Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O’Donnell (Book Review)


Essential reading for supporters of all Scottish football Clubs

I was asked to review Tangled Up In Blue possibly because my on line offerings, oft-times with the assistance of crowd think, tend to be as evidenced based fact as possible, with an eye for detail that if missed can produce a narrative that deviates from the story the factual evidence tells.

Book coverIn that context what is very obvious from reading Tangled Up In Blue is that the author Stephen O Donnell has put a great deal of research into his book that covers the history of Rangers from its foundation in 1872, through its incorporation in 1899, when the club became the limited liability company called The Rangers Football Club Plc , (just as Celtic had two years earlier), to its liquidation in 2012 when it became RFC 2012 plc (in liquidation).

The “new club/company” replacing RFC 2012 Plc (quoting the words of Andre Traverso the then Head of UEFA Club Licensing to explain no sanctions possible against the new club/company now called The Rangers FC Ltd) had to wait three years from its acceptance into Scottish football in August 2012 before it was eligible to apply for a UEFA licence, having fulfilled the requirement under Article 12 of UEFA FFP to have held full membership of the Scottish Football Association for longer than three years, a requirement finally met at the start of the 2016/17 licencing cycle.

Tangled Up in Blue, to be published on 19th August , is not only a reminder of the events surrounding the demise of what was perceived by Scottish society as a great institution, but in devoting the early part of the book to Rangers footballing and managerial past, provides further insight into the mindset of the culture and it’s thinking , that inevitably led to the events of 2012 resulting in an attempt by Scottish Football Authorities to untangle.

An attempt which itself has subsequently entangled Scottish football in an ongoing web of deceit, caused by the 5 Way Agreement between the SFA, the then SPL and SFL, Sevco (who then became “The Rangers Football Club PLC”) and the failed insolvent “The Rangers Football Club Ltd” in late July 2012.

The passage of time since 2012 and what was not fully reported domestically (only the revelations in “Downfall – How Rangers FC Self Destructed” by Phil McGiolla Bhain, a journalist based in Ireland, introduced by Alex Thomson an English journalist, tell the tale) and what has happened in the disentangling years since 2012, allows a fresh perspective.

As we all know, if you stand too close to a painting you will miss the full picture and Tangled Up In Blue , with the perspective time provides, paints a clear picture, one where the curtains have not been drawn back because, frankly, it is not a pretty one. It does not reflect well on Rangers or a Scottish society that perceived Rangers FC Ltd as a great Scottish institution nor does it do the credibility of Scottish football journalism any credit whatsoever.

The role of the Scottish main stream media in keeping the curtain closed comes across in terms of non or restrained reporting of events, not just in our current lifetime, but during a past where a sectarian policy of not signing Catholics was pursued for decades with no comment and where full culpability was never accepted by or imposed on Rangers as a result of deserved critical media comment, when disasters either great in human terms, like the Ibrox staircase 13 disaster in 1971 or serious in PR terms, like the reporting of supporters behaviour in Manchester 2008 before and after the UEFA Cup Final, happened.

When reading Tangled Up In Blue I was reminded of this quote in bold from “Debt of Honour” by Tom Clancy, page 530: “You can’t trust your memory with things that affect live patients. One of the first things they teach you in medical school.’ Cathy shook her head as she finished up. ‘Not in this business. too many opportunities to screw up. “If you don’t write it down, then it never happened.

This has been the primary device used by the media in Scotland since 2012 where evidence of what really took place behind the scenes has either not been published or paid little heed to by our mainstream media when anything (like the Tax Justice Network report on the SFA handling of Rangers demise) has surfaced. Apart from the informative “Downfall”, were it not for social media and a host of intrepid bloggers, what did happen to “Rangers” in 2012 didn’t happen.

There are various reasons for not writing it down that might require a book on its own. Fear of the impact on a newspaper’s sales, and by extension a journalist’s job, is one. Fear of the consequences of committing the story to print is real, and very understandable – and it wasn’t only journalists who had reason to be fearful. Others who dared pass official SFA judgement on Rangers governance found themselves under threat too when, in answer to the question “who are these people”, their names were “written down”.

When it comes to writing it down or not, and the consequences of doing so, what happened after BBC’s Jim Spence, who lost his job after only verbally mentioning an issue very sensitive to Rangers fans, is interesting.

An idea using terminology from the secret 5 Way Agreement surreptitiously seeped its way into public consciousness, by being written about and took root by being adhered to by the media who, apart from Jim Spence, benefited from the consequence of doing so.
This idea once written allowed the introduction of a previously unheard of concept of the separation of a club from its owner when up until then all football supporters, including those of Rangers, only ever thought of The Rangers Football Club Ltd as Rangers – a football club effectively owned by itself.

This selective reporting/not reporting strongly suggests that apart from the fear aspects previously covered, some/many of the football journalists and media pundits were and continue to be Tangled Up In Blue themselves. This entanglement is one that serves no club in Scottish football well, but particularly the Rangers of today, where their debt driven/UEFA money dependency business model remains unwritten and so un-examined for impact on fellow member clubs.

This review is being published as a Scottish Football Monitor blog to reach a wider Scottish footballing supporter readership because all Scottish football clubs were affected by an entanglement in a web of deceit to some degree or another that continues still. In a world plagued by lies and liars, the truth has to prevail and where better to make that happen than in our own back yard where Scottish football is played?

Perhaps though supporters of one club more than any other who should read the book and benefit from so doing, are unlikely to because, as mentioned earlier, the picture it paints is not a pretty one.

Whilst they might see Tangled Up In Blue as a harsh judgement of a great Scottish Institution, it also provides an opportunity to think again about what they think, and the culture their thinking created that has led to nothing but the kind of woe the philosophy of the Pharisees attracted.  And that will persist until there is a change of minds and hearts about who they are, what they aren’t, and what they want to be.

In the spirit of encouraging a metanoia, Tangled Up In Blue might persuade any open minded Rangers supporting reader to consider the words of Rabbie Burns, a wise and respected Scottish Institution, of a way towards inner change. That may prove difficult given their fans’ response at Kilmarnock in the aftermath of their club’s recent announcement of a diversity and inclusion campaign to help tackle discrimination and promote positive fan behaviour. But here it is in hope;

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

The response by Rangers supporters to Tangled Up In Blue will be an indicator of the distance their diversity and inclusion journey has to travel.

Who knows, SFM might be a station on that journey depending on the nature of responses to this blog.

Tangled Up In Blue by Stephen O Donnell 
from 19th August 2019.


