Gordon Strachan Delivers Epitaph for Rangers – Walter Smith Misses the Point

In yesterday’s papers up popped “the two most successful recent managers of Scottish clubs” to offer their views on the future of Scottish football for this season and beyond.

Walter Smith and Gordon Strachan spoke out through a desire to lead Scottish football on a path to recovery by talking of the positives in the game…no, hang on, they spoke as part of a promotion for Ladbrokes, whilst Mr Smith spouted doom and gloom.

Mr Strachan spoke sense and delivered what could be the epitaph for Rangers and its financial disaster, even if that was not what he intended to do.

Mr Smith, with respect to him, talked nonsense.

They were reported in many papers, but I have taken the quotes below from the Scotsman. Both of the linked articles are worth a read in full.

First up we have Walter Smith. The extracts from the article are in bold.

Martin Hannan, who wrote both pieces, describes Mr Smith as “the Ibrox legend who led a syndicate that almost bought Rangers”. The re-writing of history proceeds apace.

Mr Smith’s consortium appeared on the day that the CVA was formally rejected and the assets and business of Rangers sold to Sevco Scotland Ltd (as it then was). His consortium’s kind offer to take the newly purchased assets of Mr Green’s hands was refused immediately. The Smith consortium disappeared into the shadows straight away. If that means that he “almost” bought Rangers, then I was not far behind, having suggested via Twitter a couple of months ago that if Duff and Phelps paid me £5 million, I would take over Rangers!

Walter Smith in happier times for his favoured team

In response to being asked if Scottish football was heading for League of Ireland status, Mr Smith said: “We are heading there. It’s a slow process, but we have to face that. It is not going to be helped by the withdrawal of funds and no matter what anyone says, Celtic and Rangers kept the interest in terms of Sky TV and people like that.

“If we don’t have it for three years it might be a further slow death to what we are getting. Everyone says it will bring on our younger players, but they are leaving as well. We can’t compete.”

Mr Smith’s position is that the demise of Rangers condemns Scottish football to “League of Ireland” status. One wonders why that is chosen as the benchmark, but moving on…

He says that “younger players are leaving”. If he attributes this to the end of Rangers as existed last season, then I think he is wrong.  I am not aware of an exodus of young Scottish players over the close season, discouraged by the drop in football income in Scotland. If the view is that young Scottish players are leaving because they were discouraged by rarely having a chance to play for the top two teams, then perhaps Mr Smith could explain why he seemed to prefer to use foreign journeymen, despite having a £14 million, state of the art, training facility at his disposal.

“It is a nightmare for Rangers but it is a nightmare scenario equally for Scottish football as well,” said Smith, “but it is a reality so everyone has to face that now.

“It has not been a good thing for Scottish football. The people on the boards and the SFA have already admitted that, and the only thing I could say is that if it is not a good thing for Scottish football then why did they do it in the first place? We could have had a situation where they penalised Rangers financially to the benefit of the other teams in the SPL and then put on whatever other sanctions they wanted, but keep them in the SPL for the simple reason that it keeps Scottish football strong.

“As it is, if we are listening to the warnings that are being given out by (SFA chief executive) Stewart Regan and (SPL chief executive) Neil Doncaster, then we may be in for a very, very difficult period. In my opinion a lot of it could have been avoided. It’s all right to come up with comments like sporting integrity, but the main thing is for Scottish football to gain a level of respectability and I think we are in danger of losing that.”

Walter Smith’s vision of the future for Scottish football as a result of Rangers FC being in SFL3?

Mr Smith’s view seems quite clear – financial interests are more important than the rules. It is interesting that he refers to “respectability”. How much of that would Scottish football have had, both here and outside Scotland, if Rangers had been permitted to move on with little or no consequences?

We have seen the devastating effects on the financial health of the UK as a result of the antics of banks which have been deemed “too big to fail”. That allowed and indeed seems to have encouraged profligacy and ridiculous risk taking, without fear of the consequences.

Mr Smith appears to envisage the same situation as being right for Rangers (which it might have been) and for Scottish football, which it would definitely have not.

