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“I’m Celtic’s problem and their supporters know that”  David Murray, 2001

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“I’m Celtic’s problem and their supporters know that.”  David Murray, 2001.  This was a fantasy, but it betrayed an unspoken truth.

Rangers under Murray was the Ultimate Vanity Project.  The above line could be interpreted as: “Know that I am the source of all joy to my followers and the suppressor of their opponents.”

Even if this was right, even if the strategy was sound, the plans carefully funded, the risks assessed and ameliorated, even if, David Murray was Celtic’s problem, this would still be an astonishing statement.

How dysfunctional would you need to be before you would have to solicit affection so openly?

Dysfunction was the truth hidden in open view in Murray’s statement, and not just his need to solicit affection.  His strategy: spend everything the bank will lend us, betrayed the gambler’s recklessness.

The greatest risk of all, that HMRC would, with 100% certainty, challenge MIH Group’s use of EBTs, was not addressed.  Creative tax ‘solutions’ are delivered with the caveat that HMRC will challenge.  That challenge would clearly impose commercial uncertainty over the club.

Craig Whyte’s nine months in charge, which ended on St Valentine’s Day 2012 when his solicitors raced to Edinburgh in order to beat HMRC to be appoint an administrator, is not where the real story is.  The club was holed below the water line well before Whyte was glad-handed down Edmiston Drive by Rangers fans in May 2011.  They needed to find a billionaire, or someone they could call a billionaire, and who was prepared to do the dirty job.  Craig was the latter.

“I’m Celtic’s problem and their supporters know that.”  That quote should be on a wall when we build the Celtic Museum.  It is one of the great morality lessons.

We’ll talk about Valencia this afternoon, you enjoy reminiscing about seven years ago until then.

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  1. Lightshow tonight – 7:45pm

     

    Be in your seats as we plunge Paradise into darkness before bringing you the next instalment of the Celtic lightshow, and we will be raising the tempo with something a little bit different to get Paradise bouncing before kick-off.

     

    Get involved as the lightshow comes to a close with a rousing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone from the stands, as the teams make their way on to the pitch at 7:55pm.

  2. 7:59pm

     

    We would ask you to please stand and join us in holding a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the memory of Emiliano Sala. The 28-year-old died in a tragic accident over the English Channel. Please show your compassion for the family and friends of this young man, whose life and footballing career was so tragically cut shor

  3. Bain

     

    Toljan

     

    Izaguirre

     

    Simunovic

     

    Boyata

     

    McGregor

     

    Brown

     

    Christie

     

    Forrest

     

    Sinclair

     

    Burke

  4. Where do you go with Vanity such as that?

     

     

    Doon the plug-hole evidently.

     

     

    I’m glad for that vanity – the Downfall and Destruction of Rangers as a football club was one thing.

     

     

    The Downfall and Destruction of such a bigoted, anti-Irish organisation and the mind-set which they tapped into in Scottish Society was another.

     

     

    It was tremendous and I’m delighted it happened.

  5. Tonight’s team apparently

     

     

    Bain

     

    Toljan

     

    Izzaguire

     

    Simunovic

     

    Boyata

     

    McGregor

     

    Brown

     

    Christie

     

    Forrest

     

    Sinclair

     

    Burke

  6. There’s great vanity on one hand and in the ither hand a high Degree of Craftiness……………….

     

     

    All this “at arms length” guff……………..

     

     

    Unless I’m mistaken he’s goat aff, scot-free.

  7. Murray and his family are still very rich and still doing big business. He should be in the jail for all of the financial crimes he was involved in.

     

     

    As for tonight’s team, picks itself I suppose. If Edouard is fully fit, does he get on as a sub ahead of Weah? Magic to have such great options. Weah thinks the fans have been amazing. Wait until he samples tonight :)

  8. Now thats what i call a cunning plan

     

     

    “In Netherlands recently, some of the bigger clubs in their top flight gave up some of the European cash to convince smaller clubs to rip up their plastic. It may need something similar in Scotland for players to get their way.”

