Milan, the incredible Paul Murray, Tyneside No 1


I never like to hear Celtic fans talk about weaknesses in opponents like Milan. They may be weaker than they were a decade ago but Milan have never been weak. The one thing Celtic have in their favour is the element of surprise, despite last season’s epic achievements. Milan will have read the screaming headlines, ‘spine of the team sold’. They will know little about how effective Celtic can use the vast open spaces of the San Siro.

After defending resolutely against Barca, Celtic looked like a far better team against a less effective Juventus but we found the limit to our abilities. Juve exploited the gaps in defence left as we took the game to them. I would rather defend in numbers and take our chances on the break than try to go toe-to-toe in midfield.

The San Siro seems to bring the best out of Celtic. Jock Stein went there three times, drawing after 90 minutes on each occasion; losing once after extra time. Gordon Strachan’s team were also level after regulation time, losing only after extra time, and lost narrowly in a Champions League group stage game. Martin O’Neill’s Celtic came within three minutes of securing a draw before conceding twice late on.

There can be fewer European grounds on which Celtic have performed as well. Wednesday will require another almighty and intense effort but that is something Celtic are never lacking. Milan may not fear us, but they have reason to be worried.

I listened to former Rangers director Paul Murray on BBC Radio Scotland over the weekend. I know books have been written on the downfall of that club but I could write one on his own contribution. As a non-executive director, Murray’s job was to be the eyes and ears of other shareholders, to ensure the business of the club was in order and carried out properly. He was in a position to ask awkward questions, in fact, it was his job to ask awkward questions and to ensure threats to the club were uncovered and addressed.

In this instance he failed absolutely. Despite this, he trumpeted the 50% decline in the club’s debt during his tenure as a badge of honour, he told us his namesake, Sir David, was exclusively responsible for the sale to Craig Whyte and for the consequences of the EBT debacle. We were informed that Rangers won their EBT case, despite the fact that during the First Tier Tribunal the club accepted they operated an illegal tax scheme for five players, and the remaining issues are a matter of appeal.

Most bizarrely of all he rejected Lord Nimmo Smith’s findings on the conduct of his board before telling us he is absolutely certain he would be judged fit and proper to be a director of a football club. No remorse, not even a hint of self awareness.

Well done to the Tyneside No. 1 Celtic Supporters’ Club who walked from Newcastle to Celtic Park in aid of 1254125 and the Sam Bradley Care Fund. You can support their magnificent effort here.

The new issue of CQN Magazine is out! Click here for a proper read (don’t try to read the graphic below). It’s another great issue, thanks to all who helped.
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  1. NatKnow - Supporting Wee Oscar on

    The Narrowbhoat Tim –



    I see the ole CQN-ers abuse of the pun has mushroomed again. I’m surprised at you getting involved in such a truffling matter but you’ve always appeared to be a fun guy.



    Stand up for the champignons!

  2. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    To your eternal credit that you can think of others at such a difficult time.



    Got yer mail and will reply shortly. But Europa Cup? Selling us short,fella!

  3. The Comfortable Collective on

    I see its not only us supporters who have no faith in the standard of officials in Scotland. Craig Thompson, Scotlands referee in the champions league has refused to take 2 Scottish assistant referees with him on champions league duty this season.


    He has instead picked an Irish assistant referee instead as one of his assistants.



    Damien McGraith of Ireland will join the Craig Thompson team for most European games, however won’t feature this week as he has had to withdraw for personal reasons. 



    Will any of the press ask mr Thompson why he cannot find two Scottish assistant referees of sufficient quality?

  4. An Official Spokesman for AC Milan has stated that Kaka has an injury and will be out for at least 4 weeks..



    Saw this on an old style newspaper hoarding earlier [ La Gazzetta dello Sport ]






    Go on , feel good about yourself , translate it [ you’re excluded Tallybhoy !]

  5. Just seen the excellent post from Ecobhoy (from the SFM) and am shocked (again) at the duplicity and length that the SFA will go to to appease the Huns.


    The game is screwed if those in authority continue to place the interests of one club above the integrity of the game to the detriment of all other clubs.



