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

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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 
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tangled-Up-Blue-Rise-Rangers/dp/1785315099 
from 19th August 2019.

387 COMMENTS


  1. I know this site always goes on about the 'Big Lie' as we have tried to uphold qualities such as honesty, integrity and the truth.

    Can we therefore all agree that 'little lies' like claiming goals when TV evidence shows you never touched the ball have no part in the game. (If he did touch the first one then it could only have been hand ball!!)

    Celtic deserved their win, no question, but why Levein is being made out to be the baddie and Bayo being talked up as a near hat-trick hero is beyond me.

    Jeez even Michael Stewart is agreeing with Levein on this one!!

    Bayo looks a prospect and in both goals was in a great position and pressuring the defenders into errors.

    I think plenty of real goals will come for him but does anyone else think this 'allocating' of OG's and associated PR all looks a bit desperate  and if some folks are having a need to talk up a player.

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  2. In a 'normal' society – where a major sporting club has been very publicly rebuked and punished – you would have all the news outlets camped at the foot of the steps at Hampden to get a comment from either Maxwell or Petrie.

     

    Proper journalists would be hounding them to and from their cars at Hampden and at their homes.

     

    Their organisation receives public monies – i.e. our taxpayers' money – so the very least they can do is make a comment to the taxpayers.

     

    This UEFA  action represents a significant public interest, and serious news story: it's not simply a 'sports related' story.

     

    To state the bleedin' obvious.

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  3. Stevie @ 17.03 26 Aug

    Agree 100% with you Stevie but as EJ has pointed out previously to get anywhere for change re the SFA/SPFL it has to come from the members of the associations who elected the office bearers & I dont see any members looking to rock the boat – I think our best hope for change may come from UEFA – I find it extraordinary that no comment on the UEFA action re The Rangers has come from the SFA – strangely the best hope of change may come from The Rangers' support – if they misbehave on Thursday a ground closure penalty looms & then the SFA could not ignore that situation .

    Our game is being run by self perpetuating dinosaurs & we desperately need a disruptor to drag the administration of our game into the 21st century . The depressing thing is I dont see where one could come from at present unless , strangely from UEFA itself .

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  4. Does anybody know if there is to be a sanction for the TRFC fans' songsheet from the match in Warsaw last week ? It was perfectly audible during the broadcast .

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  5. It is utterly embarrassing but expected that our SFA has to date not condemned or punished the Ibrox club for this racist action. Not a word from them. They are not fit for purpose. The fans of this club will continue to sing these songs in Scotland as they know the SFA will do nothing. The Ibrox club are not doing enough to stop this IMO . The idea that it is a minority is a lie, if it was then the majority could easily boo them down . The fact is that it is a minority that do not sing these racist songs. The smsm will do nothing and eventually they will drag Celtic into this issue.  Celtic have been fined by UEFA more than once for issues like flares and an offensive banners  against EUFA but never for racist songs. Our country lets this issue of ant catholic racism go unpunished and mainly displayed by this one club. Fact. Absolutely ashamed of my country and its lack of action in this matter. 

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  6. StevieBCStevieBC 26th August 2019 at 17:03

    naegreetin 26th August 2019 at 19:40

     

    A very good point there from Stevie about the media coverage of a major event and a huge disgrace to our game. But it comes as no surprise, and while it may be that the boardrooms of all clubs are somewhat complicit by not instructing the SFA and SPFL to take action (though we don't know that no efforts have been made by any or a number of clubs and slapped down), nothing, absolutely nothing, excuses the media for their failure to demand a statement and action from the governing bodies.

    As to them not doorstepping those silent governors, or seeking to get an inside story on this hugely significant event, remember how when Hearts were struggling to meet players' wages they didn't shy away from asking the awkward questions and finding a mole.

    Hearts were not the first football club to fall into financial distress, and won't be the last, but their story falls into insignificance against this first ever meaningful punishment meted out to a club that's been guilty of such a heinous offence for over 100 years.

    Such a story should have the media salivating and camped outside both Ibrox and Hampden while in the meantime getting quotes from all and sundry connected past and present with both Ibrox clubs. 

    It is their job (the media) after all.

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  7. wottpi 26th August 2019 at 13:45

    —————————————–

     

    It's interesting that the discussion point of the match seems focussed on a Celtic player claiming to score. See Craigey…whats he like. The Celtic player may well be on a goal bonus so I can see why he might want to claim he scored.Hearts have their own issues currently and it looks like a handy deflection from a seasoned SPFL manager.

    Oh and I don't think Bayo scored BTW.

