Turning Ibrox to dust. Section 111


Despite Walter Smith urging “Rangers fans to get fully behind the resolutions which last week were presented to the Board and shareholders”, which include sacking chief executive, Craig Mather, he added, “Craig Mather, as I have said before is doing a good job. It is unfortunate that this has happened but when change does come I hope he’ll be allowed to continue the job he has started”.

Smith is clearly close to, but not in tandem with, those who requested an Emergency General Meeting.

As well as support for the chief exec, on the manager, Smith says, “As for Alistair McCoist, it is important that we all appreciate that no other Rangers manager has had to work with poorer or more trying circumstances. It is my fervent hope that when the dust settles and Rangers have a clearer path and future he is given the chance to manage under conditions similar to those which were afforded his predecessors.”

Here we get to the crux of the problem.  Rangers International face enormous financial challenges.  With a half decent football manager, they would be able to win promotion from the third tier of Scottish football with a football budget of around £1m, or several times that of their nearest rivals.  If, as the Herald suggested this week, there is not enough money to finish the season, the most immediate responsibility of the directors is to cut costs accordingly.

Cutting costs is not the reason anyone gets into football, and it is certainly not what Walter Smith knew in his time at the Rangers group of clubs, but at times it is absolutely necessary.  The non-executive directors of Rangers International would serve their fans interests best by telling this unpalatable truth.

Failure to do this will pale in comparison to some other potential consequences.  In setting his stall behind McCoist, Mather’s team building exercise and the EGM protagonists, Smith has almost ensured collapse if those demanding change cannot command the support of 51% of shareholders.  To succeed, Paul Murray will need to demonstrate the leadership and deal management skills which were lacking a year ago.

Meanwhile, John Brown’s warning about Green turning Ibrox to dust hangs over the place, a bit like dust.

There is one overarching concern, however.  Green is critical to fending off any impending action by Craig Whyte.  His evidence will be necessary to explain how Sevco Scotland Ltd assumed the irrevocable entitlement of Sevco 5088 Ltd.  Even with Green on-side, this looks like a challenge, but if the main protagonists in this action are separated from those who will have to defend any action, you suspect Whyte will be enormously encouraged.

When Whyte believed he was double-crossed he went nuclear.  All Green would need to do is corroborate a sliver of Whyte’s evidence to bring Whyte’s legal challenge into sharp focus.  For this reason, Green has to be part of the picture going forward.  Demonising him is tempting, and may be deserved, but it’s self-defeating – and these people know all about self-defeating.

Section 111

Two weeks ago I said “place your bets” on what would happen after Celtic issued their “final warning” over a number ongoing issues in section 111.  No one was in control of the situation, not Celtic, and not members the Green Brigade, who I believe had nothing to do with several of the issues.

Since then I’ve watched the debate.  Some, like Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, attempted to inform on the debate, interviewing handicapped supporters and independent safety experts.  Anticipating this day would come, I thought about interviewing the Council, but decided against, not wanting to draw them into making a public stance they would be unable to back down from.

Yesterday felt as inevitable as what’s going to happen next in Govan. Can the situation be rescued? Of course. Will it? Place your bets, people…

I’m not a regular newspaper buyer but the front page of one of today’s is a keeper.  Celtic have a lateral movement issue, which dominates the front page, when the utter implosion at Ibrox is relegated to a side column.  It’s a testament to our age.  We will survive.  I can’t say that with any certainty about the other lot.
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  1. Pat McCourt joins training at Hibernian



    By Colin Moffat


    BBC Scotland


    Former Celtic winger Pat McCourt is training with Hibernian, following spells on trial in England.


    The 29-year-old could be available on a short-term deal, with the player keen on a move to America next year.


    “It’s really just to keep his fitness up,” explained Leroy McCourt, the player’s brother and agent.


    “He knows the manager [Pat Fenlon] from their short time together at Derry. He’s just been in today to have a look around and do a bit of training.”


    McCourt, capped 13 times for Northern Ireland, is a free agent following his Celtic exit.


    In five seasons at Celtic Park, McCourt was largely a bit-part player, starting 69 of his 90 games on the bench.


    Play media



    Archive: Celtic’s McCourt shows off his skills


    With the Major League Soccer season drawing to a close at the end of October, it appears that the player is happy to wait for the start of the next campaign before attempting to fix up a move across the Atlantic.


    “It’s always been the intention to go to America,” added his brother. “It’s 99% nailed on that he’ll go over there.


    “He doesn’t want to uproot his family at this stage of the season over there.”


