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Season will be decided on the field, not in the courts

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I received a text early evening on 18th August last year: “Gongalves starts”.  Former Hearts player, Jose Gongalves, was one of a handful of players FC Sion signed illegally in the summer 2011 transfer window and he had been named to start against Celtic in the Europa League qualifier, first leg.

As a contest, the tie was over.  There followed two matches with considerable effort and drama from both teams but the eventual outcome was, literally, never in doubt, the courts would have their way.  Sion would be expelled from the competition and Celtic would progress to the group stage.

Today Celtic’s only remaining competitor from the chasing pack for the SPL title is up in court to face the HM Revenue and Customs.  The courts will have their way again but although you may feel the outcome of Rangers tax case is inevitable (I do), the impact on this season’s league championship is less assured.  Should they lose, Rangers have the option to appeal, postponing any negative impact on the company until next season at the earliest.

If Rangers have, or can generate, enough cash to keep the lights on this season the league will be nip and tuck until the end of the season. The tax case will attract most attention but if you are looking for indications of how the season is likely to go, keep an eye open for cash related incidents.

Well done to Rangers’ broadcast partner, STV, for their story this morning on SPL discipline.  They report the Ibrox club have the worst disciplinary record in the league, having accumulated a total of 41 bookings, contrasting starkly with the cool class at Celtic Park who are best behaved in the league with only 20 bookings.

With Beram Kayal out for the season Ki Sung-Yeung is the Celtic player closest to a suspension, a further three yellow cards would put the Korean over the threshold.  Rangers have Lafferty one booking, Edu and Bocanegra two, with Goian, Broadfoot, Bartley and Whittaker all three away from a suspension.  Lee McCulloch has only been booked twice this season but shows enormous potential.

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1,029 Comments

  1. My dear,dear,dear,friend… SonofGabriel

     

     

    Well.. Noo ye are cooking wi ..well.. Cookin’ Oil!

     

     

    Yep… Salihi… Fits oor Requirements tae a “T”.

     

     

    Big, Strong, and No Handsome.. That’s Bin oor Problem.

     

     

    doncha Know?

     

     

    Oor Scouts are Suckers .. when it comes tae Handsome Guys!

     

     

    And as ye know… Handsome is..as Handsome Diz!

     

     

    Ye canny jist go by looks..

     

     

    Noo, Tak a Gander a Jimmy McGrory..and ye’ll see whit Ah mean..

     

     

    He wiz A kinda Homely Fellah.. but, He sure new Where the.. “Ingin Bag

     

    Wiz.

     

     

    And.. Tak Boabby Lennox, as weel..

     

     

    He had Lugs Oan Him.. like an Elephant.. but..

     

     

    So, ye get whit Ah am Saying..? Right?

     

     

    Kojo

     

    yer pal.. pal …who likes ye aloater

  2. Kojo my friend, I appreciate the points you’re making regarding Vardy, a scoring record that would be hard to ignore. However I struggle with the fact that we are getting worked up over a non-league player. His goals to me are devalued by the fact he is playing at a level in which most of our reserves might shine in.

     

     

    My fear is that the hype of the English leagues is what is driving the interest in this player and the value that his club obviously feels they can command.

     

    I would be far happier if we were looking at El Allagui of Falkirk. For me he ticks more boxes than Vardy. He plays at a better level, has as good a scoring record (21 in 27), is of similar age (26 yr old), is use to the Scottish game and climate but most importantly for me he would cost a fraction of the fee Fleetwood are asking for unproven player.

     

     

    El Allagui is halfway through a 1 year deal so could sign on a pre-contract or be signed now for as little as £200-£300K.

     

    This to me makes far more sense than spending £1M on a player who plays at an extremely low level and hope they can make the transition to the level we require.

     

     

    Sorry to disagree mate but do not think this would be good business.

     

     

    HH

     

    /Bishop B

  3. Hugh McIlvanney’s description of the Welsh boxer Johnny Owen who died of injuries sustained in the ring.

     

     

    “It was boxing that gave Johnny Owen his one positive means of self-expression… It is his tragedy that he found himself articulate in such a dangerous language.”

