Spot the difference?


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. ”


“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.


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

upthehoopsPosted on12:11 am - Feb 20, 2015

ianagain says:
February 19, 2015 at 11:44 pm

I hesitate to say a draw in Europa league at home doesn’t always end well.

I am only home half an hour after getting back from the game. If you had offered me 3-3 after 15 minutes I’d have bitten your hand off. It was a very entertaining night and I was really pleased at the resolve Celtic showed to get back into it, while trying to play football all the time as well. Inter are a very good side and will be strong favourites to go through, however 3-3 changes the complexion of what is required altogether compared to a 2-3 defeat. I expect at this time next week Celtic will be out, but Deila is making real progress now.

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tcup 2012Posted on12:18 am - Feb 20, 2015

Big Pink says:
February 19, 2015 at 11:17 pm
OT so I’ll keep it short. I really expected Celtic to be taken apart tonight, as the gulf in player quality is huge between the two teams. However for a Scottish team (with a fair number of Scots players) to have shown the kind of character they did is encouraging. Maybe our wee country has more to offer than we think?

Armagaddon postponed again…

25 2 Rate This

Agree with you completely
But it wasn’t just character that was shown it was also Skill and ability

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MaBawPosted on12:24 am - Feb 20, 2015

Inter got two quick goals – Celtic pretty much froze initially, after that they handled inter pretty well. Inters third goal was lucky so I am overall pleased with Celtics performance and progress this season.

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ianagainPosted on12:42 am - Feb 20, 2015


WERE RED as opposed to Amber. Have we uncovered an onerous contract or we just skint?

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jimlarkinPosted on6:55 am - Feb 20, 2015

Does the CEO of BT sport enjoy succulent lamb?

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Danish PastryPosted on7:07 am - Feb 20, 2015

Credit to Graham Spiers for raising his voice on the issue. No sign of an apologist turning up with whataboutery in these tweets. Now where are the other journalists who should calling this out? Interesting that Stan Collymore believes BT have caved in to mob rule, they’re not the first organisation to do so, however. Worried about bad PR in the build-up to the big Friday match?

Is @StanCollymore not just the umpteenth person across British media to be appalled at Rangers fans’ bigoted chanting? On and on it goes…
11:39pm – 19 Feb 15

@Said it many times: ‘make sure you keep it all even/equal’ doesn’t work. Rangers have such an obvious problem.
11:57pm – 19 Feb 15

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Long Time LurkerPosted on7:13 am - Feb 20, 2015

EGM set for 06 March. Board ask direct questions of Mr King

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Long Time LurkerPosted on7:21 am - Feb 20, 2015

Looking at the questions that the current board have put to Mr King, I can see that a lot of fan shareholders would respond (a) King has millions and will invest to bring us back to where we belong and (b) no plans needed, King is a fit and proper person.

I can’t imagine for one minute that the current board think that their questions will have any impact on the views of the fan shareholders. Why then put them into the statement?

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andygraham.66Posted on7:49 am - Feb 20, 2015

Probably because the scottish media generally don’t ask them?

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yakutsukiPosted on8:31 am - Feb 20, 2015

Ryan, I really respect your contribution to this blog.

Perhaps if, like me, you were on the receiving end of this bile for over half a century you might think different.

Ryan – it’s indefensible!

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neepheidPosted on8:31 am - Feb 20, 2015

In advance of Dave King’s forthcoming coronation at the EGM, I would like to share with you the opportunity to acquire for friends, family, and special loved ones a tasteful and enduring souvenir, commemorating that famous conference at Jim Traynor’s Level 7 HQ, which in due course will undoubtedly rank with Yalta in terms of historic importance.

It sort of reminds me of those spoof ads in Viz for various “precious things” for puzzled pensioners.

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wottpiPosted on8:54 am - Feb 20, 2015

Long Time Lurker says:
February 20, 2015 at 7:13 am

And of course the same question (part a) could be asked of the current board.

Still a shambles.

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Danish PastryPosted on9:15 am - Feb 20, 2015

neepheid says:
February 20, 2015 at 8:31 am
In advance of Dave King’s forthcoming coronation at the EGM, I would like to share with you the opportunity to acquire for friends, family, and special loved ones a tasteful and enduring souvenir, commemorating that famous conference at Jim Traynor’s Level 7 HQ, which in due course will undoubtedly rank with Yalta in terms of historic importance.

Which one’s Stalin?

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upthehoopsPosted on9:25 am - Feb 20, 2015

I’m loathe to get involved in the sectarian singing stuff, as it can derail the forum. However, I would like to ask any politician looking in if the law only applies to singular or small group instances? If so what is the intended purpose of having the law in the first place? Right now 10-15,000 people know they can sing and chant what they like free of any consequences. It would really help if the scale of the problem on ‘both’ sides was admitted. Then maybe progress can be made. ‘One is as bad as the other’ means nothing changes.

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JoethebookiePosted on9:29 am - Feb 20, 2015

RyanGosling says:
February 19, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Two questions Ryan.
Do you think the sectarian problem at Rangers is significantly worse than at any other Scottish club?
Do you agree that anything that highlights such behaviour is a good thing?
I think Mr Collymore has got his back up and charged into this situation for the right reasons. If the SFA had made any comment, pretty much ever about the sectarian problems among a sizeable number of the Ibrox support we would not be having this discussion.
The fact that the authorities have not/will not criticise this continuing stain means I am behind anything that brings it to a wider audience.
If everyone else sees how bad it is surely they must do something.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:06 am - Feb 20, 2015

Questions for Mr King

On behalf of Shareholders, the Board feel it appropriate to ask Mr King to provide further information regarding:

a. what his business plans are in regards to the future running of the club and, in particular, how he intends to finance the club going forwards; and

b. what action he intends to take to avoid the suspension of the Company from trading on the London Stock Exchange (and the subsequent risk of being delisted from trading) should shareholders vote him onto the board, as previously outlined in the announcement made on 6 February 2015.

Interesting move. However I wonder when Mr Ashley is going to provide his vision and plans for Rangers going forward. We know that he hasn’t spoken to DL or BL about his plans for at least 5 months.

Of course perhaps instructions have been passed by email, text messages or via trusted intermerdiaries. We simply don’t know.

I am no supporter of DK as I don’t think he’s got the cash let alone the intent to pour it, if he or his family had it, into Rangers.

However I think it’s a bit rich when the men with their heads firmly under the bonnet for months tinkering with the engine can’t lay-out their detailed vision for the club and yet call on DK to do so without having the opportunity to slap his stethoscope on the rocker cover – that’s if they still have them on engines 🙄

As to replacing the Nomad – The present one seems not to have his sorrows to seek outwith Rangers. DK has made it clear he will sack him and replace him.

I would like to hear the Board’s explanation of why that would cause the company to cease trading. Previous Boards have had 2/3 different Nomads and that has never led to a trading suspension – why should it this time?

I simply think this is PR mouth music to sway some ordinary fans and, if it is. then it certainly looks as though DK is winning at the moment. The 2 day delay in the egm with the extended closing date for proxies looks as though there’s still a scrabbling about trying to close the gap on DK.