    McCourt recently spent time with Peterborough United, with manager Darren Ferguson saying he hoped to sign the player up.

  2. whitedoghunch on




    sorry misunderstood your post



    get a taxi and ask Amy to direct you to Dry Martini for a drink after your meal.


    My favourite bar in the world not to be missed just up the road

  3. wdh,


    hail hail,


    off out :o) to sit on another bus for the next two hours


    take in the rest of barca tourist stuff, was looking at the barca stadium tour then thought buggered if I’m going to pay another team for my first guided tour, their history cant compare, so when I do want a tour around a great club I’l be doing it at Celtic Park.


    right, offski


    hail hail

  4. Canamalar – Cinc Sentis; the best meal of my life thus far; which i still owe the great WDH a good feed for:)





  5. Blindlemonchitlin on

    Huns v Aunty



    The real reason they aren’t talking is the Horribles haven’t paid their licence fee since 1972. They have had legal advice to the effect that if they pretend the BBC isn’t real they won’t ever have to fork out.



    This involves things like walking past Rediffusion shops with heads at a sharp 90 degree angle roadwards; running around with their fingers in their ears when the Moral Maze comes on Big Jigs DAB Tranny in the MP dresser and watching Lizzie’s Christmas Braodcast on You Tube.



    It was also the REAL reason the Pieman had to wave bye byes to Sue on QOS.




  6. South Of Tunis on

    Billy ” he had acres of time ” Dodds



    Billy ” there are not many who can pass the ball as well as Barry Ferguson ” Dodds

  7. It’s been a while since Gordon Smith last touted himself for a job that he was spectacularly unqualified to do.

  8. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    I also am not speakin’ to the BBC since they sent Dermot O’Leary to cover the Cambridge Folk Festival.











    Give him time-he has to check on his parents first.



    And also figure out a way of getting paid for the gig instead of it all going to his creditors.



    A job at Rangers should be just the ticket,really…





    Always liked Mark Radcliffe,but Mike Harding is the man for folk music on R2.



    Rather fond of a rousing rebel tune too!

  11. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000 on

    Good Afternoon.




    We have all heard the quote ” The Law is an Ass”.



    The phrase was popularised by Charles Dickens and attributed to the appropriately named Mr Bumble who, upon being informed that the law deems the actions of his wife to be conducted under his direction, replies that “If the law thinks that……. then it is an ass!”



    The Law, as we have only too readily seen in Scotland in this last year or so, is undoubtedly shown to be an ass when it is placed in the hands of and administered by…….. well to be blunt……Assholes!



    Elsewhere, and at another time, I wrote that the Law is a great tool, but then again so is a spanner– however both are equally useless when what you need is a screwdriver.



    There are a number of different things that disappoint me about this section 111 situation, and while I thought about posting last night, I decided to let the sun come up, my passions subside and the ould head to kick in before I sounded off.



    I have now read Paul’s leader, had a cup of tea, dealt with a few things and so have only now decided to set down my thoughts— most of which, I have to be honest, are going to sound like criticism of everyone involved………. and yet are nor necessarily intended to be so. Rather they are a considered plan for a way forward.



    First of all, I was disappointed that The Green Brigade decided to go out with a public statement in the terms it did, saying that they are going to consult the lawyers, threatens to sue the club yada yada yada. That is the recourse of last resort, the knee jerk reaction and just a gift for the publicity hungry dogs who want to divide and conquer.



    In my opinion– sheer stupidity and a lack of savvy!



    It was only on Saturday, when in discussion with a member of the Green Brigade, that I suggested that their movement and organisation had to be smarter, more politically astute, and much more grown up about what they wanted to achieve. Not only that, I also believe that if they have any conflict of interest in the sense that they are conflicted between supporting the Green Brigade and Celtic Football Club……. then to be frank they should go and form Green Brigade FC and every good luck to them in supporting their team.



    I, however, am a Celtic FC supporter…………everything and everyone else comes second at Celtic Park.



    Now, that being said, The Board of Celtic Football Club, could be more tactically and politically astute when dealing with the Green Brigade and the various other agencies involved in this pickle. Previously, they too have given press releases about their fans without consultation and in a cack-handed fashion. As Professionals in Suits ( as opposed to a loose based fan group ) they should know better!



    And they should do things better!



    For example, the Safety Advisory Committee whose recommendations have prompted Celtic to act—- do not include any representative from the Green Brigade– they are not asked to contribute!



    That is just plain stupid and oh so dumb!



    If you brought a representative or representatives from the GB into that committee and let them hear the argument and debate, let them hear the regulators and the H&S bods outline their powers and the clubs obligations, then perhaps you would get greater understanding and compliance from the GB.