     

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  8. naegreetin 26th August 2019 at 19:40
    if they misbehave on Thursday a ground closure penalty looms & then the SFA could not ignore that situation
    …………….
    This is the SFA, They have ignored pleas for the 5 way agreement to be made public, they have ignored the offshore game. They have ignored Res 12, they don’t want to rake over old coals. The ignored the rules of the game when trying to shoehorn a new club into the top flight.
    Ignoring things is what the SFA do, and they do it well.

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  9. First Derek Johnston is leaving his sports desk, now a guy called Neil Cameron is leaving the newspapers.
    Is something in the pipeline and it’s time to get out of Dodge, or was it just time to rest these old dinosaurs?

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  10. paddy malarkey 26th August 2019 at 20:40
    …………..
    I think this sanction took a couple of weeks, so it maybe another week or so if anything i believe.

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  11. It’s interesting to note that the BBC’s online site currently has two articles about the plight of Bolton Wanderers Football Club, each of which is similar in nature to the BBC’s recent reports on the predicament of Bury FC, amid concerns about the potential imminent demise of both clubs.

    As mentioned previously on here, some time ago I lodged an official complaint about the accuracy of the BBC’s reporting on the demise of Rangers Football Club, citing the BBC’s own initial accurate reporting of the death of the club, in common with every other news broadcaster and newspaper in the land, before the wholesale process of rewriting history and airbrushing inconvenient facts out of the picture began in earnest.

    Many email exchanges ensued over the following months until it became apparent to me that the BBC establishment was going to steadfastly and staunchly adhere to the establishment club’s newly invented survival fiction regardless of the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

    While I recognise that there are differences between the death of Rangers and the potential demise of Bolton and Bury in that the latter aren’t governed by Scots Law or the SFA/SPL/SFL, and that Rangers death is more comparable to that of Gretna FC, the BBC’s current reporting brings to mind one of the questions I asked at the time, but which remained unanswered; does the stance you are taking apply to all clubs, or do Rangers, even in death, have a rulebook all to themselves, as they appear to have had in every other matter, such as rule-breaking and lack of meaningful sanctions?

    The current BBC articles relating to the prospective deaths of Bolton and Bury make it abundantly clear that the entity in administration that's about to take its dying breath isn't just a company but a football club – unless of course you’re any iteration of Rangers.

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  12. Right on cue the BBC screen the second episode of the latest series of Peaky Blinders and the storyline includes an incident involving a Glasgow gang of the period and the actors playing the gang members singing a song celebrating the gangs’ raison d’être. I predict another statement tomorrow complaining about bias at the BBC. 

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  13. gunnerb 26th August 2019 at 22:03

     

    So what you are saying is that Bayo is both a liar and a greedy B'strd 🙂

    Levein has his problems, no-doubt, but the point is if the deflections/blocks./attempted clearances from the defenders drift past the post its a different ball game. Therefore your mistakes lose the game as opposed to the opposition winning it.

    (That's exactly what happened to my boys team on Sunday)

    In the same way,  if your new striker doesn't make a mark on a game then questions start being asked if it was money well spent.

    Probably a bit embarrassing for both parties to be honest.

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  14. Highlander 26th August 2019 at 22:48

    Indeed, keep on the case.

    As my Mum always says, you will always get caught out.

    Just see how things develop down south and then quote their own words back to them and there is a good chance you will end up watching them squirm.

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  15. Ex Ludo 26th August 2019 at 23:34

    Right on cue the BBC screen the second episode of the latest series of Peaky Blinders and the storyline includes an incident involving a Glasgow gang of the period…

    =========

    When that scene started, with the 'Billy Boys' singing, I cringed with embarrassment.  I wonder how TRFC fans felt at this scene: embarrassed? pleased? proud?…

     

    Yes, and the timing of this episode was prescient.

    No doubt another example of BBC's bias against TRFC. indecision

     

    Like a broken record: for this latest in a long line of examples of incompetence, wilful ignorance, corruption, etc.,

     

    FREEZE all our public monies going to Hampden IMMEDIATELY.

     

    The SFA is unable to govern football competently – which should raise a Red Flag, indicating that the SFA should not be trusted with public monies.

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  16. So, today the SFA welcomed the SMSM into Hampden – because they have 2 upcoming Scotland games to promote via the SMSM.

     

    An ideal opportunity – you would think – to have a few questions answered by Maxwell about UEFA's action against TRFC?

     

    I've checked The ET, DR, and BBC online: not a peep from Maxwell or even Petrie.

     

    Looks like it was left to Clarke to deal with those questions, which is unfair on him – and a further lack of leadership from the SFA CEO.  Presumably, Maxwell was in the building?