I am also interested in the talk about ‘Delisting’ which I posted on yesterday. As I explained I thought it a strong possibility but that it would suit MA better because he doesn’t need to raise capital in the market whereas DK probably does so he needs AIM.

However it would appear this is a ‘Hearts & Minds’ issue for Bears and I doubt if the fluff of this announcement will make the slightest difference.

It really is a pity that MA doesn’t speak to DL and BL because if he did I doun’t believe we would have seen the shambles which has overtaken this Board occur.

Of course ‘communication’ is vital and the absence of His Master’s Voice reminds me of that old WWI – I believe – saying: ‘Send-up reinforcements’.

By the time the verbal message had made it’s way from the front line to the Generals sipping fine wines and gorging on succulent lamb in French chateaux far behind the lines it was: ‘Send up three and fourpence’.

As the Generals scratched their heads another half a million men were slaughtered in the mud of the Western Front as the hapless front-line lieutenants doggedly stuck to their last coherent order: ‘Attack – whatever the cost’.

This time the wasteland that is being created is Rangers Football Club in an oh so familiar war of attrition where they may well be no real victors.

However I remain confident that MA will eventually find some means of communicating with the front-line in the battle. He will be well aware that winning the battle or even the war is of little importance if all you inherit is wasteland.

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AllyjamboPosted on10:10 am - Feb 20, 2015

Long Time Lurker says:
February 20, 2015 at 7:13 am

I would have thought the questions asked would have already been answered by Dave King in his initial proposal and call for an EGM. Thinking about it now, it does seem strange that he didn’t include that (perhaps not in the official request as that might not be the right place for it, but surely in the immediate aftermath) as it is so basic to the matter at hand. The numerous supporter organisations should have been screaming those questions at him instead of just accepting the ‘return of the King’ as the answer to their prayers. Other than rabble rousing (muted for him) he hasn’t said any more than ‘the current board are crap, vote for me’!

I think the questions asked in the board statement are quite weak, too, as I’d have demanded answers (just to make it harder for King to ignore) and also looked for timescales and an explanation of his claim that he won’t pay back the Ashley/SD loans immediately. The questions just don’t seem strong enough and an opportunity to really embarrass King has been missed in my opinion.

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PaulPosted on10:11 am - Feb 20, 2015

A large part of the issue with sectarianism in Scottish football is that it has been ignored and tolerated for far too long. Partly because football tries to absolve itself of much of the responsibility for what it does.

The burbling of discontent we are now seeing from many quarters is welcome and will, I hope, begin to shame our governing bodies, clubs and media to take more action to eradicate this behaviour from our football grounds. It’s far too easy for football in Scotland to claim sectarianism is a wider societal issue, therefore what can it do? That’s disingenuous guff!

Football can do and could do an awful lot more, starting with a governing body who actually knew how to act and what zero-tolerance meant. Why does football need a cultural change in society to clean-up what happens in its own house? It doesn’t, it could start all by itself. The bald fact is that it is the clubs and the clubs only who sell tickets to people who cannot and will not behave.

The really rather simple premise that sectarianism does have wider societal roots/causes, but we will not accept it under our roof in football seems gob-smackingly, glaringly obvious. Force games to be played behind closed doors if fans cannot behave, do not televise or broadcast games where fans cannot behave, deduct points from clubs whose fans cannot behave or how’s about just not selling tickets to those fans who cannot behave.

I would bet my bottom dollar that if clubs were sanctioned, punished or lost out commercially for the sectarian behaviour of their fans, then much of the behaviour would disappear from football grounds. We could do all that without blaming society.

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valentinesclownPosted on10:15 am - Feb 20, 2015

The SFA acknowledge the singing took place and stated they cannot punish it as in their statement both clubs took adequate precautions before the game. Really is that it, is the SFA not there to govern the clubs. It happened do something do not admit it takes place and then do nothing. ffs.

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SmugasPosted on10:30 am - Feb 20, 2015

On the board statement, Ashley is really just highlighting what we identified here on the board yesterday. Success, of the type that King envisages, costs money. It costs more money than a holding position albeit we could argue the toss if holding mid table in the 1st division (old money) is worse than a holding position in the premiership. My guess would be it is especially when you have a stadium behemothic stadium overhead – at least with profile offered by the premiership comes merchandising, but then of course, in the RFC* case that provision will not apply, at least not to the RFC* FD in any case.

What any response to the statement part A will tell the bears is that buying out Ashley is actually a good thing, but that it will take lots and lots of cash to do it.

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The Cat NR1Posted on10:46 am - Feb 20, 2015

Long Time Lurker says:

February 20, 2015 at 7:21 am

Looking at the questions that the current board have put to Mr King, I can see that a lot of fan shareholders would respond (a) King has millions and will invest to bring us back to where we belong and (b) no plans needed, King is a fit and proper person.

I can’t imagine for one minute that the current board think that their questions will have any impact on the views of the fan shareholders. Why then put them into the statement?
Someone posted on here the other day a copy of a critical article about DK on Vanguard Bears. At least some of the TRFC fans/RIFC shareholders are realising that DK is potentially just the latest in a long line of moonbeams merchants.

At no point has he made any substantive statements about business plans, either short term or long term. The directors have a duty to the company and the shareholders, and pointing out DK’s lack of even the slightest business credibility vis-à-vis RIFC PLC can be viewed as fulfilling that duty. Have the requisitioners issued a circular to shareholders setting out their plans?

If I were a shareholder in RIFC PLC, I wouldn’t back DK just because of some vague promise in the MSM that the grass is greener (bluer?) on the other side of the EGM. An empty or vague manifesto based on OPM doesn’t mean that one’s wish list will be delivered. To quote Lynn Anderson, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden”.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:56 am - Feb 20, 2015

On the issue of sectarian singing I have little to add that hasn’t been said before.

I have watched, in my lifetime, a lessening of the sectarianism and bigotry which blights Scottish society. I am confident things are far far better now than they were 50 years ago.

What has taken place in Scotland and NI is unacceptable in any society which regards itself as civilized and there are encouraging signs of change in NI but that has a long way to go.

With specific regard to Scotland we have to retain a sense of perspective on the issue and I accept how hard this is, if not impossible, for some people who have lost loved ones or themselves been damaged by the poison.

The problems in The Balkans and in North Africa and The Middle East are of particular significance although slaughter is no strangers anywhere in the world when religions, race and cultures clash.

We are truly fortunate that Scotland has not been at that level for hundreds of years.

But that doesn’t mean we should count our blessings and do nothing about the residual thread of hatred and intolerance which still runs through our society. IMO we have gone as far as we can through Education – there is still an absolute necessity that the programme of inclusiveness taught in our schools must continue and remain a major building block towards cohesion.

Scotland’s Shame needs to be recognised and brought into the open by all Scottish Politicians. But it requires the Scottish Government to act.

They have to accept that football rivalry isn’t the cause of sectarianism and bigotry – it is a symptom of it. Tackling the root cause requires to break its bond with football which is used as a recruiting sergeant to gather impressionable young people to the cause.

Clubs must be held to account for mass sectarian singing – there’s no need to risk a riot by attempting to arrest thousands of supporters. All that’s required is to monitor the sound and impose swingeing fines on the club whose fans are responsible.

