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

mcfcPosted on5:33 pm - Feb 3, 2015


jambocol1874 says:
February 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm

The SFA should own the rules, period.

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The SFA don’t want ownership of the rules. “There is merit in vagueness” between the SFA and SPFL rule books – discretion squared. The SPFL can investigate under their rules, as in LNS, and the SFA can be the appeal body under their rules. No need to ever leave G42 on any topic concerning sporting integrity.

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Bryce CurdyPosted on5:38 pm - Feb 3, 2015


The five NUFC loanees goes straight into the top three of shameful events in Scottish football. There is a lot of speculation about which club is picking up the wage bill, but either scenario is utterly unacceptable.

If NUFC are paying the salaries then Sevco are benefitting from a subsidy unavailable to their competitors and only available to Sevco because Ashley has an interest in both clubs and the SFA don’t have a spine, tooth or testicle in their entire organisation.

If Sevco are paying a fair ‘market value’ proportion of the salaries, then they are being allowed to substantially increase their wage bill at a time when they have spent the last several months surviving on crisis loans to keep the lights on.

The silence from the SFA and the SMSM is disgusting if hardly unexpected, but why are the clubs competing in the Championship and potential opponents in any playoffs from the Premiership not demanding answers?

Perhaps Hearts will still win automatic promotion even if the loanees transform Sevco’s fortunes, but Hearts had hard earned the luxury of a sticky patch of form which may now jeopardise their automatic promotion prospects. The other clubs in top five of the Championship have even stronger grounds for complaint, as potentially do the clubs in the Premiership struggling to avoid the bottom two places. Silence is simply inexcusable.

Other posters have questioned the utterly unjustifiable delay between the MASH loan and the SFA hearing. Even more important to me is a proper explanation with regard to why the hearing was downgraded to some sort of preliminary prehearing teleconference at 24 hours notice, an event that could have been set up at hours rather than weeks/months notice. These questions are even more galling when we consider the information already in the public domain and the ‘any influence whatsoever’ burden of proof.

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MaBawPosted on5:42 pm - Feb 3, 2015


I keep hearing from this forum that the SFA will not apply the rules because of Ashleys lawyers. MA and his lawyers are irrelevant. Just apply the rules to all clubs!!

As I said before if I have a golf club and ban you because you broke a rule then tough if you do not like it.

Unless the SFA have made concessions before that they do want disclosed. apply the rules.

Stewart Regans words in 2012

The Scottish FA has a responsibility to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour.

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iceman63Posted on5:42 pm - Feb 3, 2015


The loanee system in principle is fine. It allows young players game time and helps clubs that are struggling field a high quality team.
It is the dual ownership/ control issue that is the issue here. Ashley has chosen to use his loans in cash and now players to show to all that he controls both Rangers and Newcastle in clear breach of the rules on dual ownership as a two fingered response to the SFA. They have no rule book left that they can use.
No-one from the SFA has yet explained why Ashley was allowed to purchase any shares under SFA rules (legally I suspect Ashley would have wiped the floor with them in any case)
The decision to admit SEVCO ended the game. I repeat this ad nauseam, but it remains as true as when I said it on RTC at the time, any sport is nothing but the rules which govern it. It is defined, explicitly, by the rules. When you destroy the rules, be definition, what you have is a different thing from the sport itself.
It is not a metaphor that the 5way agreement destroyed football as a sport in Scotland but a literal truth.
Ashley understands this. It is, literally, just business.

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mcfcPosted on5:45 pm - Feb 3, 2015


easyJambo says:
February 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Anyone think that Llambias will have prepared two versions of each loan contract?

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Shurely one contract and one side letter – the latter to be revealed/concealed/shredded as events unfold 🙂

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ecobhoyPosted on5:52 pm - Feb 3, 2015


joburgt1m says:
February 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Has anybody from the Scottish players union said anything on the 5 loanees? I would really like to know how they see this situation.
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I’m not sure how the system works with loan players whose actual contract of employment is with another association club.

I would assume there must be some kind of inter-union mechanism when a player is playing under the jurisdiction of another Football Association. Obviously you wouldn’t expect a English players’ union rep to be up to speed with the Scottish FA Rules.

Probably too much to expect anyone from the Scottish Players’ Union to be up to speed either come to think of it 😎

I’m not sure the players’ union would have any reason to say anything anyway. If the player didn’t want to come here and his contract allowed him that choice then he would have raised the issue with the English Rep who deals with NUFC I would have thought.

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mcfcPosted on6:15 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Is Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson competent?

The logical of his comments on Sunday’s arrests applied to any other demographic or crime would surely be a resigning matter.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/56-people-reported-to-the-crown-office-following-old-firm-clash.1422977871

“It was disappointing to see that a small minority of the 5,000,000 Scottish citizens were intent on murdering/attacking/raping/robbing/defrauding their victims,” the Justice Secretary said.

“We must recognise that these individuals are not representative of the positive attitude and behaviour of the vast majority of Scottish citizens.”

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upthehoopsPosted on6:36 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Quick listen to Radio Clyde tonight and all is well. Some fine talents have arrived on loan at Ibrox and the SFA have confirmed there are no problems whatsoever. What struck me was the automatic assumption the players are costing nothing. I am sure we will find out the facts of that particular part in the fullness of time, but maybe they should temper their enthusiasm until we do.

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MaBawPosted on6:40 pm - Feb 3, 2015


if the ibrox loan rangers cost nothing then the financial fair play rules are destined to fail.

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mcfcPosted on6:54 pm - Feb 3, 2015


EGM

RIFC plc must name a date for the Extraordinary General Meeting by Friday – or reject the 303 notice form Mr King as not “property constituted”. My money is on the board deciding that the notice is not properly constituted because two of the named board candidates do not have a reasonable prospect of being accepted as fit and proper by company law and/or by the SFA. The “reasonable prospect” argument has already been used extensively in financial matters.

This move will no doubt be contentious and will be challenged – but that will take time – and the one thing the mendacious witness does not have to save his beloved club is time.

http://rangers.g3dhosting.com/regulatory_news_article/449

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ZilchPosted on6:57 pm - Feb 3, 2015


What a weekend it was.

I spent Sunday afternoon fixing my Mum’s shed roof. Again. My first attempt from last summer didn’t make it through the winter storms. DIY is not my forte. 🙁

What did I miss?

By all accounts a poor match, played on a poor surface, in a poor stadium. Bad enough.

Then it turns out that the stands were filled with “a minority” of fans that were sufficiently loud to be heard going through the repertoire of allegedly banned offensive songs. Again. Must have awfy loud voices to be able to drown out the majority. Perhaps that was the silent majority?

