeys.
Let the lying sods say what they like , the Truth is still the Truth. SDM was a disgusting cheat,RFC(IL) is dead, there is no ‘Old Firm’, and gobshite gombeen men are not fit and proper persons to hold any kind of ‘Q&A’ session!
BDO and the Crown Office are working away in the background, as no doubt are HMRC.
There will be no rest for the wicked.
( And, incidentally, Worthington have confirmed that the FCA’s decision to suspend their shares does not affect their capacity to pursue their Collyer Bristow legal action: I got an email reply to that effect on Sunday last).
And what with one distraction and another, it’s taken me till this minute (11.34) to write this post!
Time for a cold beer I think!

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AuldheidPosted on1:56 am - Jan 30, 2015


Bawsman

Can you check your PM messages ta?

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GabbyPosted on6:09 am - Jan 30, 2015


John

Welcome to sunny Brisbane. Lucky you weren’t here a week or 2 ago when is was 35C with 80% humidity. Carindale is my part of the world, enjoy your stay.

PS Cold beers are available in the bar beside the Library!

Gabby

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BawsmanPosted on6:28 am - Jan 30, 2015


Auldheid says:
January 30, 2015 at 1:56 am
3 1 Rate This

Bawsman

Can you check your PM messages ta?

=================================

Thanks AH, let’s just say, after reading that, I’ve had worse starts to a day. 😀

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upthehoopsPosted on7:00 am - Jan 30, 2015


I noticed a comment yesterday from Keith Jackson along the lines of it looking likely Mike Ashley will be facing Parliamentary questions. About what, exactly?

It’s about time that Jackson, those like him in the media, and the MP’s involved in this farce realised Rangers are not a national treasure. What makes them more important than any other British football club, that they deserve some kind of Government protection? Should they be nationalised and funded by the state?

It’s actually sickening that in 2015 such attitudes still exist, but exist they do, and in abundance it seems.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:47 am - Jan 30, 2015


Do enjoy @acjimbo and The Guardian Football Weekly podcast.
A few inaccuracies towards the end of Thursday’s offering of puns and punditry:

1) Rangers went into administration (and apparently exited)

2) Were relegated to lowest division

3) The venue for the 400th (whit?) meeting is Celtic Park

4) The other semi-final is ‘Dundee’ v Aberdeen

Has Level5 been advising them? :mrgreen:

They did seem to know about the two flowerpot men but surprising they could fit so many errors into the usual one minute mocking of Scottish fitba (can’t really blame them them for mocking, though). If only they knew the half of it!

No email to the podcast, just twitter and Facebook site.

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iceman63Posted on7:48 am - Jan 30, 2015


Of course Rangers men don’t want the club Nationalised, they want it to be given divinely to RRM to whom they can be loyal. But, they do expect it to be state funded.

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steph1895Posted on9:13 am - Jan 30, 2015


I think someone posted earlier that Mike Ashley’s game is to get exactly what he wants PRIOR to the SFA/SPFL coffee mornings in March.
He has noted that the governing bodies are weak and are trying so hard to look the other way, to ensure that a team in blue will be playing at Ibrox, and in the top flight.
This is to engineer the greatest TV deal to dwarf the EPL by millions!!
The situation as I see it, is the old Nero’s thumb.
Give me what I want and a team in blue survives playing out of Ibrox.
Don’t give me what I want, playing by your rules and I liquidate.
The authorities NEVER imagined their act of good faith would be taken by Charles Green, and to a lesser (but more deliberate)extent Mike Ashley, as being gullible in the extreme – give an inch and take mile
Mike Ashley has not broken any laws or any rules yet, although it can be argued that according to the SFA/SPFL rules he has.
Mike Ashley also has the ace card which is the fact that it appears the SFA/SPFL want a Dave King involved, who has enough previous to put The Lehmen Brothers to shame.
A first year law graduate would have a field day with that one.
The only way this will work out for the authorities is to make sure that the coffee morning comes with decent biscuits.
Another bourbon Mr Ashley?? 😳 😳
Us a fans get the to wash the cups and take the crumbs

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bluPosted on9:28 am - Jan 30, 2015


helpmaboab says:

January 30, 2015 at 8:52 am

“…Sevco supporting Campbell…” Would his view be valid if he was a Hearts or Celtic fan?