The article mentions Mr Smith suggesting that Rangers could have stayed in the SPL and shared their gate money with the away teams. He might have had more credibility on that suggestion if it had been raised prior to decisions having been made. It does raise the question though about how Rangers would have survived in the SPL whilst being forced to reduce its income substantially. It could not manage financially in its last season without the withholding and spending of over £10 million due to HMRC, and previously it was the largesse of the Bank of Scotland which kept it afloat.

“This will just exacerbate what has already been happening in Scottish football,” said Smith. “In terms of finance we are already having a big enough struggle without Rangers having to go to the lower divisions for three years.”

Businesses have to cut their cloth to suit their income. How can a football team increase its income? It can win more matches, win more trophies, play for longer in Europe, sell players and encourage more fans to pay to see it. As part of a wider league structure it can benefit from TV income and sponsorship monies.

People talk about the drop in attendances in the SPL caused by Rangers FC being in SFL3. However Ibrox gate receipts did not go to anyone other than Rangers. In recent seasons Rangers were not regularly signing, for large transfer fees, lots of young Scottish players, and thus circulating their income around Scottish football. There was very little “trickle down”.

Most of Rangers income went on paying players and that money, whilst it went into the wider economy, was lost to football.

First day attendance figures in the SPL seem to have been positive, but it will need most if not all of a season for this to be judged clearly.

Does the absence of a Rangers from the SPL mean that the clubs will generate less income – almost certainly yes. Does that condemn all, or indeed any of them to bankruptcy? Almost certainly no.

Mr Smith then commented on the effects on the Scotland team – “Rangers might not have many Scottish players that Craig Levein might pick, but if they had players he could pick, the standard they are playing in would be a factor.”

This is stretching a point too far – Rangers might not have had many players the manager would pick for Scotland, but if they had then the level they play at would affect the Scotland team. This from the man who, until a year ago, was responsible for the team which “did not have many Scottish players that Craig Levein might pick”.

Speaking of Mr McCoist, Mr Smith said “It has taken its toll on him and you can tell that with some of the statements that he made which were born out of frustration.”

Mr McCoist about to say something “born out of frustration”?

Mr Smith, as defence counsel for Mr McCoist, seems not to offer a denial of guilt, but instead mitigation. I wonder if Mr McCoist accepts he has made statements “born out of frustration”?

“Rangers have to face the problem of trying to get three promotions in three years to get themselves back into the Premier Division.

“This close season is a big one because they are going to have sign players that effectively will have to last them for a couple of seasons, so there’s a lot of work to be done from a Rangers perspective to get them into shape for the start of what is going to be a three-year campaign.”

Mr Smith seems very confident that a three-year campaign will be enough. Has he considered the possibility that they might not win promotion every year?

In addition, as we are seeing with Rangers FC signing players just now, if they continue at the same rate they could buy a entire new team in the transfer window in January 2014. All the talk of needing a squad o win SFL1 whilst in SFL3 is PR, designed to have the standard of play drop by as little as possible, rather than simply ensuring that they do win promotion each year.

Of course, if Mr Smith’s syndicate is still lurking (and it is a pity no one seems to have asked him) it will suit him for Mr Green’s plan to fail. If it collapses, then one suspects that the assets could be picked up from the wreckage for less than the offer rejected in June.

And another point which does not seem to have been asked of Mr Smith – as a loyal Rangers fan, bringing with him a loyal group of wealthy potential backers, why have they rejected the chance to become investors in Mr Green’s Rangers FC? Surely the chance to play a part in the organisation, and indeed as shareholders exercise some influence on the direction it follows, would have been an attraction?

I suspect that we will see Mr Smith and his syndicate appearing over the horizon again, as soon as Rangers FC have money issues, or attendances start to fall.

A final word or two from Mr Smith – he was quoted by Hugh Keevins in the Daily Record saying the following:

“All I hear about is talk of stripping Rangers of titles. But any alleged wrongdoing involving EBTs and contracts has yet to be proven. I belong to that section of the Rangers support who wonder when the game will consider that the club has received enough penalties and punishments for what’s gone on.”

He was also asked about the players who left Rangers rather than transfer over to Sevco Scotland Ltd. He said: “I understand why each took the career decision they did. I just wish they’d hung around long enough for Rangers to get a transfer fee for them after negotiating cut-price deals with the club in the wake of administration.