If say after 3 fines this doesn’t work then home games are played behind closed doors and if that doesn’t work home games are still played behind closed doors and points deducted and after say two incidents at that level then its automatic relegation.

I think clubs might manage to get the message across very quickly as to what is acceptable and what isn’t.

One thing’s for sure – clubs won’t do this on their own. It requires the Scottish Government to instruct the SFA that this is a framework that must be adopted. As a publicly funded body I have no doubt they will comply.

Perhaps once we get the General Election out of the way we can actually get down to the things that are not only important but essential to make Scotland a place we can all be pround to live and work in.

On the way to the game last night by bus there were a group of inter supporters on the bus who were chatting away and totally relaxed. When we got off I walked them round to the away end so they could see the front of the stadium..

After the game we were stuck on a bus for almost an hour while the coaches got out. There was an even bigger group of inter fans – male and female – on the bus and we chattered away big style talking about the game and the next leg.

All were impressed with the stadium and the support – they were staying in a hotel and I was giving them directions to it as I was getting off earlier. But another couple of Celtic guys said they would get off a stop early and make sure they got to their hotel.

This is Glasgow and Scotland at its best – football is to be enjoyed as a shared experience. It isn’t tribal warfare and until we persuade the last of the ‘hold-outs’ to lay down their arms and create a footballing only song book then a helluva lot of Scots will remain looking for an excuse to get rat-assed and become hard-men for 90 minutes.

What a sad life they must lead and gawd help their partners and children brought-up in a cauldron of hatred towards fellow Scots.

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Danish PastryPosted on11:02 am - Feb 20, 2015

The Cat NR1 says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

Caller from London on SSB last night said he was a Rangers supporter, and that he and a few other pals who work in the City were very unimpressed by Mr King. The gist of the caller’s message was that King is, essentially, all fur coat and no knickers on the financial plan. Pointed out various flaws in the whole King scenario to mostly jaw-dropping silence from the pundits.

Caller also compared how Fergus M. had tackled the problems at Celtic but also how the financial background at Celtic Park that was inherited back then was nowhere near as ‘onerous’ as that facing any new ruler at Ibrox since all current revenue streams appear to be tied up, not only to MA but also to Green & Co and possibly even Whyte. Also mentioned that King’s plans to simply not honour contracts or pay back loans would result in years on litigation that would paralyse Ibrox. All very sensible stuff from that caller. But as yet no one has mentioned, or even slightly suggested, the hugely logical option of starting a newco newco.

I suppose you could give up moonbeams for lent, if you were so inclined.

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neepheidPosted on11:22 am - Feb 20, 2015

Finloch says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

Secondly I am becoming tired of the use by most of Phil’s “stenographers” of the word “Invest” when talking about the money that needs to be used to keep the blue club alive now and into the future.
The word they should use should be spend.
Just for once, I don’t hold the football press entirely responsible. The use of the word “invest” instead of “spend” is almost universal across the media and throughout politics. In fact it is if the word “spend” had fallen out of the dictionary. And yet the two words have entirely different meanings. When you spend money, you don’t get it back. When you invest money, you hope to get it back plus a bit more for your trouble. I blame the politicians, but it’s really just a form of lying. In the end it stops being lying, because just by usage, the meaning of the word gets changed over time.

I’ll now unsaddle my hobby horse and maybe post something later about Scottish Football.

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andygraham.66Posted on11:29 am - Feb 20, 2015

Jay Beatty wins SPFL goal of the month with 97% of the vote :mrgreen: 😀 😆 😉

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ecobhoyPosted on11:43 am - Feb 20, 2015

The Cat NR1 says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

Someone posted on here the other day a copy of a critical article about DK on Vanguard Bears. At least some of the TRFC fans/RIFC shareholders are realising that DK is potentially just the latest in a long line of moonbeams merchants.

At no point has he made any substantive statements about business plans, either short term or long term. The directors have a duty to the company and the shareholders, and pointing out DK’s lack of even the slightest business credibility vis-à-vis RIFC PLC can be viewed as fulfilling that duty. Have the requisitioners issued a circular to shareholders setting out their plans?

I think we – especially non Rangers posters – have to retain some objectivity on the subject as it’s up to Bears – supporters and shareholders – to decide what kind of club they want.

The VB article wasn’t only critical of DK it was equally as critical of Ashley over non-provision of information. Indeed the article came down only ‘by the slightest of preferences’ IIRC for Ashley as he was basically an ideal Sugar Daddy because he had wealth albeit on the radar.

It fascinates me that I haven’t seen one poster on here refer to the VB’s article on Ashley from the previous day which was scathing.

In any PR War facts are the first thing that go out the window. I actually don’t care enough about Rangers to bother who takes it over or for how long.

It no longer means anything substantial in financial terms for Scottish Football except to provide an excuse for overpaid, incompetent Hampden Suits to blame the lack of TV money and sponsorship on their absence.

That is a price that Scotland has to pay to create substainable football in Scotland. So far initial progress is looking promising and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue.

Obviously my own team has suffered possibly greater financial loss than most. However much I love my team and football I put decency and human rights before Celtic’s financial position and especially the need for a modern, fully-inclusive society where bigotry and sectarianism is consigned to the history e-books.

I doubt if DK has the required money but it’s amazing that T3B always seem to be ignored in the equation. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they are attempting to assemble other wealthy Rangers supporters to help fund their plans.

Ashley obviously has the money to do what he wants but I worry about what his plans and the consequences are – not for Rangers but for Scottish Football. He talks to no one, says nothing and explains nothing. Some may argue that DK is tight with facts but he says more and provides more info than Ashley and how can he possibly publish any business plan when he doesn’t know the nitty gritty of what is happening financially at Ibrox.

I tend to wonder about those non-Bears who support Ashley rather than the other shareholders pressing for change and I wonder whether there is any element of hope that with Ashley in charge Rangers will be kept on a drip feed keeping them just above the middle of the Premiership.

It’s a big gamble to take because MA is unpredictable – he doesn’t even tell DL or BL his plans. Whose to say he won’t flog NUFC next season as stated and pour millions into Rangers – all his own money – and take it back to its ‘Rightful Place’. That might not suit many non-Rangers fans who currently sing his praises.

I learnt a long long time ago to be careful what you wish for and the moves you make to achieve your aims. Often, on hindsight, it leads you into disaster.

However: IMO Bears should make the decision as they will have to live with the consequences and the best way to assist them is to be objective about the suitors and not try and influence Bears as to who they should vote for.

The PR Campaigns are running at full steam just now and the smoke, mirrors and deflector sheilds are fully deployed.

I’ll be watching Rangers on telly tonight in the pub not because I’m interested in the game but to give me the chance to speak to my Rangers mates to hear what they’re thinking.

These are intelligent guys with good jobs many of whom have stopped buying STs after a lifetime of doing so.

I base my opinions on Rangers fans on them because there’s a good cross-section of opinions and views and there is more than two sides to the coin for most of them.

They’ll ask for my opinion and I’ll give it and I know it will be considered because I’ve known them for decades and they know I’m not a Rangers Hater.

