Rangers, the biggest scandal in the History of Sport and the rest

Perspective is difficult to find in these times, when information floods in from all angles on a daily basis. With this in mind, The Battered Bunnet put a day aside to give you a detailed summary (below) of how we go to where we are today. He pays particular attention to some of those who plan to be part of the game’s future, with a nod to those currently in control of the game.

It’s a fascinating read:

Scottish Football is in crisis, a crisis that has been 15 years in the making by the Directors of Rangers Football Club plc, compounded by a chronic lack of Governance and Oversight by the cronyistic SFA through the years.

Let’s revisit the cause of the crisis for a moment:

When David Murray bought Rangers in 1988, the club had won but 4 league titles in 20 years, and prior to the arrival of Graeme Souness, had been a Scottish League also ran for a decade. Souness, with David Holmes as Chairman, started the reversal of fortune and effectively restored Rangers as a player in British football.

Murray, giving credit where it’s due, transformed Rangers both as a football club and a business. Between 1988 and 1996, Rangers’ turnover increased by a factor of 5, double double and then some in only 8 years. During this time, the club became dominant in Scotland and competitive in Europe, while considerable sums were invested in the stadium and infrastructure, providing Rangers with a (comparatively) vast commercial resource to fund its football operations. While the club carried £9M of debt at this point, it was profitable, posting £2M surplus in 1996, and breaking even over the period of Murray’s tenure to that point.

By 1996 Murray had a valuable football business on his hands, and perhaps the smart play would have been to sell it. Football was in an expansionary phase, and there would have been a queue of interested and well bankrolled investors at the door. Instead, Murray chose to redouble his efforts, and taking Rangers ‘to the next level’ became the mantra adopted by the man and his increasingly fawning press.

Highlighting that Murray was not alone in thinking that Rangers could indeed become one of Europe’s top clubs, the following year Joe Lewis invested £40M in return for a 20% share. One wonders what Murray might have walked away with had he sold the lot to Lewis at that time, but he kept his hand in the game, and went all in over the following 6 years.

Between 1997 and 2003 Rangers lost an eye watering £152.6 Million. Joe Lewis’ £40M was gobbled up in jig time, followed by £20M of Dave King’s tax efficient stash, plus a £32M investment by Murray’s business, £6M from smaller shareholders, and a further £15M of NTL’s investment in the hopeless Rangers Media venture. At its nadir in 2004, Rangers net debt was a staggering £83 Million, a monument to the ego of David Murray and his ‘dream’ for Rangers.

Unfortunately, burning shareholders’ and creditors’ cash at such a breath-taking rate was not sufficient to fund Murray’s project, and the club embarked upon a series of schemes to pay players and reduce costs. A Discount Option Scheme saved over £2M between 1999 and 2003, while an Employee Benefit Trust framework saved £45M of payroll tax and gross wages between 2000 and 2010. It is worthwhile noting that the cost savings alone from these schemes gave Rangers a financial advantage equivalent to the total payroll of every other SPL team excluding Celtic.

We know now, thanks to the admissions of former director Hugh Adam, that ‘off the books’ payments to Rangers players had started as early as the mid-1990s, and the DOS and EBT schemes were simply formalising a by then established practice.

By 2005, with Rangers reduced to little more than a financial basket case, Bank of Scotland insisted that the club be brought back into balance, and following a failed public share issue, Murray’s holding company swapped £50M of Rangers’ debt for increased equity. The following year JJB paid £15M cash as a future royalty for a 10 year solus agreement on Rangers merchandise. Murray might very well have sold the jersey, but Rangers at long last had gotten rid of all but £6M of debt, and a new ‘sustainable’ plan was implemented, a plan that endured no longer than Paul Le Guen’s 26 games in charge.

When Walter Smith replaced Le Guen, the new plan was binned and Rangers once again embarked upon a ‘front loaded’ business model, with debt increasing on the back of player purchases and wages that the club could not sustain. By 2009 Rangers had £33M of bank debt and Murray’s companies, so long the guarantor of the funding, had utterly collapsed in the property and construction crash of 2008. It is worthwhile remembering that some £70 Million of Rangers’ losses through the years remains on the Murray International Holdings Ltd balance sheet, unpaid to the part-nationalised Bank of Scotland/Lloyds Banking Group.