Apparently so 🙂
Post has been removed. Try not to respond to the ridiculous stuff Blu. Give us a chance to get rid.
FYI. Nicky Campbell is not a Rangers fan.
Cheers
TSFM

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AllyjamboPosted on9:43 am - Jan 30, 2015


Billy Boyce says:
January 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

An excellent example, if one was needed, of just how the media manipulate interviewees. In the event of the anticipated trouble at Sunday’s match I am sure the MSM will try to blame ‘the advert’ and the continued OC/NC debate. Perhaps even ‘players making inflammatory statements’! They will definitely go nowhere near discussing the media’s role in fanning the flames.

Perhaps someone like Stan Collymore will! It is definitely something that needs airing.

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BawsmanPosted on9:45 am - Jan 30, 2015


What if MA plays his joker and offers Sports Direct sponsorship of the SPFL for a ‘quiet life’? Just thinking out loud 🙂

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SmugasPosted on9:46 am - Jan 30, 2015


Blu,

Joking apart, its a difficult one. Having slept on the Scotland Tonight effort, looking back that’s really the theme that they were trying to promote. The fans just wanting their game back. I have no real issue with that, liquidation or not (and with a nod to the ‘advert’ men for their view. As long as it was presented as Old firm (in the widest sense) fans wanting their game back for their own personal and club’s gratification and reward then fine, again, no issue. There were no (as I recall, it was 10.30pm!) spurious, throwaway, completely unsubstantiated “for the good of the game” type lines as I recall and it was all the more refreshing for that. As I said last night my interpretation of McKenna’s view was that he said exactly that, although didn’t actually mean it (trying to infer instead that in fact it was all fans that wanted, needed and were rewarded by having it back). As an aside, it made his ‘testimonial’ comment look all the more pathetic.

Where we differ, without going over and over the old ground again is why do the ‘000’s leave Falkirk/Motherwell in a bus to follow Rangers/Celtic. Because its cool apparently, according to (was it?) Bisset? – the RFC man on the sofa with the ridiculous Tshirt suit ensemble. I would argue it isn’t so cool when you are struggling mid table. It isn’t cool when the relegation pit bull snaps onto something painful and won’t let go.

The generation to generation thing they espoused is fine. I completely understand it. I argue though that the compulsion is less when the team is, well, in language all Saturday diddies will understand, crap!

So if one cheats (to win). If one goes bust (to win), well, I don’t think I need to say any more.

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James ForrestPosted on9:49 am - Jan 30, 2015


They might not be Rangers … but for a multitude of reasons I want us to beat them as if they were …

http://www.onfieldsofgreen.com/the-reckoning-ii/

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scapaflowPosted on9:49 am - Jan 30, 2015


Smugas

Ian Davidson MP, has also indicated that he wants to question Ashley in parliament.

Actually, I believe there are legitimate questions for Ashley to answer, around the way he treats his workforce. The closure of USC raises serious questions.

This guy is an honest to God billionaire, who runs extremely profitable companies, who shut USC, without being straight with his workforce, and then despite being a billionaire, with an extremely profitable group of companies, expects the state to pick up all the redundancy costs?

No, I don;t think so, it may be legal, but any way you look at it, it is actually no different from the way Murray, Whyte, et al behaved, stiffing the taxpayer is stiffing the taxpayer.

If Davidson et al want to use Ashley as a poster child for problems in UK company law, then I am fine with that, however, we will have to wait and see, what they actually raise with him, if the hearing ever takes place.

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AllyjamboPosted on9:50 am - Jan 30, 2015


crawford says:
January 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

ally, do you think chick would have

a)the gumption

and/or remembering THAT interview

b)the guts

to bring the subject up
__________________________

No, and no!

And not even the self-respect to go for revenge! (It was actually that ‘interview’ I had in mind, the grovelling wee toady)

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tomtomPosted on9:59 am - Jan 30, 2015


helpmaboab says:
January 30, 2015 at 8:52 am
5 4 Rate This

=====

Nicky Campbell is not a Ger’s fan.

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AllyjamboPosted on10:25 am - Jan 30, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
January 30, 2015 at 12:06 am

That Celtic Blog made me think back to something I wrote here about Ogilvie quite some time ago.

It was about the way CO’s move to Hearts had struck me, even way back then, as an odd ‘advancement’ for someone considered a ‘top man for the job’. I had then (after his part in the EBT scandal came to light) formed the opinion that it was part of a long-term strategy, by Murray, to have his ‘placeman’ in situ at the SFA to cover for the fallout should the EBTs, or perhaps the DOS scheme, come to light. His move to Hearts was to create ‘distance’ between himself and Rangers before stepping into his place of most influence.

I think much more has been revealed over DOS and EBTs than even Murray anticipated, but we’ve seen how having Ogilvie in place has had an effect, and that effect would have been even greater without the internet and Mark Daly.

