Friday, October 15, 2021

A Level Playing Field?

I must admit I am surprised that nothing has been done about the TRFC party guys. It is especially puzzling that other clubs who have had games cancelled and players suspended as a consequence of breaches haven’t pointed out the apparent lack of consistency.

In August of last year, following a non-socially-distanced night out after an Aberdeen v Rangers game, eight Aberdeen players were banned for three games by an SFA-convened independent panel.

Jonny Hayes, Mikey Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson were accused of breaking public health guidelines when they visited an Aberdeen pub on August 1.

Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli, who had made a midweek three-day trip to Spain for some R&R faced the same charges

The panel held hearings before ruling that the players had broken the rules and delivered a three match suspension to each of the eight Aberdeen players, suspended in lieu of similar breaches until February 28, 2021.

In Bolingoli’s case, a five game ban was delivered with only two of those suspended until February.

Bolingoli was of course disciplined by Celtic before being sent out on loan, his Celtic career seemingly finished as a consequence, whilst the Aberdeen players were also disciplined by their club.

Both Aberdeen and Celtic were also subjected to damaging match cancellations as a consequence of both incidents.

On February 14, Police were called to an unlawful house party and handed out fixed penalty notices for breach of Covid regulations to Rangers players Bongani Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude, and Brian Kinnear. Rangers say they have disciplined the players, but the SFA have yet to say anything, fourteen days after the incident.

No match bans, no game cancellations.

The lack of comment in the media is not surprising since everyone in the MSM lives in terror of TRFC reprisal and behaves accordingly.

In fact, a quick Google search on the matter yields nothing after 17th February, suggesting that an Ibrox D-Notice has been issued and obediently complied with by the MSM. Of course one must always guard against cognitive bias in these matters. None of us are completely free of it, and are afflicted to some extent, but by any subjective measure that I can see, the MSM opprobrium directed (quite correctly) at Bolingoli and the Dons’ players, and the storm of publicity surrounding those earlier incidents is absent in the case of the TRFC five.

Even the Scottish Government’s response appears to have treated the TRFC breach with the equivalent of a raised eyebrow, in comparison to the angrily pointed finger at Aberdeen and Celtic (and subsequently with Celtic after the Dubai farce).

Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice

Nicola Sturgeon (after the Aberdeen/Boligoli incidents)

I say this as someone who has never agreed with those who alleged that Alex Salmond tried to help The Old Club with the tax bodies, believing the government’s actions at the time to have been nothing more than what would be expected of them – to express a wish that a resolution could be found – but not putting pressure on HMRC as was alleged.

However, as any schoolteacher will tell you, if you threaten discipline against a recalcitrant pupil, you bloody well MUST carry the threat out – or face the immediate and irretrievable loss of credibility. I’m sure Nicola Sturgeon is as well aware as anyone that a second yellow card is in fact a red.

So yes, the MSM silence is not surprising, and government indecision is not altogether a new thing, but the lack of reaction from other clubs – even the fans of other clubs – is very puzzling.

That is maybe the only thing that makes me doubt (slightly) that there is some serious and deliberate “inconsistency” afoot.

It is this type of beahaviour by the authorities and the media that led us to the brink of Armageddon in 2012.

If it can’t be changed, then those of us who have been constantly warning that a repeat is inevitable, will be saying “told you so” in the not too distant future.

If a level playing field is too much to ask for, then the implications for the sport, and society are many and serious.

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Big Pink
Big Pink is John Cole; a schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

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228 COMMENTS


  1. Nawlite 7th March 2021 At 20:47

    No. That looks like police officers and members of the public being put in an impossible situation by a large group of Rangers fans. Basically they should be ashamed of themselves.


  2. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    If Celtic fans chose to assemble en masse at Parkhead then that is their own choice and they are entirely to blame for that. I can’t get my head around why that might be someone else’s fault. Rangers fans are being rightly criticised for their actions so why would Celtic fans not be to blame for arranging that?


  3. IAP 7th March 20.35.

    Agree with the condemnation of supporters flouting the rules, however the Scottish Government led by the First Minister has had more than enough time to plan for this inevitability in conjunction with Rangers FC, Police Scotland, Glasgow City Council etc.
    Having said that she will probably have forgotten about it tomorrow.
    Serious point being did no-body see this coming. If so, then why not?.
    In reply to Paddy Malarkey on the 4th i alluded to a foretaste of what was to come, Paddy agreed, so if we can see it, then why didn’t anyone in a position of power?.


