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Nerves jangle a week ahead of Europe

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You and I have been through a few close seasons together, so  it’s no surprise we have this uncomfortable feeling as we look ahead to (hopefully) four hugely important Champions League qualifiers while contemplating how ring-rusty Celtic have looked preseason.  These games really don’t matter, of course, they are there to allow us to experiment and build fitness for the real challenges ahead, but you would rather we were turning teams over 4-0 than being on the receiving end.  Evidence, perhaps, that the experiments were leading somewhere.

Lots of coverage today of the fall-out from Friday’s meeting between the SFA and Sevco, some of it informed.  Huge issues clearly still remain before they will be granted permission to join the SFA but they would not be helped by their prospective manager, Ally McCoist, walking away this week.   Sevco have not sold many season tickets but if McCoist goes their chances of doing to will become increasingly scarce. Friday’s comment from McCoist sounded like a scene-setter for a resignation letter.

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  1. philvisreturns on

    Speaking at a supporters rally, Ally McCoist made it clear he will never accept that Rangers didn’t win the Champions League last season. The head coach of Sevco is adamant that Rangers beat Barcelona 2-1 in a thrilling final in Munich two months ago, and lambasted “sinister forces” inside the SFA and UEFA who are trying to claim otherwise. “What they are doing to our club is unforgivable,” vented McCoist, closely flanked by his handlers from Carstairs psychiatric hospital. “The joy we all felt when Kirk [Broadfoot] headed the winner past Víctor Valdés will never go away,” asserted the angry newco boss, to loud cheers from the assembled Sevco fans. “We won that final fair and square. But now people are trying to tell us we were pumped out in the preliminaries, and that Chelsea won it on penalties? It’s outrageous!” Added McCoist forcefully: “Who are these people? We demand to know.” The rotund ex-Rangers striker was then bundled into an ambulance and taken back into care. Club ambassador Sandy Jardine then stepped forward to address the crowd, and urged the Sevco loyal to boycott Champions League matches next season, as a show of their defiant corporate might. “Make no mistake, we know who our enemies are,” revealed Jardine, who earns an excellent wage for stoking up hatred. “And I predict Real Madrid and Inter Milan will go to the wall without our fans there to bankroll them next season.””

     

     

    (thumbsup)

  2. philvisreturns on

    NB the above is not mine, it’s from a poster on The Scotsman.

     

     

    I just thought it was funny. (thumbsup)

  3. TBB

     

     

    I’ll be re reading ‘Great Expectations’ which I’ve found free on the ole iBooks, via

     

    Apple.

     

     

    What Larks CSC

     

     

    note; for anyone with an iPad the list of free iBooks from the official store really is very impressive

  4. philvisreturns on

    Paul67 – Friday’s comment from McCoist sounded like a scene-setter for a resignation letter.

     

     

    Super Ally must be sweating like Super Ally in a library at the thought of writing a letter.

     

     

    Maybe the erudite Mr Bomber Brown can help him. (thumbsup)

  5. HJK Helsinki

     

     

    Formed: 1907

     

    Nickname: Klubi (The Club)

     

     

    Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)

     

    • League title: 24

     

    • Finnish Cup: 11

     

     

    2010/2011 they were defeated 5-1 on aggregate by FK Partizan in the CL qualifying rounds and then 6-0 on aggregate by Besiktas in the Europa League qualifier.

     

    2011/2012 they were defeated 3-1 on aggregate by Dinamo Zagreb in the CL qualifier after beating Bangor City 13-0 over two games. They then suffered defeat to Schalke 04 by an aggregate score of 6-3 in the Europa League qualifier.

     

     

    HJK Helsinki squad

     

     

    I for one will not lose any sleep at the prospect of playing them…

  6. If we cannot beat HJK Helsinki then we don’t deserve to be in the Champions League. The next two friendlie are vital to get the team match ready and should be treated as such. No messing about with selection or formation at least for the first hour or so. Making the CL is vital for the wellbeing of the club and will also provide much needed excitement in the season to come.

  7. philvisreturns on

    ibleedgreenandwhite1 – Also, while the Ramsdens Cup is sponsored by a pawn shop chain, the other sponsor for that match is Delson: specialists in waste management.