Mibbee it was imagined. No comment on the matter it seems from our compliance officer? What a surprise. Does Hampden not have CCTV? Is it not possible to identify any members of the minority that were singing these songs? Hmmm.

Then we have Big Mike giving the SFA etc two big fingers with a 5 player loan from one of his clubs to the other. What happens when he owns ten clubs, or twenty? Why don’t we just sell him the rights to the whole shebang? He could run it as some sort of franchise. Might as well…

Then there is Celtic buying (mibbee to weak a word depending on your point of view) two of the best players from the Arabs, shortly before playing them in the upcoming final. Sure they are cup-tied, but they also won’t be turning out for the Arabs either. I get that it is within the rules as they stand, and I am selfishly delighted to get these guys into my club as I think they enhance our squad… but, but, but I also understand that it must leave a real sick feeling in the stomach for everyone they have left behind at Utd.

Although we might lose players in the Jan window too, the difference is that we would never (realistically) lose them to a rival for the title / cup etc. This really stinks. I think Celtic bought them with good intentions for their development as players and to contribute over many years to the cause, but it still stinks.

I would prefer to see squads in place for the start of a season and to have those squads see the season through, with transfers confined to the summer break. Just seems like a fairer way to run competitions.

Then I hear about fans from my own club attacking a busload of Rangers fans and seriously hurting a wee boy of ten. The guy(s) that did this was with a crowd. There are other Celtic fans there that know who did this. I am sick to my stomach that this guy(s) has not been identified or handed himself over.

I remember being in Bordeaux during France 98 and a bunch of Aberdeen casuals started to kick off. I was there as a bunch of lads from the Tartan Army stopped them and got the Gendarmes to sort them out.

If we are going to get rid of the violence and brutality from our game, whether it is signing sectarian songs or battering wee boys with bottles or stabbing fans for wearing he wrong colours – it has to start with everyone else who is there saying not in my name and doing something about it.

Why don’t the “majority” boo the singing of banned songs? Even a minority booing would be a start.

Why are the clubs not using their ability to identify and ban fans that drag their clubs through the mud? I know it does happen, but never on a meaningful scale. Getting rid of some of the hardcore would send a very direct message that it is no longer going to be tolerated. The relative lack of action on this says the club(s) are not serious about this.

And if you see one of your own attacking a bus with bottles or bricks – for God’s sake call the cops and use your mobi to get some images. These guys are a disgrace to all of us.

So I spent Sunday afternoon freezing my butt off trying to fix this shed roof. Looking back on it – seems like it was just about the best place I could have been.

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EKBhoyPosted on7:04 pm - Feb 3, 2015


The famous five will just allow the creation of a clique in the dressing room and drive morale through the floor.

Nothing to worry about …

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scottcPosted on7:07 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Olivier Bernard states in that DR article that these five players, who have signed until the end of the season, will guarantee that TRFC are promoted, at least via the play-offs. What he seems to have missed is that the play-offs start AFTER the season has ended, so poor KMcD will not have access to these five for the play-offs and will have to rely on players who have not played for months. It’s a funny world

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occamPosted on7:15 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Zilch says:
February 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

Re transfers – agree with most of what you have said but it should be recognised that Dundee Utd did not have to release either player and having heard Stuart Armstrong on radio this evening I believe that neither he nor GMS put any pressure on the club – so money seems to have been the key motivator for DU.

It is absolutely time for all genuine fans to show zero tolerance towards anyone else wearing their team’s colours (or none) who behave in a violent, antisocial way and for all clubs to be unequivocal in their condemnation of such behaviour and co-operation with the authorities wherever possible in identifying guilty parties.

On a lighter note, I hope you had more success with your shed repair than a former colleague who nailed (her/his) glove to the roof while replacing the felt! 😳 She/he, having removed her/his hand from the glove, then proceeded to cut the nailed glove fingers with scissors, leaving them flapping in the wind!

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scottcPosted on7:18 pm - Feb 3, 2015


On sheds and completely off topic, we had a hole in our shed roof which my dad ‘fixed’ by opening an umbrella through it and tying it down inside. It worked for ages. 🙂

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yourhavingalaughPosted on7:18 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Zilch
How are you with greenhouses,polycarbonate not glass

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parttimearabPosted on7:22 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Looks as though Mike Ashley will have bigger financial worries than bailing out the shambles at Ibrox shortly….

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/03/sports-direct-zero-contract-workers-compensation

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on7:24 pm - Feb 3, 2015


scottc says:
February 3, 2015 at 7:07 pm

2

3

Rate This

Olivier Bernard states in that DR article that these five players, who have signed until the end of the season, will guarantee that TRFC are promoted, at least via the play-offs. What he seems to have missed is that the play-offs start AFTER the season has ended, so poor KMcD will not have access to these five for the play-offs and will have to rely on players who have not played for months. It’s a funny world

_________________________________________________________

Should make for an ‘interesting’ dynamic in the dressing room, at least. (Wonder which one of the new boys Ian Black will be cleaning the boots of?)

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ZilchPosted on7:33 pm - Feb 3, 2015


We had to get a new shed recently. Something to do with a storm and the wean’s trampoline landing on it….

Don’t get me started on greenhouses…. thought polycarb would do better than glass… what did I know? Sheesh!

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GoosyGoosyPosted on7:36 pm - Feb 3, 2015


“Rangers fan aged 10 bottled on way to his first ever Old Firm game in tears as he relives ordeal
56 people reported to the Crown Office following Old Firm clash
Violent aftermath of Old Firm violence embodied in bloodied face of James Martin, now lying sedated in hospital
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/violent-aftermath-old-firm-violence-5095356
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To all overseas readers and contributors to TSFM
Please spread the word to potential tourists about this predictable and mindless violence
Tell anyone who will listen that in 2015 the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Government and Police Scotland think this kind of behaviour is a price well worth paying to get Celtic v Rangers games on the agenda after having peace for 3 years
Tell them the streets of Glasgow and surrounding towns are once again places to be avoided on the days leading up to and following these matches
Tell them that despite several murders associated with this fixture in the past, the incidence of violence yesterday was considered acceptable by the Police and the Scottish Government
Tell them it`s a crime to sing offensive songs at these games but it is never enforced because the songs are sung by thousands of fans
And tell them the silent majority in Scotland are sick to death with this fixture and would prefer these games to be banned forever
Don’t apologise to them for this disgraceful governance
We elected the politicians and we financed the football authorities

It’s our own fault

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scapaflowPosted on7:43 pm - Feb 3, 2015


jambocol1874 says:
February 3, 2015 at 5:16 pm

In the recent storms, the polycarb did not break, but it has popped out of the aluminium frame, and is a right bar steward to get back in :mrgreen:

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StevieBCPosted on7:46 pm - Feb 3, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
February 3, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Tell anyone who will listen that in 2015 the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Government and Police Scotland think this kind of behaviour is a price well worth paying to get Celtic v Rangers games on the agenda after having peace for 3 years…
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Very sad.
Very true.