     

     

    Full story

     

     

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/47237204

  9. Paul 67,

     

     

    Very seldom do I criticise your articles.

     

     

    Yes I realise that it’s Valentines day and it’s a significant date with the demise of the old huns.

     

     

    However, we are given them to much prominence. Today is all about us. We have a massive game that the eyes of Europe will be on.

     

     

    HH. COYBIG.

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Can’t say I’m much fussed about old Rangers or new “Rangers”. We should be looking at what we can do. Europe should be our benchmark and we have a big game tonight.

     

    Valencia will be a big test for us.

     

    I’m assuming their 4-4-2 is a diamond? That usually means you get space in the wide areas as they have to push their full-backs up to get width.

     

    However, if they are content to defend we might not get these spaces.

     

    Our full-backs will have to get forward to “double up”. We will therefore have to be well organised for the defensive transition. Only one FB forward at a time and Brown and McGregor ready to drop back and fill in.

     

    And full concentration required from all.

     

    Think we might need a win and a clean sheet if we are to go through. Hoping for a 1-0, but think it might be 2-1.

  11. Woke up this morning feeling good about tonight…since then my anxiety/anticipation meter has been swinging wildly….think am gonna needs a few beers tonite…for medicinal purposes ;-))

  12. JC2,

     

     

    a big part of playing on these surfaces is the choice of footwear. You cannot play with your favorite pair of grass boots, it just doesn’t work. I think that it would be unanimous if you polled a hundred footballers on what surface they would rather play on but if you are playing on plastic adjustments have to be made in equipment, timing, touch, speed etc.

     

     

    HH

     

    GSU

  13. The SFA should be offering clubs interest free loans over 5 years,to get rid of plastic pitches, and install a grass/hybrid one,not difficult.

  14. P67 aka Phil Space

     

     

    Pretty thin gruel to keep the blog moving along.

     

    Not sure how involved the discussion has been over the accounts.

     

    My initial take was that someone was using the calendar to develop a narrative.

     

    Plus there is a very active desire to muddy the waters regarding club finances.

     

     

    Some very interesting numbers in the receivables and payables items.

     

    Plus the annual game of hunt the PL bonus — just when are we going to see the money migrate over to G74 5A?

     

     

    Finally E-tims really are talking tripe now.

     

    RM is a Class A happy clapper / board lackey.

     

     

    Finally, finally — S’TID — brilliant TV and a lesson on how not to run a club.

     

    You can almost understand how he city supported Brexit.

     

     

    On the park we are miles ahead.

     

    Off the park we talk the same tripe.

     

     

    Watching their “Brains Trust” try to work up an academy first player strategy was like watching weans play with a blow torch.

  15. For every fiver Celtic spend , I will spend a tenner.

     

    A tenner of someone else’s dosh.

     

    Our society protects Murray because of his “status “. He’s had £200 million written off , he still owes £200 million. He’s a crook, but, in the eyes of the law , he’s a just a businessman that’s made some wrong decisions.

     

    If you robbed a bank in a more conventional manner, you’d get 20 years.

     

     

    He’s still minted though. It’s an unfair society we live in. I think of the p###k & his ilk , every time we win a trophy or progress in Europe. It’s called Karma.

     

     

    Looking forward to this evening. A few refreshments in the city centre beforehand.

     

    The game will be a good measure of progress, let’s get a win , please Celtic. HH

  16. the long wait is over on

    A Victory for the ages on Valentine’s Day seVen years ago…

     

     

    A game against Valencia on Valentine’s day now – hopefully a Victory.

     

     

    Coincidence that eVery team we beat on the way to SeVille in 2013 had a V in their name..?

     

     

    I think not.

     

     

    OmensEVerywhereCSC

  17. Football tonight — it is ours to lose.

     

    No more excuses — if we pay bigger wages then we should expect a better performance.

     

    To think some blame the weather for our poor performance.

     

     

    La Liga filler — there for the taking.