     

     

    Ironical. (thumbsup)

  8. The Pantaloon Duck on

    Paul – that was the cruellest “new article” of all, right after BRTH’s post on the last thread ;-)

     

     

    I shall leave it to the man himself to repost here…

  9. BigChipsUK

     

     

    Yes, they are our titles and I’ll have them, thank you very much.

     

     

    The ‘negotiations’ which we are told will resume today are hinged on receiving a licence to carry on playing in Div 3, and I really don’t see a way out of cheating and the irony is they are trying to ‘walk away ‘ but also debt free.

     

     

    There must be a consequence.

     

     

    Either they face up to it, or they are out for a year in which case FIFA would step in when the SFA are fully finally exposed.

  10. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    TBB- ‘Fifty Shades of Dick Byrne’; just alittle bit racy .

     

    But it helps explain his bar-wards lethargy.

     

    The ole goat ust be exhausted.

  11. Meh, if we’re going to get beat 4-0 at all this season I’d rather it was in pre season and Ajax are no mugs after all! Besides, we showed last season that we can compete in Europe when it matters so I’m not overly worried.

     

     

    At least Neil is experimenting and trying to figure out different ways of playing rather than sticking rigidly to one system.

  12. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    Good Morning,

     

     

    There was a flurry of activity over on RTC yesterday following Alex Thompson’s decision to name the three members of the FTT, whose decision we await with baited breath.

     

     

    From somewhere, the suggestion came that perhaps the chairman of the Tribunal, Mr Ken Mure QC, may just have an establishment club leaning and there followed questions about his objectivity in the proceedings and whether this had any part in the delay in issuing the long expected decision.

     

     

    I would have to say, that I believe such fears to be not only unfounded, but also completely and utterly groundless, of no merit, and to be honest really rather pathetic. One comment from somewhere seemed to delve into the Mure family ancestry, reaching a conclusion that as the Mure’s seemed to have come from Ayrshire, and all Ayrshire men were Rangers men, therefore the Chairman will be a Rangers fan….. perhaps.

     

     

    Given that I know many Ayrshire men who are most definitely not Rangers Men, and many that are Celtic men ( and women ), I cannot follow the logic here at all. Further, one only had to follow the efforts of those from Ayrshire ( who supported many clubs other than Rangers ) during the appeal for Vanessa Riddle ( an Ayrshire Lass ) to realise that such a broad generic brush was always going to be total nonsense– Ayrshire is populated with fans of all clubs and fans of no club at all!

     

     

    However, none of that argument relates to or pertains to the FTT Chair for the following reasons:

     

     

    First, I don’t know where anyone got the idea that Ken is an Ayrshire man. To my certain knowledge his familial stamping ground is the Inner Hebrides where he spends the vast majority of his leisure time when not resident in his city home.

     

     

    Secondly, Having employed him as counsel over a number of years I have never heard him utter the word football never mind the words Rangers, Celtic, Partick Thistle or any other team.

     

     

    Whilst he surprised me once by mentioning that he jogs ( I near fell off my seat! ) I would have to stress my opinion that he has more interest in juggling plates whilst riding a unicycle blindfolded across a busy motorway, than he has in football.

     

     

    Thirdly, I know of one Celtic supporting former HMRC official who has “jumped ship” to the other side when it comes to representing folk at FTT’s and the like, and he stresses that in his opinion you are not likely to get anyone better or fairer than Ken Mure in chairing an enquiry of any kind. He and I have discussed this particular FTT in the past and his comment was that “well at least you know with Ken, he will get it right!”. That is a view that I share without reservation. If I was the counsel for HMRC in this case, I would be delighted to have Mure in the chair!

     

     

    Fourth. The later Peter McCann used to describe Mure as ” Class– just class!”

     

     

    Wee Peter was not one to harbour a bigot nor any counsel, solicitor, judge or anyone else who in his opinion either lacked objectivity or failed to cover all the ground on behalf of a client. That Mure fitted his bill tells you something, because wee Peter could be as cantakerous as they come at the drop of a hat and for no discernable reason if he thought there was even a hint of bias or impropriety. I liked Peter, but God he could be as difficult as they come on many issues, and if he thought there was a hint of “iffyness” about Ken Mure he would have sent him packing as a matter of principle! He didn’t, and like me, he retained him on a regular basis– not because he was flamboyant, or bendable, or biddable– but because he was just plain ….GOOD!