  6. Hi Paul67,



    “Most bizarrely of all he rejected Lord Nimmo Smith’s findings on the conduct of his board before telling us he is absolutely certain he would be judged fit and proper to be a director of a football club. No remorse, not even a hint of self awareness.



    The F&PPT isn’t straight forward, not helped by the SFA “clarification” at the time when the Whyte Knight made situations worse.



    However SPL & SFA inquires cited the Board that he was a member of being cited as being negligent in their responsibilities, not least being complicit in wrong doing only more serious in gravness is match fixing.






    The situation regarding Directors of Clubs in liquidation becoming Directors of other Football Clubs is clear and unequivocal in the SFA regulations, it can’t happen for 5 years.



    The fact that someone can come on the Air and espose the opposite unchallenged says so much about Scottish Football reporting.



    We all know what happened to Jim Spence, when he tried to establish the facts vis-a-vise Mr Mc Clelland’s claim for The Ranger’s Chairmanship.



    Hail Hail

  7. The Spirit of Arthur Lee



    Sad to say the same as well!



    Also happy to state for the record that I am not and never have been a Free Mason, I’m pretty sure within Scottish refereeing I am not unique in this regard, but I suspect I am in a minority!

  8. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS forza Oscar and Mackenzie on




    Good point.



    An equally valid one might be why he didn’t choose non-Scots for the rest of his “team”



    Or why he even gets the gig in the first place. Absolutely woeful in European and international matches.



    Which will surprise few on here…

  9. South of Tunis



    I think even Kyle Lafferty would be able to translate that into English!



    Well maybe not.



    I see he scored at the weekend!






    Gattuso’s job safe until the next defeat – which could be very soon.




  10. tomtheleedstim


    12:58 on


    16 September, 2013


    Just seen the excellent post from Ecobhoy (from the SFM) and am shocked (again) at the duplicity and length that the SFA will go to to appease the Huns.


    The game is screwed if those in authority continue to place the interests of one club above the integrity of the game to the detriment of all other clubs.






    Which members of the SPL knew of this letter ? and When ?

  11. Zombies don’t believe anyone at the club other than Craigy bhoy did any wrong and it is all down to Peter Lawwell.



    Stupid zombies…

  12. Neustadt-Braw – I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough as I can picture now the hordes of “journalists” door-stepping Doncaster, Regan and LNS as we speak.


    It stinks, it really does.

  13. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Chairbhoy 12.59


    The situation regarding Directors of Clubs in liquidation becoming Directors of other Football Clubs is clear and unequivocal in the SFA regulations, it can’t happen for 5 years.



    Problem is they seem to think it’s the same club – or do they…..?

  14. Kaka out and stating he will not pick up a wage until fit. It will not impact their team greatly but a psychological blow to the club.

  15. Stokes is a must on Wedensday, the bhoy is on fire at the minute and has responded to the extra pressure on him as celtic’s top striker and his work outside the box is quality a great football brain the only player that is on the same wavelength as kris commons. 1-2 in Milan mon the hoops HH

  16. Tallybhoy .



    Lafferty —–



    Yes -saw the highlights .



    Brought on with 30 mins to go [ Palermo were 1-0 down ] His entrance was greeted with loud jeering . Cue him rattling in the equalizer . Cue loud cheering . Fitba fans , eh ?

  17. tomtheleedstim….



    guess you can only laugh at the thought of them scurrying about the day ! braw braw braw …..

  18. scottishleaf


    12:55 on


    16 September, 2013


    The Spirit of Arthur Lee



    Now if you knew anything about the craft you would know the question is “how olds your granny” ;-)






    Maybe it should be “how old is your new child”?………….2012 it was born is the answer :-)

  19. Regarding the 5 way agreement only the SFA out of the 5 still remain, the others have gone or changed name.


    SFL & SPL , amalgamate and become SPFL with new board, new voting structure & new rules.


    Sevco have a public flotation and come back as The Rangers International Football Club Limited


    Rangers original club ( lets not argue over old and new this one is definely BUST) now known as RFC 2012 Plc, is ow liquidated.