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AyeRightNawPosted on7:56 pm - Feb 3, 2015


incredibleadamspark says:
February 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

AyeRightNaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 3:24 pm
________________________________________________

I don’t view the players Rangers have taken on loan as unsporting or financial doping…

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Really, you don’t? Let me try then to persuade you as to why I do.

Imagine running a football club whose £1.5M pa outgoings are more or less matched by income.

A competitor arrives in the same league after having spent approx £70M in two years just to get to your league.

Unsurprisingly the competitor is in poor financial health and is kept alive only as a result of drip-fed emergency loans. Loans received in the space of a few months that would be enough to cover all your own outgoings for the next five years.

It just so happens that the loan-maker also controls another football club. The loan-maker recognises that your competitor is not performing as well as was expected. He then takes five players from his other club and lends them to your competitor – a competitor that can’t afford to pay its existing staff without ongoing emergency financial assistance.

If this is not financial doping to create an unsporting advantage then I don’t know what is.

Incidentally the whataboutery in relation to other clubs use of the loan system is irrelevant here as none of them are in Rangers’ financial plight and none of them are controlled by an individual who also has the controlling interest in another club.

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Paulmac2Posted on8:50 pm - Feb 3, 2015


upthehoops says:
February 3, 2015 at 6:36 pm
………………….

Technically they have cost nothing….

Stay with me on this…MA has loaned the club an initial amount of 5 million…this money has paid the January salaries and repaid an outstanding loan…the loan players and any other employees put in place from from MA will be paid from any future loans from MA…loans secured against assets…

So NUFC remove salary pay from their books increasing their profit margin…which will increase the clubs dividend…they are then paid by TRFC with money they have borrowed from MA…and in return he gets their assets…which repays those salaries….

What a wheeze…in essence he has made money by not paying wages…am I wrong?

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MaBawPosted on9:13 pm - Feb 3, 2015


I think you may be right, he may have moved the wage bill from Newcastle to Rangers. He could then pay the wages through another loan so it costs him nothing and he gains more control of RFC or their assets.

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valentinesclownPosted on9:26 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Maybe the loan players just tuped over?
Or where duped to go over.
Players no matter what do not play for nothing.

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StevieBCPosted on9:32 pm - Feb 3, 2015


These ‘loanees’ don’t look particularly overjoyed to be at Ibrox ?
Just hope none of them accidentally drops their payslip on the dressing room floor either… 😉

https://twitter.com/hoopsghirl88/status/562683051361443841/photo/1

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on9:34 pm - Feb 3, 2015


MaBaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm

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I think you may be right, he may have moved the wage bill from Newcastle to Rangers. He could then pay the wages through another loan so it costs him nothing and he gains more control of RFC or their assets.

__________________________________________________________
The shirts sponsor for NUFC is the payday loan outfit ‘Wonga’

I think it is better than evens that those guys will – metaphorically – be bringing their “Wonga” shirts with them (in the way of more punishing short term loans from MASH)

Mash has outmaneovred both the SFA and the ‘RRM’ brutally and spectacularly.
There is now no way for them to lay a glove on him without taking sevco to the cleaners.

Checkmate.

Its almost admirable.

Reminds me of Alan Shearer going up against most Centre Halfs.
He was a dirty little beggar when it came to gamemanship and the rattling of his opponents, but always stayed just far enough within the rules to escape punishment and come out on top, whatever happened.

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MaBawPosted on9:46 pm - Feb 3, 2015


can you imagine those young NUFC players watching the semi final with their mates, laughing at the state of the ground, the poor football, RFC no shots on target…followed by…guys can you come into the office a minute…

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indy14Posted on9:56 pm - Feb 3, 2015


is it just me and it may have been covered, but not only are trfc breaking financial fair play rules, every day (apart from the 5 loanees)but what with the loanees, that ok, let me see how to write this….

Ashley loans 10 million in 2x5million traunches ( a word used to identify large amounts)and gets 3 million back immediately, the other 2 million pays outstanding wages (if not players 😯 ) and then loans 5 players on what, 3-5 G a week each? to a wage bill already unsustainable.

So we have 20-25 a week extra 100G a month added to wage bill, that is already ridiculous and wait, its paid for by Ashleys second loan? so he’s done what exactly?
loaned 5 players, to another club who picks up the cost paid for by himself?
so the loan amount is not even 10, its not even 7 its about 5.5million, now wait a minute I’ve heard that number somewhere before??

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StevieBCPosted on9:57 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Just realised…

On the SPFL website there is their “Hampden Pitch Statement”, basically trying to slope the blame of the poor surface onto HPL Ltd, whose directors’ names sound familiar…

And yet, there is no SPFL statement, no reference to the arrests, offensive songs, or to the highlighted media stories about violence related to the game.

The SPFL wants the commercial benefits of this fixture, but as an organisation they seem to just ignore their social responsibilities to the wider community.

http://spfl.co.uk/news/

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CastofthousandsPosted on10:47 pm - Feb 3, 2015


arabest1 says:
February 2, 2015 at 10:06 pm

“…Nadir Ciftci will sit out the final for two fairly innocuous incidents over 2 different ties, yet a key player for Celtic, Scott Brown can leave the boot in all over the park for 90 mins and will still lead out his team in the cup final.”
————————————
I did a bit of analysis that included red cards a while back and it was clear that historically the ‘big two’ appeared to have an advantage in this department. Whether the disparity exists because The big two would be pressing the game is open to argument.

Over a ten year period the total number of red cards was 483; 1 red card per 4.7 games (2281 league games). So roughly speaking a team is likely to get a player red carded every fifth game; about 20% (21.3%) chance.

In the same period the red card percentage for :

Celtic was 6% (23 reds in 382 games).

Rangers 10% (38 reds in 382 games).

Dundee United 14% (53 reds in 382 games).

The referee for the league cup semi final between Celtic and Rangers, Craig Thomson will issue a red card in 20% of games, which is statistically consistent (322 games).

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Long Time LurkerPosted on10:49 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Have any of our gallant SMSM questioned whether Rangers can afford to pay the wages of the 5 new players that have been added to the pay-roll?