Early in 2010, following an unusually long Tax Enquiry, Rangers received a Tax Assessment from HMRC for their use of EBTs in the preceding 10 years. The Bill for £24M, had a further £12M of accrued interest attached, and the promise of penalties to come.

Alastair Johnston, who had replaced Murray as Chairman of Rangers following the crash of Murray’s business empire, had a decision to make. In the summer of 2010, £36M tax demand in hand, and an appeal against which scheduled for October, Johnston was planning the coming season’s business. He could have chosen to sell the top footballers which would have brought in around £20M of proceeds. He could have chosen to run the club on a reduced cost model, one that was profitable on domestic football alone, thereby banking a further £20M from their participation in the Champions League. Had he done so, and ring fenced the cash, Rangers would have been in a position to withstand losing the Tax Case Appeal without bankrupting the club.

Alastair Johnston and his Board chose not to. He chose instead to spend money increasing the size of the squad, with £4M spent on Jelavic alone. Whatever else you hear about Rangers’ sorry plight, remember that in the summer of 2010 Alastair Johnston and his Board decided to prioritise football results ahead of the very existence of the club. That was the last time that Rangers’ fate was in the hands of the Club. From the moment the decision was taken not to act, Rangers’ fate was sealed.

Craig Whyte’s bizarre 9 month tenure of course is attracting all of the headlines, and Murray’s reckless disregard for shareholders and laws have precipitated the crisis, but Alastair Johnston, along with Paul Murray, Martin Bain, John McClelland and the rest doomed the club by their inaction in the summer of 2010.

We are now aware that Rangers’ use of unlawful tax strategies had a consequent impact on the proper Registration of their players. I won’t pour over the relevant rules here, suffice to say that in making payments to players via undisclosed agreements that were not provided for in the football contracts lodged with the authorities, many of Rangers top players have been ineligible to play in official matches for a decade or more.

As if it couldn’t get any more damning, the very Directors of Rangers who conceived, implemented and administered these contractual arrangements, were simultaneously Directors of the SFA and the SPL, the bodies responsible for Governance and Oversight. Step forward John McClelland, Martin Bain and Campbell Ogilvie. That Ogilivie is currently President of the SFA simply beggars belief. It appears as though Football in Scotland has been bent for 2 decades, and the people responsible were running the game.

There is a current SPL Inquiry into this issue, and perhaps that will reveal the true extent of the breaches of rules, but from the information now available in the public domain, there is a prima facie case for voiding the results of hundreds of matches in which Rangers have participated over the years, and stripping the club of any titles won during the period. The expulsion of the club from the game is talked of. In terms of athletes and duration, it represents a bigger sporting fraud than the Balco case, and is on that basis, the biggest scandal in the History of Sport.

Did I say a ‘moment’? Forgive me, but it has taken a little while to describe 15 years of malfeasance and deception.

In summary, in the 15 years from 1996 to 2011, Rangers have spent a staggering £168 Million more than they have earned. They have saved a further £47 Million of payroll costs via the use of questionable tax strategies. They have corrupted the rules of the game from the inside. And now they are bankrupt, with the very real prospect of £100 Million of creditors being turned over in one of the biggest corporate failures in Scottish business history.

Against this backdrop, Scottish Football has to divine the way ahead. We have to figure a way out of this mess and build a new future. Everything must be on the table, everything that is except narrow self-interest.

Following a Liquidation, if a group of supporters of a dissolved Rangers get together and start a new football club, one that looks like and sounds like Rangers, playing in blue shirts at Ibrox or elsewhere, I say good luck to them. Of such like-minded people are Football clubs are born. There is clearly a business opportunity given the size of the support for the old club. The pathway is straight forward: Put a Business Plan together; Invest the necessary Capital; and Apply for membership of the Scottish Football League. If the club prospers on the park they will be rewarded with promotions and will emerge into the top flight in their own merits, self-respecting and respectful. Such qualities does Meritocracy provide.