  1. "There are businesses that go out of business" "heart-breaking for the community" " devastating effect" " "a really stark feeling if the club is no more" ""-phrases heard this morning on Radio 4 in a discussion of Friday's deadline for Bury to show 'proof of funds'.

    A realistic , honest  approach to the anticipated death and 'no moreness' of a football club.

    Unlike the deceitful bloody nonsense that the lying Football Governance people in Scottish Football came out with (after Day One's fit of truth , when even that wretch  Traynor told the truth)
    And no Salmond-like Ministerial attempts to intervene, and no fake sale of ‘the club’ and no creation of a brand new 140 year-old club!
    Whatever may be wrong with the English FA, they are by no means as rotten as the SFA/SPL/SFL were.

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  2. Ex Ludo 20th August 2019

    As a follow up to my post from last Sunday (18th August) Channel 4 News are now highlighting that betting companies are switching their attention to online gamers who are predominantly adolescents. Maybe football has had its day?


    Yes indeed, Ex Ludo, that little nugget of information is both interesting – and worrying.


    Do you think whoever has the brain cell at Hampden today is fully aware of the significance of this shift in betting strategy?


    The SFA is supposed to be the guardians of the game, [I know…], and this walking away looks like a tangible vote of no confidence in Scottish football in the years / decades ahead.


    [Caveat being that future government legislation may have forced betting companies to look elsewhere anyway?]


    Whilst the betting companies are still involved with Scottish football, you would think it would be extremely worthwhile – if possible – for the SFA / SPFL to get sight of the relevant demographic trends and data they hold…if only to validate the trend analyses developed by the SFA / SPFL themselves.

    [I know…]

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  3. Sport and Football in particular has always been sponsored by unworthy companies.  We've had cigarettes, drinks and gambling all as sponsors. The people responsible for bring in advertising revenue need to try harder to interest less controversial companies in their product.


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  4. StevieBC and Ballyargus above.

    Football sponsored by the profits of addiction? Maybe a bit strong but I for one would welcome a more imaginative and ethical approach to supporting the game. 

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  5. Hullo, Hullo, here is today's Court update in the case of David Grier v Police Scotland.

    The hearing was a motion for summary decree against Police Scotland for wrongful arrest and detention in connection with the Rangers Takeover in 2011.  A summary decree (and damages) can be awarded when the pursuer (DG) can show overwhelming evidence against the defender (PS), so much so that the case need not go to a Proof hearing (or trial).

    DG's counsel, Andrew Smith QC, set out to show malice on the part of PS, primarily the senior investigating officer DCI Robertson and his sidekick DI Jackie O'Neill, in order to prove their case.

    The morning session was fairly dry, setting out the legal basis for taking action against PS as the prosecutor along with the COPFS. The main precedent cited was the case of Rees(?).  

    There was discussion about the London's court's findings against PS and the £500k damages award in favour of the D&P lawyers Holman, Fenwick and Willan. That included Robertson's part in obtaining documents that were marked or claimed to be protected from disclosure by Legal and Professional Privilege, also ignoring an injunction issued by a London court stopping him from doing so. "An abuse of state power" was highlighted from the Justices' report in that case.

    The afternoon session (after JC left) was a bit more interesting to the few journalists and public present (apart from the guy sitting beside me who had his eyes shut half the time).  Smith showed several instances of inconsistencies between Robertson's statements and the documented record, e.g. that COPFS had all the available documentation before DG and others appeared in court on petition (that's the way it should happen), while O'Neill's records showed that the documents were only submitted after the first court appearance, suggesting that it was Robertson that was driving the action against DG and others.

    The criminal case against DG was about his alleged involvement in two false pretences, 1) misrepresenting the source of Whyte's funds to the Independent Committee and 2) providing a letter of comfort to Ticketus in order for them to release the funds to a Collyer Bristow client account.

    In respect of the first charge Smith produced evidence to show that DG only presented cashflow forecasts to the Independent Committee (not source of funds) and there was also an email exchange (referred to as "Don't tell David") that showed that Whyte, Withey and Betts didn't want DG to know the details. 

    For the second charge, again there was evidence that Ticketus had released the funds before DG sent a letter of comfort.

    Robertson was aware of both circumstances, but chose to proceed with the arrest and charges.  He only admitted to having made "errors" re the charges in February of this year, but with no explanation of how or why.

    Roberston's conduct in interviews was then  highlighted, firstly appearing to give immunity to Phil Betts if he would act as a witness, rather than charging him as a co-conspirator. There were also differences between Bett's written statement and the typed version (the latter omitting to mention that PB wasn’t fully aware of the details of the Ticketus details himself, so couldn't have passed anything on full details to DG as had been claimed)

    Mention was made of Robertson alerting the media about the arrests and court appearances and making the accused was through the media scrum and baying Rangers fans outside Glasgow Sheriff Court, rather than exiting by a back door.

    The search warrants on D&P premises again came up with LPP issues, and further interviews with D&P staff produced the sectarian element, where a D&P Chartered Accountant, Phil Duffy claimed that Robertson subjected him to a full rendition of the Billy Boys.  In Duffy's view he believed it was to intimidate him. In Robertson's statements, he denied having chanted anything to Duffy,  but O'Neill's statement suggested that because Whyte's takeover plan was called Project William, there may have been some discussion about the history and a link made to the words of the song.

    The last part of Smith submission's related to the Lord Advocate's (Frank Mulholland) involvement. Robertson claimed the the LA had "his hands on the tiller" throughout and directed Robertsons actions. DG's tam subsequently took a precognition statement from the LA saying that Robertson's account was incorrect and that he couldn't have directed the investigation in any event.  

    To avoid having to dispute the LA's statement, DG's legal team had requested that the PS legal team accept the LA's statement as a "truthful and accurate account", but as yet have failed to do so.

    On completion of Smith's submissions at the end of the day, Lord Bannatyne gave some guidance to Alastair Duncan QC for PS as to what he was looking from them in response to the allegations made.  I think these were much more extensive that he had expected, so may have a busy evening ahead.

    The case continues at 10am tomorrow with Duncan expected to take around 3 hours, with a further opportunity for Smith to sum up.

    DG and his team seemed quite happy with how the day had gone, but it's best to wait until you hear both sides and see how Lord Bannatyne reacts and what questions he asks, before guessing at the likely outcome. 


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  6. eJ, thanks for your Court service!

    Good read, and can't wait for part 2. 


    Don't know about conspiracy theories EL, but IF DG wins then you would reasonably expect some comeback for DCI Robertson.

    It sounds like he's either daft, or was emotionally involved in the investigation –  or perhaps even both?


