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. It also seems Rangers are getting the same punishment for racism again.

    Partial closure of a stand, minimum of 3,000 seats and display a tiny wee banner.

    I suspect refusing tickets for the first away game was taken into consideration but that's just a guess. 

  2. In a not very new development (see the previous club being found guilty of cheating and receiving a large fine) at least some of the support are taking this as a "result".

    You have been found guilty of racism, twice in quick succession. It's really nothing to celebrate.

  3. Homunculus 30th August 2019 at 12:17


    Friday 30 August 2019 13.00CETUEFA

    The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) has announced the following decisions:

    Match: UEFA Europa League play-off first-leg match between Legia Warszawa and Rangers FC (0-0), played on 22 August in Poland

    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 Rangers FC stadium during the next one (1) UEFA competition match in which Rangers FC will play as the host club, for the racist behaviour of its supporters. Rangers FC shall 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.

  4. Homunculus 30th August 2019 at 12:12

    The third charges story is not true.



    One has to ask onesself why it's not true. I find it hard to believe they went a full 90 minutes without singing their old favourites.

    I see the Record have binned the freelance reporter who created the false article. This is new for the DR. In the past they would have signed creatives like him up on the spot. If their new policy is to terminate untruthful reporters then the sports desk is going to be a mighty lonely place to be.

  5. I see that Partick have now asked their fans to stop singing particular songs.


    “a song that is deemed to be unacceptable by the footballing authorities” – it can’t be the SFA and SPFL surely.

    Little by little we may get to a tipping point for some form of limited liability, if not full strict liability.

    Friday 30th August, 2019 at 2:57pm

    Partick Thistle is a family club and aim to ensure that everyone experiences a friendly and safe atmosphere at our games. We are aware that a minority of our supporters are singing a song that is deemed to be unacceptable by the footballing authorities. This behaviour has been included in recent SPFL Match Delegate’s Reports and continuation of this conduct may lead to the Club being punished.

    Consequently, we appeal for this type of singing and chanting to stop and request that supporters refrain from engaging in any form of behaviour that is unacceptable, disrespectful and which others may find offensive.

    Partick Thistle is extremely proud of our support and don’t want anything to damage our reputation.

    Your cooperation is appreciated.

    Thank You
    Gerry Britton
    Chief Executive

  6. The new maths

    6-700 seats can be made to appear as 3000, just by saying so. Do UEFA actually count them or just take the team at their word?

  7. On the UEFA edict that "at least" 3,000 seats shall be closed off:

    I have it in mind that the entire Broomloan (and Copeland Road) stand(s) seats only about 7,000.  There is no way that the small part of the front of the Broomloan stand, as shown in pics taken during the game, accounts for 3,000 seats.

    If so (and assuming there were no other closed off areas) might there have been a bit of urine extraction going on … ?

  8. Dunderheid 30th August 2019 at 20:05


    The attendance was recorded as 45,463 so was in line with what you would expect with closed sections and segregation.

    Edit: I guess that they could claim the seats used for segregation as “closed sections”

  9. Sorry to bang on about this.

    But there is no way the Williams XI did not disgrace themselves in Denmark.

  10. Dunderheid..

    Like a sad B, I counted the empty seats in the 'closed' section from a photo of the area.

    Less than 800.


  11. Looks like there was another empty section in the stadium. I'm not familiar with the layout of Ibrox so don't know if these seats would normally be sold for a Europa Cup match..

    29.08.2019 Rangers v Legia Warsaw: empty seatsPhoto from Willie Vass


    I don't imagine trying to pull a swifty over empty seat numbers would go down well with UEFA.


  12. Melbournedee@04.19

    The SMSM seemed to have opted for the photo of the smaller section in the Broomloan being empty perhaps in an effort to emphasise that only a small section of fans sing the naughty songs. After all that section of the Broomloan is where the Union Beats are housed. 

  13. That 'unnamed freelancer' who floats around the SMSM is both a blessing and a curse.


    He/she/'the ethereal entity' is there to get the blame when things go Pete Tong.


    But that's 2 huge howlers in the space of a few weeks now!


    The one which dropped The ET / Chris Jack in the poo


    The DR making a SAMEDAY apology for reporting a fictitious, 3rd UEFA charge for TRFC.


    Just as well these dodgy newspapers are dying off…

  14. Is anyone allowed to report unsourced UEFA decisions?


    As a reward for acting like normal human beings on one occasion in a mere 329 years The Rangers may sell an extra 3,000 tickets for their next home European fixture.