When I was younger – like them – I got a special kick about beating the hated enemy. They, like me, have grown-up and developed a helluva lot more sense and discovered they have many things in their life much more importasnt than football.

Interestingly only 2/3 went to the Hampden Game whereas every Celtic supporter in the pub that could lay hands on a ticket went. I think that says something and tbh I avoid thinking about it because it causes me deep concern.

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redlichtiePosted on11:44 am - Feb 20, 2015

jambocol1874 says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:24 am
Sorry to be pedantic but the SPFL indicated nothing could be done as both clubs acceded to the 21 point checklist.
In any other business or organisational situation this would lead to an immediate review of a clearly inadequate checklist and the addition to or tightening up of points contained therein.

Hand-wringing is not enough.

Scottish Football needs to react quickly and positively to the groundswell of opinion on this matter and sort it out once and for all. It is a disgrace to our game.

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ecobhoyPosted on12:01 pm - Feb 20, 2015

andygraham.66 says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

Jay Beatty wins SPFL goal of the month with 97% of the vote :mrgreen: 😀 😆 😉
Brilliant – that even manages to bring a smile to an old cynic like myself 😆

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SmugasPosted on12:03 pm - Feb 20, 2015


Just a minor, off topic, hardly worth mentioning, passing merest of quibbles if you will.

How the hell do you get two nights in a row in the pub with the boys???

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GoosyGoosyPosted on12:05 pm - Feb 20, 2015

ecobhoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:43 am
The Cat NR1 says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

Someone posted on here the other day a copy of a critical article about DK on Vanguard Bears. At least some of the TRFC fans/RIFC shareholders are realising that DK is potentially just the latest in a long line of moonbeams merchants.

At no point has he made any substantive statements about business plans, either short term or long term. The directors have a duty to the company and the shareholders, and pointing out DK’s lack of even the slightest business credibility vis-à-vis RIFC PLC can be viewed as fulfilling that duty. Have the requisitioners issued a circular to shareholders setting out their plans?

I think we – especially non Rangers posters – have to retain some objectivity on the subject as it’s up to Bears – supporters and shareholders – to decide what kind of club they want.
Quite noticeable that neither the current board nor King nor the 3B nor any of the supporters groups have anything to say WRT eliminating sectarian singing

Is it agreed then that this is something to be retained whoever wins the EGM?

Is this the kind of club they really want?

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scapaflowPosted on12:10 pm - Feb 20, 2015

On the sectarian front, I have come to the conclusion that hand wringing from the footballing authorities is all we will ever get, because they have concluded that this stuff is an integral part of the business model, a cost of doing business and making money, which they are quite prepared to pay.

The presence of Lawwell and Riley on the boards of the SFA & SPFL, and their complete silence on Regan’s comments, simply serves to confirm my belief.

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tayredPosted on12:13 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Paul says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:11 am

“Football can do and could do an awful lot more, starting with a governing body who actually knew how to act and what zero-tolerance meant. Why does football need a cultural change in society to clean-up what happens in its own house? It doesn’t, it could start all by itself.”

I think there is more to it than football just doing its bit. I had the pleasure of 5 years in Glasgow, and loved almost every minute of it. However, I hated being there during Old Firm match days, in fact I generally took those occasions as being good times to go home and visit the folks.

So I have some, if perhaps limited, experience that these sentiments run deep in many families, I know it goes way, way beyond anything that happens on a football pitch..

But, lets not kid ourselves that these guys all go en-masse to church every Sunday. They are not religious beings on the whole. Ibrox/Parkhead is their Church. That’s where the hatred gets stoked up, there and in the “church socials” in the pubs the unofficial “church newsletters/websites” that are attached to the clubs etc etc.

Cutting the ability for these large congregations to meet up and scream their hymns and display their banners has to be part of the starting position for removing this blight from within our society. Until these places which re-invigorate these prehistoric sentiments are excised, I don’t believe we can have any hope of dragging these people into the 21st century.

edit: sorry just noticed my use of en-masse, I promise there was no pun intended 😳

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wottpiPosted on12:21 pm - Feb 20, 2015

ecobhoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:56 am

On the issue of sectarian singing I have little to add that hasn’t been said before.


And then you give us an 18 paragraph post.

The Mods must be thankful you didn’t have a lot to add 🙂

Totally agree with everything you say and you are right with regard to how to treat visiting fans it not only reflects well on the club but also on the country as a whole.

That type of treatment and neighbourly acts may not get the coverage given to things like the Chelsea/Paris Metro issue but it will live long in the memories of those visiting Italians who will no doubt pass on tales of their good experience to others.

And by the same token the same level of camaraderie and good behaviour should always be applied when you are visiting another club /country.

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scapaflowPosted on12:23 pm - Feb 20, 2015

ecobhoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

Eco, I’m hearing similar tales from the local bears. My barber who is a shareholder and played in a local “band” :mrgreen: in his youth, has decided to abstain from voting in the EGM. He believes that the choice between King & Ashley is a false one, its a choice between death in 6 months, and an undead (his words) existence under an Ashley regime, where the profits go to Ashley, and the club’s heart beat is kept artificially low.

His visceral disgust at the fan “Leaders” who he feels have misled the bears at every turn is quite something.

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SmugasPosted on12:31 pm - Feb 20, 2015

I’m intrigued by your barbour’s use of the word “artificial.”

Does that mean their heartbeat wouldn’t be in its rightful place? 😈

That said, I could understand you not debating the fact, not when you’re under the knife as it were.

Joking apart, and this ties in with Eco’s point earlier on not understanding Ashley’s intentions. Why the hell would Ashley restrict the bloodflow, and hence the heart, if more heart beats meant more merchandising? Its simple cost benefit. The football is essentially a by product.

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wottpiPosted on12:34 pm - Feb 20, 2015

neepheid says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:22 am
Finloch says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:05 am

It is just a wider problem of how financial matters are reported.

My personal favourite is folk coming onto the news making out the world is coming to an end because some big company like Tesco and the likes have ‘suffered’ a fall in profits.

FFS they are usually still in profit and it is by a pretty healthy margin.

Yes a continual drop is something that needs to be monitored and action taken but when plenty other smaller businesses are really struggling or indeed getting ripped of by the likes of Tesco through ‘onerous contracts and agreements’ the balance in reporting is all wrong.

Second favourite is when profits are reported but the level of bank debt or debt to others (a la Ashley at Newcastle) hiding in the background is somehow forgotten.

It is all smoke and mirrors.

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tykebhoyPosted on12:37 pm - Feb 20, 2015

I probably need my tin hat but whilst I agree in the main on the argument on spend rather than invest. A couple of definitions of invest combined do sort of fit the bill. Emotionally invest and invest for future benefit and/or advantage.

If the government “invests” in a railway infrastructure project it is not expecting to get its money back directly from that project but it is hoping to reduce costs and increase revenues elsewhere (construction workers in employment rather than claiming dole, increased revenues for the train operators so more tax and higher franchise payments, more efficient workforces due to less time spent in transit………)

So the RRM putting money in are making an emotional investment in the hope of a future advantage in the long term survival of their club which is the only return they are interested in. Its not investment in the more traditional sense but it is still an investment and just like the more traditional investments it may fail if the clumpany goes under.