    If criminal charges are not a consequence, would he instead be invited to 'retire / resign'?

    …to protect a no doubt very healthy pension – and possibly to avoid a misconduct investigation?


    Whatever, he must be a worried chap…


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  7. "…Italian champions Juventus have called on Serie A to schedule more early kick-offs to help the club grow in Asia.

    Juve are below last season's Premier League top six clubs in revenue and see China as a major area for growth.

    The Serie A season begins on Saturday, and every game in the first two weeks starts at midnight or later in Beijing.

    "We have to find the right balance between domestic and global audiences," Juventus chief revenue officer Giorgio Ricci told BBC Sport…"




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  8. I left Lord Bannatyne's Court-room at about 12.25 pm today in order to attend to some other business .

    As eJ says in his comprehensive report at 17.50 today the morning session was “fairly dry”. It was virtually a monologue , as Andrew Smith QC spoke for two and a half hours, with only three short interjections or observations by the judge, and nothing at all from Mr Duncan QC except some help with finding a reference .That is, there wasn't scope for any kind of interchange of argument, no objections or counterpoints from the Defender ( his turn will come tomorrow).

    EJ's report covers all that Mr Smith QC said in the morning session, and I can add nothing of substance but maybe some flavour.

    I can add  that some pretty strong opening remarks were made by Mr Smith , such as

    'The pursuer will demonstrate that full miscarriage of justice in the matter of some of the charges was averted by the Crown's realisation that case against him was unsustainable. And the remaining aspects could not legally be regarded as a crime, any trial would have been regarded as 'oppressive' and any guilty verdict would have been quashed, or warrants suspended. The bulk of the information was known at the time,and it is plain that the action of the Police was manipulative of the system, and based on 'malice'.Because DCI Robertson thought that the Pursuer knew more tnan he was letting on.

    There was no fair trial. The accused is entitled to have all relevant matters fully, fairly and accurately disclosed.

    We submit that this did not happen , by the Senior Investigating Officer.

    And I would remind your Lordship that recovery of documents is still ongoing: an extremely protracted exercise.

    The Pursuer knew he had not committed any of the offences with which he was charged and that there could be no evidence , and, therefore, if there was any evidence there, it should have been produced. Any proof submitted were based on misrepresentation by the SIO, the Crown.

    For example, Mr Bett was treated as a witness not a suspect. Mr Bett and Mr Withey were 'brokers' for Whyte and allegedly knew what was going on . [And I make it clear that Mr Whyte was found not guilty of charges against him]

    The SIO concealed important documents and emails from the Crown , which show that Grier was far from being guilty..

    Bett said in a typed statement “ Mr Grier knew a lot more…”

    Whyte said” Don't tell David anything”

    Bett said “ We haven't told him anything that he didn't need to know”


    All of these statements would have been exculpatory of Mr Grier.

    And the SIO was aware of this.”


    Having made these opening remarks, Smith then outlined how he would proceed in 6 stages:


    1. outline the factual background [ ' even though your Lordship knows a lot of it']
    2. discuss the 'law'
    3. a more detailed discussion of the facts indicative of 'malice'
    4. identify how we say there was probable cause to conclude 'malice'
    5. look at Summary Decree role
    6. show error overall

    He then

    described the Pursuer as being an expert in 'corporate restructuring' NOT an accountant as the SIO believed. There was failure on the part of the SIO to understand various roles : he was away out of his depths and misrepresented :not accidentally, his representations are inexplicable as 'accidents'- he was not some junior constable but a senior, experienced officer.


    Mr Smith then ran through :

    the SDM desire to sell,

    CW's interest, the considerable debt,

    the looming tax liability on the EBT payments, and the Supreme Court's eventual decision that these were liable for tax,

    the discussions between Whyte and various members of the 'inner circle'-Whyte, Bett, Withey..

    the failure by DCI Robertson to make it clear that a particular document seized was subject to the claim of Privilege. ( he quoted from the judge's comments in e Withey case “ ..as to how this happened. The Police did not highlight to the Crown')

    (This was clear evidence ( said Mr Smith] of the non-passing of evidence, hard evidence that not all the material needed was passed to the Crown.)

    the Whyte negotiations with Ticketus and their willingness to fund future tickets

    Whyte's pitch that his money was fresh money

    and the bringing of charges against the Pursuer as being party to fraud.


    It was here that Lord Bannatyne spoke about the charge having been an extremely long charge, with repeated iterations, and that his understanding had been that the individuals should be looked at separately. [ I did not look at eJ at this point, for fear that I might I have laughed as I remembered Lord Bannatyne's questions to the Advocate-Depute in Glasgow about which version of the indictment was the current one at a time when there were at least two, maybe three,each superseding the other]

    And Mr Smith said 'You're right, m'Lord”

    Mr Smith continued , saying that in order to bring someone into a charge of conspiracy you need to note that Ticketus were [?], that Whyte was [?] and that the Pursuer knew this, had 'actus reus' in advancing a fraud.

    What, he continued, is Grier supposed to have done to advance the 'fraud?'

    The SIO said he did two things.

    He wrote a letter about the funds availabe

    and he wrote 'comfort' letter.

    BUT, the funds were released BEFORE the letters were written.

    Did David Grier have both versions of the letter?

    If not, said Mr Smith, there is 'malice'

    On the 'law', continued Mr Smith, the question is 'who is the Prosecutor?'

    The Defender says it is the Crown.

    Mr Smith then quoted from source that I didn't catch “… when the wheels of justice are set in motion, if the police lie….'

    and referred to the case of 'Rees' [ which might be https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2000/55.html%5D

    and a case in Australia and a case in New Zealand

    The basic point, said Mr Smith, is that [if] the official Prosecutor has not been provided with all the true facts then the individual police officers can be held guilty of 'malice'

    We accept, continued Mr Smith, that the Crown is the prosecutor. But for that to be so, it has to be that the Crown is apprised of all the relevant material.

    He then referred to Section 117(4) of [ ?] which speaks of the information that is to be provided on first time appearance on Petition: '…must provide all information for or against the accused'

    and section 118 ' .. and if information later comes to hand it must be provided'

    There is a duty in law.

    The SIO must have read it as not being important.


    He then cited a judgment by Lord Hope relating to 'improper motive' and 'malice' in the absence of reasonable probable cause.

    And observed that this is easily demonstrated in this case.”I can identify”, said Mr Smith,” a number of [examples?]

    [Here Lord Bannatyne made some remarks that began with the words 'as soon as proceedings were instituted' but I lost the drift]

    Mr Smith continued, saying that the Defender knows what was delivered to the Crown. But we know that a vital piece of information was withheld.