  15. J.J thanks for that: Lindsay Herron, an ex-RFC employee!

    Oh dear.


    On the one hand: fair play for holding his hand up. 

    Nobody likes admitting when they're wrong.


    But, on the other hand, a journalist openly admitting he does not check the veracity of his source surely renders his own role immediately obsolete?


    Like a judge admitting he's not honest.

    Like a referee who admits he can't see beyond his nose.

    Like a newspaper admitting it copy/pastes PR releases.

    ad nauseam…

  16. jingso.jimsie @ 11:14

    That will be the same Lindsay Herron who acted alongside a certain Alistair McCoist in, and quite possibly scripted, the disgraceful 'Who Are These People?' 'interview'.


  17. "If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets in the sea" (Eric Bogle)

    Out of 15 'expert' reporters/writers from Daily Record, Herald and Evening Times, only 2 (who let them in?) predicted a Celtic victory.

    A classic example of how Operation Stop 9 (and then 10) in a row is in full swing in the media (plenty of honest mistakes to come over the season), this is both childish and desperate from SMSM, who somehow delusionally believe they can help bring this about!


  18. The Category One, Scottish referees have come in for a lot of stick on this site in recent times – and quite deservedly so.


    But, to be fair, Madden had a very good game himself today: allowing play to flow, whilst giving allowances to both teams.


    Dare I say it, he was very fair.


    …wonder if he'll get another Glasgow Derby game this season?




  19. StevieBC 1st September 2019 at 21:14

    Stevie, I agree that Madden was equally lenient to both sets of players – but fair?

    How is it fair that fouls that would earn any other club a booking went unpunished? My club, which is rightly pilloried for its appalling disciplinary record season after season, would have accumulated umpteen more yellow and/or red cards if they'd been guilty of the kind of fouls that Madden didn't punish yesterday because he took account of the fact that the two clubs involved have a volatile support.

    We moan (especially me!!) about Rangers* having a rulebook all to themselves, then, with no sense of irony, congratulate the referee for using a rulebook whose use is restricted to just two clubs. I even heard Callum McGregor's dive described as nothing more than anticipated contact that failed to materialize, almost as if the Rangers* player was to blame for his failure to make contact! It was an outrageous act of simulation (cheating) that would've had SFM foaming in uproar if performed by Morelos or Defoe. 

    I should point out that I'm not getting at you personally for holding a viewpoint that is widely shared by supporters and pundits alike, and I can totally understand where you're coming from in the argument that Madden was totally impartial and helped defuse what is potentially an incendiary occasion, but surely we should be considering playing matches in empty stadiums if large numbers of fans can't be trusted to behave themselves, rather than pandering to the minority pondlife of the two biggest supported clubs to the detriment of the other forty clubs.   

  20. Highlander@07.21

    To be fair to Mr Madden he got the really big decision in the 96th minute absolutely right when Jordan Jones put Moritz Bauer up in the air. I don’t recall Jones doing that sort of stuff at Killie. 

  21. Highlander @ 7.21am




    even a retrospective card now would still be unfair since both clubs mentioned have squads big enough to deal with any suspension.

  22. Highlander makes a fair point about the potential disadvantage or damage to other clubs when a referee makes decisions based on the occasion rather than the rules if the game.

    One might argue that there are other derbies or potentially volatile encounters (eg. Aberdeen/Rangers) where similar discretion is shown.
    However the whole thing is a bit asymmetrical.

    One observation to make about yesterday’s game is that leniency shown by the ref in both the McGregor and Jack incidents did not lead to an escalation of hairy challenges in the game. However what ostensibly makes good sense in a stand-alone situation may not be the best or fairest solution.

  23. Something I've just randomly come across – but can't remember it happening at the time.

    Shocked about Brown.

    Not at all shocked at the SFA response though.


    Extracted from Wiki, but corroborated in MSM.


    "…In 1999, the Scotland national football team manager Craig Brown was filmed singing "Billy Boys" and faced calls to step down from his position in charge of the Scotland national football team.

    However, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) gave him their backing…"

  24. Ex Ludo 2nd September 2019 at 16:35


    Is this even doable? Sounds more like deflection than serious intent.


    If the structure of the deal is as reported, then it is indicative of the club remaining cash strapped despite the EL Group stages windfall that is coming their way.