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scapaflowPosted on12:46 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Smugas says:
February 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

He’s travelled a long way in the last couple of years, but his personal journey is not yet complete 😉 . I think what he seemed to be getting at was that in his view, Ashley has done the Math and concluded that a mid table position, will generate maximum return on merchandising, in terms of the investment required in the footballing side.

So not so much back to a rightful place, as no desire to ever truly compete, a Rangers as the New St Johnstone, if you will, with apologies to any saints fans who may be watching

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easyJamboPosted on12:47 pm - Feb 20, 2015

I note that Rangers Retail have submitted updated(?) articles to Companies House. I don’t know what the changes (if any) are, but they were effective from 27 Jan, which was the date of the announcement of the loan deal.

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SmugasPosted on12:50 pm - Feb 20, 2015


Completely agree although Centrica would have been my current company of choice!

The media report I long to hear is that “today the FTSE opened at x and did not move one cent either way and then everyone went home happy.” The reason is because the loss to the country is zip, but the loss to their commission based theme park of London is huge.

Sorry, O/T. Grumpy old man kicking in.

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SmugasPosted on12:56 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Scapa @ 12.46

Ergo, that (in the eyes of their current owners (NOT board, OWNERS) is their rightful place.

Yes its unfortunate that the ‘twist’ option in RFC’s* case is hamstrung by their current retail agreements, but then are we to believe that they (the RR position) was forced on them as well?

There was a helluva a lot of forcing being done wasn’t there?

Edit: meant to add – and the newcastle experience would suggest your barbour’s right. Whoda thunkit. An RFC owner doing the math?

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fishnishPosted on1:03 pm - Feb 20, 2015

scapaflow says:

February 20, 2015 at 12:46 pm
Ashley has done the Math and concluded that a mid table position, will generate maximum return on merchandising, in terms of the investment required in the footballing side.

So not so much back to a rightful place, as no desire to ever truly compete, a Rangers as the New St Johnstone, if you will, with apologies to any saints fans who may be watching
I am sure I speak for all of us when I say we don’t mind anyone pillorying The Fakes.
Indeed, we wish that St Mirren could aspire to such a lofty league position as mid-table and then, maybe jokes would be against us…

(Have I got this right…? 🙄 )

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scapaflowPosted on1:16 pm - Feb 20, 2015

fishnish says:
February 20, 2015 at 1:03 pm



As I have commented before, I think it would be a disaster for football across the UK, if the Ashley experiment is allowed to escape from the lab!

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berrtyPosted on1:53 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Is it just me or does anyone else think that the boards responses to King have been a bit half hearted. It seems to me that if they wanted to they could quite easily have destroyed King’s reputation (for want of a better word) with the bears. Could it be that Ashley wants King to win ? and if so, why ?

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futbolPosted on1:59 pm - Feb 20, 2015

valentinesclown says:
February 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

The SFA acknowledge the singing took place and stated they cannot punish it as in their statement both clubs took adequate precautions before the game. Really is that it, is the SFA not there to govern the clubs. It happened do something do not admit it takes place and then do nothing. ffs.

I think they have decided to hide behind the fact that it took place at a neutral (read “their own”) ground which allows them sweep it all under the carpet. As others have highlighted, the fact that their only statement is the equivalent of “not us guv” and a shrug of the shoulders, rather than condemning it, speaks many, many volumes.

This combined with Police Scotland adopting a policy whereby more than two or three people can commit crimes without repercussions means nothing will change.

If the authorities won’t change then it’s up to people to change. As hard as it sounds, you can decide you are not going to be offended by this pointless, outdated and embarrassing drivel. Let the idiots who perpetuate it waste their collective breath.

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futbolPosted on2:05 pm - Feb 20, 2015

scapaflow says:
February 20, 2015 at 1:16 pm

As I have commented before, I think it would be a disaster for football across the UK, if the Ashley experiment is allowed to escape from the lab!

28 Days (Notice) Later

I shall fetch my jacket …

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upthehoopsPosted on2:06 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Danish Pastry says:
February 20, 2015 at 11:02 am

That would have been an interesting call to hear. The mantra on Superscoreboard is King and Murray = good guys. Ashley and the current board = bad guys. King and Murray = massive spending to get back to ‘rightful’ place. Ashley and current board = no spending and asset stripping. Only 3 months ago Ashley = massive spending for a triumphant march to the Champions League.

It’s pathetic at the end of the day. There are ex players such as Derek Johnstone, Joe Miller, Frank Macavennie & Gordon Dalziel. There are journalists such as Hugh Keevins, Roger Hannah, and Mark Guidi. Regarding financial matters they would struggle between them to win at Monopoly, yet their opinions on the way forward for Rangers are considered valid. I do the first ten minutes of Superscoreboard every night when I’m in the shower. After that I’m unwilling to have my intelligence insulted any longer. Jim Delahunt and Gerry McCulloch are both intelligent men, but they do have a living to make and families to keep. When they get back to the privacy of their homes I wonder what they really think about some of the half wits they’ve sat in a studio with, and some of the quarter wits who’ve phoned the show.

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johntheredPosted on2:15 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Contrast the reaction of Chelsea, just one club, to that of the Scottish authorities.

If they are not ashamed after this then it’s time for the clubs via the fans to do it unilaterally.

The vote for Jay’s goal of the month shows the good people of Scotland in true light; sectarianism is not Scotland’s shame but that of the people who refuse to take the necessary action to rid of this blight.

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tearsofjoyPosted on2:24 pm - Feb 20, 2015

mungoboy says:

February 19, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Where do you start with that RST statement re Colleymore?
Apart from anything else, how does someone can their BT Sport subscription when it’s free?
If you have BT internet then it is free.
Otherwise my understanding is it’s chargeable.
In my case , if Collymore is not reinstated I will cancel my BT internet.

Bravo to Stan for speaking out.

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tamjartmarquezPosted on2:28 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Sunrise Lyrics
“Sunrise” was written by Hannon, Neil.

Regards the offensive song book. I’d rather both sets of OF (SIC)fans, who hail from Northern Ireland sung this, the rest, including errant Hearts fans,have no need to utter a word on the matter in response. To be fair in that matter I thing the Hearts choristers are ambidextrous, depending on the opponent.

This song is from ‘Fin de Siecle’, the 17th presumably? :irony:

I was born in Londonderry
I was born in Derry City too
Oh what a special child
To see such things and still to smile
I know that there was something wrong
But I kept my head down and carried on
I grew up in Enniskillen
I grew up in Innis Kathleen too
Oh what a clever boy
To watch your hometown be destroyed
I know that would not stay long
So I kept my head down and carried on
Who cares where national borders lie
Who cares whose laws you’re governed by
Who cares what name you call a town
Who’ll care when you’re six feet beneath the ground
>From the corner of my eye
A hint of blue in the black sky
A ray of hope, a beam of light
An end to thirty years of night
The church-bells ring, the children sing
What is this strange and beautiful thing
It’s the sunrise
Can you see the sunrise?
I can see the sunrise


Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Divine Comedy – Sunrise Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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tearsofjoyPosted on2:31 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Given that some of the “singing” emanating from the recent Sevco v Celtic game is by all accounts illegal , is there any responsibility on a broadcaster to take any precautions to ensure this offensive noise is not broadcast ?