That is a decision though for Rangers supporters. The rest of us need to figure out a new plan. Without Rangers there will inevitably be less money in the top league, fewer fans perhaps, less TV and sponsorship money. We need to accept that reality and respond to it.

I suggest we look towards Cooperation, Collective Interest, Inter-Dependence.

The hardest hit will be those clubs most reliant on the money lost. Redistribution of TV income should be considered. No question.

Youth Development should be looked at again, not least because for most clubs it will define their future. Closer cooperation amongst the clubs can yield benefits for both clubs and players. A modified Draft system might be appropriate, whereby players graduating from Under 19/20 are available to be signed by other clubs in a predetermined sequence, perhaps with the developing club having a first option on 2 players, the remainder co-opted into the draft.

Considering Celtic’s worldwide scouting network, is there potential to share information on overseas prospects with the other clubs? An easy thing to implement.

Looking at income, the huge imbalance created by the participation fees paid to clubs qualifying for the Champions League distorts domestic competition. Can we consider a distribution to all clubs of Marketing fees and likes from UEFA for our clubs’ participation in UEFA competitions?

Finally, what other means do we have, given the collective talent and resources of the top clubs in Scottish Football, to generate new opportunities, new market share, new income? If necessity is indeed the Mother of Invention, we are not short of need. Let’s get innovative.

Of course, all of this is based upon a consensual approach to the crisis we face. It is widely reported that the other 10 clubs in the SPL are meeting next week to consider an appropriate response to the problems we all face. Celtic have not been invited to attend. This in itself is a concern, as it draws something of a line in the sand between the interests of the 10, and the interests of Celtic. One SPL chairman told BBC Scotland: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change things.” Such change, hatched by the 10 other clubs and forced upon Celtic is not a cooperative approach.

Moreover, Celtic are by a distance the biggest box office in the league. This season attendance at Celtic Park equates to 72% of the total attendances at all other grounds excluding Ibrox. A series of decisions on restructuring the SPL and redistributing the proceeds from the competition that excluded the stakes of almost half of the fans in the league is surely invalid.

Quite what will these clubs do with their self-acknowledged ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change things’?

Perhaps the 10 SPL Clubs will come up with some truly radical and forward looking ideas that are at face value, innovative, imaginative and laudable.

Perhaps though they won’t. Perhaps their ideas will be a little more self-interested. That is certainly the form book in Scottish Football.

Redistribution of SPL TV and Sponsorship income that excludes the Champion team from the divvy? Why not eh. The 10 Clubs will have the SPL voting majority to do so.

What would the implications be should the 10 Clubs decide that gate sharing was the way ahead for the SPL? Certainly, in the absence of Rangers, they would carry the voting rights to approve such a decision, irrespective of any objections from the fans whose money would be redirected.

And indeed, the admission of a New Rangers directly into the SPL, bypassing all meritocratic and long established practices in the game worldwide.

Establishing a new business is a challenging activity. Doing so in the midst of the financial chaos enveloping Rangers is utterly fraught. Those considering such a move need to have confidence in revenue projections and market. In the case of a New Rangers, the arbiter of revenue is the League they will participate in. It is reasonable to assume that informal soundings have been taken by those considering a New Rangers project from those with the power to determine which market they will operate in.

I have no problem with Stephen Thomson of Dundee Utd picking up the phone and chatting to Stewart Milne of Aberdeen. Indeed, I would expect it in the ordinary course, never mind the crisis we all face. However, given the likelihood that those behind a New Rangers are right now making their initial pitch to each of the 10 clubs, it is somewhat distressing that those same 10 clubs should in short course arrange a meeting to discuss and plan the way ahead, excluding Celtic and the interests of half the remaining fans of the SPL.

Paul Murray, Martin Bain, John McClelland, Alastair Johnston, Dave King: The men who brought this disaster down upon the game in this country, who corrupted the game from the inside for a decade or more, who burned £100 Million of creditors money, who are responsible for ripping off the Tax Payer and the Football Fan alike, who failed to act on Rangers’ crisis when action was most needed, these men and their likes are currently negotiating with the 10 Clubs the conditions for the entry of New Rangers directly back into the SPL.