    And DCI Robertson and DI O'Neill ( McNeill?] have failed to give a statement.


    My client has 2000 items on a schedule [SDF? SDS? ] ( a wee dinosaur moment with computer speak about how this schedule is recorded) dated 17.11 14

    Lord Bannatyne: are all the dates post-dated?

    Mr Smith: all I need to show is that one has not been given.


    Mr Smith then referred to the Scott schedule. On the first page, he said, on 08/08/14 Robertson said [?] …. presented a version of this document.


    Continuing, Mr Smith said that Mr Grier was not charged with 'knowing more than he let on' That's not a crime in Scotland!

    During the search at Shard a black file was seized. As soon as it was it was said that that was privileged. There was an initial sift of the ring binder.

    The file was sent to them by D&P.

    Two English judges described the raid as 'heavy-handed and an abuse of State power'.

    What else is that but 'malice'?

    An injunction was served on Robertson personally [ ed: by Lord Bannatyne, I think]

    Robertson, said Mr Smith,sought to circumvent if not break the terms of the injunction….”


     by this time it was time for me to leave the Court-room.

    I'm glad that the business has been carried forward into tomorrow, when I hope to be there.

    And I echo eJ's injunction to remember that all we have heard is what Grier's Counsel has submitted.

    Counsel for the Defender will have strong arguments to rebut the Pursuer's claim.

    And , we have to remember, the law has only in the remotest sense got anything to do with 'Truth' or 'morality'.

    A cynic might think that that observation reminds them of the tenuous connection with truth and morality that the SFA exhibits!




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  9. My thanks to JC and EJ for again providing us with a much more trustworthy court report than we could ever get from the SMSM.

    I do wonder if any of Scotland's media reporters would ever think to caution their readers to defer from making judgements before the defenders case has been put, in the way JC did in his report! I could well imagine a mainstream report as detailed as the combined efforts of our guys leading to a flood of online comments condemning the police officers involved as though the evidence provided to date was conclusive.

    I have to admit that until reaching John's well made caution I was about to post something that could have been made to look rather stupid (not unusual in itself) by today's proceedings. So thanks for that, John.

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  10. The ET reporting of yesterday's proceedings fails to even mention DCI Robertson's singing of 'The Billy Boys'…

    • at a Catholic witness
    • during an interview
    • and presumably on Scottish Police premises.


    The ET apparently decided there was no public interest in this part of the Court deliberations – and decided to simply omit it from its article?


    [The Scottish Sun actually focused on this bizarre, singing side story in its own coverage.]

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  11. I was only able to attend this morning's proceedings at the CoS, so JC will have to fill you in with what happens this afternoon.

    As JC and I suggested, it is always good practice to exercise some caution until you hear both sides of the argument.

    Alastair Duncan QC for PS started his submissions this morning.  He struggled initially to explain away the "errors" admitted by Robertson, claiming that they were "errors of expression", that he wasn't very good at drafting documents, but that he was always working in good faith.  Those claims were made amid much shaking of heads and questioning by Lord Bannatyne.

     However, when he moved on whether or not Robertson was justified in pursuing DG he had a bit more success. Robertson claimed that he believed that DG had lied to him in his statement, most likely based on the account of Phil Betts who claimed that DG knew much more about the funding arrangements than he let on, so investigated him initially on the basis of a possible future charge of "perverting the course of justice".

    As the investigation progressed a number of documents, dated before and after the takeover, offered at least the suggestion that DG did know more about the funding of the takeover. On  that basis Duncan claimed that you could not say that Robertson had shown malice.

    On the COPFS involvement, Duncan highlighted a number of instances from 2012 onwards where Robertson had been in contact with the COPFS office either advising then of what progress was being made or seeking advice. Robertson also claimed to have had two meetings with the Lord Advocate himself.

    Duncan also highlighted statements and documents that suggested that the COPFS was in possession of much of the evidence before the accused appeared in court on petition.

    Duncan sought to explain his non acceptance of the former Lord Advocate's precognition statement, and him having some reservations about some things rather than rejecting it. He said that his team would consider precognising the LA themselves.  

    There were a couple of comments that may make the MSM later.

    One was the mention of Dave King in relation to the publication of the "Don't tell David" email as a possible source rather than those emails published directly by "Charlotte Fakes".

    The second was an internal email written by Mike Bills, a managing director at Duff & Phelps, and circulated to the partners involved in the Rangers takeover. The email was written in June 2011, a few weeks after the takeover and reflected what had been established by that point. The email was intended to make everyone aware of their belief that Whyte was just a front, he didn't have any money himself, he hadn't done much in the way of due diligence and that the club was still in the same amount of debt as it was previously (shock horror gasp!).

    It appeared to me that Duncan was looking to have the summary decree motion rejected on the basis of there being a defendable position for each of the arguments put forward by the pursuer (DG), and that they should proceed to a Proof (trial) hearing.

    The hearing was due to continue after the lunch break with Duncan still to complete his submission and Smith to respond.


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  12.  For the court guys 




    Further procedure is required in the undernoted cases.   Accordingly the cases will be put out By Order in the near future.




    A413/16 David Whitehouse &c v The Lord Advocate


    Is this the equivalent of the ref looking at |VAR ?


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  13. paddy malarkey 22nd August 2019 at 18:00

    A413/16 David Whitehouse &c v The Lord Advocate


    I'm sure that the next hearing in that case was due next month.

    I meant to ask him when he was in court listening in on the David Grier action this week.


    There is another Memorial Walls hearing next week.

    LORD BANNATYNE – J Hannah, Clerk

     Wednesday 28th August

    Procedural Hearing between 9.30am and 10.00am

    CA132/18 Memorial Walls Ltd v The Rangers Football Club Ltd – MBM Commercial LLP  –  Anderson Strathern LLP

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  14. This afternoon in Court 6:


    After lunch Mr Duncan explained that he would begin with his 'chapter 6; the Law involved.


    I rely heavily, he said, on the case of Henderson. [I think this may be this one that I've just looked up on BAILLII ]



    There are 3 points, he continued:

    a) the Courts have to be satisfied that there is nothing to go to proof

    b) on the issue of law, whether there is an issue at all [reference to First Fidelity Bank case?]

    and (c) in 'malicious prosecution' allegations was there 'probable cause' for investigation


    My learned friend relies on the 'Rees' case.

    There are 4 tests:

    that the prosecutor alone knows the fact

    that the police deliberately misstate the facts [and that would have to be proved]

    that the Police intend the prosecution

    that the Crown is unable to ( ?ascertain the true facts?) [ and that would need proof]


    Passage 85 of Rees , the essence is about misuse of legal process. The Pursuer is nowhere near that stage.