Now the SFA are trying to do similar by getting ‘the conflicted one’ into UEFA where he will be able (possibly) to steer that corrupt (but trying to clean up it’s act, cosmetically, at least) body, away from too many awkward questions about so many things surrounding the teams from Ibrox!

Reagan and others at Hampden need him there (UEFA) just as much as Murray/RFC needed him in the SFA. They will do anything to deflect from his unsuitability for this role. Misinforming the public is just a (continuing) part of the strategy!

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wottpiPosted on10:27 am - Jan 30, 2015


Re Fan bases of the two big Glasgow clubs.

I for one am not surprised that there has been a slight spat over % share of fans claims, given that fans of other clubs know that both the two big Glasgow clubs tend to over-estimate their standing in world football (check Sons of Struth Houston on BBC Scotland this morning) and have never appeared to be honest with regard to the numbers actually attending games, especially when it is obvious super large stadiums are half full.

Added to that the well known joke of exponentially increasing the number of fans in attendance every time Seville and Manchester is mentioned just makes the rest of us laugh.

I’m with Eco in that such daft figures are banded about willy-nilly so we shouldn’t really take offence or read to much into it when used in an off the cuff manner.

I’m guessing from various contributions to this site over the years most folk on here have a realistic view of exactly where Scottish football and individual clubs are with regard to fans bases and the extent of their wider appeal.

I am sure someone out there will have some decent analysis if required by those who take such matters seriously. However in general and throughout the world, the big team/wee team ‘I’m Billy Big Baws’ type banter will continue whenever there is a rivalry and that will nearly always include, from each side, an over-exaggeration of one’s own importance.

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finchleyflyerPosted on10:27 am - Jan 30, 2015


I had the misfortune to meet Ian Davidson at the House of Commons when I was at a do with a pal from my rugby club who’s a Labour MP. On being introduced to me, his first comment was rude, inappropriate, and displayed an almost unbelievable lack of self-awareness. Whatever Ashley’s faults are, he’d have to go along way to come across as badly as Davidson did then.

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mcfcPosted on10:43 am - Jan 30, 2015


Does this feel normal to you ?

Where else in the world would this be necessary for a football match – not in London, not in Birmingham, not in Manchester, not in Liverpool, not in Sheffield, not on Tyne/Wear.

This is not football – this is not sport – this is a national, social, cultural disgrace.

“Extra police drafted in for Old Firm day to target domestic abusers”

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/308470-extra-police-drafted-in-for-old-firm-day-to-target-domestic-abusers/

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scapaflowPosted on10:47 am - Jan 30, 2015


mcfc says:
January 30, 2015 at 10:43 am

It won’t just be the police, Social Work Emergency Duty Teams, will be aware, and anticipating an increase in duty calls.

the “Old firm” a blight, that keeps on blighting…

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wottpiPosted on11:10 am - Jan 30, 2015


highfibre says:
January 30, 2015 at 10:52 am

As i said in my post I am sure there is analysis out there so being a saddo I just Googled quickly and found this from 2012.

http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2012/04/02/revealed-the-most-dedicated-football-nations-the-faroes-iceland-cyprus-scotland-and-england-020403/

So basically it is saying Celtic and Rangers had 50% of the total home game attending fan base and based on the figures its about split evenly around 25% each.

Therefore on these figures and in terms of fans actually attending games the rest of Scottish football is just as important as the two big Glasgow clubs combined and the rest of Scottish Football plus one of the big Glasgow two is more important than any one club on its own.

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tearsofjoyPosted on11:14 am - Jan 30, 2015


Allyjambo says:

January 30, 2015 at 10:25 am

14

1

Rate This

The Cat NR1 says:
January 30, 2015 at 12:06 am

That Celtic Blog made me think back to something I wrote here about Ogilvie quite some time ago.

It was about the way CO’s move to Hearts had struck me, even way back then, as an odd
***********************************************
AJ
As a Hearts man I totally agree with your point. I also thought it very strange that CO was leaving one of the worlds’ leading clubs (and certainly Scotland’s biggest club 🙄 ) to come and work for a crackpot owner of a diddy club that was constantly being ridiculed in the Glasgow media I could never understand what it was that CO brought to the table that Vlad needed so badly (at one point I did think maybe CO was helping Vlad be creative on the tax front but in retrospect Vlad didn’t need any help there, what with the massive number of “loan” players Hearts had on the books at any given time).
So you do have to wonder just what it was that brought CO to Tynecastle – and maybe your suppositions are correct. I certainly think you might be on to something.