The very essence of Sport, the history of Football, and the future of the Game in this country is to be decided in the coming weeks by the chairmen of just 10 Clubs. In the hands of these men is the legacy of the game accidentally entrusted, and its future precariously placed.

At our moment of crisis, when wisdom and consensus are most needed, what direction will they take? Where will Scottish Football go from here?

To a new, mature, responsible and progressive place? Or to Hell in a Handcart.




856 thoughts on "Rangers, the biggest scandal in the History of Sport and the rest"

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  • saltires en sevilla

    starry plough on 11 March, 2012 at 12:08 said:

    “….now score it out!”

    SquireDanahercsc

  • bournesouprecipe

    Starry

    monosyllabic

    *good word*

  • unew mike

    Never Forget Tohoku Charity Project
    A Unique Digital Photo Art Charity Exhibition In Tokyo 07 January 2012 – 29 July 2012

    On 11 March 2011 NHK news reported an unprecedented Magnitude 9 Earthquake disaster http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/11_53.html

    The details of the emerging catastrophe and subsequent Tsunami which engulfed the fukushima nukclear plant story was quickly taken up by the international news media including the bbc
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12709850

    Today is the 1st Anniversary of the Unprecedented Eastern Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 CQN poster UNEW Mike would like to draw CQN bloggers attention to a continuing digital photo exhibition for which he provides voluntary support on the 2nd and 4th Saturday every month in Tokyo.
    Tokyo Ginza TS Building Ground Floor
    Tokyo Chuo Ku Ginza 5-2-1
    Saturday and Sunday (Every Week end) 12 o’clock in the morning ~ 6 o’clock in the afternoon. Admission is free This Exhibition Runs Every Week End from January 2012 Until August 2012
    The objective (aim) of this charity project, it is to contribute to the considerable cost of construction of a North East Tohoku Care Home ” Rainbow House”
    Our objective and sincere hope is that the North East Japan Rainbow House will become The CARE house for children (orphans) who tragically lost their parents as a result of the East Japan (Tohoku) large earthquake disaster. Thus with the help of various efforts and generous charitable donations, together with your help we hope to provide continuous CARE for the orphans who sadly lost their parents at the result of the unprecedented Magnitude 9 Earthquake and Tsunami disaster which shocked Japan off the Eastern Tohoku Coast at Fukushima on 11 March 2011
    Charity items available for sale: Original design, eco friendly White T shirt (2,000 Yen, total 500 limited edition), the post card (1,000 Yen for one set of 5 post cards; 5 different varieties )
    Bath Towels two colours available Green or White 1,000 Yen each. The orginal design shows five different coloured hands connected as circle of friendship to reflect support for this Rainbow House Care Home Digital Photo Charity Project.
    Details of pay pal for online donations will be confirmed as soon as possible.
    Celtic fans (CQN Bloggers and others) will be given the opportunity to support this effort and the people in Japan by purchasing a set of 5 original charity post cards for 1,000 yen + 300 yen package and postage fee.
    The design of five new, original multi-lingual charity post cards in English, Japanese and French is in the final stages preparation to help promote this sincere effort to improve the lives orphan children from which on we would like to leave CQN readers and those sadly affected by the TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE with the following sincere message (English, Japanese, French):
    “When I see Tohoku Smiles
    Your strong, gentle spirit
    Is my hope
    東北のみんなの笑顔
    逞しくって優しいね
    それが僕の望み
    Quand je vois les sourires du Tohoku,                 
    votre esprit fort et doux,                             
    cela me donne espoir”
    On behalf of the people of Japan Your sincere prayers and support for this charitable effort to support the orphans affected by The Tohoku Disaster will be much appreciated
    Hail Hail UNEW MIKE

  • Mick

    MWD

    Read about your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you,I’ll say a pray for your friend Christine.