    It remains my position that we are not aware of any case where the Police have been sued for investigating

    The delineation of responsibility between Crown and Police is , to me, contrary to all normal understanding of the legal process


    As regards the questins of 'malice' and 'probable cause', there is a presumption in law that the Police go about their business properly. I refer to the [?Woodward?] case…..

    (and here Mr Duncan read out quite a long passage while the Judge also read it. I couldn't really hear it well enough to record it in a meaningful way so I didn't even attempt to do so)

    Having read that passage Mr Duncan then referred to the Judgment of Lord Clyde in another case which I don't think he mentioned by name but obviously the details are already in the bundle of 'Authorities' submitted.'

    He then said “ because of these I say that mistakes do not mean 'unlawful',

    And for completeness on case law, I refer to the First Division , and Lord President Hope in relation to the disturbance outside Celtic Park, after which the Police were sued, on the grounds that there was no basis at all for police advancing horses into the crowd. The Sheriff in the original trial did not take a legitimate approach to the question of 'probable cause'.

    This is an interesting example of 'all or nothing'.


    And in the Whitehouse case, if a policeman thought at the time that he 'probable cause' (ed. to investigate) hindsight cannot be used .”


    At this point, Lord Bannatyne asked : 'attempt to pervert the course of justice' charge [ed.that was dropped from the indictment] ..do you say that's enough for the Prosecutor … what happened to the charge of perverting the course of justice?

    Mr Smith did not know , nor did Mr Duncan: it just disappeared from the indictment!

    I think that Lord Bannatyne was thnking of 'unum quid' ( I heard him utter those words!) I've looked the phrase up, and it means a set of circumstances, or different matters, taken together as 'one', and I think it was mentioned yesterday in the context of the question whether a part of proceedings could be delt with by Summary decree while the rest of the whole proceedings could go on to 'proof'. But I'm no lawyer)

    Mr Duncan carried on with a reference to Section 8 [ ed. No idea of what]

    He said that the first issue is to do with the search warrant for the search of HSW, we setthis out, he said, in our note of argument.

    Lord Bannatyne asked: Was the warrant applied for by DCI Robertson or by some fiscal?

    Mr Duncan replied that it had been applied for personally by Robertson. He referred to Pras 88 and 89 and the date 21st September and schedule 9, and said 'this issue cannot possibly bear on the two errors—-it is the Pursuer's misunderstanding.

    He then referred to the subject sheet and something thereon, and said '..another pointer to lack of concealment,

    said something like 'infringement of privilege? No'

    and then referred to the report about the IPA [ ed. Not sure , but this might be the 'Insolvency Practitioners Association] and Lord Hodge.

    The next little note I have is of Mr Duncan saying “ ..and overbearing overzealousness does not get you over the line” [ ed. I understood this as referring to the fact that an officer may be overbearingly overzealous without compromising the integrity of his investigation]


    That was the end of Mr Duncan's submission, at about 1.50 or so.

    Then, surprisingly, Mr Smith asked the judge whether he could make his responses in writing.Lord Bannatyne asked Mr Duncan whether he would be happy with that. He said he would be, of course, provided he was given the opportunity to reply. This was agreed, and Mr Smith is to get his submission in before 4.00 pm tomorrow.

    Mr Smith was then anxious to say in open Court “ There is one other matter, m'Lord. There was NO secret about Ticketus. The suggestion that my client knew more than he let on is not justified.

    And it was Robertson who dropped the 'perverting' charge.

    I promised, m'Lord, to get a copy of the Black File, I have got one here, and I can show you the schedule with the cash flow forecast.


    Lord Bannatyne: I would just like to see it in absolute confidence, of course. Mr Duncan would you have any objection [ed. at my seeing something that you don't]

    Mr Duncan assured his Lordship that he had no objection., as long as it was not introduced as a production.


    Mr Duncan then asked if the name of the prosecutor could be agreed upon. It was agreed tot ake out the name of the particular person and substitute ' Chief Constable'


    The judge thanked both Counsel profusely.

    Court rose at about 2.10.


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  15. John Clark 22nd August 2019 at 18:55


    Interesting reading about the court case. Thanks John.

    On a completely unrelated note it was incredible at the time of Rangers Administration followed by liquidation in 2012 how many people looked only for others to blame, rather than David Murray, who was surely the only one to blame. Even after the Craig Whyte court case and being found not guilty on two counts, the evening news (STV?) handed a prime slot to Alistair Johnston to say Whyte was guilty of 'murdering' Rangers. We live in a very, very biased country it would seem. 

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  16. John Clark 22nd August 2019 at 18:55

    Court rose at about 2.10.


    You got through all that in 10 minutes?


    Section 8 refers to the Human Rights Act (the right of someone to a "private and family life, his home and his correspondence")  That's the law whereby the claim for wrongful arrest and detention has been allowed to progress

    The IPA is the Insolvency Practitioners Association. There was reference to it yesterday, as Robertson apparently reported Grier to the IPA.  The problem with that was that Grier wasn't an Insolvency Practitioner, so didn't fall under their jurisdiction. Smith sought to use that as an example of Robertson's malice and a lack of understanding about DG's role, whereas Duncan, today, may have viewed that action simply as over zealous

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  17. easyJambo 22nd August 2019 at 19:22

    '..You got through all that in 10 minutes?'


    Ha ha! Numbers were never my forte!  

    For the sake of further readers the Court rose not at 2.10 but at ten minutes to three!

    Actually, so conscious was Mr Duncan of how long he had been speaking since the morning  that his eye never left the clock as  he fairly galloped through his brief to try to leave some time for Smith! 




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  18. JC / eJ,

    we have seen the rather different coverage as reported in The ET and The Scottish Sun.


    Just curious: would you know if either paper had their own person in Court – or was there just a single, news agency representative – like AP?

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  19. StevieBC 22nd August 2019 at 21:54

    JC / eJ,

    we have seen the rather different coverage as reported in The ET and The Scottish Sun.

    Just curious: would you know if either paper had their own person in Court – or was there just a single, news agency representative – like AP?


    I think there were three in court yesterday and two today. One of the guys who was in both days certainly works for an agency. We speak to him fairly regularly, like today when he wanted to confirm the name of someone who sent an email. Sometimes we get updates from him if he has been at the keeper of the rolls office and gets information on what is happening in a case, which is particularly useful if motions have been dropped or rescheduled. 

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  20. StevieBC 22nd August 2019 at 21:54

    '..would you know if either paper had their own person in Court – or was there just a single, news agency representative – like AP?'