  4. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49

    Any fan that chooses to travel to Parkhead on that day is personally responsible for their actions. It’s very easy to look elsewhere for blame but both sets of fans need to behave themselves. I really hope it passes without incident but I’m not optimistic. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.


  5. Incredibleadamspark 7th March 2021 At 21:15

    Of course Celtic fans assembling are responsible for their own actions, and personally I think it would be idiotic. I am merely pointing out they have watched the Police treat Rangers fans with kid gloves and are using it as an excuse. It’s worth noting that in 2019 Police Scotland cancelled a Celtic treble treble party on safety grounds. Yet in the middle of a tier 4 lockdown and a global pandemic they basically just wave the Rangers fans through. I’m really glad there is nothing unsafe about it all.


  6. IAS 7th March 21.20

    If any supporter chooses to travel to Celtic Park then they must be held responsible for their actions and suffer any consequences of their decision to flout the lockdown rules.
    Both clubs should also unite to make their position on any gathering crystal clear.
    Like you i am not optimistic at all.


  7. There can be no excuse for the scenes at George Square tonight. I shrugged off yesterday and to an extent this afternoon as football fans doing what football fans do. But to extend it for 8 hours is pretty much rubbing it in the faces of everyone else who is abiding by the lockdown rules. Not a good look.

    I do hope there are better measures put in place for the Old Firm game in a fortnight as you can be sure fans from both sides will attend and it could get nasty 😩


  8. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 21:30

    I’m not sure the two situations are comparable. Are you referring to the open top bus parade? If you are, that was an organised event and thousands of fans gathered on Saltmarket and Gallowgate and spilled onto the road. They were asked to move for safety reasons, refused to do so, meaning the bus could not pass and the parade was subsequently rerouted.

    The Rangers fans gathered outside Ibrox and other locations in a disorganised and unofficial way making it very difficult, if not down right impossible to police.

    The only thing these events had in common was the stupidity of the fans involved.


  9. Darkbeforedawn 7th March 2021 At 21:56

    Agreed. These fans need to have a word with themselves. Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow.


  10. It’s not the platform to debate wherever right or wrong, only to point out that all the recent anti lockdown marches have been met by a far more severe police response than today. It really shows the ineptitude of the police. They will show a heavy hand to a few hundred people but run a mile from tens of thousands.


  11. Both clubs should put out a joint statement making their feelings crystal clear regarding any potential gathering outside Celtic Park on the 21st.


  12. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00

    0

    1

    Rate This

    Paddy Malarkey 7th March 15.11

    The same official spent time the previous month to explain a decision to Derek McInnnes.

    Why not afford Steven Gerrard the same courtesy?

    That word consistency again.
    ……………………………………….
    Maybe the ref was repromanded for that and told not to do it again,and stick to the rules, hence his reluctance to engage with Mr Gerrard


  13. In the city/province where I live gatherings of 10 people or more in a residence result in $1,000 fines/tickets handed out by the police. We don’t have to rely on police to watch over large gatherings as our health officials have been straight forward on what is tolerated and what is not tolerated. Our area has very low numbers of covid infection and a gradual return to normal is slowly coming. The scenes from Glasgow are very disappointing and with “plans” of a march to Parkhead in two weeks surely the police, Sevco/Rangers can speak out about such a scene. Or failing this the government can step up with a stringent lock down and deny people any outside access. Time will tell what impact these gatherings have on anyone involved as in most cases the virus surfaces within 10 to 14 days. Good luck to your hard pressed NHS should the numbers spike.


  14. Upthehoops 7th March 2021 At 20:49
    ‘.. The Police facilitated today’s march and have made a rod for their own back..’
    “”””””””””””””””
    Clearly, any rules in relation to Covid restrictions and the enforcement of such rules were forgotten about.

    Wimpish , with the emphasis on ‘pish’ , statements about a few arrests and some on the spot fines are a very very poor reflection on Police Scotland’s willingness to deal with one substantial section of Scottish society.

    I’m an old man.
    I’ve seen it all before.