    Why couldn't he stick his head into the presser at the end to field a few questions?

    Was he still locked in the bunker?

     

    And, unsurprisingly, the SMSM failed to get together to insist on speaking to Maxwell – or they just wouldn't cover Clarke's press conference.

     

    I guess Maxwell will be wheeled out shortly to get some sunlight – and to answer a couple of prepared questions / answers with a friendly 'journalist'.

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  17.  

    It took five weeks for UEFA to announce they were disciplining TRFC for conduct against St. Joseph's on 18.07.19.

    There have been five other TRFC fixtures in the competition (two home & three away) in the competition since then. Do we know if the conduct of TRFC's fans at (any of) those games is under investigation by UEFA? Should we expect an announcement on Friday, or on any following Friday, re further sanctions due to behaviour at these games? 

    I suspect that TRFC & the SFA know if anything is in the pipeline.

    The silence of the SFA allows one to construe that there may well be further punishments ahead for the Ibrox club. The fact that there wasn't even a 'holding' statement ('We are aware of UEFA's actions. We are in dialogue with TRFC. All fans should respect each other. There is no place…' etc.) issued suggests the SFA have been told to stay quiet, at this juncture, by UEFA. Why else would there have been no statement/press release on this matter?

     

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  18. Jingso.Jimsie 27th August 2019 at 16:05

    It took five weeks for UEFA to announce they were disciplining TRFC for conduct against St. Joseph's on 18.07.19.

    There have been five other TRFC fixtures in the competition (two home & three away) in the competition since then. Do we know if the conduct of TRFC's fans at (any of) those games is under investigation by UEFA? Should we expect an announcement on Friday, or on any following Friday, re further sanctions due to behaviour at these games? 

    I suspect that TRFC & the SFA know if anything is in the pipeline.

    The silence of the SFA allows one to construe that there may well be further punishments ahead for the Ibrox club. The fact that there wasn't even a 'holding' statement ('We are aware of UEFA's actions. We are in dialogue with TRFC. All fans should respect each other. There is no place…' etc.) issued suggests the SFA have been told to stay quiet, at this juncture, by UEFA. Why else would there have been no statement/press release on this matter?

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

    If anyone is telling the SFA to keep quiet it will be Rangers in my view. The cultural power that club holds in Scotland is immense. 

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  19. J.J that is a quite believable reason for the SFA's silence.

     

    And as per Regan's draft e-mail to TRFC looking for their approval prior to public release – the instruction for silence coming from TRFC rather than UEFA is also perfectly believable.

     

    Perhaps TRFC / UEFA / SFA are just playing for time?

     

    If TRFC gets punted out the EL on Thursday, then any further punishments – presumably – won't hurt anywhere near as much as the financial hit for being out of the EL.

     

    If TRFC secures access to the EL group stage, then I suppose a PR offensive could be triggered – about UEFA being corrupt, biased, etc.

     

    Whatever: I guess we'll hear a lot more on Friday then?

     

    Yet more bad news for TRFC before their home game on Sunday against CFC?

     

    We all know how this will play out.

    I would guess that a 'major squirrel' story related to current or ex CFC players will be launched this week as well?

     

    …and Traynor will be on double time this week for all the PR p!sh he'll have to dream up!

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  20. 'upthehoops 27th August 2019 at 18:30

    If anyone is telling the SFA to keep quiet it will be Rangers in my view. The cultural power that club holds in Scotland is immense.' 

    ##############################

    Unless there's been a sea-change at TRFC, they wouldn't want the SFA to be silent.

    They'd want a supportive statement about how 'unfair' or 'disproportionate' (wasn't that word used by the Union Bears?) the punishment was for a club that was attempting to drive change via their recently-announced 'Everyone Anyone' inclusivity initiatives etc. etc..

    They'd want the SFA to stand with them. They haven't. I wonder why? Perhaps the SFA is ‘mair feart’ of UEFA than they are of TRFC?

     

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  21. In the wake of Bury's demise follow the withdraaal of their membership of the EFL it will be interesting to see what happens in terms of creating a new club, or whether all the assets end up in the hands of property developers.

    There is a BBC Newsbeat article mainly about Clydebank, that also refers to other clubs that have been liquidated, including Rangers with the comment:

    And in Scotland, Rangers went into administration and liquidation in 2012 with the club's assets being bought by a separate company – Sevco Scotland Ltd – which changed its name to The Rangers Football Club Limited.

    The team plays in the Scottish Premiership but even today some fans consider the old Rangers FC to be gone forever.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49479847

     

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  22. Easyjambo…..