“But I also know they had been placed in an awkward position after giving their all for the club. You have to look at the business managers of the club when you are apportioning blame.”

Dealing with the EBT/contract investigation, it maybe escaped Mr Smith’s attention that the SPL has appointed an independent commission to decide if the rules were indeed broken. If so, the penalties for the offences will be determined by the same Independent Commission. Rangers FC will be represented at the hearing and will vigorously defend its position. Indeed evidence from Mr Smith could be relevant to such a case!

As far as “penalties and punishment” then the answer to his question about when the game considers “enough is enough” is “not yet”!

Regarding the players leaving, Mr Smith falls into the same error as Mr Green in ignoring the pay cuts, rather than wage deferrals, the players agreed.

And his reference to the “business managers”…could that be a criticism of Duff and Phelps who negotiated the deals? Sadly the article does not make that clear.

 

——————————————-

And then we have Gordon Strachan.

Unlike Mr Smith, Mr Strachan has never claimed to have been a life long fan of the team he managed. Many Celtic fans did not appreciate his tenure at Parkhead, although his successor’s time in charge emphasised what a good job he had done.

Mr Strachan could almost be seen as a “neutral” observer, notwithstanding his time working for Celtic. What did he have to say? Again the comments extracted from the article are in bold.

“One Sunday I was bored out of my skull and I counted up the Scottish Third Division attendances,” said Strachan. “All the crowds put together came to 2,300.

“I think the strongest people, the people who get crowds to turn up, should get more of a vote, that’s for sure.

“Why are we listening to people who only get 200 at their games? They can’t be bothered turning out to see their local side so why do we listen to them? You can listen to the fans that turn up – fine.

This is an interesting and novel suggestion. Allocate votes to the football clubs as members of the SFA, SFL and SPL in proportion to their attendances. A cynic might say that that would cement the former Old Firm in complete control of Scottish football.

If Mr Strachan feels that Rangers were hard done by in terms of the votes to which they were party, then it was not SFL members with crowds of 200 which decided that Rangers FC should not play in the SPL. Should his crowd numbers = influence idea apply there?

As for the SFL vote, Sevco Scotland Ltd (as it then was) was seeking admission to the SFL Club. Of course the members needed to have a say and the structure is – one club = one vote.

I do not recall him looking to change the voting structures of Scottish football whilst in a position of influence at Parkhead!

“But this is the chance for the phone-in fans, the keyboard cowboys, to get out there and actually go and support their teams. Looking from a distance, there are a lot of fans talking about what should happen here and what should happen there, so come on fans, go and support your club now.”

“Keyboard cowboys”? Better than “Internet bampots”!

Asked what he thought the effect on Scottish football of Rangers having to go down to the Third Division would be, Strachan replied: “I really don’t know. We are all guessing now. It’s a situation that has never arisen before with a club like this so we’re really just waiting to see what happens.”

Well said!

Mr Strachan said the Celtic fans will
turn out to watch a “good product” even if the games are not always competitive: “It’s not going to be a walkover because the coaches and players of other clubs will say they can win things and come second and qualify for Europe.”

He agreed that players will still want to come to Celtic. “Having a better chance to play in the Champions League will bring them. A lot of players think that playing in the Champions league will give them a better chance of getting megabucks in the bigger leagues.”

Gordon Strachan triumphant

For his part, Strachan is only grateful that he and chief executive Peter Lawwell and main shareholder Dermot Desmond stuck to Celtic’s business plan. “It is easy to say you must spend, you must spend and it’s easy to fall to that kind of pressure. It’s hard to stand up and be stubborn. You must stick to your principles.”

That paragraph could stand as the epitaph for the former Rangers. One wonders if he said it in earshot of Walter Smith!