The silence is deafening.

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HamerdoonPosted on10:50 pm - Feb 3, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm
—————————————————
Totally bang on. We ken oor manners 😉

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ianagainPosted on10:55 pm - Feb 3, 2015


Stevie BC

I question after polis stewards added health services involved if there ACTUALLY was any commercial benefit.

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CastofthousandsPosted on11:40 pm - Feb 3, 2015


wildwood says:
February 2, 2015 at 11:48 pm

“For me this TRFC / NUFC thing is up there with EBTs in terms of gaining an unfair advantage.”
——————————
The NUFC loan players do indeed represent an uneven playing field but it is not possible to obtain billiard table flatness. The laws of a sport’s governing body can never take account of every possible nuance that might arise in the course of its affairs. It will certainly pay heed to the best adhered to legal tenets and should also align itself with natural justice. However, too much resources would be taken up if an attempt was made to close every emerging loop hole. Just look at the tax law for exemplars.

This means that unfortunately a certain level of tolerance needs be given to the governance bodies. This would be easier to stomach if the keepers of the rules were held in high esteem but since all clubs have a hand in choosing the governors then the democracy we have is the only tool to effect change.

This is why the footballing authorities don’t like clubs taking their grievances to civil law since this can complicate affairs horrendously. Even if sporting rules are drafted with one eye on natural justice and applied as impartially as possible, there will always be a difference of opinion. Even the possibility of Mike Ashley making legal challenge to the Scottish footballing authorities (perhaps even a blogger suggesting the possibility) may be sufficient influence to affect any final outcome of the dual ownership hearing.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on11:47 pm - Feb 3, 2015


MaBaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm

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can you imagine those young NUFC players watching the semi final with their mates, laughing at the state of the ground, the poor football, RFC no shots on target…followed by…guys can you come into the office a minute…

___________________________________________________

Don’t kid yourself. You’ve been taken in by to too much Keith Jackson…
Those players were watching Arsenal Aston Villa.
As was the rest of the world.

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MaBawPosted on11:54 pm - Feb 3, 2015


could you buy a small team , buy up a lot of talented players and then just loan them out to all the teams you have an interest in whether they can afford any part of that players wages or not, to ensure leagues are won. Would mean the end of football as a sport and a betting activity but it would boost merchandise sales.

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The Cat NR1Posted on12:29 am - Feb 4, 2015


Just catching up after work.
So when will we see these five loanees in action for Mike Ashley’s Gerdies?
Not only will they require registration with the SFA, they will also require international clearance. Will international clearance be given automatically or is there a procedure to follow that may hold things up?

The SFA have been gifted a bargaining tool here to force a resolution to the dual ownership issue. Tell the Gerdies that if MA doesn’t get his fat *rse up to the sixth floor this weeek and sort it out, then the international clearance papers sit in the same out tray once used by the late Jim Farry.
The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them and it’s about time that the SFA started to act like the headmaster that they should be, rather than like a callow first year junior master or worse that is their current modus operandi.

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:30 am - Feb 4, 2015


MaBaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 11:54 pm

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could you buy a small team , buy up a lot of talented players and then just loan them out to all the teams you have an interest in whether they can afford any part of that players wages or not, to ensure leagues are won. Would mean the end of football as a sport and a betting activity but it would boost merchandise sales.

__________________________________________________

Sounds like a plan. First you’d have to ensure you had attained ‘regulatory capture’.

Hmmm… Are you ‘Mike Ashley’? – I claim the ‘Westminster Gazette’ £50 prize 😎

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Paulmac2Posted on12:37 am - Feb 4, 2015


Serious question…does anyone know who at TRFC decided these players were needed and who identified the players to loan?…anyone?

Because clearly MA does not have a controlling position within the club…and did Mr. Lambias sanction this increase in debt?

Does anyone in the SMSM or the SFA have any b*lls they can call their own to challenge this behaviour….behaviour so overt…so deliberate…and so clearly in defiance of anyone with any authority in Scottish Football…that it screams out…Scottish football is not worth a flying f*** and you can do whatever you like with no consequence…

He is not only defying the SFA…he is sticking two fingers up at every senior football club in Scotland and saying…so what you gonna do?

I can assure you he will never attend any SFA hearing…he has already said so…

The SFA should now call him out…hold the hearing in absentia…find him guilty…then issue a notice of appeal time line…still ignoring us….issue a request to FIFA for a world wide football suspension of all clubs he is involved in partaking in any competition until he is compliant with attending the proposed hearing…

Lets see how he likes them apples…

If he thinks he can hold Scottish football to ransom…then fine lets see if you can hold the English FA to ransom as well.

Rant over…I need to stop drinking whisky and Guiness on a Tuesday night 😀

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on12:50 am - Feb 4, 2015


The Cat NR1 says:
February 4, 2015 at 12:29 am

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Just catching up after work.
So when will we see these five loanees in action for Mike Ashley’s Gerdies?
Not only will they require registration with the SFA, they will also require international clearance. Will international clearance be given automatically or is there a procedure to follow that may hold things up?

The SFA have been gifted a bargaining tool here to force a resolution to the dual ownership issue. Tell the Gerdies that if MA doesn’t get his fat *rse up to the sixth floor this weeek and sort it out, then the international clearance papers sit in the same out tray once used by the late Jim Farry.
The only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them and it’s about time that the SFA started to act like the headmaster that they should be, rather than like a callow first year junior master or worse that is their current modus operandi.

________________________________________________

Why would Mash care?
He couldn’t care whether they play or not! (see PMG latest)
As long as their wages are due from TRFC, they can warm the bench at Ibrox rather than St. James’s, for all Mash cares.
Meanwhile the TRFC slide continues.

Mash loan money is being spent fast … (remember the second £5m contingent on due dil?) and so he can force a default at any time, pull the plug and waltz off with pretty much all of the unencumbered assets… leaving the ‘new board’ to pick up… erm … what exactly? No revenue streams, an unmortgagable stadium thats falling down, whose ownership is in dispute and only has any real value to a club that can’t even pay its players wages.

Mash Doesn’t care if the Newcastle 5 play or not.

But the bears have had a chink of hope, and if it is to be snuffed out, it will be down to gummybears at the SFA.

As long as TRFC pay the players using his loans, Mash is happy.

Q.Why is McCoist getting a payoff now?
A. Because in the event of a 3Bears led insolvency he would become an unsecured creditor, left to take his chances and the money would be left in the club.