     

     

    ( remind me at another time to recall the tale of the day wee Peter was told by Mrs Thatcher that the Secretary of State would be in touch– and his reaction to that promise! )

     

     

    Lastly, I have to rely on my own experience here, as I have employed Ken in the past in various civil matters going back many years — especially if they involved technically complex matters, and even once I had him conduct a case which was several months in the preparation and several days in the hearing, which involved complex financial transactions and the detailed technical mechanisms that are employed in a series of stock market transactions and so on.

     

     

    Ken Mure can take an age to go through each and every step in any such process, going into detail after detail, and eaking out patterns, systems, practices, protocols and habits. He can be wrong ( everyone can ), but in my experience he is painstakingly thorough– to the extent that he can be mind numbingly repetative and boring by necessity– often meaning that matters are protracted and seemingly endless.

     

     

    What he is not– is biased in any which way or form, or short of that much bandied word….. integrity.

     

     

    For my own take on where we are with the FTT I go back to something which I read– although I cannot remember where.

     

     

    That was a comment from wither someone at the Tribunal Office or from the HMRC side who indicated that the decision was expected sometime in the “summer of 2012″– namely round about now!

     

     

    I have long held the belief that the findings in this decision will put the sum due by way of unpaid tax into the very dark shade!For me, the amount was always going to be a complete irrelevence when compared to the mechanism and practice involved.Always bear in mind that mechanism and practice involve knowledge and compliance, and in an illegal or unlawful scheme, it is that knowledge and compliance– and what you do with it— that will damn you in the eyes of the law!

     

     

    Not so long ago, the newspaper headlines were blaring out the fact that Rangers PLC could owe £x or £y and that Alastair Johnstone had indicated that the company could go bust as a result!

     

     

    Well the company has gone bust without the FTT ruling that it is due a penny. Now you can blame Whyte for this or you can try and bring in Duff & Phelps or whoever but that is to simply cloud the issue. No, doubt both of those parties have had their roles to play in the demise of Rangers PLC, but let’s be clear that at this juncture all we can say is that neither of those parties were prepared or were allowed to present a set of accounts or sign off a financial picture in the fashion of the board that held the keys of the kingdom before Whyte appeared.

     

     

    The lack of accounting information, whether audited or not, is something that continues to hamper and indeed strangle the remnants of what once was Rangers PLC and the football authorities in Scotland. It is a handicap which is now highlighted with no one being prepared to provide any answer as to how any successor organisation is going to be funded going forward, nor how they will comply with the fiscal regulation and compliance structures demanded by a UEFA registered football club. Any projected figures must draw comparison with the financial documents submitted to the SFA and the SPL in the past, and you may well find that at some point in the future the past accounts come in for severe scrutiny and criticism.

     

     

    That will ultimately prove to be hugely significant.

     

     

    The FTT decision will not only look at the contracts, the payments, the EBT and how it was administered– but also who did what, when they did it, what knowledge they had, who they reported to, who they were monitored by and so on– all with a view to whether or not any individual or collective actions fell into an area or pattern where it could be said that they were complying with the law on EBT’s — or more importantly whether or not those very same actions were clearly an attempt to deceive HMRC and to disguise a deliberate attempt to present a knowingly false EBT position with a view to unlawfully avoiding tax or defeating a tax investigation. Note that the two are very different!

     

     

    I agree with the comment, made elsewhere, that the FTT might have to consider whether or not their findings could effectively constitute a judicial finding that certain behaviour was in fact criminal or could be criminal– further in the course of actually hearing evidence– it may well be that the Tribunal would have to warn certain witnesses that they are not obliged to give any evidence or answer any question that may implicate them in criminal activity which then may be repeated and relied upon in an altogether different type of hearing.Even those appearing for MIH may have had to ask the chair to explain this part of the law to certain witnesses, in the interests of protecting those witnesses in relation to potential future legal process. The legality and admissability of any singular piece of evidence here may, of itself, take up several pages in the final judgement. It will be that detailed.

     

     

    No— where once the MSM would have been all over the level of financial misappropriation that the FTT will bring out in their finding, I am quite certain that when the decision appears, it will not be the amount of tax dodged that grabs the headlines– it will be the way it was dodged, over what period, by whom and the lengths they went to to do it and cover it up– that will be genuinely newsworthy.