    Further, if such a committee included GB members and decided o a course of action — then the GB could not complain!



    However, it did not happen.



    Equally, I have to be honest, and ask the question ” would you invite someone from a group who regularly break seats etc on to a health and safety committee?”



    Maybe not.



    The point here is that everyone involved is far too precious about their own stance, their own agenda, their own wee fiefdom– and in that I include the GB, The Board ( from what I know about it ), The Police and maybe even GCC etc.



    Having had years of dealing with the Police, Licensing departments of all kinds, Building Control inspectors and regulations, mental members of the public and so on, sometimes such departments, and their powers have got to be nullified– whilst at the same time ensuring a course of conduct which all parties agree amounts to “pragmatic compliance”.



    To do that , in this instance, involves a joint initiative by BOTH The Green Brigade and Celtic PLC and that can only come from the GB being included in the discussions.



    However, as has been pointed out by others, the seat breaking ( which I am told is not intentional, but which appears to be looked upon as an acceptable consequence of their “type” of support by the GB ) has got to stop.



    Not because of what anyone outside of Celtic Park says– but because you, me, the club, all of us are having “our” property destroyed or damaged. It is not acceptable from the supporters of other clubs and it sure isn’t acceptable on a repeated and calculated “Avant Garde” basis from our own fans.



    If your seat has been broken at Celtic Park, other than by genuine accident on a one off basis, as opposed to by orchestrated fan movement– then the seat holder should be made to pay for the damage before being allowed back into the stadium.






    I can assure you that this would result in the repeated jumping that regularly damages the seats coming to an end.



    The Green Brigade are a colourful addition to Celtic Park……. but note they are an addition, they are not the B all and end all.



    However, the board– mostly a group of suited middle class men— have to realise that most big clubs in Europe have a section of their support who give their support to the club in a way that is similar to the GB.



    The Suits should get used to that, embrace it, work with it and to be frank adapt to such support and help mould it to suit Celtic.



    Right now they think they do that– but they don’t.



    Equally– and I know that I will get stick for this— The Green Brigade really do need to wise up and take a look at themselves.



    The display against Barcelona was fantastic. Others have been brilliant– but it is not all about just half a dozen displays per year, and cranking up the songs that they want to sing and when they want to sing them.



    What liaison do THEY have with the rest of the Celtic support? When do they send people out to the CSC’s to listen to what the vast majority want within the stadium in terms of songs, banners, themes and so on?



    The answer is that they don’t. There is the Green Brigade Way or the Highway and the rest of us appear to have to like it or lump it!



    That is not clever either.



    Are they the people to set an agenda for the support?— or just a noisy and visible fragment of a much larger support?



    And if you are asked to stop something by the club — do you just ignore the request and decide to “stick it to the man” as it has been put because well ” we are the Green Brigade!”.



    No, I am sorry, but the GB are not Celtic and to be honest they are not even the best at what they do or appear to want to do! There are other fan groups across Europe who are better at it than the Green Brigade– though the GB at their best can give them a run for their money.



    Oh– and if the Police and the Authorities are tuning in then you too can wise up!!!



    Your entire Safety regulation code for Football Stadiums ( not sporting stadiums ) is based on the back of Hillsborough and the subsequent enquiry and recommendations.



    The Taylor report– even in its safety recommendations— was based on evidence that has since been shown to be false, unreliable, fabricated and lacking credibility.



    Everyone, should have a regard to safety provisions and they should be paramount and at the forefront of everyone’s mind– and I mean everyone.



    However, how that is achieved is open for debate, co-operation, inclusion and common sense– not the laying down of the law– based on that tainted report– by those who threaten, cajole and so on and by parties who will not engage in dialogue and look for compromise and solutions.



    Any compromise and solution here means talking to the Green Brigade as adults– not repeatedly searching them, ordering them about and treating the football fan as an idiot.



    So with that in mind, let me give you a personal experience ( as if you didn’t know this was coming! ).



    The noisiest ( not necessarily atmospheric ) and most mental ( not necessarily dangerous ) and to a certain extent frightening or unnerving football support I have witnessed in the last few years ( I am ignoring the Racing Club support of 1967 who were just a breed apart ) can be found at the De Kuip in Rotterdam… where the Feyenoord Legionnaires on occasion make the Green Brigade look like the WRVS having an afternoon nap.



    They are mad, bad, scary,fun and more.



    Their main section is to be found low down on the ground, right behind the goal — behind caged fencing when last I was there– though I think this has been removed since.