Instead Mash becomes a secured creditor, and some of McCoists payoff – that could have otherwise paid off Mash’s loan – ensures that the loan will default and the assets will be forfeited straight to Mash.

Expect MacDowell and Durrant to walk away with big fat cheques before the EGM, if Llambias can’t burn through the Mash Wonga loans as quickly as he needs to before an EGM by other means.

Mash is in a position to leave nothing for the 3 bears, scoop the assets, and waltz off.

“Keep off the Grass” or face scorched earth. That is the unsubtle message he is writing across the sky.

Ooh… those RRM aren’t gonna like it!

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The Cat NR1Posted on12:52 am - Feb 4, 2015


16
V. THIRD-PARTY INFLUENCE
Article
18bis
Third-party influence on clubs
1.
No club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract or any third party to acquire the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters its independence, its policies or the performance of its teams.
2.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee may impose disciplinary measures on
clubs that do not observe the obligations set out in this article.
============================
The above comes from the very entertaining FIFA regulations.
http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/regulations_on_the_status_and_transfer_of_players_en_33410.pdf

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Resin_lab_dogPosted on1:05 am - Feb 4, 2015


Resin_lab_dog says:
February 4, 2015 at 12:50 am

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The Cat NR1 says:
February 4, 2015 at 12:29 am

“Keep off the Grass” or face scorched earth. That is the unsubtle message he is writing across the sky.

Ooh… those RRM aren’t gonna like it!

____________________________________________

CORRECTION: They are gonna love it. This is just the type of strong ‘Leadership’ that they fall in behind like dominoes.
McMurdo has worked it out.
With Mike Ashley, – he figures- well you want him inside p*ssing out, not the other way round.
And where Mike Ashley p*sses, grass will not grow.

Avé! Bossa Nova! Similis Bossa Seneca!

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sickofitallPosted on5:42 am - Feb 4, 2015


Rangers will this week attempt to add another player to the five signed on loan from Newcastle United – but the latest target is a free agent who is not on the books at St James’ Park, Telegraph Sport can reveal. It is also understood that, contrary to speculation in some quarters, the bulk of the new men’s salaries will be paid by Newcastle and not Rangers, although the Ibrox club will have to contribute to the reinforcement of Kenny McDowall’s squad.
Meanwhile, Scottish Football Association sources confirmed that the batch of loans from Newcastle to Rangers, however unusual in its scale, had complied with all appropriate Fifa regulations. On the other hand, it is likely to be added as evidence for the SFA charge that Mike Ashley has exceeded his influence at Ibrox in breach of the undertaking he signed with the governing body when he acquired shares in the beleaguered club, a holding which currently stands at 8.92 per cent. However, the Sports Direct owner’s hand is strengthened by his alliance with Sandy Easdale, the chairman of Rangers football board, who holds the proxy for other investor groups.
With the clock running down on the attempt by former Rangers director, Dave King, to requisition an extraordinary general meeting with the intent of gaining control of the Ibrox boardroom, the rhetoric from both sides will intensify as the week progresses. Off the field, Ashley’s loan of £10  million – which includes the repayment of £3 million of earlier borrowings – was designed to ­consolidate his grip on Rangers’ ­commercial affairs, with particular reference to the club’s merchandising deals with Sports Direct.
Now the existing regime – deeply unpopular with the support – has attempted to improve its standing with fans by bolstering the squad in the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat by Celtic in the QTS Scottish League Cup semi-final on Sunday. Rangers were not abject in the Old Firm derby but they were impotent.
Kenny Miller, the veteran striker in his third spell with Rangers, inadvertently gratified the Ibrox directors with his post-match declaration that “at the moment we have got maybe three or four who are on their game and five or six who are not on it”.
Related Articles
Mike Ashley is treating Rangers like a branch of Sports Direct with his knockdown loan deals
Ashley treating Rangers like a branch of Sports Direct 03 Feb 2015
Celtic vs Rangers: as it happened 01 Feb 2015
Abuse descends into laughter at Rangers fall 01 Feb 2015
Bragging rights remain in green half of Glasgow 01 Feb 2015
The arrival of five players this week and the likely acquisition of a sixth has been planned carefully, with the incomers distributed throughout every department of the team except goalkeeper – and that might change soon with the arrival of whatever free agent Rangers are pursuing.
Kevin Mbabu, the Swiss teenager on loan from Newcastle, can play at centre-back or right-back, while fellow loanee Remie Streete is a central defender. Gaël Bigirimana, who cost Newcastle £1 million when he moved from Coventry, operates in central midfield while the Northern Irish international, Shane Ferguson, can play left-back or left-midfield. Haris Vuckic, meanwhile, is a Slovenian striker who can also play wide in attack or off a frontman.
Paraded at Rangers’ Murray Park training base for the media, Bigirimana declared that he and the other four loan signings had done their homework on Rangers before agreeing to move north. “One of the main reasons we came here is that we know how big Rangers are and where they should be,” the Burundi-born player said.
“We want to be part of that. If that happens, it will be something in our career we can be happy about. We are still young in football but this is an opportunity for us to grow as footballers and men. It is exciting.
“People might say we don’t know what we have let ourselves in for but you have got to have a target. You can’t live your life in fear thinking, ‘I don’t think it can happen’ – anything can happen.
“Yes, we are 16 points behind Hearts but we have got two games in hand. You never know in football. It is going to be tough but promotion is our target.”
According to Streete, the five were not compelled to move. “We found out a couple of days before the window,” said the son of former Wolves defender Floyd Streete.
“Rangers wanted to sign us on loan and Newcastle wanted us to sign on loan but they left it down to us. The fact there were a few of us coming up was a factor because it makes it easier to settle.
“It wasn’t like we didn’t have a choice. It was up to us and we saw the history of the club and how passionate the fans are.
“It’s similar to Newcastle and we thought, ‘This is the right step for our careers’. We know where the club should be.”
Meanwhile, before any or all of the five face Raith Rovers in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox, it is certain that the big match off the field – King & Co v Ashley and allies – will be in full swing. Watch this space.

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AllyjamboPosted on7:04 am - Feb 4, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
February 3, 2015 at 7:56 pm

Very well put, ARN.

Is there something in the air in Govan that makes whatever football club plays there need to find some underhand method of player supply? Is there something in the air at Hampden makes the authorities there turn a blind eye to whatever goes on at Ibrox?

I do wonder if the authorities in their plush office suites in Hampden are rubbing their hands at the thought that their favoured club is now in pole position for promotion, or wringing their hands, with brows furrowed, worrying over what to do to maintain a veneer of caring about the 41 other clubs they are meant to care about!