Or do we all have to simply accept that watching these games means you have to accept being exposed to this stuff ?

Would I be within my rights to, say , contact the BBC and insist that they ensure this stuff isn’t broadcast by their pitch side microphones ? Please don’t say I could simply turn down the volume : I quite enjoy having my blood pressure raised by the inane drivel from the “pundits”. 🙄

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ecobhoyPosted on2:33 pm - Feb 20, 2015

upthehoops says:
February 20, 2015 at 2:06 pm

I listened to ‘the guy from the City’ on the radio on the way to the match last night.

If he works in the City then I’m the Governor of the Bank of England 😆

I think I heard most of his ramble but lost the signal on the train before I heard the panel’s response. I normally never listen to these shows but listened-in last night in case there was anything on the game.

The caller actually made some totally OTT comments about DK which afaik were complete fabrications and probably actionable. He was a plant of some sort IMO but such is the variety of plants which have sprung-up recently I tend to ignore most although I had a good laugh at this one.

The guy might work in the City but I truly doubt if anyone who listened to him – with an open mind – would believe he actually works in the financial sector as claimed. Says there’s a whole bunch of bluenoses who work there so maybe they were the ones going to get an invitation to the hotel egms 😆

I’m afraid he was another one of the ‘Caller from Larkhall’ variety. Strikes me if these programmes don’t tighten-up on vetting callers they are going to land in a right legal mess sooner rather than later.

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ZilchPosted on2:34 pm - Feb 20, 2015

First: a dictionary definition.


1. of, belonging or relating to, or characteristic of sects or sectaries
2. adhering to a particular sect, faction, or doctrine
3. narrow-minded, esp as a result of rigid adherence to a particular sect

4. a member of a sect or faction, esp one who is bigoted in his adherence to its doctrines or in his intolerance towards other sects, etc

Just as it is important that we are precise in our language when we are describing the intricacies of the financial world or the laws of the beautiful game, so it is when we write about the behaviour of fans and the social ills that plague our sport.

The word sectarian is widely used in the context of (primarily but not exclusively) Glasgow football culture to signify differences that are presumed to be associated with religious affiliation. This goes back to the origin of the word:

Word Origin and History for sectarian (adj.)
“1640s, originally applied by Presbyterians to Independents, from Medieval Latin sectarius, from secta (see sect ).”

It is also used to signify cultural differences in Scotland and the North of Ireland that are also widely presumed to be linked to religious affiliation. The links to Glasgow football culture are all too obvious and widely discussed here and elsewhere.

For many people, sectarianism stands in the same or similar light (shade?) as racism, as a socially obnoxious phenomenon that a modern society should seek to eliminate. Hard to argue with.

So far, so good.

However, a difficulty arises when the term “sectarian” is used loosely.

I believe we have a problem like this in our society today, that is regularly expressed without adequate qualification, even in this blog.

I read comments on a regular basis, both here and in the press, that decry the “sectarian” problem in Glasgow and denouncing both sides as bad as the other. It is the classic two cheeks argument that is widely thrown at both Celtic and Rangers fans from folks supporting other teams. It is often referred to as a “West Coast” problem and similar.

I would like to try to explain why I believe this approach is both trite and inaccurate, and actually perpetuates and even deepens the problem.

Describing the issues we face in Glasgow football culture under a catch-all umbrella term of “sectarianism” fails to capture the true nature of the problem.

Failing to understand the fundamental nature of the conflict, makes management of its circumstances more difficult (at best), and renders prospects for conflict resolution ever more distant.

Failure to use the term “sectarian” properly underplays the abhorrent nature of true sectarianism and plays into the hands of refuseniks who do not want to move on from their cultural bunkers.

Whilst I believe some of the material sung by football fans can be construed as “sectarian” i.e. a form of hate speech targeting another group’s religious identity, many fans will tell you that they do not accept that description and believe (sometimes rightly IMO) that the words they sing are politically motivated. Attempts to stop them under a “sectarian” label are then viewed as suppression of free speech and an attempt to suppress political dissent.

Moreover, the two cheeks description parrots a British State – sponsored view of the conflict in the North of Ireland which they portray as some barely intelligible local religious squabble within which the British State is a reluctant and honest player.

So every time you say “Both sides as bad as the other” you effectively pick a side and align yourself with a particular political view.

It turns out the conflict in the North of Ireland is a complex beastie with more than two sides. In fact this beastie has three or four cheeks at least, and there are various levels of conflict between all of them.

OK. One of them says the other two are the problem and it ain’t nuffink to do with them Guv.

But that is propaganda that far too many accept unquestioningly (IMO).
Every repeat of it is actually a further contribution to the conflict.

So what the hell has this got to do with TSFM?

Is this post just a massive dose of Whataboutery on a new and previously unimagined scale?

I hope not.

I would beg my fellow bloggers to try to think a bit about some of the language that is used to describe our problems.

In a recent post I talked about the problem of getting fans to stop singing “war songs”. I used that phrase specifically.

The reason being that whilst “sectarianism” is indeed an important part of what is wrong here, it is not the only thing that is wrong.

We need as a society (in Glasgow, Scotland and elsewhere) and as Scottish football fans in particular, to move on from weekly celebrations of conflict.

I want Rangers fans to stop singing their songs of horror and bloodshed.

And I want Celtic fans (mainly at away games now) to stop singing their songs of the revolution (with its associated horror and bloodshed).

In fact, you know what, I don’t want anyone to sing about horror and bloodshed at any sporting event.

And if folks who regard themselves as being outwith any of these groups want to help with that, then you are going to have to do better than label it all as “sectarian” – it is more than that, and by using the term in this manner, you are, whether you realise it or not, aligning yourself with one of the major protagonists of the conflict.

Removing “sectarianism” from our game, whilst a noble aim, is not enough of itself. We need to recognise the true nature of our difficulty and call it for what it is: we need to remove celebrations of violence from our sport.

And we need to be consistent about this.

If it is not OK to sing about wars in Ireland, it is not OK to sing about wars here or elsewhere either.

The obvious example is Flower of Scotland, which rousing and patriotic as it is, is essentially about fighting a war of independence with England. Not hard to find English people here who speak of being discriminated against on grounds of nationality. We have to face the truth that Flower of Scotland is inappropriate in a sporting context as it glorifies historical violence.

God Save the Queen glories in the conquest of rebellious Scots – also inappropriate.

The Soldier’s Song glorifies the same revolutionaries as the Boys of the Old Brigade. We can scratch both of them too.

Rule Brittania – glorifies British imperialism and all of the violence and bloodshed associated with that. Also out.

But surely we can’t tell visiting nations we won’t play their national anthem at our stadia?

Er, why not?

What is the need for playing a national anthem at all?

And what is there to stop us from taking a lead on this issue – saying we will not allow material that glorifies violence at our football matches. If you want to play a national anthem in our stadia, pick one that does not glorify violence.