  15. Suppose the video under the bridge was just a bunch of guys taking their drums for a walk. No big deal eh.


  16. “They’re not allowed to, But how can we stop them?”!

    https://twitter.com/TimeGoesBy2020/status/1368729588008943617

    Now far be it for me to instruct a braided cap police officer how to do his job, but it is for the people of Scotland to tell him that if he can't keep our streets safe, then he is not fit for purpose, and should be immediately "resigned"


  17. So the Scottish Government claim they warned Rangers weeks ago about all of this happening, asked them to take proactive action to try and stop it, but Rangers ignored it. There are also more videos appearing on social media of Rangers players packed in a car, with no masks on, and windows down interacting with fans. This is on top of the interactions with fans on Saturday. If clubs have to take several buses to games by law, why are they freely allowed to do this? They are now going to travel out the country this week. Surely they should be getting ordered to self-isolate whether that affects their European tie or not?

    When I think that Celtic as a club were almost put up for public hanging regarding Dubai, why is the same not happening here? Idiot, irresponsible fans do what they please, and they are not the only fans who would have acted in that way. However there is an arrogance about Rangers that their mealy mouthed statement today does nothing to dispel. I remember David Murray once bragging they were the biggest institution in the country bar the Church of Scotland. It certainly looks like that attitude still prevails, and yesterday showed they and their fans have the power to do whatever they please, and neither the Police or Government can stop them. They appear to be above the law.

    This is not bitterness over them winning the league. They were the best team by a huge distance and my team deserved nothing. I have been impressed by their tactics and organisation and they are more than worthy winners. This is bitterness over lockdown possibly being set back for weeks. A lockdown many of us have tried hard to stick to, and that will also include many Rangers fans. Today, many of those involved yesterday will be in the workplace, they will be meeting friends, and their family, and they could not care less about the potential consequences of that. It has also become clear this morning via anecdotal evidence that several large house gatherings took place. I imagine that will have been replicated in many other towns and cites. I fear the post-Christmas spikes will have nothing on what is coming, and it can only be hoped the number of vaccinations carried out already may help to mitigate that.


  18. With the potential for problems (another unlawful gathering AND violence) and the fact that the upcoming derby match is effectively a dead rubber anyway, does anyone think the game should be cancelled? If it is cancelled, that would probably have to mean the season overall is ended now.

    Could the SFPL handle it better than they did at the end of 2019-20? Premiership top 4 for European places looks settled already. At the bottom, could last season’s Points Per Game approach work. The bottom 3 are adrift to an extent while the Championship top 5 have a clear gap to 6th. Could they allow a playoff approach where Bottom 3 and Championship top 5 play to settle 1 or 2 promotion/relegation spots?

    Accept that Leagues 1 & 2 haven’t played enough to merit promotion/relegation?


  19. Nawlite 8th March 2021 At 13:20

    As many people have pointed out, the Police can easily close off areas of the city when they believe there is a risk to public safety. It was pointed out this morning by a MSP that George Square has quite easily been closed off in the past, Instead the party was facilitated by the Police to get to George Square. It does not help when videos appear of Police Officers joining in with ‘The Bouncy’ or when they pose for pictures with fans. All of this stuff just takes me back to dark times when there were places allocated either at the front or the back of the bus depending on which foot you kicked with. We have repeatedly been assured in Scotland this no longer exists, and of course it doesn’t in an official sense. However, one entity being regarded as superior over all others for over a century is not an easy thing to change. Yesterday was more evidence of that.


  20. Upthehoops march 8th 13:11

    Wasn’t another football team taken to task for a number of their players travelling to games and practices in violation of covid rules. What further evidence is required of this disregard from rules starting with the manager sitting in a car in close proximity to another person in the same vehicle, both without a mask. If you had dropped in on any of the Sevco/Rangers forum you had numerous fans boasting of being drunk and calling in a “sickie” on Monday. Thankfully they may have presented further spread than those who gathered in George Square.


  21. Albertz11 7th March 2021 At 17:00
    Derek McInnes entered the field of play to confront the referee and they had their conversation there , within reach of the pitchside microphones ? If that’s what happened then there is a definite lack of consistency regarding Stevie G , but , as I wrote , I never saw that incident and you haven’t provided a link , so I’ll need to take your version as gospel . Do you think the players who ran to the gates should be charged with bringing the game into disrepute , as some are suggesting ?