  4. James Forrest is Lennon on

    Auld Neil Lennon heid:

     

     

    Agreed mate. I find it curious that no-one in the media (haha, I am serious tho) has picked up on the suggestion – and he’s made it twice now – that Rangers might not bother appealing. He claims the club needs closure, that they can’t have it hanging over their heads indefinitely, but you tell me; if it was your club, wouldn’t you want to fight it every step, whilst you had a breath in your body? Wouldn’t you want to use an extra year’s breathing space to make SOME effort to prepare for the worst?

     

     

    So why isn’t Whyte talking about fighting to the death? Why is he ready to roll over? The answer is obvious to any one of us who’s had a look at the multiple variations and scenarios here.

     

     

    The guy wants out sharpish. Every day that passes, he sinks more of his own money in. He’s already had to mortgage future season ticket revenue and catering. He’s taken a loan from a finance company, and done God knows what else behind the scenes, all of it just to get through the last few months. He cannot keep building up the debt like this; he needs to start putting together the exit strategy.

     

     

    Yes, the exit strategy. Nothing I’ve seen convinces me he’s here for the long haul. He has kidded Rangers fans on about that from the very beginning, and the media has ignored all the signs. No-one in the press rooms wants to say it, but the ocean of bad blood which is accumulating between Whyte and creditors of various shades means things can’t return to normal whilst he’s there. Their ongoing battle with the BBC won’t end whilst he’s there. He is embarrasing himself, and the club, in his “transfer negotiations”, and that won’t end whilst he’s there.

     

     

    We also suspect – with good supporting evidence – that he’s not paying PAYE contributions, which stokes up the next round of fights with HMRC. He is doing profound damage to the reputation of Rangers, damage which won’t be repaired as long as he’s at the helm.

     

     

    Why isn’t the press saying that? It’s clearly a fact.

     

     

    The guy simply does not want to hang around longer than one year. He can’t afford to, either in terms of his financial position or his reputation with the fans. If he causes an administration event he will be hated forever. If one happens because of the EBT scheme he will blame Murray, take his money and run, throwing all sorts of accusations behind him; against HMRC, MIH, the banks, the league, everyone who could have “saved” Rangers and didn’t.

     

     

    See, what most people haven’t grasped in the whole NewCo scenario is this; someone has to buy what’s left of Rangers after Whyte takes his cut, and then mount the rescue. Whyte himself would be unable to serve on the board of the new club. Even the best case scenario for Rangers, where they somehow cut a deal, would only be possible after Whyte had taken his money out …

     

     

    As Whyte himself could not set up and run NewCo Rangers, who then would? This is the big hole in the NewCo plan. This is why the most important aspect of the NewCo scenario is probably going to be the timeframe in which it happens. If it takes too long, we could very well start the season without a club called Rangers playing anywhere in Scotland … and if that happens they might never be able to come back.

  5. Kojo says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 16:33

     

     

    Just read this page as I am just from work.

     

     

    James Vardy, don’t worry about researching his stats etc. He ain’t going to sign on the green side. And as others have pointed out his whole team are in Glasgow.

     

     

    Yir pal Lennybhoy who likes you aloater…

     

     

    Keep the Faith!

     

     

    Hail Hail!

  6. I’ve just seen Hamdi Salihi walking in the direction of St Pauls tube station. Clearly, it’s a case of the Central line to Holborn then Picadilly line to Heathrow for a flight to Glasgow.

  7. When Ah read the Snippet O’ Victor’s Interview.. whit wiz oan the

     

    Celtic Home Site..

     

     

    Ah hid a wee Fly Smile.. tae Masel..

     

     

    Fur..

     

     

    Victor, told it like Ah like Ah like Tae Hear It…

     

     

    when he said..In Paraphrasing…

     

     

    ” I do Not DRINK…I do Not Party… I stay away Fae

     

     

    The Fast Lane… ”

     

     

    He is a Man Fur Me… as ye know Ma Sentiments when it

     

    comes tae Smokin.. Drinking.. Partying, by oor

     

    Young Players..

     

     

    Ah wid Forbid Them tae Partake in awe awe o’ these Things.

     

     

    Athletes..if they are Serious aboot their Athletic Career..