 

Posted by Paul McConville

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44 Comments

Filed under Celtic, Football, Rangers

44 responses to “Gordon Strachan Delivers Epitaph for Rangers – Walter Smith Misses the Point

  1. Paul it was the fans trusts that lobbied their clubs, people who are the lifeblood of this game/sport. im sure chairmen got e-mails from all types. they most certainly got nasty emails from oldco fans. in fact they got threatened by the rfff’s spokesman jandy sardine . we’ll remember those of you who kicked us while we’re were down and we will get you back on the way up. this notion of they’re just Internet bampots is just another tactic of the msm. imho life is full of bampots so to say because you “hide behind a username” your opinion is more extreme is laughable. the msm think the Internet is the new corner boys or shellsuit bobs . no it is not its the biggest threat to the newspaper industry since dutch elm disease

    • ecojon

      @neillennon

      Love the Dutch Elm Disease analogy 🙂

    • ecojon

      THE SINKHOLE OF HATE AND BIGOTRY THREATENING TO ENGULF SCOTTISH FOOTBALL

      Anyone normal human being who reads the thread on Rangers Media attacking Peter Lawell’s daughter will be disgusted and sorry that they ever looked at it.

      The girl has nothing to do with anything happening in football but because of her dad’s position she has been publicly attacked in the vilest of fashion.

      Sometimes I despair of my fellow countrymen and the depths to which they can sink and this is one of those occasions probably the second worst in my experience as this time, although vile beyond words, no life was lost.

  2. “Most of Rangers income went on paying players and that money, whilst it went into the wider economy, was lost to football.”

    Actually, how much of it went into the wider economy? There’s a limit to how much Nikica Jelavic can spend in Tesco and down the local Audi dealership. Most of Rangers’ expenditure went into the bank accounts of foreign footballers, who took most of it out of Scotland with them when they left.

    The reality is that Rangers FC was a massive drain on the resources of Scotland, both in terms of the millions of pounds of unpaid debts to small creditors and the taxpayer it left behind, and in terms of all the money it sucked out of Scotland from the wallets of its fans and sent all over the world in the pockets of its players.

  3. Bill Fraser

    Jerusalem may have the Wailing Wall but Scotland’s got the Wailing Wally. The only positive thing in that article is that he didn’t use the A-word. He’s like an old 45 record that’s got a scratch and just keeps repeating the same groove over and over again;
    “Aye, Rangers needed to be punished but not in a way that hurts the fans or players or Scottish football in general. Click! Aye, Rangers needed….”
    Buy yourself one of those “up-to-date” CD players, Wally. At least when the record is scratched big chunks are missed out rather than repeated over and over again.

    • when are they going to start punishing them is more to the point. how can a club register players on £5k a week in a league were they most likely get £300 pw tops. and this whilst they owe £millions to other clubs as part of the deal to allow them entry into our league system. imo they should have to pay these football debts first before they can start to spend big on players. i hope its not a pay later on via the drip that is not a deal imo after everything thats went on with oldco. imo if they are paying it up its just another unfair advantage on their opponents

      • ecojon

        @neillennon

        I just wonder whether the signing of players might be with more of an eye to the ‘value’ that can be placed on them in a balance sheet – Green I think ‘telegraphs’ quite important things through a lack of control over his mouth.

        The signal was his claim that Rangers would be in a stronger financial position according to the ‘books’ than anyone else. Of course that would help enormously when you have a planned AIM Flotation coming along and need something to persuade international investors that this recently bust club in the lowest reaches of Scottish Football is a sterling investment opportunity and can provide wealth beyond the riches of the Orient from whence the current crop of mystery ‘investors; allegedly reside.

  4. ecojon

    I see the Walter and Dodds piece as them just getting their defences in before Hector comes calling.

    I’m sure I recall Darkside chatter midweek that Walter and DM were lunching in a top Edinburgh restaurant. Probably nonsense but perhaps not.

    Maybe Sir David will be next to turn to MSM to express his mea culpa – wonder what his excuse is going to be – can only be: ‘It was those accountants not me I’m just a simple Ayrshire laddie’. Aye right 🙂

  5. buckfastswallier

    Cheers Paul.