There are times and places where people can gather in their communities and commemorate their dead, revel in their heroes and dream of past and future glories.

Football stadia are not the place for it.

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ecobhoyPosted on2:38 pm - Feb 20, 2015

tearsofjoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Would I be within my rights to, say , contact the BBC and insist that they ensure this stuff isn’t broadcast by their pitch side microphones ?
I think if they did that they would be accused – as they have been previously – of trying to cover-up the sectarianism being expressed.

On balance I think it should be broadcast so that it is a matter of public record – no matter what fans are singing – and therefore not provide the authorities with even more of an excuse to ignore it and do nothing.

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wottpiPosted on2:40 pm - Feb 20, 2015

I note Phil Mac highlighting ‘Rangers Fan Investors’ in Richard Wilson’s article

When the club was in its darkest hours how much did the fans raise to save it?- £0m

When the club was in its second darkest hour how much of the £10m shares on offer did the fans take up? – £5m

Thrice bitten, IMHO the best King can hope for is season ticket cash and, if possible through some mucking about with shares, no more than about £10m of emotional investment.

£5m of that goes to pay off Ashley with a good chance of that being the whole £10m if the second tranche is lumbered on the club come this months payday.

Fans surely expect King and the Three bears to at least match their investment.
So lets call that £10m from each group = £20m.
£2m to pay of the gardeners. £8m to take account of the current annual loss.
£5m on the stadium infrastructure issues £5m to buy players to make up the numbers given number of end of season out of contract and under-performing team mates.

£30m spent in a matter of months with nothing much to show for it and Ashley will be sitting on the retail income stream (unless they want to buy that out!!) and as a significant shareholder hounding the new board of the Plc asking for the £15m back from the football club.

Still fun times ahead regardless of which way the EGM goes.

PS still haven’t ruled out Ashley turning the screw on the three bears re their apparent liking for King at this time. Today’s wee announcement may just be the start of the final push to discredit King?

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ecobhoyPosted on2:49 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Zilch says:
February 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm

IMO the only definitions which matter in terms of sectarian offences are those created by the statutes designed to deal with them and the precedents which are established by the criminal appeal system.

In many cases of alleged ‘sectarian’ singing there are often other factors forming part of the evidence presented and therefor which might form part of the reasoning as to the particular verdict arrived at.

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The Cat NR1Posted on3:08 pm - Feb 20, 2015

wottpi says:

February 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm
That’s pretty much the way I see it.
Ashley has let King have enough rope to hang himself.

I would have thought that your estimate of £30M could easily go up towards £50M, as they may need to buy out some of the dissenting minority shareholders and it is also possible that very costly legal fees and damages may become due in the event that they attempt to break some or all of the onerous contracts.

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scapaflowPosted on3:12 pm - Feb 20, 2015

ecobhoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Indeed, a wee reminder of provisions of a silly act, passed with lots of cross party support, proving again that when politicians agree, they are probably wrong.

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BarcabhoyPosted on3:14 pm - Feb 20, 2015

I have stated many times the position of George Taylor is not straightforward with regards to his voting intentions.

He is the MD of Morgan Stanley’s Hong Kong office. Morgan Stanley are not some obscure financial organsiation that has no reach or influence. It has a status as a highly respected manager of money. It has a wealth management operation for high net worth individuals , which is one of their key divisions.

High net worth individuals, who are the clients of Morgan Stanley, may very well not be impressed that an executive of Morgan Stanley is prepared ( so we are told) to vote to elect an individual with criminal tax convictions onto the board of a UK plc. The comments of the judge in SA in shredding Kings integrity and trustworthyness may also worry clients of Morgan Stanley.

On a personal basis I would consider firing them as a money manager should they demonstrate that their executives were prepared to support convicted criminals to the boards of public companies.

That shows a complete lack of respect for governance and in my opinion an irresponsibility towards investor funds. The same applies to any financial institution who were prepared to support King and for other reasons Paul Murray.

I am well aware that George Taylor is voting his own shares and not Morgan Stanleys. However trust is such a key component in the realationship between client and manager, that there is potential to damage Morgan Stanley when or if Executives behave in this manner

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wottpiPosted on3:24 pm - Feb 20, 2015

The Cat NR1 says:
February 20, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Agreed my £30m is just a stab at the ‘knowns’.

The potential ‘unknowns’ are breaking the onerous contracts and the full cost of squad rebuilding (keeping in mind the Bears aspirations) and associated footballing annual wage costs (bearing in mind Celtic’s wage bill of £30m) plus anything else Ashley may lumber them with if the writing is on the wall for a defeat.

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Danish PastryPosted on3:27 pm - Feb 20, 2015

upthehoops says:
February 20, 2015 at 2:06 pm

That would have been an interesting call to hear…

‘Gordon from London’ 13’25 into the podcast. You can listen and make up your own mind. My gut feeling was that he was not a TRFC supporter and if he was he was surprisingly not on Level5.

Perhaps he’s a friend of the re-instated Bishop? Or he actually was what he said he was? My failings as a clairvoyant meant that I could not get an accurate fix on his actual location in Larkhall 😀

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HamerdoonPosted on3:29 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Ecobhoy said

“They have to accept that football rivalry isn’t the cause of sectarianism and bigotry – it is a symptom of it. ”
From my perspective it can easily be both a symptom and an ongoing cause. In this respect, it will be interesting to read the research from Stirling uni. Relatively small sample sizes are not unusual in qualitative research, they may have found that the same theme appeared time and time again. In such circumstances, putting a purely quantitative perspective on the results might be misleading; however, the strength of the argument will be in the detail of the methodology employed and conclusions drawn.

My own experiences lead me to think that football, in particular Rangers and Celtic, has played a part in perpetuating sectarianism. This isn’t a ‘different side to the same coin’ argument, the relative effects could clearly be weighted differentially. I am not convinced that football isn’t an additional cause in propagating the issue. The reasons may be multifactorial e.g. lack of SFA /SPFL action, dog whistling, etc., but never the less, I feel it causes the problem to remain tangible and generally acceptable in its context.

Points deduction, bans, behind closed doors, it is time to act on it. Fair play to Collymore, it’s a great deal more than most would and have done – where’s jackson, spiers, Wilson, Cowan, Cosgrove, Gordon, English etc. in all this? Will they je suis Collymore?

Yeah. Thought so.

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wottpiPosted on3:29 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Barcabhoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Said from the time from the content of the initial notice of the EGM that the current board where trying to have a word in the 3Bs shell-like with regard to who they were getting into bed with.

It is all cloak and dagger stuff and wholly unpalatable but my guess is that if he really is interested Ashley will be upping the pressure on the 3Bs by reminding them that their currently good reputation could we become sullied.

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StevieBCPosted on3:55 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Re: the offensive singing etc.

When there is so much grief around the world, it’s rather depressing that this still happens at a simple sporting event.

In the great scheme of things, and as others have mentioned, this could have been relatively easily dealt with effectively a long time ago by the authorities.

And yet the SFA even now, in today’s Politically Correct obsessed environment, they just don’t want to know.