     

     

    Should Toe the Line..and Walk the Walk..

     

     

    And Be Dedicated tae the slogan..

     

     

    “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”

     

     

    Ah see that Victor, Believes in That.. slogan..

     

     

    .. and His

     

    Sterling Play oan the Field .. Reflects his Dedication

     

    to That.

     

     

    The only thing that Ah am curious Aboot Regarding

     

    Victor..is..

     

     

    His He any TATTOOS..??

     

     

    Fur..

     

     

    Ah believe that Anybuddy who is Stoopid Enuff tae

     

    Desecrate thur Body.. wi A Bunch o

     

     

    PERMANENT BLEMISHES..

     

     

    is… well..

     

     

    Ah wullnae say any mair..fur Some of’ Ma Readers may hiv

     

    indulged in that kinda Madness..

     

     

    So ..Ah wullnae say whit a Think .. oan the Tattooing Bit..

     

     

    as Ah dinna want tae Hoit Those Reader’s Feelin’s.

     

     

    Kojo

  8. My dear,dear,dear,friend..Len Brennan

     

     

    Hiya, Palomine?

     

     

    Na.. We may be hiving a Disagreement aboot us Signing Vardy

     

     

    Howevahhhh

     

     

    We Baith are in Brlotherly LOCK-STEP..

     

     

    when it comes tae Celtic Makin a Slick Move..

     

     

    tae Secure the Services o’

     

     

    The Falkirk ,North African..

     

     

    Ah heartily, agree,with you that El.. whatevah… Wid Be a

     

    Knock oot wi us..if Lenny, grabbed him up.

     

     

    His Stats.are Mair than Remarkable.. they are Jumpin oot the Page!

     

     

    Yep…

     

     

    The Falkirk Guy…wid also be oan Ma Agenda..If Ah wur King.

     

     

    and dinnae furget.. Sandaza.. eethur..,

     

     

    Lenny,wull come thru fur us.. and Ah am sure that

     

    We wull baith be mair than satisfied, by whom ..

     

    Lenny eventually Picks up.. Before the Windae Closes.’

     

     

    Kojo

     

    Yer pal..who likes ye aloater

  9. James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 17:38

     

     

    VERY interesting point mate! I never even thought about it before but if you are correct ( no reason to doubt you) then they won’t be able to phoenix as NewCo Utd unless they can find another Whyte Knight to ride to the rescue. This just gets better and better!!!

     

     

    Starryhope

  10. My dear,dear,dear,friend…LennyBhoy

     

     

    Hiya, Pal..???

     

     

    Nice tae Get a Chance tae Chat wi ye..

     

     

    Don’t worry, Ah wull no be worried if we Don’t

     

    Sign Vardy..

     

     

    Howevahhh

     

     

    AH WULL WORRY..if the G.A.DIZ!

     

     

    The very last thing that we want is fur the G.A.

     

    tae get a Sound Replacement fur .. JellyBelly..

     

    who.. Must surely..be oan the Bubble?

     

     

    Like Ah said ,pal..

     

     

    Nice Chattin’

     

     

    Kojo

     

    yer pal..who thinks yer swell.

  11. Neil Lennon says Garry Hooper is worth 35 million sterling, do I detect a strong hint of sarcasm there from Neil. A nice reminder of the obscene money circulating in football down south – think Andy Carroll and Torres almost 90million for both.

     

     

    We in the ROI are being taxed to the hilt to pay off bond holders like Abramovich and others who control EPL clubs to throw vast sums of money at average footballers like the above mentioned. Hail, Hail Neil.

  12. To be quite brutally honest, I wouldn’t want Varney anyway. Surely the now fit James Keatings can do just as good job or better? No, if we are looking for a new striker, he has to be a different style to Hooper, stokes and Keatings, a proper target man, a proper number 9/10 the new Chris Sutton or John Hartson, to hold the ball up and score a few goals too. Samaras has proven not to be this guy unless up front on his own but he is very effective on the left wing, so we need one. We’ve not had a good one since JVOH in his prime (his first two seasons basically).