I wonder if anyone there has though to ask their colleagues, ‘what do we do about Livingston now?’

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upthehoopsPosted on7:09 am - Feb 4, 2015


Two days left for Rangers to announce an EGM date. Or perhaps not to grant an EGM because two of those seeking directorships are not eligible to hold one. Then possible legal battles, more time wasted, and the well may run dry again before that. Step forward big Mike with another loan. I wonder if McCoist is thinking whether he really SHOULD have advised the fans to buy season tickets as he ponders how his spring bulb display will look.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:38 am - Feb 4, 2015


‘SFA interpretation’ — there’s a lot of it about 🙂

However, he [Remie Streete] has been saved by the Scottish Football Association’s interpretation of what a competitive fixture is and they do not consider an Under-21 match as such.

Any other suggestions as to what constitutes a competitive fixture in Scotland? I can think of a few — most of them end with, ‘…and no sporting rule shall hinder the march back to their rightful place.’ (Spoken in a wee Chick Young voice.)

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-defender-remie-streete-8574806

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AuldheidPosted on7:42 am - Feb 4, 2015


For Ashley ‘ s involvement in TRFC here is a Newcastle view?

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/mike-ashleys-dual-involvement-newcastle-8572998

Author cannot understand Scottish clubs accepting this.

He is right Not having rules to prevent loading the dice does not mean it’s ok to load the dice.

Clubs could call for EGM to put in a limiter on loans from same club.

It’s not exactly a difficult clause to insert.

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Paulmac2Posted on7:51 am - Feb 4, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
February 4, 2015 at 7:38 am
……………….

Then any match he plays in should be appealed by the oppostion under the use of an uneligable player…

It is one thing hiding the info players were uneligable through EBT’s…now they are openly using players who are uneligable under the 2 club rule…

How can any other senior Scottish club sit back and think…that’s fine crack on?

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Danish PastryPosted on8:14 am - Feb 4, 2015


Paulmac2 says:
February 4, 2015 at 7:51 am
1 1 Rate This
———-

I think I’ve actually heard that U21 thing before but thought it was used in the context of playing in the national team. Didn’t know it widened to include club level stuff. At least it now seems obvious they are going to facilitate MA so he can buy promotion for the club he has no influence over 🙂

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tomtomPosted on8:17 am - Feb 4, 2015


If I was Kenny Macdowall and I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge with my full entitlement I’d leave the 5 loanee’s out of any future squads. 😈 😈

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AyeRightNawPosted on8:51 am - Feb 4, 2015


Cheers alljambo – just thought it needed said in as simple language as I could muster. Still attracted some TDs though – ha!

One of the reasons this particularly sticks in my craw is that only about 10 years ago at Queens we saw our club’s entire youth, womens and community development activities hijacked by the mirage that was Gretna.

Years of hard work to establish sound partnerships across South West Scotland were looted by the widely feted Mileson and his millions and I’ve no doubt it set us back years.

Queens have worked hard again to resuscitate those links since Gretna’s demise. Yet once again we, and everyone else, are seeing our future compromised by the commercial interests of a sugardaddy-backed competitor who is showing no llikelihood of providing a long-term sustainable foundation for that competitor.

Like Gretna there’s every possibility that the new competitor will crash and burn and once again the rest of Scottish football will be found wandering in the wreckage and trying to find a way to a better more sustainable future.

I suspect the path to safety will be easier travelled if like the survivors in all disaster-themed B movies we can free ourselves from the grasping hands of the undead that seem to clutch our ankles at every step.

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neepheidPosted on9:13 am - Feb 4, 2015


TomTom, who said McDowall has anything to do with picking the team?

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AllyjamboPosted on9:24 am - Feb 4, 2015


I wonder if there are any other situations where a club, company or individual was allowed to carry on doing the very thing the laws or rules under which they operate were designed to prevent, while themselves under investigation of breaking those laws or rules?

Previously TRFC and Ashley were under investigation (if that’s the right word) of dual influence though, at that time, there was no evidence of any sporting advantage other than Ashley’s cash helping to keep a distressed club afloat. Now there can be no doubt that his influence does, and will continue to, affect TRFC’s ability to perform on the field of play via his influence over NUFC, thus affecting every club they compete with. There can be no doubt that that dual influence gives an advantage no other club, particularly those who work within the framework of the rules (all 41 others) has. LNS made reference to, and it was crucial in his determinations, the EBTs being available to all clubs and they, therefor, didn’t impose an ‘unfair’ advantage. Nonsensical, but not in so far as determining something as being an ‘unfair’ advantage as being crucial in deciding if someone has broken the rules. According to LNS an advantage not open to all other members of the SPFL is unfair. Even for the SFA to utilise their contentious ‘discretion’ Ashley’s involvement has to be investigated, and cleared, before it can be allowed to affect the course of the football season.

TRFC and Ashley were given the opportunity to sort this out. They chose to delay the proceedings (“so Moneysupermarket/Rangers”). As soon as one of those Newcastle players kicks a ball for TRFC the competition he plays in will be skewed, unless the SFA later rule in Ashley’s favour. By registering, or not suspending the registration, of those 5 players, the SFA are creating a situation where they will have to favour Ashley and TRFC (just for a change, like) in their own determinations, or risk chaos before the season’s over.

There can be little or no doubt that Ashley holds influence over the two clubs. There can be little doubt he is exercising that influence to TRFC’s benefit. A rule exists that says he is barred from doing this. The SFA have presented Ashley with the opportunity to show he isn’t breaking any rules. So far he has delayed presenting his case. Until he does he should not be allowed to break the rules!

Are we again going to see a Brysonism with a decision being deferred until May or June, by which time the SFA will say that these players registrations were accepted at the time, etc., etc…

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FisianiPosted on9:30 am - Feb 4, 2015


Ashley will do whatever benefits him. Does anyone expect a meaningful sanction to be handed down by the SFA? This charade will go on and on.

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jimlarkinPosted on9:32 am - Feb 4, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
February 4, 2015 at 7:38 am
7 1 Rate This

‘SFA interpretation’ — there’s a lot of it about 🙂

However, he [Remie Streete] has been saved by the Scottish Football Association’s interpretation of what a competitive fixture is and they do not consider an Under-21 match as such.
Any other suggestions as to what constitutes a competitive fixture in Scotland? I can think of a few — most of them end with, ‘…and no sporting rule shall hinder the march back to their rightful place.’ (Spoken in a wee Chick Young voice.)

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-defender-remie-streete-8574806

………………………..