    “And in scotland, rangers went into administration and liquidation in 2012 with the club's assets being bought by a separate company – sevco scotland ltd – which changed its name to the rangers football club limited.

    the team plays in the scottish premiership but even today some fans consider the old rangers fc to be gone forever.”

    ALL of the above doesn’t now appear on your link.

    it has also gone forever, just like Rangers.

    I guess a PR man had a wee palpitation on reading the truth and had words….

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  23. Isn't there yet another staunch Court Hearing today?

    Memorial Walls Ltd v The Rangers Football Club Ltd?

    You've got to love that "The". You've got to be sure you're suing the proper party. You'd look silly suing Rangers Football Club Ltd or A Rangers Football Club Ltd or Any Rangers Football Club Ltd.

    From memory the Referee is Bannatyne, Lord, so the Court should be fully aware of the history of at least one of the parties. There is the potential for confusion if it is thought that the dispute concerns a Wall as a Memorial to a misfortune in 2012. To be consistent the dispute should not be about A Wall; it should be about The Wall.

    Hopefully there will be no traditional singing from the The Rangers end of the Court.

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  24. Re : Ian Maxwell , Chief Exec , SFA

    Was appointed in April 2018 with a salary of £300K – I'd be curious to know (although I think I do know) wtf does he do all day to earn that .

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  25. LUGOSI 28th August 2019 at 10:59

    Isn't there yet another staunch Court Hearing today? Memorial Walls Ltd v The Rangers Football Club Ltd?

    ========

    Yes, the walls are fairly closing in around The Rangers now!

     

    And a question for those Bampots who have knowledge of the processes around the Freedom Of Information Act, [FOI]…

     

    As a national body, receiving public monies, would the SFA be obligated to share any/all diversity statistics for each Category of Referees in Scottish Senior football?

     

    [Obviously, anonymised and grouped data.]

     

    We do know that there is now a "Diversity & Inclusion Department" at the SFA.

    From my own correspondence there is at least 1 manager and 1 other staff member.

    Point being: the SFA has a dedicated, internal resource to compile all sorts of diversity statistics around the SFA operations.

     

    Separately, I don't know if The Scottish Referees' Association – as another entity [?] – would be outwith the scope for SFA diversity measurement ?

    But, the customer of The Scottish Referees' Association is exclusively, [?], the SFA itself – and on behalf of the SPFL and also UEFA/FIFA.

     

    Or, am I talking mince again…?

     

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  26. I've been looking for financial information on Bury's administration. Does anyone know why Celtic is a creditor of Bury FC for the amount of £19,737?

    Has Celtic loaned or transferred anyone to Bury? 

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  27. “And in scotland, rangers went into administration and liquidation in 2012 with the club's assets being bought by a separate company – sevco scotland ltd – which changed its name to the rangers football club limited.

    the team plays in the scottish premiership but even today some fans consider the old rangers fc to be gone forever.”

    ………………………….

    That was certainly the case on Sunday when thousands of St Mirren fans started belting out "You're not Rangers anymore"

     

    Should be the welcome ditty at all away grounds, highlighting to all concerned, it's not just internet bampots who acknowledge the truth. Rather, thousands and thousands of fans from all clubs the length and breadth of the country.

    Shout it from the terraces loud and proud and shame the SFA/SPFL/MSM for their corruption of the truth and desertion of integrity.

    The last line could be better worded;

    "the team now plays in the scottish premiership but even today, despite the concerted lies of a corrupt cabal of governing bodies and media, many fans prefer the truth, the old rangers fc are gone forever.”

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  28. fishnish 28th August 2019 at 09:14

    ALL of the above doesn’t now appear on your link.

    it has also gone forever, just like Rangers.

    I guess a PR man had a wee palpitation on reading the truth and had words….

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

    Just for the record to show how the now deleted paragraphs were included in the BBC Newsbeat article.

    https://i.imgur.com/jdtiSUx.jpg

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  29. The TRFC website has now been updated with the latest shareholdings following the recent loan note conversion.

    https://rangers.co.uk/club/investor-centre/share-information/

    New Oasis Asset Limited    56,223,585   26.12%

    Douglas Park                     30,000,000    13.94%

    George Alexander Taylor    17,574,998      8.17%

    Club 1872                        13,702,838      6.37%

    Barry Scott                       12,420,000      5.77%

    Borita Investments Limited  11,132,500     5.17%

    New Trace Limited                 7,500,000     3.48%

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  30. It would appear that Rangers are now being charged with Racist Singing at the game in Warsaw last week, at least that is what their official website is saying.

     

    RANGERS has today informed UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body that the Club will not be requesting tickets for its next European away match.