    Raman Bhardwaj @STVRaman1m
    Rangers and Liverpool have agreed a fee of £7 million pounds for Ryan Kent. Player is currently negotiating personal terms.

  25. Ex Ludo 2nd September 2019 at 16:35
    £2m up front with the other £5m over the next two summer windows with a 25% sell-on
    For sale before any summer window is reached. It is all about the hype.

  26. You would think TRFC were signing  Clark Joseph rather than Ryan , such is the brouhaha surrounding the transfer . Sop to the fans to get them to buy EL packages ?

  27. easyJambo 2nd September 2019 at 16:54

    We have discussed this before.

    While I respect your work on the figures coming out of Ibrox and pointing to a club that could begin to break even with increased revue, they always seem to have an ability to splaff cash up against the wall. Be that court cases or big name signings. Despite positive predictions and anticipated financial stability, every time the accounts come out it is usually the same old story of the unknown unknowns putting them in the red.

    It was the nature of SDM and it is the same for King, who clearly likes to push everything to the limit.

    Continual contract upgrades from Morales, wages for the likes of Defoe and Davis and now possibly Kent just eat away at any Euro income.

    Celtic can be criticised for hording money in the bank and not spending what they have wisely or timely but it doesn't look like they are anywhere near going to go under any time soon.

    However T'Rangers are continually walking a tightrope as the have no patience to build new foundations. In that circumstance there is always the cancel that a single event can bring the whole thing tumbling down.

  28. “Rangers star Ryan Kent 'hates Celtic as much as us' – fans react to £7m signing”

    The above headline features in a website called Football Scotland and is accompanied by a photo of young Ryan’s left cross as he throws a punch at Scott Brown. Shoddy piece from a website wholly owned by the Daily Record.

  29. wottpi 3rd September 2019 at 09:25

    easyJambo 2nd September 2019 at 16:54

    We have discussed this before.


    We have indeed.

    King has adopted the same approach as Murray did two decades ago ……. viz. spend as much as it takes to be successful. It doesn't matter where the money comes from, just that they are able to fund the necessary level of spending.

    The ironic thing about Murray's spending was that it only really got going after their 9 in a row. They had achieved success without spending to excess (Celtic had their own financial constraints at the time). It was the failure to go on to 10 or 11 that drove them to engage in excessive borrowing, seeking external investment (from King and Lewis) and engaging in unlawful tax arrangements. By that time Celtic had put their house in order (under McCann) and were again serious challengers to Rangers domestic dominance.

    Moving forward to the last couple of years, the desire to stop another 9 in a row or the unprecedented 10 in a row has become all consuming. King's speculate to accumulate model hasn't as yet stopped the Celtic juggernaut, but he has tied a rope to it, with the club clinging on while balancing precariously on a pair of roller skates.

    King's fundraising, initially as loans with around £25m now converted to equity, could be compared to Murray's early sourcing of investment. He seems intent on spending every penny he earns, or raises, on the team, which may well be laudable in the fans eyes, but perhaps is not a prudent choice.

    I see it very much as a gamble with the future of the club at  stake. Thus far he is still in the game and has accumulated support from the fan base and by reaching the EL group stage for the last two seasons. There is no doubt that TRFC is closer to Celtic than they were two years ago.  The club is largely debt free for the moment, thanks to the recent DFE swaps. King hasn't gone "all in" yet, but the spending on the likes of Kent is based on future earnings from the EL.

    That is an unsustainable model, but as long as they progress on the park I believe that King will continue to find backers willing to support the cause.

    There are huge risks along the way, of which SDI is a relatively small part. King suggested previously that it would only take a season of Celtic failing to reach the CL group stage to knock them off their perch. Celtic has now failed in the CL quest for the last two seasons but thus far appear to be able to adapt to their reduced revenue. I have adopted a contrary view in that I think that TRFC is more at risk should they miss out on EL revenues. 

    We will be able to view Celtic's annual report later this month, with RIFC producing their report a month or so later. I'm certain that Celtic's will show some prudent steps taken to manage their spending to a reduced income, but with the impact softened by a couple of boosts from the departures of Rodgers and Tierney. The RIFC accounts will be much harder to interpret. Some of their debts were only converted after year end, with player purchases and departures occurring both before and after year end, so the forecasts and post year end reports will probably be more enlightening than the raw figures.