    I've just read what Stuart Standler wrote, StevieBC. I have to say that I saw nobody who likes like his picture in Court today.

    But I note that he is the guy who edits the 'Wee Red Book'.

    And if (and I haven't bought a copy for about six years or so) the 'Wee Red Book' does not mention the death of Rangers 1872 and prates on about world record sporting achievements,we must assume that he is part of the 'Big Lie'  propagandist , deceitful press. 

    And may he on that account never be paid for another column inch in any newspaper as any kind of 'journalist. '

    And realise how far he has fallen from the high standards of those journalists who are actually prepared to die in the cause of Truth!

    Honest to God! to sell one's soul for a failed football club!

    Could there be anything worse , Richard?



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  21. StevieBC 22nd August 2019 at 21:54


    The reports in the Record and the Sun were both under the byline of James Mulholland, and were virtually identical.

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  22. macfurgly 22nd August 2019 at 23:37

    '..The reports in the Record and the Sun were both under the byline of James Mulholland, and were virtually identical.'


    Were they in any substantial way contradictory of anything eJ and I reported ?



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  23. John Clark 22nd August 2019 at 23:51

    macfurgly 22nd August 2019 at 23:37

    '..The reports in the Record and the Sun were both under the byline of James Mulholland, and were virtually identical.'


    Were they in any substantial way contradictory of anything eJ and I reported ?


    There is nothing contradictory in James Mulholland's  MSM reports. Indeed, as I suggested in my initial post about Thursday’s proceedings, there was a reference to the Duff & Phelps internal email about Whyte's takeover.

    JC and I had spoken to James during a break, so I knew that he was looking to report something along those lines. 

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  24. John Clark 22nd August 2019 at 23:32
    But I note that he is the guy who edits the ‘Wee Red Book’.

    And if (and I haven’t bought a copy for about six years or so) the ‘Wee Red Book’ does not mention the death of Rangers 1872 and prates on about world record sporting achievements,we must assume that he is part of the ‘Big Lie’ propagandist , deceitful press.
    The wee red book 2012-2013.When they had to print the truth.

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  25. Cluster One 23rd August 2019 at 07:09

    '..The wee red book 2012-2013.When they had to print the truth.'


    Ah, dear old Club 12! 

    What a panic there was at that time, that induced a bunch of small-minded 'small-to-medium business' owners to stain their consciences with a sordid lie  that makes a mockery of Sport and the concept of Sports 'governance'.

    I note today, incidentally, that the SPFL has appointed a law firm to its panel of legal advisers. It would be nice to think that Doncaster was looking for advice on how to untangle the wretched 5-Way Agreement and restore sporting honesty to Scottish Football.


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  26. I have wondered for a while now why nobody has published a Wee Black Book with factually accurate club histories and asterisks to denote stripped titles etc.

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  27. paddy @ 13.25 23 Aug

    Re:UEFA potential action vs The Rangers

    An interesting development if it comes to pass – I'm not the biggest fan of UEFA but if action is taken then it shows the SFA the way to go in addressing (long overdue) this problem .

    Interesting if Mr Maxwell has any comment on this – don't hold your breath – does he have an opinion on anything ?

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  28. "Rangers: Uefa orders Ibrox section to close after 'sectarian singing'

    Rangers have been ordered to close part of Ibrox for Thursday's meeting with Legia Warsaw following "racist behaviour – which includes sectarian singing" from fans.

    The punishment from Uefa relates to the Europa League first round, second leg against St Joseph's on 18 July.

    Rangers must close at least 3,000 seats and display a banner with "#EqualGame" on it in the empty section.

    They are yet to announce the area to be shut for the sold-out game.

    The tie is in the balance after Thursday's first leg in Warsaw finished goalless.

    "Our supporters have been asked repeatedly by the club to refrain from indulging in this, and other forms of unacceptable behaviour," said a statement from the Scottish club.

    "Sadly, the warnings have fallen on deaf ears and the actions of this minority will cause the club and the majority of good and decent Rangers supporters to pay a heavy penalty.

    "Unfortunately, a significant number of supporters, innocent of any wrongdoing, will be unable to attend next week's match. This is deeply regrettable to all at the club and we hope that the guilty parties who attracted the attention of Uefa might reflect on the damage their unacceptable behaviour is causing Rangers and their fellow supporters.

    "If any individual supporter is unable to behave in a civilised manner then please stay away from Ibrox and our club.

    "You are harming Rangers and that is something a genuine supporter would never wish to do."Rangers chairman Dave King added: "Rangers is a club open to all and we will continue to convey this message at every opportunity through our Everyone Anyone initiative.

    "Rangers has players and supporters from many religions, cultures and backgrounds but we are one and the same when we gather to support our club. If any supporter cannot accept that then Rangers is not the club for them."

    The Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League have declined to comment."


    Scottish Football needs the Scottish Football authorities to speak up. Thank goodness this problem is restricted to European matches.

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  29. The most damning comment in the BBC article is the last sentence.

    The Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League have declined to comment.

    Shame on you. 

    The UEFA disciplinary decision
    Friday 23 August 2019 14.45CETUEFA
    The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) has announced the following decisions:

    Match: UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second-leg match between Rangers FC and St Joseph’s FC (6:0), 18 July in Scotland

    Charges against Rangers FC:
    – Racist behaviour (sectarian chants) – Art. 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR)

    The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has decided to order a partial closure of the stadium during the next one (1) UEFA competition match in which Rangers FC play as the host club, for the racist behaviour of its supporters. Rangers FC shall, as a matter of urgency, inform UEFA of the sector(s) to be closed, which shall at least comprehend 3,000 seats. The Scottish club is ordered to display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame”, with the UEFA logo on it. The banner shall be displayed in the sector(s) to be closed.

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  30. EJ @ 14.45 23 Aug

    UEFA charge is racist behaviour – if the SFA refuse to address this development I can see politicians getting involved as we are talking racism here – I would submit that the SFA saying nothing is not an option for an organisation part funded by the UK taxpayer & shows how out of touch they are .

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  31. naegreetin 23rd August 2019 at 16:08

    I agree, but remember that both the SFA and the SPFL are member organisations. It's up to the majority of those members to demand that the respective boards take some meaningful action.

    There appears to be an overwhelming view that TRFC's statement is a strong one (with which I concur). 

    However, why has it taken so long for them to put the message out to their fans in such unequivocal terms. I'm sure that they will be able to point to earlier odd little snippets of "gonnie no dae that", but I can't recall anything offering such a clear message.