  22. I think we should have a bit of sympathy for Police Scotland . I would imagine that their numbers have been severely reduced due to covid and they would have struggled to have a more robust response to events yesterday AND keep us uninvolved yins safe . However , I think yesterday has set a bar in some people’s minds as to what is allowable even if proscribed . Whitabootery , anyone ?


  23. I wonder what the Polish authorities make of yesterday scenes of players breaching their covid bubble to interact with fans . Will Slavia Prague’s players be willing to risk their health ?


  24. Paddy Malarkey 8th March 2021 At 15:33

    Sadly I see a social media campaign for Celtic fans to turn up at 10:00hrs on 21st March to ‘protect the stadium from Rangers fans’. I really hope not enough are daft enough to take up the offer, and I fully expect that Celtic will urge fans not to come. It will be their decision if they do turn up of course, however the ready made excuse in their minds is that Rangers fans were given a free pass to do what they like (which they were without a doubt). Rangers fans have been planning a march from Bridgeton Cross to Celtic Park for some time. I would hope that Police Scotland are well prepared, have an exclusion zone in place, and officers ready in full riot gear to ensure it is not broken. The disgraceful events of the weekend are bad enough, but with two opposing groups potentially involved on the 21st it simply can’t be allowed to happen.


  25. Well, we’ve seen the ineffectiveness of Scotland’s finest.

    Will David Grier be able tomorrow to substantiate his claim that they that they may have acted ‘maliciously ‘ in the prosecution of him? From the Court Rolls last Friday:
    “LORD TYRE – T Sadler, Clerk
    Tuesday 9th March
    Debate
    CA72/20 David Grier v The Lord Advocate &c ”
    I note that no precise time is given, and that’s irritating.


  26. I am impressed at the ability of the Scottish media to troll through newspapers all over the world
    to find articles supporting the Sevco/Rangers title win. However such ability to dig into issues in their own backyard go uncovered, ignored, etc. Perhaps they are looking to add to the “record list” compiled by the group from Ibrox. Anything to fill a page.


  27. Having a bit of difficulty with the user avatars folks. If yours is missing, you can go to your profile and remove, then replace your avatar. If you leave the field empty and you have a Gravatar, that will be displayed onlie.
    The problem was a plugin we’ve been using for ages has suddenly gone rogue.

    Apologies for any inconvenience.


  28. Almost a decent piece on BBC Scotland news just then. Chris McLaughlin’s report started really well referring to administration, liquidation (at this point they showed all the RIP front pages and had some Rangers fans bemoaning the loss of their club), and referred to Charles Green buying some of the assets. He then showed a clip of Charles saying something like his job was to bring Rangers back and Chris then said “and he did!”.

    Also in the introduction by the female lead, she trailed Chris’ piece by saying they would be looking at how Rangers recovered from their relegation to be title winners. I’ve emailed already to ask them to apologise for re-writing history re the ‘relegation’. It was especially pleasing to be able to use their own report of the bookmaker case to point out their lying. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39282487


  29. Nawlite 8th March 2021 At 19:19
    ‘.. I’ve emailed already to ask them to apologise for re-writing history re the ‘relegation’.”
    “”””””””””””””””
    Sadly, the licence-funded propagators of the lie that TRFC are Rangers of 1872 are, I’m afraid, no more likely to apologise for lying than is the Donald.
    They will, of course, reply to you, with their re-write of history in which they will trot out the party line- that it was the ‘holding company’ [of Rangers FC plc] that went into Liquidation while the football club carried on.

    The Donald was/is a buffoon and seen to be such by the rest of the world.

    The boys and girls in the upper echelons of Pacific Quay haven’t even that excuse.

    I think they are liars who are intelligent enough to know themselves to be such and choose to be such.

    which, of course, makes them not harmless buffoons but wicked people who, prepared as they have been to lie over a simple ‘sports’ matter , would obviously be well ready to lie over serious matters in politics and public life to further an agenda or hide an unpleasant truth.

    Lies from the mouths of politicians and football club directors/backers/supporters are one thing.
    Lies from the national broadcaster are something else entirely.
    The realisation that the BBC, like some gauleiter or Quisling , is ready to follow a party line and deny the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
    But It is the insulting ABSURDITY of the lie that really gets my goat!