    I don't know what the end game will be. Will TRFC manage to pull themselves alongside a slowing Celtic juggernaut, or will they hit a bump in the road and find themselves crashing off their skates and come to a juddering halt as they hit a tree by the roadside?

  30. eJ, assuming the 'Big Mike bill' will not materialise in the immediate future…


    I'm most looking forward to the RIFC notes to the accounts – and specifically just how Mike Ashley's court win is explained – and quantified.


    Can't remember court dates off hand, but whether a Post Balance Sheet Event, or a Contingent Liability, the accounts will have to show a 'reasonable' £value – or a range of £values – to satisfy the Auditors.

    Which will be nice.  broken heart


  31. StevieBC 3rd September 2019 at 13:16

    May I refer you to our esteemed colleague easyjambo of the 7th August at 11:27

    I would expect that there would at least be some mention of the SDI settlement as a post Balance Sheet event (assuming there is a ruling on damages following the 23 September hearing). If not there might be some mention of a contingent liability.  Those contingent liabilities may extend to Elite and Hummel if they also decide to to seek redress through the courts. 

  32. As one of the great army of kibitzers who silently admire the indefatigable commentary  from JC,EJ Alyjambo et al, the recent input from  EJ has prompted me to reconsider how the demise of TRFC will (hopefully) occur. 

    Generally every little hint of news about a financial setback has been greeted by very many of us as the crack in the  dyke ( other cliched metaphors are available) which would signal the end. It seems more likely that the end will be reached by a slow anaemia, a leaching away of  financial possibilities in pursuit of short term goals. 

     The loyalty of TRFC’s support throughout a period of , by the standards they have set themselves, momentous failure has been both a blessing and a curse for those who lead the club. The maximising of income through the gate has kept them afloat- but at the same time their board  ( or more likely King ) are forced into making gestures such as appointing Gerard or signing Kent which fly in the face of prudent financial governance. 

    We look at the whole thing  “through a glass darkly “ and none of us really knows  but it has been great fun on the road- I wish I was 20 years younger and I might have a chance of seeing the end game!

  33. The EFL and its clubs appear ready to make up new rules as they go along in the Bury case.


    The English Football League is to discuss Bury's future with its member clubs following efforts to reinstate the Shakers in League Two next season.

    Bury were expelled from the EFL on 27 August after a failed takeover bid by C&N Sporting Risk.

    Bury North MP James Frith has called for the Shakers to re-enter in the fourth tier for the 2020-21 season.

    Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Police has said it is investigating an allegation of fraud involving the club.

    No arrests have been made.

    In a statement, the EFL says the "only current established procedure" for entry to League Two is promotion through the National League.

    However, it added that "in acknowledgement of the extreme nature of the problems" at Bury, the EFL board had "agreed it is appropriate to discuss the matter with member clubs" and those talks will take place in the coming weeks.


  34. easyJambo 3rd September 2019 at 15:27

    I note that both the local MP and the Mayor of Manchester appear to behind the drive to keep Bury going in the EFL.

    From reports the club owes HMRC around £800k.

    On here many have tried to say the involvement and ramblings of MPs and MEPs, including the then FM, around the time of the demise of Rangers and formation of T'Rangers were some form of establishment conspiracy and that with money being owed to her Majesty the club from Govan should have been helped, by such politicians, in going to the wall. 

    Like at Bury,  I think it is just one of these situations were 'the normal rules' don't seem to apply and people from all walks of life go 'Ga-Ga' when its a football club that is in trouble.

    I don't think it matters if it is Rangers, Bury, Bolton or any other team, politicians would be wanting to be seen on the side of keeping a team alive.

    Perhaps not right but it is in the nature of the political beast to protect their vote.


  35. wottpi 3rd September 2019 at 16:47


    As you point out, politicians will always act in a way that they believe will appeal to their electorate and not pose a risk to continuation of their own elected position.

    For info:   The Bury CVA proposal indicated that HMRC was owed £1,158,850.45. HMRC voted against the CVA.

  36. Aurellio Zen 3rd September 2019 at 14:52
    The maximising of income through the gate has kept them afloat- but at the same time their board ( or more likely King ) are forced into making gestures such as appointing Gerard or signing Kent which fly in the face of prudent financial governance
    On that note.
    I’m sure i have read celtic prices for a package for the european home games is £72.
    Anyone seen a price for the ibrox package?

  37. Cluster One 3rd September 2019 at 18:20

    I’m sure i have read celtic prices for a package for the european home games is £72.
    Anyone seen a price for the ibrox package?