    The Club now faces an additional UEFA charge of racist behaviour for sectarian singing during the first leg of our Europa League play–off tie against Legia Warsaw last Thursday evening. We are liaising with UEFA in relation to this second charge.

    The first charge came after the match against St Joseph’s at Ibrox on Thursday, July 18. A consequence of sectarian singing from section BF1 of the ground that evening is that UEFA ordered a partial closure of our stadium for tomorrow night’s crucial game. Those fans responsible for this partial closure of Ibrox Stadium need to understand that they are damaging our Club. If there is a further incidence at tomorrow night’s match this could lead to a ground closure.

    The same applies to those who indulged in sectarian singing in Warsaw last week and that is why we have taken the decision to make UEFA aware that we will decline tickets for our next away match even though this means that, once again, the many must suffer because of the few.

    This kind of behaviour has no place at Ibrox, or anywhere else where our many teams appear. Offenders must please stop. You are endangering your Club which has recently launched its Everyone Anyone project aimed at welcoming all to Ibrox. Those who wish to sing offensive songs must realise by now that they are insulting Rangers players, staff, and fellow fans. There is nothing clever, bold or even defiant in what this small number of supporters are doing.

    By supporting Rangers in the correct way the rest of us must strive to protect our great Club. One way or another this offensive behaviour must end and it would be much more preferable if we stopped it ourselves, simply by behaving like true Rangers fans.

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  31. If UEFA is as good as its word, then TRFC will play its next game behind closed doors if found guilty of a second offence. 

    The fact that the previous ruling didn't come out until Friday of last week, means that the club will seek to claim that they had no opportunity to make fans aware of the implications of a repeat breach before the first leg of the Legia tie. That doesn't really wash as the club would have been aware of the original charge long before that game, but chose not to do anything about it.

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  32. So, given Rangers have been charged again does it go straight to a full stadium closure for the next European game, whenever that is? Also, why did it take so long for the first charge to be made public given how soon this second one has been released?

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  33. SSB praising Ibrox board for its response to EUFA ruling today.  Really, part of the response was that that the club would not be taken any away tickets for next Europa League game. FFS you were not going to get any. Deal with this correctly, or do nothing. Do not embarrass yourselves..

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  34. UTH@19.56

    The PR Machine is trying to get ahead of the story this time as it was probably a mistake in PR terms to allow others to control the breaking news following the first sanction. The next sanction ought to be more severe but may carry into next season depending on the result of the game tomorrow evening. 

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  35. I'm sure that many TRFC fans will think they are being singled out by UEFA. They could not be more wrong.

    Other cases decided this month for breaches of Article 14 involving racist conduct:

    partial closure of the PFC Levski Sofia Stadium during the next one (1) UEFA competition match in which PFC Levski Sofia would play as the host club, for the racist behaviour.

    – to order FK Partizan to play its next two (2) UEFA competition matches as host club behind closed doors, for the racist behaviour of its supporters.

    – to order a partial closure of the PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1926 stadium  during the  next one (1) UEFA competition match in which PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1926  would play as the host club, for the racist behaviour of its supporters.

     to suspend the FK Ventspils player Makhnovskyi Kostiantyn for ten (10) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for racist conduct. 

    – to order FC Dinamo Tbilisi to play its next UEFA competition match as host club behind closed doors for the racist behaviour of its supporters. to fine FC Dinamo Tbilisi €50,000 for the racist behaviour of its supporters.

    – to order Universitatea Craiova to play its next three (3) UEFA competition matches as host club behind closed doors, the third of which is suspended for a probationary period of two (2) years;
    – to fine Universitatea Craiova €60,000.

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  36. RANGERS has today informed UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body that the Club will not be requesting tickets for its next European away match.
    …………………
    Any comment this time from the SFA or SPFL?
    …………….
    Seeing as king believes the pot of gold lies at the end of the rainbow that is european football. That revenue stream may not be as lucrative as he first thought, the more the ibrox club play in europe the less money they are generating.

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  37. easyJambo 28th August 2019 at 20:34
    4 0 Rate This

    I’m sure that many TRFC fans will think they are being singled out by UEFA. They could not be more wrong.
    …………………..
    They are not used to getting punished for their crimes.

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  38. It's when a ground closure kicks in that really starts to hurt, particularly for clubs who regularly sell out their stadium.

    I'd estimate that a future ground closure would cost TRFC something in the region of £1.5m in lost revenue between the sale of match tickets, advertising and catering. 