As for CO going off to UEFA – it smacks of days of empire when embarrassments could be shunted out of the way. For me , it’s that simple. I wouldn’t credit the SFA/CO with sufficient competence to do any damage limitation at/with UEFA.

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mcfcPosted on11:26 am - Jan 30, 2015


Tiger Dad ?

I any of my kids said “I’d really like to hope this could be the turning point in my crap school marks” they’d get a motivational chat they would not forget – assuming they ever got themselves in that position.

The 27-year old [Lee Wallace] said: “I’d really like to hope this could be the turning point in our season.”

http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/8430-sunday-key-to-season

1 out of 10 for self-belief and application Lee, only because there is no zero on a 1 to 10 scale.

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alexander276Posted on11:27 am - Jan 30, 2015


I have to acknowledge that standards are not high but even I had to put off Radio Scotland last night with the fawning over players who had played in the Old Firm ‘game’. The sniggering glorification of sectarian hatred helps explain the determination of the media to resurrect the Zombie Derby: they need an excuse to ask predictable questions of football ‘characters’. I am no member of the Celtic manager’s fan club but he is too to congratulated at his deft refusal to be sucked into this odious circus.

But my main point in logging on is to recommend in coals to Newcastle fashion a book I have belatedly read – Gary Imlach, My Father and other Working Class Heroes. I am not young but just too old to be familiar with the salary restrictions of the post war years. A real eye opener. Published in 2005 it is full of accidental illumination on current times, for example the role of the SFA. Imlach commtens in passing about journalism. He says the price for access was ‘acting as the largely unmediated conduit for the views of the clubs.’ So we may have erred on our discussions. The Scottish sporting press is no worse than before. The fault was ours in judging them as journalists.

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readceltPosted on11:37 am - Jan 30, 2015


As we approach Sundays league cup semi final, with all the social issues around it, it got me thinking how you change a culture.

Ignoring it and hoping it goes away certainly isn’t the answer.

Found a good article in the Boston Globe prompted by the behavior of their University hockey team.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2012/09/22/how-change-culture/HitMpC95xPFidEjEl2cx9J/story.html

Interesting read.

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wottpiPosted on11:39 am - Jan 30, 2015


I suppose the follow up to my post above is that on these figures that appear if the big two crowds fall by, say, a joint 10% and the rest of Scottish clubs maintain their fan base then ‘the rest’ goes over the 50% mark.

Given the fall off in Rangers crowds this year and an assumed lesser decline at Celtic combined with increases in Hearts and Aberdeen’s home game attendances what chance that the balance is currently with ‘the Rest’ and Rangers may be heading into the low twenties or teens in terms of percentages? (Don’t have the time – or the inclination-to look at that just now along with how the figures will be slewed by some degree in having to take account of the effects of the number of visiting fans on the home crowd numbers)

Armageddon, don’t ya just love it. 😛

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yourhavingalaughPosted on11:44 am - Jan 30, 2015


What we are experiencing here is the outing of people that should be given a wide berth in a civilised society, people that cannot see what’s ahead ,no vision,easily led,some of them full of their own importance,others just lamb munchers,I really hope for their sakes that there is no life threatining incidents on Sunday , sometimes in life as hard as it may be you just keep you thoughts to yourself,and this is one of those times.
I wish you all a safe and enjoyable weekend and look forward to a quiet Monday.

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mcfcPosted on11:48 am - Jan 30, 2015


Is this a new one ?

The unattributed “outfit” survival myth:

“It is the first meeting between the Glasgow rivals for nearly two years since financial problems led to the Ibrox outfit playing in Scotland’s bottom tier. ”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/31055943

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valentinesclownPosted on11:53 am - Jan 30, 2015


STV News ‏@STVNews 21 minutes ago
Mysterious football club owners and shareholders must be revealed, government report urges

http://t.co/Q5V9wnopoO

Why now?

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AllyjamboPosted on12:05 pm - Jan 30, 2015


mcfc says:
January 30, 2015 at 11:48 am

I’d written the following, before realising my error:-

“I suppose it could be said that it’s not a lie. There is certainly an ‘outfit’ at Ibrox, and it’s the previous residents of Ibrox’s demise that has led to them playing there.

Truth, but not the whole truth.”

Then my brain got into gear and the reality dawned:-

“It is the first meeting between the Glasgow rivals for nearly two years”

So still not getting it right, and still not getting to the heady heights of ‘…not the whole truth’, not even a half truth!

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