Rangers were founded in 1872 and ceased to exist as a club in 2012. A new club, called The Rangers, was formed in 2012 after the old club was liquidated. Article 12.2 of UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations edition 2010 prohibits new clubs from participating in any European competition for a period of three years. As a new club, this ban was automatically applied to The Rangers. Ally McCoist was the last manager of Rangers; sadly for their fans he is the only Rangers manager to lose every competition he entered. Charles Green, the Chief Executive of The Rangers and acting on behalf of the owner(s) of the new club, has retained McCoist’s services for The Rangers.
There is a constant attempt by The Rangers management, and fans of the old Rangers, to deny that The Rangers is a new club, with the obvious purpose of preserving the history and tradition of the old club as one unbroken continuum. The hub of this article is not a counterpoint to those that believe their historical line to be unbroken – the EUFA ban puts that to bed and to think differently is merely delusional – but rather an argument that the history of the old Rangers was based on aggressive anti-Catholicism and does not merit continuation in any shape or form.
From its inception in 1872 to 1989, a period of over 100 years, Rangers refused to sign a high-profile Catholic football player. Rangers’ Protestant Unionist and anti-Catholic background is well documented.
For example: “Historically Rangers have maintained a staunch Protestant and anti-Catholic tradition which includes a ban on signing Catholic players” (Giulanotti, R., 1999: Football: A Sociology of the Global Game). Continue reading
I was sitting on Friday night and had settled down to watch the TV news and was treated to some glorious repeat footage of the Green Brigade card display which I am sure stunned Barcelona.
But then came a story that was so touching I sat and cried – if Rod can do it so can I. The news item was about the devotion of a 90-year-old Dutch woman who had tended the grave of a Scottish soldier for 60 years. She knew nothing about him except his name and gravestone details but had kept her faithful vigil because, like countless other Dutch people, she had ‘adopted’ the grave of a fallen soldier who had fought to free her country from Nazi tyranny.
It got me thinking about Remembrance Sunday when I always spend some time contemplating the price paid by our military personnel in answering the call to duty when our Nation has been under threat and, in particular, my relatives and their friends.
And in that strange way that the mind sometimes works, I began to think about the wearing of poppies and Remembrance Sunday and the differences of opinion they have created at Celtic Park.
I recognise how very personal a choice it can be for every individual whether to wear a poppy or not and how it can influenced by a variety of factors which may well be unique to some people or groupings within our society. Continue reading
THIRTY years ago today the fans of Spartak Moscow were struck by a terrible tragedy when at least 66 of them died although the actual death toll could be in the hundreds.
It eerily mirrors the 1971 Ibrox Disaster with the same official death toll and a stairway location at the end of a game with a last-minute goal as Rangers fans headed homewards.
There are also uncanny connections to the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster with police standing by, like disinterested observers, as dozens died before their eyes from crush injuries and suffocation and medical staff were denied access.
And just like the Liverpool victims the Spartak supporters and their families also suffered an extensive cover-up, denial of the facts and denigration of their loved ones who were blamed for their own deaths, accused of being drunk and antagonising the police by throwing snowballs at them.
We all know how long and hard the people of Liverpool have fought, against what often seemed like insurmountable odds, for justice, punishment of the guilty and the restoration of the good name of the 96. Continue reading
A bemused Russian press first reported football being played in 1868 by British Residents of St Petersburg, the Tzarist Capital which provided Russia’s ‘Window on the West’. The British ‘colony’ centred their sporting and leisure activities at the Imperial River Yacht Club on Krestovsky Island but had to rely on crews from visiting British ships to provide opposition teams. Interestingly British sailors were reported as early as 1860 playing football in the Black Sea naval base of Odessa.
The body of ‘Mad Monk’ Rasputin was recovered beneath river ice near the island in December 1916 and in recent times the finger of suspicion for his murder has been pointed at the British Secret Intelligence Service.
St Petersburg’s first football club ‘Viktoria’ surfaced in 1894 with English and German players to be joined by the ‘Scottish Circle of Amateurs’ – ‘English Football Club’ – ‘Germania FC’ and ‘Gloria’ with their teams drawn from the various diplomatic missions and ex-pat business communities.
A major break-through came just two years when a Frenchman first published the rules of the game in Russian leading to the formation of ‘SPORT’ (St Petersburg Circle of Amateur Sportsmen) the first Russian team followed by ‘Petrograd’ (old name for St Petersburg) who were beaten 6-0 on Vasilievsky Island, in October 1897, by the mainly English ‘Ostrov’ (Island) team. Continue reading
I will start by saying that the prospect I suggest in the heading is unlikely to happen, as I will discuss.
However, as we saw in the Olympics, and previously as example in the World Cup and in cricket’s Benson & Hedges Cup, the rules can be manipulated, within the letter, if not the spirit of the law.
2012 Olympic Badminton
As the BBC reported here:-
“Eight badminton players have been disqualified from the women’s doubles competition after being accused of “not using one’s best efforts to win”.
Two pairs from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia made a series of basic errors in Tuesday’s matches.
All four pairs were accused of wanting to lose, in an attempt to manipulate the draw for the knockout stage.
A South Korean appeal was rejected by the Badminton World Federation, while Indonesia withdrew an appeal.
As well as the “not using best efforts” charge, the players were also accused of “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport”. Continue reading