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  39. easyJambo 28th August 2019 at 22:08
    It’s when a ground closure kicks in that really starts to hurt,
    ………………..
    A silent ibrox tomorrow will help the away team. will be great news for LW.
    That will hurt the home fans as they won’t be able to belt out the usual songs to get behind their club.

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  40. …and how many UEFA charges – for racist and sectarian behaviour – does it take for the SFA to charge a club with 'bringing the game into disrepute' ?

     

    It's worth considering that people around the world who don't know much about Scottish football might regard us all as thick, Neanderthals who have only progressed up to the 17th Century!

     

    Each charge against TRFC is an affront to ALL Scottish clubs.

     

    Whereas Regan was regarded as a thoroughly corrupt figure, Maxwell is shaping up to being a simple clown.

     

    A clown leading a joke organisation…from inside the Hampden bunker! smiley

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  41. naegreetin

    Seriously? £300k?

    I didn't know that figure but now my flabber is extremely gasted.

    £300k for a company which turns over £36 million?

    He was the GM of Partick Thistle. And that qualifies him to run the SFA? On a salary probably 10 times what he was earning at PT?

    Is his real name Major Major Major?

     

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  42. I saw an interesting claim on Twitter this morning regarding how Rangers escaped a UEFA Charge against FC Midtjylland. Apparently the UEFA Observer was a prominent ex-Scottish Referee who is often spotted in the Director's Box at Ibrox on match days, and it is reasonable to assume he is not paying to be there. I have not named him because I have no idea for sure if he was acting for UEFA that night. 

     

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  43. Was informed a day or two ago that there was a rumour emanating from the USA that Dermot Desmond is in talks with a third party (possibly the Glazers) to sell his Celtic stake.
    It is true that Dermot has turned down US interest in the past, and that David Low had predicted in our last podcast that Celtic (as well as other Scottish clubs) would be attractive to investors of that ilk.

    My sense is that it is only a rumour, although there are those who think it is more than that. Desmond currently owns more than the 29% allowable before being forced to make an offer for all of the shares, as he has a dispensation to do so, however that dispensation does not automatically transfer if he sells, and any buyer would be forced to make an offer for the lot.
    If anything tangible had taken place with respect to a sale, AIM would have to be informed, and by extension, the public.
    This kind of move would also involve management of relationships with other major shareholders which immediately widens the net of those in the know.
    I can’t believe that could take place without any kind of leak to the MSM.
    All of this of course, doesn’t even take into account the problems of dual ownership/control.

    The consequences of DD selling could have a ripple effect on the rest of our clubs if course, but whilst I do think the Celtic calf us being fattened for a sale in the future, I think the rumours are of the 2+2=5 variety.

    Even possible that it’s the start of a softening up campaign for Celtic fans for a future sale, or a deflection from the club’s much criticised recruitment mechanism.

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  44. L Wasaw v Ibrox club on 22 Aug in Poland, 29 Aug statement from Ibrox club saying second charge from EUFA fo racism (notified within 7 days of match).

    18 July Ibrox club v St Josephs, we get informed of EUFA charge on 23 Aug (gap of 36 days). On 11 Aug Ibrox club launch Anyone Everyone campaign. 

    IMO the Ibrox club were informed about the first charge v St Josephs kept it quiet with help from our media and then launched their pathetic anyone everyone campaign. This was pure sly deflection and the Tom Boyd was used as part of this deflection. Never believe this club and its chairman. They are what they are, cheats and racists and will always have the aid of our media.

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  45. What is it about the BBC reports that they translate racism to sectarianism? Surely accurate reporting should trump pandering to the blue hordes??? Wait a minute! completely forgot, it's what they consistently do.

     

    In another article, "respected" administrator Bryan Jackson comes up with this gem;

    "Because of the problems of the past, Scotland seems to have accepted 'this is the money we get, this is our budget, we just need to work within it'. There's no rainbow with a pot of gold at the end of it."

     

    Come on Mr Jackson, you especially must know full well at least one club is not "working within its budget". Or is Mr Jackson another ludge member with a blind eye turned to all things Ibrox? 

     

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  46. 'valentinesclown 29th August 2019 at 08:23

    L Wasaw v Ibrox club on 22 Aug in Poland, 29 Aug statement from Ibrox club saying second charge from EUFA fo racism (notified within 7 days of match).

    18 July Ibrox club v St Josephs, we get informed of EUFA charge on 23 Aug (gap of 36 days). On 11 Aug Ibrox club launch Anyone Everyone campaign…' 

    #############################

    (Apologies in advance for the 'I suspect…', the 'Is it possible…' & the 'I think…' that follow… )

    I suspect that UEFA were quick to advise TRFC of the charge relating to the 22.08.19 game as it was a second offence (with added penalties) & therefore not a 'one-off'. Gerrard ‘sort of’ gave the game away at his presser on the 23.08.19 with his comments re ‘ground closures’ etc..