     

    if they turned up in Hertz / Sheep colours we would get a good result.

  18. I have yet to come across a Zombie who criticizes SDM, indeed quite the opposite. Despite the evidence of cheating and tax avoidance, they care not a jot, all they wanted was to be on top of Celtic at any price and they loved his triumphalism. Where has that gottten them?

     

     

    Thing is, they’d do it all again as cheating is in their DNA.

  19. Pog…

     

     

    I’m looking for a ticket if cosy corner Bhoy has already been sorted… or anyone else with spares for that matter. Paul has my email

     

     

    Hail Hail COYBIG💚☘️🍀

  20. AG @ 1.09

     

     

    He sill has his bauble — SDM not just plain old DM.

     

     

    In any other properly functioning country the transfer of assets from MIM to his family trust would have provoked a scandal.

     

     

    Unfortunately we are not a properly functioning country.

     

    Auld Reekie establishment / Speculative Society — they protect their own.

     

    And those on the outside just tug their forelocks.

  21. Paul67’s leader today said we would talk about Valencia “this afternoon”.

     

     

    Another article to keep yeez all happy.

     

     

    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Paul67

     

     

    Sublime and ironic article today when 60,000 of us are still supporting Celtic and going to see the disco lights.

     

     

    We remain his nemesis they should put your quote on his gravestone.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  23. My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;

     

    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

     

     

    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

     

    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

     

    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  24. What is the Stars on

    POG/Larrsson

     

    Cosy Corner Bhoy has been sorted for a ticket

     

     

    Lennybhoy and VFR arranged it

  25. SIR David Murray.

     

     

    Still a Sir in spite of betraying the integrity of Scottish football in 1999, a betrayal whose toxic effects linger on and risk killing our game altogether because the dishonest thinking that allowed SDM to act as he did without consequences for him, still prevails at Ibrox and Hampden to the extent of covering up their own lack of governance and resisting investigation of events from 2011 that would inevitably lead to reform and a change of their thinking that the welfare of our game depends on the welfare of a dishonest club.

     

     

    Its like drinking your own pee to slake your thirst. Crazy.

     

     

     

    What took place in 2012 and the consequences is excellently set out in a CQN blog of 30 June 2012 supported by a comment by The Battered Bunnett ending” the bus to ignominy departs shortly” has more than stood the test of time.

     

     

    Please read and remember nothing has changed , in fact it has got worse as a dishonest club, emboldened by appeasement and cowardice, continue to push the boundaries of what Celtic and Scottish football supporters are prepared to accept.

     

    ———

     

    Abject failure of leadership

     

    1038

     

    By Paul67 on 30th June 2012

     

    CQN BLOG & Comments

     

     

    After they hatched their plan to blackmail Scottish Football League clubs into voting Newco into the First Division, Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster and David Longmuir might have paused to wonder what reaction they would receive.

     

    You better believe they didn’t anticipate the reaction today from Clyde and Raith Rovers. Rovers chairman, Turnbull Hutton, told BBC Scotland’s Jim Spence, “If we are at the stage of bending rules and accommodating, threatening and blackmailing, we want to give it up.”

     

     

    “Bending rules… threatening… blackmailing…we want to give it up”.

     

    Hutton went on to suggest heads should roll at the SFL, SFA and SPL. He’s the first from within the football establishment to call for sackings but he’ll not be the last.

     

    An extensive statement by Clyde FC concluded, “The papers include a proposal to allow a Newco to enter the 1st Division. This is contrary to the rules of the SFL and nothing within the papers justifies this proposal.”

     

    Regan, Doncaster and Longmuir will now be contemplating that their bully-boy tactics will fail. SLF clubs will vote against their recommendations and SPL clubs will not stop promotion from the lower leagues based on merit. It looks like abject failure of leadership.