    Being low down— movement, escape routes and so on keep potential structural damage and personal injury to a minimum ( See Praecepta’s posts earlier )



    What is more, their entire repertoire is a result of the whole thing being orchestrated by one fan movement– one supporters club with 23-30,000 members– so no factions, no agendas and so on. Most important of all– everything is done in conjunction with the club– with results that the Green Brigade can only dream of on a regular basis!



    Yes– and the Club then go and agree all this with the appropriate authorities.



    Here is a quote from Wikipedia about the way these initiatives are, and have been, taken forward:



    “Feyenoord have one official fan supporters club, the Feyenoord Supportersvereniging. Independent of the club, FSV has a membership of about 23,000, as of 2006.The FSV act as a liaison between club and fans, produce match programmes, arrange travel to away games and organise supporters’ evenings, as well as being involved in the other supporters organisations. Children between 0 and 12 years old can join the Kameraadjes group (English: little comrades).



    In 1998 the Feyenoord Supporters Vereniging were wondering about whether or not it would be possible to create more atmosphere inside the stadium mainly during important matches. As a result, a few huge flags were produced and brought into the stadium prior to matches played by Feyenoord. The flags were a success, but people started asking for more activities and a meeting between fans and officials were arranged.



    In 2000 Harry Veth was given permission to establish a group of five Feyenoord fans called TIFO team Feyenoord Rotterdam. Besides creating more flags and small pieces of paper released from the second platform the team also started to organise bigger activities. The first big activity was held on 10 December 2000 when Feyenoord faced Ajax and 40 fog machines were activated when the players entered the pitch. In the following years many different and various activities were held to improve the atmosphere inside the stadium. Feyenoord’s TIFO team became famous abroad as well and the Italian TIFO foundation awarded Feyenoord the Best of TIFO Award 2000/01.”



    Feyenoord are very similar to Celtic– they sing YNWA, You Just Can’t Get Enough and so on.



    However, they have taken support to a whole new level– some of which you might think is a pain in the arse to be honest—– all controlled by the fans.



    They have regular displays, some organised pirotechniques on the pitch prior to a match, smoke machines ( again on the pitch ) massive streamers from the top decks, TIFO, Giant Flags etc etc.



    The first day of training is a huge celebration day with all this going on.



    Fans are no longer allowed to bring fireworks into the ground though this was not the case until recently.



    My point is that The Green Brigade— is not Celtic, and by constantly positioning themselves — and being positioned— outside the main Celtic support and away from the Club board is crazy, juvenile and destined to ultimate failure.



    You will not find the De Kuip among the recent poll of ten stadiums to visit before you die– you will find Celtic park ranked second behind the Bernabau– but only when the support is united and when the whole stadium has one voice and we raise not only the hairs on the back of the neck but the ghosts and spirits from the past… such as against Barca and like the night Naka placed the free kick past another big Dutchman.



    Go to You Tube and you will see videos showing Feyenoord at their most mental– you will also see big Pierre sticking two past the dead club while playing with Van Persie and Kalou—- as well as many other things.



    They are worth looking at to see what other clubs do in terms of TIFO and the search for the spectacular.



    They don’t come close to Celtic Park at its best but– all of what you see is apparently within safety guidelines of the time, is organised and co-ordinated…… with their club coming first… first and first again every single time.



    Oh.. and while Feyenoord have a dangerous mental element– you do not see much lateral movement but plenty of jumping up and down– though one film shows the metal girders underneath some seating bending somewhat alarmingly when this is happening!!!



    Time for the “corner” to wise up. Time for the board and the corner to get talking about moving to an area lower down, reducing risk, ensuring compliance and so on. Time to seriously talk, discuss and release conclusions about rail seats for use at UEFA games to ensure compliance. Time for the council and the police etc to be played with knowledge and skill and one smart voice coming from a smart head or heads inside Celtic Park rather than from hotheads and forked tongues and different agendas.



    Come on people…. WE are better and smarter than this!!!

  12. Blindlemonchitlin on




    Ah, them were the days.



    I saw Christy Moore , Roy Harper and Jimmy Page over one festival weekend there in 1984.



    I still have the ‘Friends of the Guinless’ pint mug to prove it.



    Runrig also played three times that same festival, and played the same set every time. If I never hear Loch Lomond again it’ll be too soon. And their lead singer looked uncannily like Bob Carolgees forebye.

  13. WDH and Canamalar1


    as visitors, the footballing legal eagles were treated to lunch by their Barca comrades at La Canasta Miquel Yepes in Castelldefels. I was told it was the haunt of Ronaldhino when he was at Barca. Anyway, it was a top lunch.