    I also suspect that TRFC were given time to put their house in order (Everyone Anyone campaign launch?) regarding the charge of 18.07.19. The punishment for that charge was announced on 23.08.19 after the 'racist singing/chanting' in Warsaw.

    Is it possible that UEFA were going to apply a suspended punishment for 18.07.19 if TRFC did not re-offend this season?

    BTW, I think that there will be some sort of serious loss of 'dignity' at Ibrox tonight. Whether that's via banners castigating UEFA, anti-UEFA or racist singing/chanting or something else, the fans' overweening sense of 'entitlement' will ensure that it's a bad night (whatever the result, because the football may not really matter in the end) for TRFC.

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  47. I suppose the bears' behaviour tonight is incidental to the immediate future of RIFC/TRFC?

     

    Does Gerrard – and his players – appreciate the significance of tonight's game for the financial 'wellbeing' of the Ibrox club?

    [Relatively speaking.]

    Even if they do get eliminated tonight from the EL, the club will probably stagger along somehow.

     

    …but the Ibrox club will have drifted significantly closer to the edge of the financial abyss, IMO.  indecision

     

    A bit like 2011, when sleekit McCoist's team tumbled out of Europe – and the Rangers cash flow took an unsustainable hit.

     

    Gerrard will be earning his corn tonight with qualification.

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  48. I see Rangers* have decided not to take tickets for their next foray into Europe.What message are they sending? That they are self disciplining and take these matters seriously, determined to stamp out the racist element that follow them or are they acknowledging those same supporters cannot be trusted to behave when abroad? For any prospective investor it must be clear that the most lucrative part of that operation is in serious jeopardy . Stadium closures, fines and ultimately expulsion from the European honey pot is catastrophic for anyone hoping for a return on investment.

    I am also puzzled at why racist singing was reported in Gibraltar and Poland but was absent in Denmark and Luxembourg . If the uefa observer was as stated former referees from Scotland then I think we have identified another problem. It would be interesting to see if Fare noticed anything untoward .

    You know things are getting desperate when Paul Gascoigne is wheeled out to lecture fans on behaviour issues . He has pleaded with them to drop the chants for the upcoming game against Celtic . What then Mr Gascoigne? Business as usual ? He is currently on standby with a fishing rod and a Family size bucket of Kentucky fried chicken. 

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  49. Up the hoops.

    I saw an interesting claim on Twitter this morning regarding how Rangers escaped a UEFA Charge against FC Midtjylland. Apparently the UEFA Observer was a prominent ex-Scottish Referee who is often spotted in the Director's Box at Ibrox on match days, and it is reasonable to assume he is not paying to be there. I have not named him because I have no idea for sure if he was acting for UEFA that night. 

    —————————————————————————-

    Excuse my ignorance but is it the referee observer who would site clubs for such things or some other official?

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  50. I wonder if anybody is looking to borrow the Green Brigade's (if they are indeed the owner )  " Fuck UEFA " banner . Only a fine for displaying it , apparently .

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  51. And if you were a cynical Internet Bampot looking on at this UEFA action against TRFC…

     

    you would probably quickly identify the solution to the 'singing problem' at Ibrox.

     

    The bears will simply adopt 2 song sheets;

    One that is in no way offensive, and ideal for UEFA fixtures.

    The other song sheet will include all the old favourites, and ideal for any SFA-sanctioned fixtures.

     

    You know it's coming. angel

     

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  52. Since my post above I see there is a UEFA delegate among the officials:

    8 August 2019, 20:00 CET – Herning (MCH Arena)

    FC Midtjylland (DEN) – Rangers FC (SCO)

    Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)

    Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)

    Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)

    Fourth Official: Juri Frischer (EST)

    UEFA Referee Observer: Markus Strömbergsson (SWE)

    UEFA Delegate: Ivan Tsitovich (RUS)

    So Mr Tsitovich will be the man presumably.

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  53. 'bordersdon 29th August 2019 at 14:40

    Excuse my ignorance but is it the referee observer who would site clubs for such things or some other official?'