  • RobertTressell

    bankiebhoy1 on 11 March, 2012 at 10:56 said:
    “At Shortbread Cable, we can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that a source close to the Mighty Gers has CONFIRMED that talks with Wan Hung Lo ( Holdings) are progressing POSITIVELY with a view to a deal being tabled, IMMINENTLY…….and in another twist to this tantalising tale……SEYMOUR BUTTS, the IDAHO based Billionaire whose wealth is officially outwith the reach of normal aeroplane navigation equipment…….has said he might take a look as well……”

    ENDS.
    ————————————————
    Hearing of a rival bid from Sum Yung Guy (S Korean I think) who is heading up the Hoo Flung Dung consortium.

    Keith Jackson and Jim Traynor exclusive (Or the Brothers Grimm as they should be known)

    In other news rangers have circulated a ‘come and get us plea’ to the worlds richest people. The hook line for the campaign is said to be:
    ‘Who no longer wants to be a Billionaire?’

    More fairy stories than a nursery school

  • weeron

    Starry…..
    thanks. While moaning about Charlie getting moved to LB, I am pleased that Neil has moved Ledley back into midfield. Him, Brown and Wanyama are a lot tighter as a unit than previous permutations.

  • bournesouprecipe

    MWD

    RIP Christine

  • Indio

    Celtic XI: Forster; Matthews, Rogne, Mulgrew, Ledley; Forrest; Wanyama, Brown, Samaras; Hooper & Stokes (TH)

  • Indio

    Good to see Sammy back in the team

    Indio

  • Palacio67

    Jeez that game on ESPN must have a contender between them for one of the worst strips ever!

    HH

  • Indio

    Brown makes it, glad of that, he will be needed today.

    Indio

  • bournesouprecipe

    That’s Celtic’s strongest team IMHO

  • Lubo

    MWD,

    My thoughts are with you.

    Lubo.

  • Indio

    Wilson drops out, must be mulgrew at CB and Joe at LB.

    Indio

  • Indio

    I like the look of this team, hope the game lives up the the hype and both teams have a go. Hopefully end to end stuff with a Celtic victory.

    Indio

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

    Attacking line up today. Sami and James Forrest wide means a lot of work for Broony and Big Vic in the middle.

  • Kittoch

    EKBhoy

    sorry game not on in farm

  • starry plough

    Top team, goals from the back to the front, could be a great game today.

    A massive Hail Hail to the Magnificent Away Support..

    Butterflies starting to flutter now…

    C’mon the Celts…

  • bankiebhoy1

    Robert T,

    Hoo Flung Dung is apparently waiting in the wings……….

    ;)

  • weeron

    Aaarrghhhh….!

    Just said what a good think it is that Neil is playing Ledley in midfield….!

    Oh well…..shows what I know….:)

  • Mick

    Should we tell him? Do we really care what he thinks? Does he mean “Tainted”?
    http://i39.tinypic.com/30iffx5.jpg

  • jackie mac

    13.15 I think bobbymurdoch, I have in laws in Invercargill by the way, a special part of the world.

  • The Battered Bunnet

    Sorry to hear your sad news Danny.

    You’re in my thoughts.

  • jackie mac

    Mick

    I think the words are ‘by cheating’

  • BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

    BSR 1143

    Ah,the old wheelbarrow position…..

  • jackie mac

    missing words that is

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

    Mick,

    Only one club has won nine in a row fairly.

    And once their tainted titles are withdrawn, only one club will have won nine in a row.

  • ianinascoli

    Well it`s an attacking team. Come on the Celts!

  • pauloantony

    They seek a billionaire

    But stand outside iPox protesting singing songs of hatred and f… The pope!

    Maybe they should educate them selves about billionaires (not motherwll born billionaire charlatans) …

    Philanthropists Tom Monaghan and Barron Hilton.
    Related news:
    Pope Benedict points to St. Jean Vianney as model for charity workers
    Charity best apologist for Catholic faith, says Pope as he blesses statue of Mary
    St. Vincent de Paul Society convenes in Spain to elect new president
    Catholic pastoral charity announces more initiatives in Eastern Europe
    Responding to a philanthropic campaign by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates – two of the world’s richest men – 40 U.S. billionaires pledged this week to give at least half their fortunes to charity. On the list of those participating in the initiative are some who are sharing their wealth with Catholic causes.