     

     

    Also remember, that this tribunal finding will also have to publicly rule on the credibility or otherwise of some of the major players. It will be a major issue if some people are regarded as just not being credible or to be frank just lying through their teeth for fraudulent ends.

     

     

    Given that the detail of the finding may well lead to further legal process and that the same detail will be poured over by a section of the media who ( with the greatest of respect to them ) will be ill equipped to deal and understand the implication of that detail— the Tribunals office will be determined to ensure that the full import of the decision has been examined, considered and if necessary acted upon before it goes public.

     

     

    Of even greater concern may well be the fact that the MSM may well pour over and comment on certain aspects of the evidence and then comment at large in the daily blatt or whatever– thus potentially influencing or steering the public view– whether intentionally or otherwise!

     

     

    If it is the case that some of what has happened behind the scenes at Ibrox does merit criminal proceedings in the eyes of the Tribunal, then you may find that not only is the FTT decision delayed, but that the detailed decision is not made public at all for fear of the MSM blabbing on in an ill informed manner and so having a direct effect on potential jurors who at some point in the future may well be asked to determine an altogether different, but related, legal question. The Tribunal will be very conscious of that. In the past, criminal trials have been moved to a completely different court or jurisdiction on the simple basis that potential jurors may well have been influenced in advance by press comments and advance publicity concerning the matters at hand.

     

     

    I have no worries at all over Mure QC, absolutely none at all, but I suspect that the judgement itself will be very VERY detailed in all sorts of ways, and if you think that Mark Daly’s Panorama programme lifted a lid I would bet you ain’t seen nuthin yet!

  13. I have a hard time gleaning anything from friendlies. A winger up against a semi-committed RB who’s using the match to get fit can have a riotous afternoon and be told he’s world class, only to be found out when the serious stuff happens. Equally, the RB can go on to have a great season.

     

     

    I promised myself last year that I would forego optimism/pessimism on the basis of pre-season games, which are best left to the professionals as part of their training.

  14. philvisreturns on

    The Pantaloon Duck – As the Bradley Wiggins of CQN podia races, I can tell you this:

     

     

    Being a podium winner requires 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.

     

     

    BRTH’s butterscotch ripple was off, my feathered friend, and that’s why his goose is cooked. (thumbsup)

  15. Hector Avocado on

    Cheerio cheerio cheerio, cheerio cheerio cheerio-oh, cheerio cheerio cheerio, cheerio chee- ri – o.

  16. philvisreturns on

    Hector Avocado – If Fat Sally walks, where will he go?

     

     

    STV are casting celebrity “The Biggest Loser”. (thumbsup)

  17. Son of Gabriel on

    Mark Hateley says if Ally McCoist walks away it will be like a new signing for Sevco

  18. South Of Tunis on

    Europe / HJK Helsinki .

     

     

    Know very little re HJK -watched the highlights of their 7-0 humping of a team from Iceland .[ Ajax they are not ]

     

     

    I do know that Joel Pohjanpalo plays for HJK .

     

     

    Who he ——–?

     

     

    A 17 year old” wonder boy ”

     

    The European football media had him being fought over by Barca/ Real Madrid/ Arsenal / Chelsea/ / Man U / Man City/ PSG / AC Milan / Inter / Napoli / Udinese / Bayern Munich and Zenit St Petersburg.

     

     

    Words like ” fabulous ” ” sensational ” ” future world star” were banded about .

     

     

    Cue much surprise when he went for a week’s trial at Liverpool —– the trial wasn’t successful . He went back to Helsinki and there were no further stories about him .

     

     

    From the little I have seen of him ——- he can certainly play football —— he will be a threat.

  19. Wing commander. Just missed ya

     

     

    Yup had a Beer with one of the Melbourne crew on sat night

     

     

    Been in Sydney club for 8 years

     

     

    Does anybody know kick off time for Aberdeen game ???

     

    Setanta saying 9pm. Noon Glasgow

     

     

    Anybody know?

     

     

    Anyway. Does anybody kn

  20. The Pantaloon Duck on

    philvisreturns on 23 July, 2012 at 12:36 said:

     

     

    Does butterscotch ripple go well with goose?

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