  30. Coincidentally, I’m now this minute listening to BBC Radio 4 where there is a pleasant wee reference to the pleasure of sitting on public benches having a wee natter with pleasant views, which we cannot now do due to covid restrictions. [There’s a guy called Paul Griffiths who goes about photographing public benches, and there was a programme about his hobby a year or so ago]
    Wonder if he has any photos of benches in George Square?


  31. The Harry/Meghan interviews aired last night in North America and I believe the same program ran today in Britain. I now have a better understanding of Rangers love of the monarchy and how it played a a part in the Murray years. Harry states in the interview that the palace/firm/institution controls the tabloid press by hosting media parties at the palace and invitations appear to be issued on the understanding that the palace’s version of events be that ending up in print. Succulent lamb in London, succulent lamb in Glasgow.


  32. Vernallen 8th March 2021 At 17:37
    ‘.. Anything to fill a page.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    That made me smile.

    I am not any kind of journalist, but away back nearly forty years ago or so [ ( Good Lord! can it be so?] I had two trivial pieces published in different newspapers.

    When I received payment for the first one I was pleasantly surprised at
    a) receiving payment at all , and
    b) at how much I got!

    The second piece was, therefore, considerably longer!
    Every word I wrote was my own.

    I hope that times have changed.
    Because it surely cannot be the case that today’s sports journalists are paid on the same basis as I was paid then, when they simply reproduce, verbatim, lengthy ‘statements’ from football clubs, with only a few words of their own to top and tail their piece?

    Easy money, if so.
    And an absolute incentive to avoid searching questions that might get one frozen out.
    I mean, who is going to risk offending a source of easy money?
    As Wullie Shakespoke might have said “Frailty, thy name is modern [Scottish] football journalism!

    Frailty? or something darker and more venal?
    Sadly, there is no Daphne Caruana in Scotland, even when it comes to investigating and reporting a matter of sport!


  33. Vernallen 8th March 2021 At 22:44
    ‘. Succulent lamb in London, succulent lamb in Glasgow.’
    “””””””””””””””””””
    A wee while ago I took a cup of tea in to the ‘TV room’ , only to discover that Mrs C was watching the absurdity of the Winfrey show.
    I made no comment, of course.
    Like an SMSM or BBC employee I opted not offend a powerful person!

    But what a shower of lick-spittle ,self-seeking , fore-lock tugging yukkies we have controlling the ‘Press’


  34. Is this a harbinger of things to come following recent events. 501 cases of covid reported in Scotland. Time will tell but that number should serve as a stern warning to anyone making plans to meet on the 21st.


  35. I keep reading comments that much of what happened was due to ‘pent up anger’ from Rangers fans. I am genuinely puzzled as to what this means? Do they honestly believe that what happened to their club in 2012 was not the sole fault of those in charge of it then and before? I saw a man on social media who I have great respect for posting ‘to all those who kicked us when we were down, GIRUY’. It’s absolutely absurd. If they want someone to be angry at for the past decade then start with David Murray and Craig Whyte, both of whom refused to pay the tax the club was legally obliged to pay. It is nobody else’s fault.


  36. John Clark 8th March 22.31.

    Whilst the damage to the benches, accidental or otherwise is inexcusable it is important to point out that over £13,000 has been raised by Rangers fans to replace them, with any surplus going to the Anthony Nolan Charity.


  37. Why is no-one from the media, police or government speaking about these blatant covid breaches by Rangers players at the weekend? Unnecessary car sharing, no face masks, and no social distancing from strangers. This follows on from their breaches on Saturday. Yet two guys having a pint by a pool was a hanging offence.

    Oh, and the five partygoers continue to get a free pass.

    https://twitter.com/DMcGCfc1888/status/1368979784907304963


  38. John Clark 8March @ 22.00

    JC, I know as well as you the thrill of being ignored or standard replied by the BBC (among others) when challenging the same club myth. The ‘relegation’ lie is much easier to disprove, given the Kinloch/Coral court case and the email I hold from the SPFL which I shared with you a while back. As a result, that is why I have challenged them on that specific lie in last night’ 6.30 news.