    Strange how things change in a year, I would imagine that all documentation regarding the 5 way agrement has now been shredded.




    Re Paul Murrays interview on Shortbread, I think the main thing he told us is that he is not to be trusted and everything he says is a lie, however he believes it to be the truth.


    Here’s hoping he gets back on the Rangers board, they deserve each other.

  20. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon, supporting WEE OSCAR..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    Keith Jackson’s piece in the dr………..






    We can’t find the page:






    The file could not be found for a number of reasons such as the file being moved or deleted. Please check your spelling and if you still can’t get to the right page try either using the Search Box below or heading to the homepage for a look around.



    If you still have problems, try emailing feedback@dailyrecord.co.uk and we’ll do what we can to help you. Click here to get back to where you came from.



    Howeva ……KJ



    Posted Today, 08:53 AM


    LET me start with a couple of confessions.



    First, I don’t know Craig Mather.



    I have neither met the man nor talked to him. I do happen to know that, in private, he tends not to speak too fondly of me and that’s fine.



    As someone who has gone to some lengths to expose and condemn the dysfunctionality of the board over which he presides in his highly-paid role as the Rangers chief executive, I would expect nothing else.



    Mather has made it perfectly clear how badly he wishes to survive in his lucrative position.



    In fact, both he and financial director Brian Stockbridge have been actively attempting to make themselves bomb-proof from next month’s agm, which is shaping up as a general election to decide the future for Rangers.



    Perhaps even a defining moment which will determine if this club has much of a future at all.



    Mather and Stockbridge would prefer not to have to go to the polls.



    In fact, they wanted desperately to strike a deal with Jim McColl and his group of rebellious shareholders which would have guaranteed their jobs on a new-look board.



    Perhaps they are worried their credentials will not withstand such a thorough democratic examination and given the mess they have created in their time in charge of the coffers, who could blame them?



    By Stockbridge’s own recent admission, somewhere between £40million and £50m has gone from the bank vault over the last year or so.



    This has been an extraordinary cash burn.



    A £12m injection of funds last summer, followed by £22m from an IPO in December, two lots of £8m from season-ticket sales and various other amounts from commercial deals and hospitality matchday sales. And Stockbridge says only £10m remains.



    So these men then have already lost a lot.



    Now though, they stand to lose their own bulging pay packets too and clearly that just won’t do. No wonder they’re prepared to fight in whichever way they can to cling on.



    And I write this, not only as someone who has personally experienced some dark intimidatory tactics over the past few months, but who has been approached by Rangers employees at both extremities of the club’s pay scale who tell of similar tales.



    Truly, this club has become toxic beyond belief.



    After all, for those in charge, it’s all about the pounds, shillings and pence.



    It’s what brought Mather and Stockbridge to Ibrox in the first instance. It’s what drives them.



    Mather can hardly sign off on a press release these days without mentioning that he has sunk his own money into this basket case.



    He did, and in so doing became one of Charles Green’s original backers and trusted allies.



    Mather handed Green his money and now he wants his pound of flesh. It’s the same with the Easdale Brothers, who were sold a seat on the board by Green, shortly before the Yorkshireman packed up and took his monorail sales pitch to Springfield.



    All of these characters are hanging around demanding they take what is their due from this club. As is their right.



    They do not take kindly to being criticised or in some cases even scrutinised. Business is business after all. And Rangers is their business. So, no, I won’t be expecting a Christmas card from Mather.



    The honest truth of the matter is, for the good of this ravaged and stricken sporting institution, it is my sincere hope that Mather is gone long before then in any case. And that he takes most if not all of the club’s current directors with him.



    Which moves us along to confession No.2. I DO know Paul Murray.



    In fact, over the last three years, pretty much since the original Bull**** Billionaire Craig Whyte first appeared on the radar, I have got to know Murray very well indeed.



    During this time, I have grown to admire the man for his honesty, integrity and sincerity – all qualities which have been in desperately scarce supply around the Rangers trauma.



    Most of all though I have been struck by his unflinching determination to do the right thing for a football club which has been systematically abused ever since Whyte took it over and forced him off the old board.