    If they believe so strongly in their statement, then you have to ask why they haven't done anything before now to root out the miscreants. I'm sure that they have the technical capability to identify those who lead the chants.

    They now have both an opportunity and a challenge to make a significant impact on the problem once and for all. But will they?  


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  32. John Clark 22nd August 2019 at 23:51


    Sorry about the delay in getting back.

    No, there were no significant differences. Less detail, and no mention of the rendition of the Billy Boys, which is what I went looking for really, and in my view a softer tone than perhaps the seriousness of the case merited, but I suppose he is limited by space and possibly a desire to be even handed in his reporting, which would be novel for the smsm I admit.

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  33. macfurgly 23rd August 2019 at 16:45

    No, there were no significant differences. Less detail, and no mention of the rendition of the Billy Boys, which is what I went looking for really, and in my view a softer tone than perhaps the seriousness of the case merited, but I suppose he is limited by space and possibly a desire to be even handed in his reporting, which would be novel for the smsm I admit.


    James Mulholland did mention the "Billy Boys" in one of his articles published by the Sun.


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  34. It would appear that the Union Bears are being blamed for leading a full rendition of the BBs before the match in question , so you would imagine that would be the section to be closed .

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  35. The text of article 14 of the UEFA Discipinary Regulations which have been used against TRFC

    Article 14 Racism, other discriminatory conduct and propaganda

    1 Any person under the scope of Article 3 who insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion or ethnic origin, incurs a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction.

    2 If one or more of a member association or club’s supporters engage in the behaviour described in paragraph 1, the member association or club responsible is punished with a minimum of a partial stadium closure.

    3 The following disciplinary measures apply in the event of recidivism:

    a. a second offence is punished with one match played behind closed doors and a fine of € 50,000;

    b. any subsequent offence is punished with more than one match behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points and/or disqualification from the competition.

    4 If the circumstances of the case require it, the competent disciplinary body may impose additional disciplinary measures on the member association or club responsible, such as the playing of one or more matches behind closed doors, a stadium closure, the forfeiting of a match, the deduction of points and/or disqualification from the competition. 

    5 If the match is suspended by the referee because of racist and/or discriminatory conduct, the match may be declared forfeit.

    6 The above disciplinary measures may be combined with specific directives aimed at tackling such conduct.

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  36. easyJambo 23rd August 2019 at 16:22
    However, why has it taken so long for them to put the message out to their fans in such unequivocal terms. I’m sure that they will be able to point to earlier odd little snippets of “gonnie no dae that”, but I can’t recall anything offering such a clear message.
    When the new club was born in 2012 the fans of the old club were told it was the same club. The fans of the old club just continued where they left off. the stance by the ibrox club then was to blast the SPL decision to probe alleged sectarian singing just days after the club had gone into administration.The club was disappointed at the investigation.
    Back then it was put down to a difficult week for the fans.(Jesus every week since must have been a difficult week for the ibrox fans)

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  37. EJ at 17.54

    …and, of course, the SMSM will be all over this at the Sevco v Celtic match next weekend!

    Another interesting snippet regarding the offence was that "Police Scotland have confirmed 3 arrests were made on the night of the St Joseph's game – but none for sectarian singing" Quelle surpris!

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  38. ‘We all have a responsibility to advance the process…..’ 

    I’m sure we all recognise these words.

    In light of UEFA’s proclamation with respect to the revised seating arrangements at the next fixture are a cause célèbre’. In other words I’m searching for ‘good’.

    In many ways, the condemnation has been somewhat diluted; however it has to be recognised that the recent events have prompted an unprecedented response from the club that is widely recognised as a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. 

    It’s a start. Let’s all hope they get it over the line and Scottish football can flourish both home and away. 




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  39. To state the bleedin' obvious…

    The punishment meted out by a third party, ( UEFA ), confirms 2 points, IMO;

    1) The SFA has been negligent when dealing with sectarian singing – and more pertinently – is incapable of self-regulation.


    2) The buck now passes to government.

    Where ANY industry is unable – or unwilling – to competently self-regulate, then government intervention is inevitable.

    Some may say that a government intervention in the Scottish football industry is long, long overdue.


    This is only football we are talking about.

    Both TRFC and the SFA have been over indulged: it's time now for corrective action.

    A good starting point is to FREEZE all public monies for Hampden NOW.

    That will elicit a more appropriate response from the blazered buffoons…and will effectively stop them from looking the other way, as per.


    Maxwell's reluctance to even comment speaks volumes.

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  40. Is it worth getting Tangled Up In Blue?  Is it just a restating of what happened or does it add to what we already know? 

    Reading the same old would only multiply my frustration at the lack of any real action to address this travesty of justice.

    Scottish Football needs a strong Arbroath.

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  41. By trying to do Rangers favours the Scottish football authorities have not done Rangers any favours.

    The previous club had all sorts of financial issues, and were not paying the correct tax at the correct time. The football authorities did nothing about it and the club died. Due to it's financial difficulties and not paying the correct amount of tax at the correct time.

    The new club's supporters have consistently indulged in sectarian and racist dirges, not occasionally, regularly and frequently. The Scottish football authorities have done nothing about it, no matter how bad it got.

    They carried that into Europe and have been sanctioned for it. If they do it again (and they did in the very next game) the sanctions will just get harsher, ultimately they could be banned from European competition. Their finances and reputation are already suffering because of this.

    The board, the supporters, the football authorities and the media are all playing their part in destroying this club the way they did the last one. 

    Some people simply refuse to learn, it must go with a supremacist mindset. 

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  42. Homunculus 24th August 2019 at 15:42

    By trying to do Rangers favours the Scottish football authorities have not done Rangers any favours.

    The previous club had all sorts of financial issues, and were not paying the correct tax at the correct time. The football authorities did nothing about it and the club died. Due to it’s financial difficulties and not paying the correct amount of tax at the correct time.
    And granted them a licence to play in europe. And tried to say that clowns were fit and proper to take control of a scottish football club. Also hid behind the sectarian issue at ibrox as it made the SFA money.
    How any member of the SFA, SPFL can say they have done a great job for scottish football these last few seasons is beyond me

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  43. The Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League have declined to comment.
    Jesus any real journalist would be all over that comment.
    Any up and coming young journalist must wonder how inept the so called journalist in front of them are and how these journalists keep their jobs that they don’t do so well.
    I hope for the day that whoever employs these clowns see the damage they have done to their industry and sack the lot of them.
    If not, all they are doing is giving a clown who can’t do his job, a pension to look forward to that they do not deserve

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  44. I was looking at the fine that Ajax received for the banner their fans displayed using the "F" word when playing CFC . No mention of a fine for TRFC ?