    The prices for the three Celtic Europa League games are: Adults – £72, Concessions – £57, Under 13 £42

    The prices for the three Rangers Europa League games are: Adults – £111, Concessions  – £78, Juniors -£54

  38. upthehoops 3rd September 2019 at 19:17
    The prices for the three Rangers Europa League games are: Adults – £111, Concessions – £78, Juniors -£54
    I would hazard a guess at that price that is where the first kent payment is coming from.

  39. Cluster One 3rd September 2019 at 19:36

    I would hazard a guess at that price that is where the first kent payment is coming from.


    Not all all. According to Mark Allen on Talksport today Rangers are on a very sound financial footing. Hmmm.

  40. Ryan Kent never played a game for Liverpool’s first team. He has 10 goals in 104 appearances for Barnsley, Bristol City, Coventry and Rangers, all while on loan. Last season he scored 6 goals and had 5 assists for Rangers. Is he really a £7m player who is going to be a game changer in terms of the title? Even allowing for my obvious bias I think it is a very pertinent question to ask. 

  41. A wonderful euphemism worthy of our JC:

    Rather than call Boris a compulsive liar, the QC representing the Scottish MPs trying to stop the buffoon proroguing Parliament through the Court of Session in Edinburgh referred to the PM as someone who was characterised by "incontinent mendacity".



  42. Re: the Ryan Kent transfer.


    Well, IMO everyone would really have to agree that it's actually a great piece of business


    …for Liverpool.


  43. "How are Rangers* paying for this?"  The short answer is they're not ,tis the mug punter who will have his pockets shaken but King who will step up to take the plaudits if it pays off. Going to the casino with other peoples money then declaring yourself a genius if the ball does land on 55* is as glib and shameless as it comes.Charging 99p to watch an interview with a player that's been bought with a massive increase in ticket prices takes a special kind of arrogance. I can almost guarantee Kent will be subject to mysterious overseas bids upwards of 20m by the time the January window opens. If  the teams in 4th and 5th can prevail over the teams in 11th and 12th and 3rd place Livi can win at Ibrox in the next round of games then Gerrard will find himself in 5th spot after 5 games and 6 pts adrift of Celtic (if they can beat Hamilton) . Is that stretching the imagination too far ? I don't think so . The honeymoon period is over for Gerrard and he was given far longer than the previous managers , they simply have to live up to the hype now which considering the level5 of hype won't be easy. 

    As for Mark Allens' claim of being on a sound financial footing the often misquoted words of Mandy Rice Davies " well he would say that wouldn't he" would seem an appropriate response. It does tend to contradict the claims made in court about struggling to pay Ashley anything over 1m  and the earlier claim about the impecunious Chairman, the same Chairman who had guaranteed the auditors he would fund any shortfall. 

    "We can't jail 50k people" an excuse used to allow the continuation of the sash bash at Ibrox by the blazers. Uefa have however shown exactly what does work . Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel , no hiding places now. 


  44. Timtim@12.13

    While I agree with your assessment I would further suggest that whilst Steven Gerrard has been given a lot of leeway he is more likely to “walk away” than be pushed out the door. 


  45. I think you are probably right Ex L ,for one he shouldn't need the compensation money and 2 if he did it may be a bill too far for King to manage. He has a reputation he would want to protect and although the SMSM would ravage him on Kings' instruction their English counterparts would come to his aid. His backroom team may not be so fortunate to have that choice and may have to stick it out . I suspect Gary McAllister would step up rather than step out ,but we have seen this movie before.

  46. “Rangers lost £15m (exact figure is £14.3m) in their last accounts just under a year ago in November when they came out, so £7m is a big chunk of money and it’s a case of where is that money coming from?”

    A Michael Stewart quote from his article in the Sun. In answer to his question I would suggest that it’s simply the end of austerity as per the Chancellor of the Exchequer? 

  47. Is anyone who reads on here the least bit surprised that no-one in the MSM has asked the Michael Stewart question? 

    I think they'll keep him for a year and then try and punt him to the English Championship and hope to get their money back and the buyer will pick up the rest of the payment owed. In other words a glorified loan deal.

  48. Ex Ludo 4th September 2019 at 13:24
    While I agree with your assessment I would further suggest that whilst Steven Gerrard has been given a lot of leeway he is more likely to “walk away” than be pushed out the door.
    They don’t do walking away….Ok i’ll get my coat

  49. Ballyargus 4th September 2019 at 17:02
    6 0 Rate This

    Is anyone who reads on here the least bit surprised that no-one in the MSM has asked the Michael Stewart question?