    Reuters reported on Aug. 4 that the The Giving Pledge initiative was begun by Gates and Buffet in June of this year as an effort to encourage moguls to commit at least 50 percent of their income to charity, either during their lives or after their deaths.

    Forty of the richest people in the United States have now taken the pledge,  including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media moguls Barry Diller and Ted Turner, “Star Wars” movie maker George Lucas, energy leader T. Boone Pickens and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

    Among those listed on the pledge roster are Domino’s Pizza founder and Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan and hotel magnate Barron Hilton – both of whom give significant contributions to Catholic efforts. In public letters on the pledge website, both offered details on the nature of their philanthropy.

    “I came into the world penniless and as a Catholic Christian, I know that I cannot take any of it with me, so it has long been my desire to use the material resources that I have been blessed with to help others in the most meaningful ways possible,” wrote Monaghan.

    “My early experience of the Catholic faith, taught to me by the Felician sisters when I was in the orphanage during my formative years, served as a foundation for what I would believe to be the most important things in life,” he said. “As I built and expanded Domino’s Pizza for 38 years, my desire to spread the faith also grew.”

    Monaghan underscored that “as a Catholic, I would not be living out my faith if I did not use the abundant resources God has given me to help others.”

    “A number of years before, I had started supporting Catholic education by getting involved with grade schools, and this was great, but building schools was expensive,” the philanthropist added. “I realized that to have a more global impact, I would need to focus on Catholic higher education – to train the teachers, the principals, the future Catholic university and seminary professors.”

    Monaghan eventually founded Ave Maria University and Ave Maria School of Law. Since that time, the former pizza magnate said he has not only committed his personal assets to the two schools but has made them his “life’s work” by devoting his time to fundraising.

    Hotel empire owner Barron Hilton wrote in his public letter that the priorities for his philanthropic funding include safe “water development, homelessness, children, substance abuse and Catholic sisters.”

    “Other major programs include blindness prevention, hotel and restaurant management education, multiple sclerosis, disaster relief and recovery, and Catholic schools,” Hilton noted. “We are constantly reviewing our practices while remaining faithful to the values and principles that guide us.”

    According to its website, the Hilton Foundation is helping Catholic sisters broaden the impact of their work in developing countries, partnering with the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, an organization which gives grants to sisters throughout the world.

  • RobertTressell

    Any Springsteen fans in the house? Just got the new album – wrecking ball.

    Good stuff. He is today’s Woody Guthrie.

    By the way – I was out of cyberspace for a few days bar one or two quick looks at the site. Just to let you all know – it’s still pretty crappy out there. Important as it is that Celtic get justice and Rangers get their just desserts (how ya like them apples flavour for them) keep an eye on those who are currently picking your families pockets.

    Rangers travails have shown me in technicolour detail just how easy it is for the rich to cheat the system, avoid taxes and then get the workers to pay for their theft. So it has been a useful exercise for me to watch it and learn about the various legal and technical issues.

    Don’t know if any of you are hearing from Unions you may be members of but there is a grass roots call for more strike action before the month is out. Whether it happens or not is another issue. But the reasons workers came out on strike in their millions on November the 30th have not been resolved. If you get the chance to have a say then do so.

    That’s all from me on the issue. Going to enjoy the first half of the game before I have to go out on family duties!!!!!! aaaaagggggghhhhhhh biggest game for a while and I’m missing it.

    Sky Plus for me…..

    Hail Hail and keep your eyes on the many prizes of life.

  • starry plough

    Mick on 11 March, 2012 at 12:22 said:

    Is there any point Mate, is there really any point…

  • Mick

    Bhoys you’d have thought he’d known that small fact!

    Wonder who really wrote the article? anyway I see Burley has a column in the sunday mail… so obvious.

    Come on Hector just shut them down.

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

    RobertTressell,

    My blog has a full review of the Springsteen album – click on my name above.

  • bournesouprecipe

    BMCUW

    (⊙_⊙)

  • Summa of Sammi….