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  45. Actually, maybe we shouldn't complain about TRFC's racist / sectarian singing.

    Maybe we should even encourage them to continue singing their dodgy songs.

    And just wait…


    It would be sweet Karma indeed if UEFA imposed escalating punishments which ultimately strangled the RIFC/TRFC cash flow.

    The continuing inaction of both the SFA and TRFC resulting in 'Rangers' fans killing 'Rangers' just wouldn't be funny.

    It would be bloody hilarious!



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  46. I was astounded this afternoon when in Radio Scotland Derek Ferguson said he thought that the orange kit was in aid of the Dutch players and ‘didn’t appreciate’ there could be a sectarian connection !!! Aye right.  Also Billy Dodds starting it was a small issue – that’s the problem – they can’t or won’t face the obvious sectarianism staring them in the face

    Anyway if that’s the case then they should then ditch the orange kit and wear clogs instead !!

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  47. PS good on Michael Stewart as the only one strong enough to ask the obvious questions eg why was nothing done or said after the Killie match, what are the SFA and SPFL doing, etc.

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  48. StevieBC 24th August 2019 at 20:26
    Dave king caved into club 72 and the ibrox fans who wanted celtic fans allocation of tickets to be halved in a section of their stand. Now said fans have had their allocation cut for singing about the celtic fans they wanted rid off.
    Dave king thought that pandering to this group would make him money. In the short term, maybe yes but in the long term it will come back to bite him and by then it’s too late.

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  49. Menace 24th August 1019 @ 21:14

    The football authorities will do or say nothing. It is a simple decision for them given the blessing anti Irish and anti Catholic attitudes still have in Scotland. Every year people march the streets, watched and cheered by thousands on the pavement, and it is all with the full blessing of the Scottish Government, local councils, and the police, who taxpayers have to pick up the bill for. No other group of people would ever be subjected to this level of hatred and neither should they be. 

    If you want to hear the SFA, the SPFL or the politicians say anything then it will only be if Celtic can be condemned in equal measure. I would not be at all surprised if influential figures have contacted UEFA in an attempt to have Celtic face the same punishment. After all, an organisation the size of the Green Brigade is as big a problem as 20,000 at Ibrox singing the Billy Boys. Anyone can see that 🙄

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  50. finnmccool 25th August 2019 at 00:08

    Who is this guy, Maxwell that everyone keeps mentioning?



    The only Maxwell I have heard about recently is the – alleged – madam for the late Epstein.


    As for the SFA CEO…

    as many suspected, his Lord Lucan impersonation simply confirms that he is an overpaid puppet: unsuitable and unqualified for the CEO role of a major national, governing body.

    In times of crisis the CEO earns their crust through their leadership from the front…

    whereas the SFA CEO is being hidden away in the Hampden bunker, probably playing dominoes!



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  51. I think the Rangers support will be able to contain themselves and avoid the overt bigotry, for at least two game. The one in Paisley today, and the return leg of the European tie at Ibrox on Thursday. 

    I would be surprised if they could do the same next week when they play Celtic at Ibrox. If they score it will be difficult to avoid celebrating with their "anthem". If they lose a goal it will be difficult to avoid a show of defiance with their "anthem".

    Next week could be a huge test for the football authorities in Scotland, just after the UEFA punishment, in a game shown on live TV throughout the UK.

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  52. In the less than two days since the UEFA "bombshell" disciplinary decision (which would have been no "bombshell" at all to the The Rangers officials who would have been informed of the citing within days of the match in July) I've read and heard some of the most dishonest, disingenuous, misguided and delusional tosh the quality and integrity of which is rapidly approaching "Club dies/Haud oan, naw it disnae" proportions.

    If one were to believe press, radio, online fora and the The Rangers support utterances you would be left with the impression that there was an open question as to what singing was and was not acceptable.

    You can have your own opinion on the Walls of Derry and whether or not such a song has anything to do with football. Such is not the case with the Walls of William.

    It is over ten years since William Walls v The Procurator Fiscal, Kilmarnock [2009] HCJAC 59 in which the Appeal Court of the High Court of Justiciary exocetted the suggestions that singing about Fenian bastards and FTP was not sectarian and that the Famine Song was not racist. I paraphrase but the Opinion of the Court was: Aye they 'ucking are."

    It is noteworthy that in the Walls v PF Kilmarnock case a notable absence in the repertoire was the always popular The Billy Boys; a charming ditty about murdering Roman Catholics. Had it been included presumably the conviction at Sheriff Court level would have been appealed on the ground that singing about being up to your knees in Fenian blood is merely a reference to bloodletting, an accepted medical procedure in the Seventeenth Century.

    Fanciful? Perhaps, but not any more fanciful than the actual proposition advanced in the Appeal Court (Findlay QC) that the Famine Song should be equated with God Save The Queen and Flower of Scotland. Unsurprisingly GSTQ and FOS was met with GTF.

    It's doubly fortunate that TBB didn't feature as in addition to the intrinsic problem of defending its content a couple of years earlier (2006?) UEFA had expressly banned it.

    We are where we are but nobody can say it is a surprise. For years if not decades this day was coming. Now those in positions where they could have done something, or anything, about it have to have their feet held to the fire (unless this would be contrary to a tradition which has to be staunchly defended).

    In no particular order the SFA, the SPFL, Police Scotland, clubs' inhouse stewarding, clubs' supporters associations and the goverment, both at national and local level, require to have a stated position on this question and further require a stated policy of what action will be taken.

    All reasonably minded people, whether they follow football or not, are entitled to know what kind of society they live in. If it's a society that is going to allow this type of behaviour, with the occasional interference from pesky outsiders, to continue those reasonably minded people would be forgiven if they took the view:

    Racism? Sectarianism? Offensive Behaviour?-

    Surrender? No.

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  53. I recently heard from a friend who should know, [i.e. it wasn't from a taxi driver], that it is virtually an open secret that CFC is – currently – actively looking to replace Lawwell.


    It doesn't seem to be related to the Cluj defeat either, but perhaps after 16 years he needs to retire, or it's simply time for fresh blood.


    Mibbees others who know better can add to this, or to the contrary?


    But IF this is true…

    would a new CEO be expected to immediately place Res.12 'on the backburner' – until they are settled into the role:

    i.e. the can is kicked further down the road yet again? 

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  54. StevieBC 25th August 2019 at 19:36


    Why would Celtic be " … actively looking to replace Lawwell".

    He has just turned 60 and is very good at his job, which is running a PLC which has never been better off financially.

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