     

    ———–

     

     

    The Battered Bunnet on 30th June 2012 5:34 pm

     

    “Senior Hampden source tells #c4news cannot see how RFC were allowed to play last season at all. Doesn’t believe they met finance criteria…”

     

     

     

    Alex Thomson’s tweets yesterday re ‘senior Hampden source’ casting doubt on Rangers’ eligibility to obtain a Club Licence last year were rather intriguing.

     

     

     

    We have by now a clearer picture of the failure of governance at Rangers through the David Murray/ John McClelland/ Alastair Johnston/ Craig Whyte years, albeit we await further definitive details from the judgement of the Tax Tribunal. Essentially, over a period spanning 2 decades, the means that Rangers used to sustain its football operation utterly disregarded the requirements of both corporate governance and football regulation. While the scandal related solely to payments and procedures within Rangers, we could hope that it was contained internally.

     

     

     

    However, the revelation that Rangers paid former manager Souness via EBT while he was manager at Blackburn Rovers confirmed for the first time that the scandal had become external. I understand that RangersTaxCase and Alex Thomson have further information on the extent of payments to Souness and also to Walter Smith, and look forward to the details being revealed, but it is now clear that the Rangers ‘toxin’ had leached out of the club by 2001.

     

     

     

    The compelling question now is: How far did the toxin spread?

     

     

     

    Was it contained within the ‘outer circle’ of former Rangers employees, however inexplicable such payments may appear? Or did it extend beyond that outer circle, and contaminate senior figures in the Game in Scotland. The contamination does not relate solely to payments from Rangers’ offshore trust, but more subtly perhaps, the behaviour of individuals in positions of influence.

     

     

     

    We know that Rangers’ Executive Chairman John McClelland was an SPL Board member during the startling ramp up of EBT use from 2003 to 2005, and was himself a beneficiary of the scheme.

     

     

     

    We know that Rangers’ Chief Executive Martin Bain was an SPL Board member 2008 to 2011, coinciding with the receipt by Rangers of the HMRC assessments on the EBT scheme, of which he was himself a beneficiary.

     

     

     

    We know that current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie was simultaneously an SFA Director and Executive Director and Company Secretary of Rangers, and was a beneficiary of the scheme.

     

     

     

    These parallel functions of course present a profound conflict of interest for each man, at once implementing a scam on the Game to disguise a fraud on the Revenue, while owing specific legal duties of care to the Game being scammed.

     

     

     

    So far, so shabby.

     

     

     

    Thomson’s tweets yesterday indicate a doubt on the part of a ‘senior Hampden source’ that Rangers were eligible to hold a Club Licence last season, thus disqualifying them from participating in European competition, and perhaps Scottish Football too. Is this doubt grounded in a retrospective review of the licence qualifying criteria given what has emerged recently? Or was there a ‘blind eye’ turned by the SFA’s Licensing Committee to information in the public domain at the time of the Licence application? In this respect the ‘Wee Tax Case’ represented a fundamental failure against at least one Licence criterion.

     

     

     

    The proposals to the SFL clubs this week make it plain that should the SFA conclude the outstanding Disciplinary issues against Rangers with either suspension or expulsion of Rangers from the SFA (perhaps the only sanctions remaining available to the SFA following Lord Glennie’s Judicial Review) that the Game will face ‘financial meltdown’.

     

     

     

    Concurrently, the SPL has adjudged Rangers to have a prima facie case to answer in respect of SPL rule breaches on player registration, the outcome of which will confirm that the club fielded ineligible players in upwards of 400 SPL matches. The only possible disciplinary outcome given such a sustained breach of SPL rules, corrupting the completion as it did from its inception in 1999 to 2011, is expulsion from the SPL.

     

     

     

    As a consequence, the SFA, as the authority responsible for implementing FIFA’s Rules on the Registration of Players, will be required to act on these breaches of FIFA rules. Again, expulsion for what amounts to Championship fixing is inevitable.

     

     

     

    Curiously, the SFL, this week asking its members to vote to admit the Sevco Rangers club into their top tier, has the same issue given that its League Cup competition featured dozens of ineligible Rangers players through the years, and further claims by Hugh Adam that its ‘Premier Division’ competition during the 1990s was similarly bent through the use of ‘off the books’ payments to players by Rangers.