Another “Bryson” – “interpretation”

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ChristyboyPosted on9:43 am - Feb 4, 2015


http://webmail.tiscali.co.uk/cp/ps/Mail/Downloader?d=tiscali.co.uk&fp=INBOX&c=yes&u=christyob&an=christyob&t=1964d&uid=21733&ai=0&dhid=attachmentDownloader&filename=img063+PHOTO&disposition=attachment

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oddjobPosted on9:43 am - Feb 4, 2015


In my view, Ashley has been very careful all along the way, not to step over the line, in each of his moves, be it in regard to his share holdings, or in respect of the loans.

However, he now has “his men” on the board of directors,and his acknowledged club is to provide players, who will have a direct impact on other football clubs in Scotland.

Each move he has made has singularly been within the “rules”.
However, the whole is greater than the sum of All the parts, as the saying goes.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mike Ashley is in full control at TRFC.

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bluPosted on9:45 am - Feb 4, 2015


(from Celtic Quick News)

Woody Allen and the Pope of Rome
02nd February 2015

There’s a moment in Woody Allan’s movie Bananas, after the leader of a military coup takes control, that he loses his faint grasp on rationality and plunges headlong into random nonsense. He informs the inhabitants of his Latin American country that Swedish will be their new language and that underwear now should be worn as an outer garment.

BBC’s Jim Spence this morning reports that a Dundee United director, flush with the success of reaching the League Cup final, told him United want almost double the ticket allocation for the final than they were able to sell for the semi-final, as “We want to ensure as big a crowd as possible for the game, which we are sure the sponsors would want too”, and that he wants United fans in the Toryglen end of the stadium, or the Celtic end, as it’s known by everyone else in the land.

Sure, ask for more tickets than you were able to sell, but don’t justify your request on the basis that this will ensure a bumper crowd. If anything, it will achieve the opposite.

Asking for the Celtic end is right up there with wearing your pants on top of your trousers. It’s a random and irrational exercise of power by someone who is evidently in way over their head. It’s technically possible to have United at the ‘Toryglen’ end, but it would achieve no benefit and only cause confusion and inconvenience to thousands. If Woody Allen is short of quality material (which appears to be the case), he should spend some time here.

Scotland is not full of these types, but those there are seem to gravitate towards positions in our national game. From now on, I’m going to think of United chairman Stephen Thompson with his pants on the outside. Pantsman Thompson, seems an appropriate handle.

The above is one person’s view, mostly, if not universally, endorsed on CQN. My view is that smacks of an arrogance and supremacist outlook more often associated on this blog with WATP adherents.

Is there an opportunity for a shift in the thinking regarding Celtic and Rangers fans ‘right’ to always be allocated the same area of seating when they play in cup semis or finals at the national stadium?

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mcfcPosted on9:48 am - Feb 4, 2015


Whether the SFA love or loath Ashley’s latest actions, they need to realise that things will only become more extreme. Ashley has judged them weak and their rules porous, so he will do whatever he chooses regardless of their finer feelings and silly hearings.

It seems the SFA thought Ashley was a good thing for their favourite club with his share purchase and life saving loans, but in the long run he will reveal them as cowardly and inept beyond any debate. So in a funny sort of way, Ashley may turn out to be a good thing for Scottish football – well eventually – when YOUR club votes for an SFA board with balls and the good of all Scottish football clubs in their hearts.

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mcfcPosted on10:06 am - Feb 4, 2015


Interesting comments from Mick Quinn – seems like he hasn’t been reading the briefing memos from the SFA.

“Newcastle United legend: Mike Ashley’s taking the mickey, controlling United and Rangers is a bad joke”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-legend-mike-ashleys-5102267

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tearsofjoyPosted on10:14 am - Feb 4, 2015


blu says:

February 4, 2015 at 9:45 am

2

6

Rate This

(from Celtic Quick News)

Woody Allen and the Pope of Rome
02nd February 2015

There’s a moment in Woody Allan’s movie Bananas, after the leader of a military coup takes control, that he loses his faint .

BBC’s Jim Spence this morning reports that a Dundee United director, flush with the success of reaching the League Cup final, told him United want almost double the ticket allocation for the final than they were able to sell for the semi-final, as “We want to ensure as big a crowd as possible for the game, which we are sure the sponsors would want too”, and that he wants United fans in the Toryglen end of the stadium, or the Celtic end, as it’s known by everyone else in the land.

Sure, ask for more tickets than you were able to sell, but don’t justify your request on the basis that this will ensure a bumper crowd. If anything, it will achieve the opposite.

Asking for the Celtic end is right up there with wearing your pants on top of your trousers. It’s a random and irrational exercise of power

*************************************************

The usual arrogance we come to expect when Celtic / Sevco play a diddy team in a cup final.

There was us non Glaswegian types thinking Hamdump was a neutral stadium.

If it is more practical for Celtic fans to have the appropriate “end” then why doesn’t James Forest just say so instead of making Smart Alec remarks ?

Maybe James Forest is unaware that in a cup final the
ticket allocation would normally be 50/50 but I can see we are getting into the usual spat about we’re a bigger club than you (although James is obviously clever to avoid making that blatant analogy).

I understand DUFC have asked for 17,000 tickets – which seems reasonable. That will ensure the Glasgow team participating in a cup final in Glasgow (so travel issues there) will , as ever, have the lions share of the crowd. Yeah , that’s good isn’t it.
Give DUFC what they’ve asked for and make sure they pay. What’s the problem with that ?

Smacks of Rangers (RIP) moaning about HMFC getting 50% of the tickets for the 98 cup final until the late Wallace Mercer suggested the game be moved to Murrayfield and HMFC would take 30% of the tickets. Strangely , Rangers RIP weren’t so keen on that.

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AyeRightNawPosted on10:15 am - Feb 4, 2015


On a lighter note I’d like to suggest copy for a banner that should be on display every time and every place the new club come calling (until they get clean):

Fielding players you couldn’t afford – Then
Fielding players you can’t afford – Now
Embarrassing and morally indefensible – Forever?

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Bill1903Posted on10:16 am - Feb 4, 2015


Re comments above.

The Rangers end Celtic end thing has always annoyed me. Its supposed to be a neutral stadium for gods sake!!

And as for ticket allocations it should be a 50/50 split every time. In the event of one club not requiring 50% then and only then should the other finalist be offered more.

Celtic fans are as guilty as Sevco/Rangers fans of having this attitude when up against us diddies.

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AyeRightNawPosted on10:26 am - Feb 4, 2015


Interesting that the United board should deploy this particular squirrel when they are under pressure re the Armstrong/GMS sales.