    .

    Bourne..

    You Wont Believe this..Took my Daughter and 81yr Old Mother in Law (Who has Emphaseema and Uses a Walker to Walk)..

    To a St Patrick’s Day Family Festival Today..About a Thousand there..

    And a Mobile Gazebo Blew over and Landed on Both of them..Both thankfully are not Seriously Hurt Just Bruised..

    Bloody Gazebos Ehhh..

    Summa

  • RobertTressell

    pauloantony on 11 March, 2012 at 12:30 said:
    ———————————–
    ‘Nice’ as that is I wonder if our Billionaire friends would like to take a look at the pay and conditions of their workers, particularly in the hospitality sector. I wonder if their charity will extend to leaving their ‘empires’ behind them and working with their employees.

    What was that Jesus told the Rich Man? Was it ‘Take a part of your wealth, set up a foundation to raise money for the poor. Host gala dinners for celebrities to top up the funds every now and then, return home to your mansion and tip the driver you pay minimum wage to as you do so. Give your maid and cook a half day off as you bask in the warmth of the generosity you and your wealthy friends have just displayed’

    or was it:

    ‘Sell all you have and give it to the poor’

    I can’t remember.

    PaoloAnthony – I’m just being my usual cynical self here. Not a dig at you – I have issues with the extremely wealthy and their ‘charity’ (which may or may not be tax deductable!)

  • 67Heaven … I am Neil Lennon..!!..Truth and Justice will always prevail

    Wee Tam is fed up talking about rankers………join the club, Tam

  • stephbhoy

    i don’t believe that an Atlantic league will ever happen

    for me such a set-up would require at least 32 clubs to make up two divisions16 on of (how would that be decided). it would become arguable one of the best league in the world

    a league that has celtic, ranger (maybe), ajax, PSV, anderlech, club brugg, rosenburgh, gothenburgh etc… chasing the championship would be massive, particularly with the added t.v money.

    but thats why it will never happen because it would change the land scope of football forever and the big clubs from big nations don’t want it.

    same reason celtic will never play in the EPL, its called fear!!!

    think is can the big clubs from smaller nations continue to go down the road they are on right now?

  • Summa of Sammi….

    .

    Electronic Tims ‏ @ETimsNet Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    The suns out, The hairs aw conditioned. Time for The Sammi Show. #BecauseYoureWorthIt

    Summa

  • RobertTressell

    Gordon – that is excellent. With you on Rocky Ground – bit of an ‘arty’ moment I think.

    You have a real talent there pal.

  • blantyretim

    ok bhoys..

    PV to watch the hoops…

    come on you bhoys in green…….

  • BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

    GORDON J

    I don’t think he needs to-he’s heard it!

    BTW,I still think he should have chucked it after his fourth album,or even saved a fortune in legal fees and called it quits after the third.

  • Mick

    starry plough
    No there’s not.

    Come on the Hoops

    HH

  • bournesouprecipe

    Summa

    Ha – superb the ole Celtic gazebo’s are springing up everywhere.

    Hampden next week

  • ianinascoli

    Zuluska, K. Wilson, Cha, McCourt and Commons on the bench. No Ki or Izzy.

  • RobertTressell

    By the way Warren Buffet in that article said the following:

    ‘THere is class warfare, but it is my class, the rich, that is waging that war and we are winning’

    Four letter word beginning with C and ending in T

  • Paul67

    new article posted.

  • The Battered Bunnet

    Many thanks to those who took the time to read my wee post, and for the kind comments made.

    For those who asked, all of the figures noted in the piece are extracted from the Annual Reports published by Rangers from 1988 to date.

    I trust it wasn’t too insane, insulting, illogical or confused :¬)

    TBB

  • RobertTressell

    Bobby Murdoch – always glad to read any review that broadly agrees with my own opinions!!!!!!!

    Right, gotta go.

    Up the Celtic

    Up the 99%

  • Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon

    RobertTressell,

    Cheers. The live version of Rocky Ground is actually much better – if you’ve heard the Harlam Apollo show from Friday night?

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS,

    You trying to wind me up??

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