     

     

     

    The scale of it all is breathtaking, and were the rules of the Game to be applied, Rangers FC would be expelled from each Governing body in turn, before we even consider the extraordinary breaches of faith and duties by co-serving Directors.

     

     

     

    But according to the SFL/SFA/SPL circular to clubs, “Rangers Terminated or Suspended’ will cause “Financial Meltdown”.

     

     

     

    To avoid this meltdown, it is proposed by the Executives of the combined SFL/SFA/SPL that the rules of the Game are not applied to Rangers, and that the clubs effectively rewrite the rule book to permit what remains of the club to compete at the top of the SFL.

     

     

     

    In effect, according to the Governing Bodies, the Rules of the Game CANNOT be applied to Rangers or the Game’s finances will ‘meltdown’.

     

     

     

    The corollary question this raises is: For how long have the Governing bodies been so unable to apply the Rules of the Game to Rangers? Is this a new epiphany, or a longer standing recognition?

     

     

     

    When Rangers submitted their allegedly ineligible application for a Club Licence in 2011, did the SFA recognise that Rangers failing to participate in Europe would cause the club to fail, as it subsequently did? Were the Rules ignored to avoid ‘financial meltdown’ then?

     

     

     

    How far did the toxin spread?

     

     

     

    Did this recognition extend back to the period following the disintegration of Murray International, hitherto Rangers’ source of continuing funding? Was the season of ‘Honest Mistakes’ some absurd, dutiful reaction to the recognition that should Rangers fail, Scottish Football would melt down?

     

     

     

    Was the ineligible status of so many of Rangers’ first team players noticed prior to the SPL’s Inquiry commencing on 5th March? Was it noticed in an Audit as part of the SFA’s Club Licensing process some years ago? Was it noticed by the recent SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith, who as an Agent had represented players on Rangers’ books through his Directorship of Prostar Management and other Agencies?

     

     

     

    Beyond the duplicity of Ogilvie, McClelland and Bain, were Rangers’ irregular practices known to others at the SFA and SPL, others who chose not to address the matter, thus further contaminated the Governing Bodies with the Rangers toxin?

     

     

     

    It is heartening that the Liquidators of Rangers plc will be instructed to examine all of the circumstances surrounding the failure of Rangers as a corporate entity. Equally, perhaps the detail contained in the Tax Tribunal judgement will reveal further connections, hitherto unknown.

     

     

     

    What is likely to remain hidden from view though, is the full extent to which key influencers at the Governing Bodies were aware of Rangers’ conduct and circumstances, and how this affected their behaviour and their decision making in applying the rules of the Game to that club.

     

     

     

    What we can say with certainty now though is that the people holding office at the Governing Bodies are unable or unwilling to apply the Rules of the Game to Rangers, despite the breaches being fundamentally and profoundly corrupt. The SFA and SPL, despite having outstanding disciplinary cases against Rangers that will, in all other circumstances see the club expelled from the Game, are intent to delete the cases provided the SFL clubs accept the Sevco Rangers into the SFL’s top division.

     

     

     

    The Rules of the Game cannot be applied to Rangers.

     

     

     

    When the rules cannot be applied, the Game itself is broken, and we can say now with some certainty that the Rangers toxin has spread beyond the club, its former employees and Directors of the Governing Bodies, and contaminated the very Game itself. The Office Bearers of the SFA, whose FIFA mandate requires them to “protect and foster the Game” in Scotland, and “protect it from abuses”, have contrived to do the contrary, to the point where the Game is stricken.

     

     

     

    It is for this reason that a thorough clear out of the Office Bearers in the Governing Bodies is now a prerequisite to the Game recovering from the poison inflicted upon it by Rangers. The dissolution of the Governing Bodies is perhaps appropriate.

     

     

     

    Clear your desk Gentlemen, the bus to ignominy departs shortly.

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