    He is motivated purely by a sense of duty and devotion.



    In other words Murray is “Aye Ready” to Mather’s “My Readies”.



    If Mather doesn’t understand what that means he can always ask one of his many spin doctors to explain.



    They too have to earn their vast Rangers pay checks.



    And, if nothing else, it’ll keep them off Twitter for a while.



    That’s where Jack Irvine of Media House, recently reappointed by Mather to fight this dirty war, popped up on Friday full of foul-mouthed, late night insults.



    Irvine – the man who told the world Craig Whyte was good for Rangers – called McColl a Bull**** Billionaire.



    And all of this just a few hours after Mather had attempted to humiliate Murray in public with the release of a statement questioning the credentials of this lifelong Rangers fan and former Deutsche Bank high flyer.



    It was another classless, mean-spirited attack from the club’s own Politburo, in which Murray was made out to be a troublemaker on some sort of vanity project to force his way into a blazer and brogues.



    Murray responded on Saturday evening when he appeared on BBC Radio to slap Mather back down.



    And yet, throughout, he maintained a sense of decorum and good manners which seem beyond those currently in charge of the club.



    Few who listened could have failed to be impressed by the way in which Murray handled himself, or the strength of the message he delivered.



    He spoke well, his words from the heart and with honesty.



    Murray stressed that he’d walk away from it all tomorrow so long as he was able to rest at night knowing his club is back in safe hands. Despite the recent smear tactics, I remain convinced that peace of mind is all Murray wishes to gain from this sorry and increasingly spiteful saga.



    In the end it will all boil down to a matter of trust.



    The Ibrox fans and the club’s investors will have to decide next month if they trust McColl and Murray. Or if they would rather place their faith in those who continue to recklessly damage Rangers’ reputation.



    At a time when so much is made about the current status of Rangers, about whether the club died last year or whether it survived the liquidation of the company which owned it, a far more important debate is being ignored among these petty attention seeking squabbles.



    The truth is, when Green picked this club up for a pittance after Whyte had plunged it under, Rangers held on to its history, its trophies and its titles.



    Trouble is, it lost its heart and soul somewhere along the way.



    Perhaps it’ll take men of Murray’s calibre to wipe the ugly snarl from its face and make Rangers recognisable once more.

  21. How does Criag Thompson enhance the other assistants if he refuses to take them on European nights?


    What happened to “referees need to work as a team”?


    Is the referee standard better in Ireland than in Scotland?


    Which authority in Scotland has sanctioned this?

  22. cliftonville celt from belfast praying for Oscar the wee legend on

    RIP Miki 67



    Prayers offered & thoughts with his wife and family

  23. thomthethim for Oscar OK on





    I don’t feel very well after reading that piece of vomit from Jackson.



    Years ago, my father used to wish that he could gather up all the articles from the likes of Cameron,( Alex), Rex, Hugh Taylor et al, where they repeatedly contradicted themselves on an almost weekly basis and feed them back to them.



    Jackson has ridden more horses than Lester Piggot in this scandal, yet he still retains some credibility with the backwoodsmen.

  24. From previous thread.




    Narrowbhoat Tim,



    My post to you was mushroom/ pun based



    Apologies for any offence :)

  25. ‘The truth is, when Green picked this club up for a pittance after Whyte had plunged it under, Rangers held on to its history, its trophies and its titles’.



    Er.. naw itd didnae, that’s the whole point.

  26. scapaflow says:


    September 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm


    1 0 Rate This



    I have made this point before, but I shall make it again, you can have as many goes at Messers Regan and Doncaster as you like, you can even remove them from the scene, and it will change absolutely nothing. These guys are just very well paid monkeys, if you want real change then the organ grinders need to be held accountable. Its the men who sat and continue to sit on the various SFA and now SPFL boards who are the real villains in the football governance side of this, not the two pantomime dames who were just doing as they were instructed, hence the new job and/or pay rises they received as rewards.



    Sadly too many are willing to defend these people, as a result of partisan blinkers, until that changes, it will always be business as usual at the SFA and SPFL.




    Sad but so so true ,,,,,not very Braw ata !

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