For what it’s worth I’d split allocation 50/50 with any surplus tickets being reallocated no less than 3 weeks before the final.

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bluPosted on10:30 am - Feb 4, 2015


AyeRightNaw says:
February 4, 2015 at 10:26 am
Interesting that the United board should deploy this particular squirrel when they are under pressure re the Armstrong/GMS sales.

For what it’s worth I’d split allocation 50/50 with any surplus tickets being reallocated no less than 3 weeks before the final.

We’d all have laughed if they raised it last Friday. I agree with you that the starting point for ticket allocation should be 50/50 with a reasonable cut-off point for sales to allow fans of the other team to pick up returns.

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easyJamboPosted on10:42 am - Feb 4, 2015


Dave King about to hold a press conference to outline his plans. Richard Gough, Paul Murray and John Gilligan with him. I also see from the photo below that it is being hosted by Level5 which is Jim Traynor’s new PR company.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B8_mrbeIAAADnFE.jpg

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bad capt madmanPosted on10:46 am - Feb 4, 2015


What’s all this nonsense about who sits where? The list of the SFA’s failings grows almost exponentially, let’s keep focused!

Imho anyway

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EstebanPosted on10:48 am - Feb 4, 2015


One counter-argument people use in the ticket allocation discussion is that supporters of the bigger team, who pay up and turn up all the time have to miss out if they are unlucky in the ballot, while for a sizeable number, who everyone accepts has the opposing team’s best interests at heart, the final may well be their first game of the season.

Hard not to have a bit of sympathy with people on each side of the argument.

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BawsmanPosted on10:54 am - Feb 4, 2015


Bill1903 says:
February 4, 2015 at 10:16 am
11 4 i
Rate Down

Re comments above.

The Rangers end Celtic end thing has always annoyed me. Its supposed to be a neutral stadium for gods sake!!

And as for ticket allocations it should be a 50/50 split every time. In the event of one club not requiring 50% then and only then should the other finalist be offered more.

Celtic fans are as guilty as Sevco/Rangers fans of having this attitude when up against us diddies.

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

Same old arguement.

Why does some old dear who has never entered a football stadium in her puff, and the chances are, never will again, get a brief for a cup final over some person who goes home and away every week following their team?

Celtic were due to play Dunfermline in the SCF and demanded 50/50 split.

It just so happened Celtic played them at home shortly before that cup final. I counted 88 Dunfermline fans at CP. Well, I thought they were ALL Dunfermline fans but when Celtic scored some of them jumped and cheered.

It’s not going to be popular on here but anyone with a season book FOR ANY CLUB deserves a ticket. These guys/gals are the lifeblood of the game and deserve positive consideration.

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andygraham.66Posted on11:20 am - Feb 4, 2015


was beginning to worry that this was the first ever Dave Cunningham King interview where he didnt obsess over Celtic, but he got a line in right at the end
===

Millionaire businessman King has called for an EGM at the troubled Ibrox club in a bid to oust the current board.

He needs the backing of 51 per cent of his fellow shareholders at the general meeting to succeed.

But the South African-based businessman this morning stressed he is certain he has the support he needs to topple the current regime.

The Scot spoke to the media in Glasgow this morning about his plans for his boyhood heroes.

He was joined by Nine-In-A-Row skipper Richard Gough, Paul Murray and John Gilligan at an city centre office.

King will appoint himself, Murray and Gilligan to the board if he forces David Somers, James Easdale, Derek Llambias and Barry Leach out.

He said: “I am very, very confident. There have been some improvements on our side since we requisitioned the EGM.

“I am very confident we will get more than 50 per cent we need.”

The oldco director, who once ploughed £20 million of his personal fortune into the Gers, outlined his future plans for the Glasgow giants.

He stressed there was substantial funding in place to get the SPFL Championship club back on a firm financial footing.

And he expressed the hope that he and his associates could help the League One champions reclaim their former glories.

He said: “There are plans already in place to bring in an experienced board and independent advisers with business expertise.

“We want to get a proper management in place and a proper board structure in place.

“The funds that were offered in September (King fronted a consortium that had a £16 million rescue package knocked back) are still there.

“So we have the resources to take the club forward.”

King added: “It is not a question of driving Mike Ashley out. He is a shareholder and I have not got the sense that he is going to sell his shares.

“It is more important that we get a board in place that can help to drive the club forward.

“As a fan, I want to see the Rangers I know, the Nine-In-A-Row club, the dominant club in Scotland, back.

“I would like to think that every single season Rangers can start off competing with Celtic for the Scottish title and performing well in Europe.”

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neepheidPosted on11:22 am - Feb 4, 2015


Allyjambo says:
February 4, 2015 at 9:24 am

There can be little or no doubt that Ashley holds influence over the two clubs. There can be little doubt he is exercising that influence to TRFC’s benefit. A rule exists that says he is barred from doing this. The SFA have presented Ashley with the opportunity to show he isn’t breaking any rules. So far he has delayed presenting his case. Until he does he should not be allowed to break the rules!

Are we again going to see a Brysonism with a decision being deferred until May or June, by which time the SFA will say that these players registrations were accepted at the time, etc., etc…
============================

Ogilvie isn’t the world’s greatest football administrator for nothing. He is kicking the can down the road on the dual interest case, in the expectation that Ashley’s loan players will have achieved promotion for TRFC before any substantive hearing. His plan is then to ensure that Ashley is kicked out of Scottish football, leaving the road clear for the King across the water plus his three bears to just walk into the Blue Room, and reap the benefit of Ashley’s generosity.

Of course this game plan assumes that Ashley’s head buttons up the back- which I don’t think it does. If Ogilvie really thinks that he can give Ashley the push, and at the same time keep his beloved club from insolvency, then I think he has another think coming. But of course Ogilvie is departing these shores for international glory at EUFA or FIFA shortly, so maybe he’s just happily handing a poisoned chalice to his successor, who will be elected at the SFA AGM in June.

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bluPosted on11:26 am - Feb 4, 2015


Bawsman says:
February 4, 2015 at 10:54 am
===============================

Bawsman, it’s a final – what kind of occasion do you think it would have been with 52,000 Celtic supporters and 63 (we’ll take off the 25 Celtic supporters in the wrong part of the ground) Dunfermline supporters? Do you think that Celtic and Rangers should have first call on the part of the stadium allocated to their fans any time they play in a national cup final or semi final?

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Jingso.JimsiePosted on11:27 am - Feb 4, 2015


Does SFA = Supine, Feart of Ashley? Certainly seems so.

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