    #########################

    It is the 'Match Delegate', not the 'Referee Observer', who is responsible.

    https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Tech/uefaorg/General/02/52/80/38/2528038_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    From page 37:

    Article 63

    Match delegates:

    a. act as UEFA’s official representative at a UEFA match;

    b. chair the organisational meeting prior to the match;

    c. are responsible for ensuring the orderly organisation of the match and that the competition regulations, and especially the rules for order and security inside and outside the stadium before, during and after the match, are observed;

    d. submit a match preparation report to the UEFA administration when requested to do so by the latter;

    e. submit detailed reports to the UEFA administration immediately after each match;

    f. if requested to do so by the UEFA administration, conduct a pre-tournament site visit to assess the facilities and level of organisation of the tournament in question;

    g. attend specific training seminars organised by the UEFA administration.

     

    Referee observers are covered in Article 64, if anyone is interested.

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  54. I can't find a UEFA link to officials appointed to the Europa League Qualifying Rounds, but 

    http://law5-theref.blogspot.com/

    lists all officials by round/date of game. They're in the 2019 archive panel on the right-hand side.

    There is no Scottish official listed for TRFC v. Midtylland at Ibrox on 15.08.19, so it's Trumpian fake news. 

     

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  55. It’s so bloody obvious. Hit the clubs in the pocket when their fans misbehave. If they still can’t behave deduct points and then ban the club from competitions if it continues. 

    The Scottish football authorities were embarrassingly quiet last season (and just about every other season) when a number of high profile managers and players were subjected to sectarian abuse and their silence over this latest fiasco continues to shame them. Where is the leadership?

    Rangers couldn't be any clearer in their statements (better late than never….) explaining the situation and their expectations on how the fans should behave. Hopefully those fans who indulge in such disgraceful behaviour have finally got the message. We’ll soon find out. 

     

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  56. StevieBC 29th August 2019 at 12:49
    9 0 Rate This

    I suppose the bears’ behaviour tonight is incidental to the immediate future of RIFC/TRFC?

    Does Gerrard – and his players – appreciate the significance of tonight’s game for the financial ‘wellbeing’ of the Ibrox club?
    …………………..
    Any sectarian or racist singing tonight at ibrox will put the small minority issue to bed as it can’t be a small minority if you have already banned that small minority from tonight’s game.
    When does a small minority plus a small minority become a collective?

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  57. easyJambo 29th August 2019 at 17:54
    Not the biggest banner I’ve ever seen
    ………………
    Meanwhile in the other corner.
    Top Trolling by the LW fans.

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  58. BBC once again lifting sugar coated coverage about Rangers straight from the club website, putting it on their own website and masquerading it as reporting. Does any other club in Scotland have this guarantee from the publicly funded broadcaster that they will never be subjected to any critical analysis? 

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  59. While following the saga of T'Rangers I often look in on Phil Mac twitter feed for updates. Not being a Celtic fan myself I see two clear and constant messages he constantly mentions that relate to last nights events in Stockholm.

    1) The Napoleon quote of 'not interrupting your enemy when they are making mistakes'

    2) Leave the pyros at home.

    Once again the idiots, most probably in the Green Brigade, think they are untouchable but find that foreign Police forces are not as accommodating as Scotland’s finest and just put their club right up there with the charge of being no better than the 'other ugly sister'.

    Images are in the press showing guys in olive green anoraks, sun glasses on and hoods up and one idiot in a balaclava holding a long pole facing up to the Police. Who goes to watch football these days with a balaclava!!

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7408591/Celtic-fans-clash-baton-wielding-Swedish-police-officers-Europa-League-tie.html

    These olive green anoraks are seen, a plenty, in the Green Brigade section every home game.

    It is therefore hard to swallow the Chelsea, sorry, 'Hammarby fans' argument being put forward as an excuse.

    Indeed looking at the Hammarby Ultras on Youtube then seem to operate in a similar manner to the Green Brigade with banner displays, flares chants etc. So even if they were in the Celtic end then I wouldn’t be surprised if they were welcomed by Celtics Ultras with opened arms to stick it to rivals AIK.

    This will end up being Celtic's 13th  UEFA fine or so since 2011. 13 fines in nine years!!!

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/sport/soccer/celtics-history-of-uefa-fines-810987.html

    As discussed earlier, the Celtic board had a chance to finish off T'Rangers but didn't. Celtic fans have been given an open goal in terms of distancing themselves from the poor behaviour of T'Rangers fans but again, by accommodating the likes of the Green Brigade have blown it.

    So lets get it straight, its not UEFA, its not 'imposter fans', its not heavy handed police.

    Its a Celtic problem – and the club and decent fans can either deal with it or simply accept the consequences without any more excuses.

     

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  60. I have had to get to the public library in order to post. 

    If I can post this from the library, it means it's my pc/mouse that's at fault and that means a trip to PC World. (I was half-hoping the fault was elsewhere and would be fixed sooner or later)

    Here goes!

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