  6. Antonious F

    Mr Smyth shares his 1st name with another delusional character, the one and only Mr Mitty. how appropriate that the remake of the 1947 original will be released in 2013. i am sure the film makers could get some great material from our real life Walter … Ah, the ramblings of Mr Myth

  7. charliedon

    On a brighter note, isn’t it pleasing on a Sunday morning to just open up the laptop and read the Internet journalists, rather than to have to wander down to the local newsagent to spend your hard earned cash to read the Mainstream Media bampots………

  8. Charles Young

    The Cardigan and WGS just happened to be promoting Ladbrokes, who will miss the Old Firm betting bonanza just as much as Sky TV.

    We can expect the PR drive to have Rangers back in the SPL to continue and a part of that campaign in the MSM is the denigration of the new media.
    The portrayal of bloggers and supporter’s websites/forums as “keyboard cowboys”, “internet bampots”, etc. reveals much about the outdated attitudes of people like Strachan and Smith. Their influence with the fans via the laptop loyal has almost disappeared but they can’t or won’t face up to it.

    In the main the people who support the teams across the country are looking to the fan’s forums and bloggers like Paul for their news and debate.

    The one notable exception to that general rule are the fans of the late great Rangers who still believe the moonbeams that come from Traynor, Jackson and Co. It’s not like that source has let them down in the past is it?

  9. Stuart

    “Everyone says it will bring on our younger players, but they are leaving as well. “ What exactly are Rangers doing with their younger players? I was puzzled by the following quote from the St. Johnstone website about the SPL Under 20 League.

    “The league is made up of fifteen teams – the SPL twelve plus Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk and Hamilton Academical – these clubs have been invited on the basis that they have maintained a youth policy at “Performance Academy” level for the past three seasons.  “

    Now given that Rangers now have official acceptance as Rangers reincarnate, have run a youth policy at SPL academy level for well over 3 years and seem to be putting agents in charge of their youth policy, I would have thought that this is the one competition that they could enter without accusations of rules being bent to accommodate them. So why aren’t they in it?

  10. ecojon

    A MUST READ

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/4472276/Green-hires-115m-debt-tycoon-as-business-guru.html

    I only just noticed this: Green hires £11.5m debt tycoon as business guru

    The tycoon is Scot Jim Park from Dumbarton and an old pal of former Rangers owner Craig Whyte’s dad Tom.

  11. Martin

    Why would you listen to people who only get 200 fans at their games?

    Well if you ask these people a question eg. can we join your football association?

    It seems logical that you would want to listen to the answer.

  12. charliedon

    I’m not much into conspiracy theories, but does anyone else think it’s strangely convenient that we’ve heard nothing more about the Duff @ Phelps report for Lord Hodge? It was meant to be delivered some time ago, but the delay has meant D&P’s administration continues, keeping the liquidators BDO away, allowing Sevco Rangers to be safely admiited to the SFA etc before any more lurking nasties are revealed?
    BTW – well done to Andy Murray!

  13. KMunro

    “It is easy to say you must spend, you must spend and it’s easy to fall to that kind of pressure. It’s hard to stand up and be stubborn. You must stick to your principles.”

    Doesn’t that mean Strachan also misses the point? It wasn’t spending that got Rangers into this trouble. It was being taken over by an owner with no money.

    About page:
    “I started this blog simply because my wife got fed up listening to me waffle on about legal things, or Doctor Who, or baseball, or Douglas Adams and I thought I could share my deep thoughts (or meaningless guff) with the wider world.”

    Topics list: Rangers (241), Administration (108). It’s nice to know that Rangers are the only club big enough to get you page views.

    Without them, I suppose nobody would visit here.

    • Grabthegrass

      What do you mean it wasn’t spending that got old rangers into trouble. Of course it was. Despite having tens of millions of pounds poured into the club by king, Murray, BOS, 26000 shareholders etc, it was sold for ONE pound. The days of owners funding clubs on an annual basis are long gone and if you think Green and his mysterious backers are going to do thpat then I fear you will be sadly mistaken.

    • Gortnamona

      @KMunro

      “I started this blog simply because my wife got fed up listening to me”

      Why am I not surprised?

    • Martin

      KMunro.

      The blog as I see it is ‘Random Thoughts Re Scots Law’ rather than the authors noted interests.

      That given the Rangers case has thrown up ‘randomly’ if you will, many questions in Law. In particular Law as it applies in Scotland, and a whole sub-set of rules that govern football.