     

     

    If any talk of Kevin Davies is true, even for six months until we can find a permanent one in the summer or a permanent deal for Davies now, I would bite someone’s hand off for his signature.

     

     

    HH!

     

     

    Btw Lennybhoy, is any talk of Davies true? :)

  13. Is the public allowed into Lennoxtown,to watch these bounce games,or are they closed door affairs.Sounds like the masons.

  14. fergus slayed the blues on

    James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 17:38

     

    I too ,am of a mind that CW is not in this for the long term .Some have asked why is he still here .

     

    Do you thing the part in the takeover that states ,Wavetower will waive the 18m if there is an insolvency event within

     

    90 DAYS of the tax case outcome .

     

    I was reading that he would pull the plug as soon as it concluded but how does this clause work regards him pulling the curtain down BEFORE the tax case outcome .Will he lose his

  15. James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

     

    16 January, 2012 at 17:38

     

     

    As Whyte himself could not set up and run NewCo Rangers, who then would? This is the big hole in the NewCo plan. This is why the most important aspect of the NewCo scenario is probably going to be the timeframe in which it happens. If it takes too long, we could very well start the season without a club called Rangers playing anywhere in Scotland … and if that happens they might never be able to come back.

     

     

    —————————————

     

    You got me wondering what if with the last question.

     

     

    What if someone was prepared to takeover the running of Rangers without the EBT sword over his head? What if it was their money CW was using as front man?

     

     

    So they pay CW a losers fee and get their money back in the shape of the stadium and are prepared to shell out up to say between £7M and £15M on overall wages for season one depending on which division the new club is allowed to start playing in?

     

     

     

    This is a mob who specialise in using other people’s money so why does it have to be CWs that paid off the loan?.

     

     

    Rangers fold and CW gets first dabs on what matters for continuation – Ibrox – and “sells” it to a new owner for a penny and wanders of happy with his loser fee,

     

     

    What looks fairly certain is he is not a football business man so walking away will be easy. The new owner of Ibrox is then in a position to start again and if that is Div 3 or not at all, I reckon they would be prepared to cut their cloth for a few seasons and take the hit.Wherever they start up they will have to cut their cloth.

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    Was expecting to read a report on the BBC or similar from the Sheriff Court this afternoon following the arrest of a 41 year old for the racist abuse of Maurice Edu and Kyle Bartley.

     

     

    Odd that nothing has been posted by now on what is a case with an enhanced profile.

  17. By the way, I’m hoping that the Heskey rumours are not true on page 1, I’ve liked an unlimited number of FB pages taking the mick out of poor Emile!

     

     

    And I don’t rate him ;)

  18. fergus slayed the blues on

    Ignore the last post from me ,having keyboard trouble

     

     

     

     

    James Forrest is Lennon says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 17:38

     

    I too ,am of a mind that CW is not in this for the long term .Some have asked why is he still here .

     

    Do you thing the part in the takeover that states ,Wavetower will waive the 18m if there is not an insolvency event within

     

    90 DAYS of the tax case outcome .

     

    I was reading into that,that he would pull the plug as soon as it concluded but how does this clause work regards him pulling the curtain down BEFORE the tax case outcome .Will he lose his 18m if they fold before the case and is that why he is holding on and saying that they can’t go on with this hanging over the club .

     

    hail hail

     

    share

  19. The Battered Bunnet on

    Auldheid

     

     

    I think we are all fairly confident that whoever ponied up the dough to settle with LBG, it wasn’t Craig Whyte.

     

     

    My view is that whoever it is has done so to get their mitts on the stadium cheaply, rather than the football club.

     

     

    That said, one is considerably less valuable without the other, but if you wanted to make money out of Rangers, operating the club is the last thing you’d do.

     

     

    A Newco playing tenant at a Whyte-Backer owned Ibrox stadium remains the likeliest outcome in my view.

  20. James Forrest is Lennon on

    starryhope:

     

     

    No-one can serve on the board of the NewCo who served on the board of the OldCo under the SFA Fit & Proper Person criteria.

     

     

    It’s spelled out that he fails said criteria if “he has been a director of a club in membership of any National Association within the five years preceeding such club having undergone an insolvency event.”