    I think they’ll keep him for a year and then try and punt him to the English Championship and hope to get their money back and the buyer will pick up the rest of the payment owed. In other words a glorified loan deal.
    I think we have seen this kind of gamble before.
    What was herald as a £2 million pound move became an undisclosed fee that turned into a loan move that ended in a loaned out.
    A player is hyped beyond value, sometimes we are never told what they paid. Then the media play along with the hype and the ibrox club hope a quick sale and a vast profit will ensure.
    The problem with the ibrox club IS that they don’t know a friendly ex manager who will pay for that kind of hyped player.
    Anyway. when the plan does not go as planned.

  50. And, Ryan Kent – whether he likes it or not – is now the Ibrox, footballing messiah who is going to stop 9IAR, and win TRFC their first top level piece[s] of silverware.


    And all by himself!


    If it wasn't for his left hook against Scott Brown, I would feel a wee bit sorry for Kent, as he's been unfairly set up to fail.


    He never got a competitive game for Liverpool because he simply wasn't good enough.

    But now he's simply the best, for TRFC.


    A hefty £7M price tag – along with volumes of SMSM sycophantic reporting – doesn't actually change anything about his ability on the field of play.

    To state the bleedin' obvious.


  51. Ex Ludo 5th September 2019 at 00:12

    " This might answer Michael Stewart’s question."

    On the other hand, if Football Scotland's figures were obtained from a source located in the approximate region of Shirebrook (Derbys/Notts border region)… then maybe not. wink

  52. Anent the Kent transfer fee (there is no doubt that he will improve the team by the way).

    At the prices quoted and assuming attendances of 48,000 at all 3 home games, and taking in to account hospitality, TV revenues TRFC will NET at least £10m from the group stages to add to the cash they received for getting there. That excludes money from points gained in the group stage.

    Yes the duopoly is back!

  53. To my mind its not a matter of where the money come from.

    Its more a question of why pay that for a 22 year old with no proven track record?

    Of course I seriously doubt he cost anything like £7m. The upfront payment will be out of the Euro money. The other instalments won't need to be paid because if he performs with his feet and not his fists he could be sold into the over inflated English market to a Championship team but only if that happens before the inevitable insolvency event.

  54. Bogs Dollox @ 12.15

    Of course I seriously doubt he cost anything like £7m. The upfront payment will be out of the Euro money. The other instalments won't need to be paid because if he performs with his feet and not his fists he could be sold into the over inflated English market to a Championship team but only if that happens before the inevitable insolvency event.


    You are deluding yourself I'm afraid DB if you think there will be an insolvency event.

  55. bordersdon 5th September 2019 at 13:23


    You are deluding yourself I'm afraid DB if you think there will be an insolvency event.


    Thanks for that but I'm not delusional. The numbers speak for themselves. It's only a matter of time.

    Whether its caused by the Sports Direct claim or not making the Europa group stages one year it will happen. All they are doing is kicking the can down the road.

  56. bordersdon 5th September 2019 at 11:27

    '…Yes the duopoly is back!..'


    A duopoly, certainly. But a duopoly with a new club replacing the Rangers of 1872.

    Sadly, I feel it is to Celtic FC's eternal shame that  they too  put 'profit' above truth and honour.

    The failure by them to have the RES 12 issue dragged screaming and kicking into the full light of day, and their readiness to accept the 5-Way Agreement that allows a new club to masquerade as an old club and claim that forever disgraced club's sporting achievements while simultaneously disowning any of the liabilities of that forever disgraced club, marks the current Celtic Board as men of less than principle, willing to be yoked for filthy lucre's sake to what I would describe as a parcel of real bad rogues, and willing to allow the Board of the SFA to lie brazenly and avoid independent investigation.

    UK national politics has its Rees-Moggs' and Boris Johnsons. 

    Scottish Football has the equivalents.


  57. A couple of court cases next week that will be heard together by the Inner House

    Tuesday 10th September
    Summar Roll (4 days)
    A293/16 Paul Clark v The Chief Constable of Police Scotland &c – Kennedys Scotland – Scottish Government

    A295/16 David Whitehouse v The Chief Constable of Police Scotland &c – A & W M Urquhart – Scottish Government

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