      Should another case arise with not only interesting legal points but a media circus blurring the issues then I’m sure we’ll all view it with the same interest.

  14. Glazert Tim

    Paul

    On a legal point, I see the BBC are reporting that the three supporters clubs have joined forces openly objecting to Harper & McLeod being appointed as the firm leading the EBT enquiry.

    All because they have acted on behalf of CFC and used to have a testimonial from Peter Lawell on their site.

    Who are the paranoid ones now?

    Evidently the SPL should have vetted every law practice in Scotland to find one that hadn’t acted for Celtic, a Celtic supporter, anyone who has ever had a nasty thought about Rangers or wiped their greasy chippy fingers across Chris Boyds face after a fish supper.

    I vaguely remember a QC that might suit the bill (or should that be Billy) but even he of mutton chop, pipe smoking fame voted against them.

    Hope H&M skin their arses and dip them in vinegar for their WATP attitude to justice.

  15. paraphraser

    Paranoia is rife in certain quarters tonight, a suggestion that a conflict of interest exists in the appointing of Harper Mcleod to investigate side contracts. The joint letter, by the three fans groups would suggest that Rangers have already been found guilty primarily due to “bias”

    But the SPL have played a trump card and the commission is to made up by foreign nationals and thus independence, transparency and integrity are maintained.

    • Cregganduff

      @paraphraser

      “But the SPL have played a trump card and the commission is to made up by foreign nationals and thus independence, transparency and integrity are maintained.”

      Not if any of them have gone to mass in the last twenty years.
      In law one is entitled to be tried by a jury of one’s peers. Now that would be interesting.

      • paraphraser

        @Cregganduff

        Define one’s peers? And there is no provision for the SPL in law!

        Being a “professional” myself I would hate to be tried by my peers since my regulatory body has no interest in me or my profession and thus it seems is the same with football.

        AND I AGREE

        What is wrong with foreign football “adjudicators” deciding on the fate of “our” domestic teams?

        The answer is, everything that is wrong with Scottish football

        p.s just back from pub so this is note to self to correct in morning if doesn’t make sense

    • Stuart

      I hope the foreign nationals understand Scots legalistic practice better than Duff & Phelps did.

  16. Sir Reginald Loudpants

    a tad unfair on gordon there with the ‘ “Keyboard cowboys”? Better than “Internet bampots”! ‘ part?

    not everyone that mentions folks on the internetz means this or similar websites. he was meaning the loads of folk that comment that do not support a team through season tickets or paying at the gate.

    strachan’s a very sharp man. whereas smith is a grade A prize numpty.

    • Look, I’m a Strach-fan, I love his irreverent humour and shoot from the lip style.

      Strachan has had issues with non-pros for a long time. He thinks that guys who have never played professional football, who have never managed teams, who don’t know what goes on behind the secens, who have never felt the pressure of thousands, millions of eyes on their every decision, in a business where every mistake is magnified, don’t know what they’re talking about. He sees guys posting on the internet as no different from guys talking in a pub. Their opinions don’t matter to him.

      I see his point, but equally, we pay to support our teams, and we are here long after players and managers depart. We have a connection with our teams that many “professionals” never understand. Sure, we’re no different than guys talking in a pub, but soemtimes those guys do know what they’re talking about.

    • Frank Galvin

      I don’t know. That challenge to pay-up irked me. Every player, manager, chairman….everyone who has ever been interested in the game has a view. But I doubt if Gordon Strachan has ever ONCE put a penny into football by paying to watch a match. He represents the chasm between the professional and the supporter and these latest comments remind me of his past ‘devil dugs and Kestrel Lager’ statement.

      I don’t think he is at all ‘sharp’. He is a numpty that has convinced himself he’s smart.

      • Marching on Together

        Sorry, but I know that Strachan has paid to watch Leeds United play. Might not be Scottish football, but it is still football, and where he is a grade A legend.

  17. There’s no way I will stop being scunnered until the continuing corruption is ended,and some of the worst perpetrators thereof are incarcerated.

  18. ecojon

    In view of the death threats and general threats aimed at anyone involved in administering Scottish Football – usually with a religious basis – I think it is an absolute necessity that people outwith Scotland are approached to serve on the Commission.