     

     

    Stated bluntly, if Rangers goes to the wall and has to re-emerge as a new company, they can cry the blues all they like. The whole of the present board, including Dave King by the way, and Murray and his pack of charlatans as well, are banned from serving on it by SFA guidelines.

     

     

    It is clearly stated in the SFA regulations. There is no argument to it.

     

     

    And please note; this would be a troublesome area for them as regards HMRC as well. If they re-emerge, with the same name, the same club colours, history intact, playing in the same league and had the same board of directors HMRC would simply petition the court for a full-scale repayment and under those bizarre circumstances I would say good luck in arguing that Rangers NewCo is a different entity from the one which owes the tax man upwards of £40 million.

  21. The Bhoy from the Village on

    The Battered Bunnet says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 18:09

     

    Was expecting to read a report on the BBC or similar from the Sheriff Court this afternoon following the arrest of a 41 year old for the racist abuse of Maurice Edu and Kyle Bartley.

     

     

    Odd that nothing has been posted by now on what is a case with an enhanced profile.

     

     

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

     

     

    I was just thinking exactly that, could there be some anomoly in this case. hmmmm

  22. Jorge Claros, The 25-year-old, who was linked with Celtic last summer before suffering minor gunshot wounds in a car-jacking in his homeland – is a former team-mate of Hoops star Emilio Izaguirre.

     

    Rangers are understood to be mulling over a loan move for the Montagua player which would be made permanent at the end of the season.

     

     

     

    Ooooooo noooooo they won’t

  23. anyone listening to Clyde

     

     

    very articulate, thoughful champion for the Celts , and against the newco on now.

     

     

    who is this irish man ?

     

     

    expertly done who ever you are.

  24. I do realise that Christmas is over, but –

     

     

     

    If, and when, Whytey exits the farce “Stage Left”….. to the sound of the Ugly Mob doing what they do best……..is it too much to ask that we have Whigfield step up and ‘explain’……errm…….err……. things?

     

     

    Icing and cake, spring to mind.

     

     

    HH

  25. The Singing Detective on

    My dear,dear Sir Kojo…

     

     

    You are guilty as charged…

     

     

    As being the very foist tae bandy aboot the name Jamie Vardy on this sainted blog….Am ah right,or am ah right ?

     

     

    The rumoured tae be a free-scoring forward for the legendary Fleetwood Mac.

     

     

    Weel that wid be an unco strange career trajectory :- Halifax Town> Fleetwood Mac>Glasgow Celtic ?

     

     

    We could call him The Boomerang Bhoy..

     

     

    Noo ah quite understand that yer role on this site is tae moderate and act as a leaden counterbalance(Is that a woid ?..Ed)oan the realistic expectations of the Celtic Support,on behalf of yer canape munchin’ Buttermulk Dainty pals oan the Board..Agreed ??

     

     

    Well,Memo tae yer talkin’ dug….must try harder,or it’s jotters fir Collie….

     

     

    TSD (laughing)

  26. My dear,dear,dear,friend..Jist Patrick..

     

     

    Pal..

     

     

    tak a Gander at Kevin Davies Stats…

     

     

    Ah am Shocked that ye are Impressed wi’ this Guy,pal… Shocked, is no

     

    the woid.. mair like.. Stupiefied!

     

     

    Kevin Davies.. Tranmere Rover.. 2005-2008..Apps. 60 Goals 5

     

    Derby County 2008-2011..Apps. 67 Goals14

     

     

    Hmmmmm..

     

     

    Is this the same Guy,whom you are recommending?

     

     

    Ah may hiv mistakingly looked up the wrang Fellow me lad.

     

     

    Please Confirm.

     

     

    Kojo

     

    yer pal..who likes ye aloater

  27. Kojo says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 18:00

     

     

    I can’t see the G.A, being able to afford Vardy but I would suggest that is about their limit these days, signing Conference based players.

     

     

    Patrick27 says:

     

    16 January, 2012 at 18:04

     

     

    Firstly, James Keatings, I hear that the coaching and management mightily impressed with young James, they have high hopes for him.

     

     

    No news on Davies, where you hearing this?

     

     

    Keep the Faith!

     

     

    Hail Hail!