“disRespected and disTrusted to Lead”

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PaulPosted on4:14 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Today the Scottish Government had the public launch of research carried out by the Independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland – the report formed the basis of the Herald’s front page splash today. The Scottish Football Association were invited to attend and indeed were sent invites for two delegates – they did not attend.

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tearsofjoyPosted on4:34 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Paul says:

February 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Today the Scottish Government had the public launch of research carried out by the Independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland – the report formed the basis of the Herald’s front page splash today. The Scottish Football Association were invited to attend and indeed were sent invites for two delegates – they did not attend.
Unfortunately as I no longer live in Scotland I don’t have a MSP to contact on the matter. Otherwise I’d be asking for this to be raised within the Scottish government. This is not acceptable.

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scapaflowPosted on4:46 pm - Feb 20, 2015

tearsofjoy says:
February 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

I’ve written to mine, suggesting that putting a hold on the SFA’s grant monies, would get their attention, as they have consistently proven over the last couple of years, money, not ethics, drives the men in the Hampden Board Rooms 😈

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James ForrestPosted on4:49 pm - Feb 20, 2015

The Rangers Supporters Trust seems to be developing an unhealthy fixation with the Celtic fans …

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Big PinkPosted on4:52 pm - Feb 20, 2015


I have for some time been convinced that the Celtic Rangers rivalry is the cause and not a symptom of modern sectarian hate in Scotland. Of course my evidence is anecdotal and empirical, and would possibly not survive close statistical analysis, but that is my feeling anyway.

I think the Rangers v Celtic thing gives a voice to sectarianism that is otherwise silent and starved of air, because people are less likely to vent themselves in polite company. But in the heat of a football rivalry, it is deemed less unacceptable, so it gets the oxygen it needs to grow.

If we heed our own advice and follow the money, ask yourself who benefits? It’s certainly not the halfwits shouting abuse at each other (even assuming it goes no further than that).

I find it difficult to come to any conclusion other than this. The frantic rush to “save” Rangers is a rush to keep the morons at each others’ throats whilst the clubs rake in the cash, and the Mad Jock Circus can be televised four times a year.

Sectarianism sells. How many ex-footballers do we hear of seriously deploring it – as opposed to those who tell us “we need this game”? How many journalists? How many Old Firm directors? Then ask ourselves again: who benefits?

Stan Collymore is a lonely voice. The real power lies in the silence of those who benefit from Scotland’s shame – and ultimately cultivate it.

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ianagainPosted on4:56 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Wonder of Craigy will show. Maybes tape time.

Chancery Division – Judges

20-02-2015 01:02 PM GMT

Daily list for Monday, 23 February 2015

Updated Friday, 20 February 2015 13.02





Monday, 23 February 2015

At half past 10


2003/2012 Cohen & anr v Collyer Bristow LLP & ors


HC12F01522 Merchant Turnaround Plc v Collyer Bristow LLP

HC-2012-000153 Trustees of the Jerome Group PLc Retirement Benefits Plan v Collyer Bristow LLP

HC-2014-000765 Collyer Bristow LLP v Whyte & ors

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arabest1Posted on5:01 pm - Feb 20, 2015

The Harm Principle
“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” JS Mill, On Liberty 1859

I have watched with interest the discussion of the sectarian singing emanating from fans of the Govan club and am often dismayed by some of our posters deploying a quite vulgar interpretation of ‘Freedom of Speech’. ( Sorry to pick on you James, but whilst I value your contribution to the debates on these pages, I feel you are a mile out on this.
The first thing I notice is that ‘freedom of speech’, as far as I can see, is only ever wheeled out to lazily defend something utterly abhorrent. It’s the BNP……. or the KKK…… or the Orange Order whose hateful gathering and utterances are somehow elevated to a ‘right’…the right to be racist, the right to occupy the public sphere with menace and threat……a ‘right’ we must all defend? Such a position functions to throw red meat to bigots everywhere. Not for me. We live in a liberal democracy where all opinions are imbued with a degree of validity….unless it violates the great liberal notion of the Harm Principle. IMO sash-bashery of any sort provides the potential to violate this principle. 15,000 people invading public space and aggressively and triumphantly celebrating the spilling of blood, of a particular ethnic-minority is a clear infringement of other people’s right to go about their business in and around Glasgow (or anywhere else) without feeling intimidated, insulted or worse.
Not with standings Zilch’s interesting discussion of the semantics of the ‘sectarian’ problem in Scotland, it could be said without fear of contradiction the Scotland has had and continues to have issues of a sectarian nature, particularly with regard to football. ( As others have pointed out, this problem is nowhere near as bad as it has been in previous decades. The crafts, guilds and unions which shaped the social contours of industrial Scotland seemed to lend themselves to widespread discriminatory practice leading to some ugly outcomes for Catholics of Irish decent. The extent to which Irish Catholics face discrimination in post-industrial Scotland is very much up for debate, but let’s accept Tom Devine’s assertion that anti Irish sentiment retains a residual presence in pockets of Scottish society………unquestionably in and around the Govan team. In the past 3 years we have seen threats and intimidation dished out to; journalists, judiciary, directors, chairmen, editors, bookshops, stadium announcers, managers, many of these threats requiring the intervention of police and special branch….I would defy anyone to tell me that this behaviour does not violate the harm principle?
For the SFA, or the MSM to simply ignore behaviour that picks and claws at a serious social problem is simply unacceptable……….their position requires a response. Half a dozen Chelsea fans on the tube is universally condemned and the story becomes one of international interest …….10’s of thousands of TRFC fans engage in similar offences and we have the great and the good of the game shrugging their shoulders in pathetic acceptance and the others appearing to defend this disgrace as ‘their right’? If football wants to be taken seriously at any level it must take action to stamp out racism, sexism, homophobia and if you want a Scottish category all of its own Sectarianism. It really is not that difficult, fine of points, closed doors, official removing players from the field of play, and that is off the top of my head! ‘Freedom’ only extends to the next persons freedom, if it violates the next persons freedom it becomes something else………..

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James ForrestPosted on5:23 pm - Feb 20, 2015

A wee video to gladden the hearts friends …

Jay finds out he’s won Goal of the Month. Brilliant.

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James ForrestPosted on5:24 pm - Feb 20, 2015


Don’t sweat it mate, I know I’m a holder of a minority view here … but you know, that’s part of why I support unrestricted free speech. Cause I am a lifelong holder of minority views and I like knowing I can express them 🙂

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Danish PastryPosted on5:44 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Euan McLean in the DR. Not an article I thought I’d read in that publication. Stan has not ruffled feathers in vain:

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Bryce CurdyPosted on6:05 pm - Feb 20, 2015

Three unrelated comments:

Ecobhoy 11:43 am – several very good posts from you today, but I was surprised that in your local pub the enthusiasm to attend the recent semi-final was higher amongst the Celtic fans than the Sevco fans. My observations are definitely the opposite and I’m curious to learn from the other bloggers which one of us (and it might be neither) is the outlier.

Another poster (apologies for not recalling name) stated earlier that the SPFL could take no action on sectarian singing provided the club had ticked 21 boxes in relation to measures put in place. This almost seems a perverse situation, as it effectively gives fans an open goal.


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