    We are at the stage where even the children of Scottish adminstrators are being attacked in the vilest of ways (See my post at the top). This cannot go on – we can all have disagreements about decisions made by the ‘suits & blazers’ but we will never ever advance our case by resorting to or condoning death threats and intimidation based on a person’s religion or even, as is often the case, perceived religious affiliation. I should make clear that I do not believe that any genuine Scottish Football Supporter would be involved in this btw.

    • Sorry ecojon, I disagree, for me, that’s letting the lunatics take over the asylum. It is not up to any person or group to dictate who they get investigated by and we should not need to appease anyone or even acknowledge their ludicrous charges of conspiracy.

  19. ecojon

    @jockybhoy

    I would have agreed with you nefore last night and then I read the RM thread and I don’t know if you have a daughter but I do and despite being a guy that has never flinched from taking some heavy public flak in my life I cannot subject the children of our top level admin people in the game being subjected to vile personal attacks just because of what their parents do for a living.

    It is primeval and tribal what is going on – are we going to have to employ people on the basis that they have no surviving family that can be attacked by this increasingly bloodthirsty mob.

    Sometimes there are things more important than football and this is one of them – it is about basic guman decency and the ‘justice’ that must lie at the core of a fair and democratic society.

  20. Geddy Lee.

    I had no idea “Walter” was so thick !

  21. Geddy Lee.

    The VILE “Bear’s Den” forum on the rangers media site needs to be shut down as a matter of urgency.

    The language is disgusting. As for the comments themselves, it’s hard to imagine the kind of mentality that is so wrapped up in hate , fear and ignorance. The moderators refuse to take any action, and any decent gers fan that tries to bring some sanity to proceedings is subjected to the most horrendous abuse imaginable, and not just from the posters from NI, although they are revelling in the thought of social unrest in Scotland.

    Accusations of being a tai#, are par for the course for any contributor who refuses to toe the party line of hate filled
    claims of innocence.

    The obsession with child abuse is another reason this horrific site must be taken down.

  22. Charles Young

    On the face of it Gordon Strachan has a point when he questions why “we” should listen to the fans whose teams only attract crowds of 200. He tells these ‘keyboard cowboys’ to go and support their local teams.
    The we he refers to are presumably the club chairmen and football authorities who, under pressure from fans groups, deemed that Newco Rangers be thrown out of the SPL and forced to start at the bottom of the league structure in the Third Division for not honouring their debts.

    However Strachan has previous form on the internet activists–who others see as the life-blood of the modern Scottish game–and he is hardly consistent or objective. The fans of his former club Celtic, which can attract crowds of 60,000 felt his wrath when they criticised his management style.

    Strachan was scathing on: “These people who have no friends. Who when they want to have a chat about something don’t do that after work at the pub, but spend 10 hours a day on the internet, the same type of people who go on X Factor, are useless singers but don’t have any mates to tell them the truth, and are laughed off stage. “So they go home disappointed they didn’t make it on X Factor and think, ‘What will I do now? I know, I’ll get my computer out and write stuff on messageboards about Celtic.

    Strachan typecast internet activists as being “all dressed in tracksuits with their devil dogs and cans of lager.” That, he said was his way of saying “this is what’s happening out there. We need to be careful who we listen to and who we allow to set the agenda.” Hardly objective is he?

    Wee Gordon Strachan has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t fancy the internet, and those who use it to voice their opinions, but he does a 180% U-turn when it comes to gambling.

    By acting as a paid advertiser for the services of Ladbrokes he is encouraging men, women, and children who might otherwise be taking an active part in sport to spend any money they can afford—and some they can’t—in online gambling.

    If one has access to the internet and an opinion on the result, correct score, number of fouls, corners, red-cards in any football game Ladbrokes will give access to betting with live TV coverage 24/7.

    Perhaps it is the keyboard gamblers who are at home watching, and gambling on football, horse racing, or any other sport shown live on a Saturday afternoon who are killing the game, and not the fans who maintain websites and discussion forums on football clubs ranging from Aberdeen to York, in support of their teams?

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