  14. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    BMCUWP -you’re not wrong!



    He had enough bould Fenians on his show to give wee Pat Nevin the vapors.





    Haha,it was superb stuff!



    I used to start my shift on a Wednesday night just that bit earlier,just to catch him.



    Now,I wait till 930 for the brass band show.



    The programme after it,telling the story of a particular song against the prevailing environment when it came out,has been unfailingly excellent so far.



    Them a quick flick to Late Junction….

  16. Received a couple of texts yesterday regarding the situation with the GB and section 111. As sad as it was inevitable.



    HT is homeward bound!!

  17. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    Waiter just threw butter, milk and a carton of cream at me.. HOW DAIRY!





    Too much common-sense for one post.



    Send it to all parties concerned,tell them to get it sorted.



    This isn’t a competition to see who can p… the furthest or highest.



    It is now too important for that.



    There can be no winners as things stand. Dialogue,compromise,agreement. Or both sides lose.

  19. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    BMCUWP- is that the Stuart Maconie show, the Peoples Songs?



    Not the ‘We are The People’ songs, praise the lord!



    I read a vg book by Dorian Lynskey called ‘

  20. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    33 Revolutions per Minute’ , on the history of the protest song.




  21. twists n turns on




    Very interesting and thought provoking post.



    Clearly you have spent a lot of time considering this problem, and it is a BIG problem. You only need to observe the differing viewpoints on here between good Celtic people to recognise it as such. Divisive is not good.



    Is there any opportunity for someone such as yourself to become involved in this dispute, as advisor, mediator, and to assist both parties to drive towards a solution?



    Clearly you understand what both parties need to do to move forward, where attitudes need to change and where compromise is essential.



    It appears that dialogue between TGB and CFC is the only way forward. Cannot think of anyone more suited to the role than yourself.

  22. South Of Tunis on

    Cambridge Folk Festival .



    Stupidly agreed to go in 1970 —— I can still hear the atrocity called –



    The Third Ear Band .



    DBBIA ——–



    33 Revolutions Per Minute —- Dorian Lynskey .



    A fine read . Very good on Africa 70 – Zombie .



    ” Go and kill, go and die “

  23. Philbhoy - It's just the beginning! on

    an tearmann



    Contact Paul67 on celticquicknews@gmail.com.



    Hw will give you email address of the poster, provided the poster wants you to have it!



    If you know what I mean!

  24. BRTH



    Reading back I came on your article. May I raise this point with you? You state that, “If your seat has been broken at Celtic Park, other than by genuine accident on a one off basis, as opposed to by orchestrated fan movement– then the seat holder should be made to pay for the damage before being allowed back into the stadium.”



    Could you clarify this for me? Unless I am mistaken you appear to suggest that if my seat is broken, other than by genuine accident, I should not be allowed back to it unless I pay for the damage.



    Last Saturday, leaving the stadium, I had to reprimand a young lad climbing over seats in 107 and a young girl doing likewise in 104/5. Each of these young ones had decided it was easier to climb over seats to leave the stadium rather than use the passageways. Both of them were climbing onto the seats to keep balance as they descend from row to row.


    If any of the seats on their descent were damage should the season ticket holder be punished for the action of these young people? I am sure it is not what you are saying. But it raises the question who decides when someone should be penalised if there is no proof of who caused the damage.



    I do not do not wish to see our stadium destroyed by thoughtless individuals nor do I wish to see a supporter banned over an action for which he/she was not responsible.

  25. saltires en sevilla on




    “…certainly not what Walter Smith knew in his time at the Rangers group of clubs….”



    Oh yes…belter!!








    That’s the one.



    First-class,so far.



    Book on the to-do list,but I’m catching up. I reckon I only have about twenty left to read.



    Just noticed at the weekend that Bobby Lennox’s book is amongst them!!



    Tsk,tsk. A local hero too.



    I’ve heard that Nancy Mitford’s bio of Frederick the Great is worth a swatch.




  27. viewfaethewindae on

    Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan supports Kano 1000



    Job for you as a go between?


    Yet again a very interesting post.

  28. Breaking: Jim McColl has issued a statement to Press Association Sport. On wires soon.

  29. BMCUW



    You mean to tell me you have never read Bobby Lennox’s bio?!



    Very remiss of you – if you don’t mind me saying!



    Brilliant quote on the back cover:



    “If I’d had Lennox in my team, I could have played for ever. He was one of the best strikers I have ever seen.”



    Bobby Charlton.




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