    “In her BBC Scotland news introduction at 18.30 on 8/3/21, the presenter trailed a piece on Rangers FC’s recovery from relegation to win this season’s title. She specifically mentioned their ‘relegation’. The unarguable fact is that Rangers were NOT relegated. You are aware of the gambler who bet that Rangers would be relegated in 2012 knowing of the impending liquidation, meaning their exclusion from the league. When Coral refused to pay out, he took them to court. He famously lost his case as the court ruled correctly that Rangers were not relegated. You are aware because the BBC reported accurately on this case here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-39282487

    I ask that the BBC apologise publicly for lying about Rangers FC’s ‘relegation’ on an upcoming news broadcast. In future, the distinction must be clearly made between relegation and starting in the lowest tier after liquidation. It is vital that no club in future feels able to spend money they do not have to improve their chances of winning trophies (as Rangers FC did) while appearing to suffer no consequences e.g. administration and liquidation. Doing so skews any fair competition and UEFA has introduced Financial Fair Play rules to avoid this. NB Rangers FC (David Murray and Alex McLeish) admitted under oath in the series of tribunals/appeal tribunals that the use of illegal EBTs allowed them to buy “better players than they could otherwise afford”.

    If Rangers FC was ‘relegated’ it reinforces the ‘same club’ stance to which the BBC is committed, so I see why you lie about it. You can maintain your stance without the relegation lie by stating the Company and not the Club was liquidated. That lie sits easier with most ‘same club’ adherents. Relegation is a very easy lie to dispel, so you must apologise.

    If I am dissatisfied with your reply., I will raise this lie with Ofcom.


  39. Well, I have just listened to the Grier v The lord Advocate hearing. It began at 10.05 and finished at about 12.35. The phone link was not the best but I heard most of what was said.

    The most interesting thing was that Lord Tyre apologised for not having been aware of an earlier binding judgment at the time he issued his decision on 16 February last. Mr Moynihan QC for the defender hastily took the blame for not having drawn that previous judgment [which I think was ‘Craig v Peebles’ but I may have got my scribbles mixed up) to his Lordship’s attention.

    Apart from that , the proceedings were all about whether there had been both objective and subjective reasonable probable cause to justify the prosecution of Grier.

    There were numerous references to other cases where ‘reasonable cause’ was a matter of legal argument.

    At the wind-up , Mr Smith QC for Grier, said that Mr Moynihan’s submissions dealt only with ‘subjective reasonable probable cause’ i.e that the prosecution had believed on the evidence before it at the time (in particular, the ‘letter of comfort’ provided to the vendor] that they had grounds for prosecuting. Mr Smith stressed that there had to be ‘objective’ cause, and that Mr Moynihan had not gone any way to establish that there had been.
    Lord Tyre said that he had hoped to be able to give extempore judgment to day, but he now felt obliged to consider carefully and include in his judgment a reference to the ‘Craig v Peebles’ judgment. He said that he will do so as soon as possible ‘ given that we are so close to Proof date’
    I take it from that remark that a date has been set for ‘proof’ and examination and testing of evidence.

    [There was one little exchange that I enjoyed: in referring to email exchanges between Bett and Whyte and Grier and some others, one of the emailers referred to ‘ the Armageddon scenario, where MIH lose and HMRC want the lot.’
    I can’t now remember who in Scottish Football governance at the time used the word ‘Armageddon’ Was it Doncaster? Was he the first to use it, and it was picked up by others? O did he pick it up from an earlier user?]


  40. John Clark 9th March 2021 At 13:22

    If I recall correctly it was Stewart Regan who peddled the Armageddon theory. You know, the man who didn’t want to rake over old coals. As an aside he blocked me on Twitter for daring to ask politely why the SFA didn’t want an independent investigation.

    I actually had high hopes for Regan when he took over. He seemed like a guy with new ideas, and was not compromised by his upbringing in Scotland. However, he quite quickly had to fall into line with what is seen to be the natural order. I think if he was ever to able to speak honestly of his time at the SFA he would have some very interesting things to say.


  41. The Scottish media appear to be dragging anyone with a connection to Sevco/Rangers into print interviews. Dave King commenting on Neil Lennon’s woes and then suggesting Celtic need to up their game to improve the Scottish co-efficient. Does he not recall they carried the ball for a good number of years and now the Rangers enjoy the result of those endeavors, along with the national team. Then along comes Paul Murray looking for his moment in the sunshine, this being one of the people ( sorry about the pun) led to the “coup” ousting Ashley’s people and consequently helping the team accumulate 60 million in debt..


  42. Nawlite at 13.12

    I’ve sent a formal complaint to the BBC over the same issue (i.e. relegation v liquidation etc), pointing out the inaccuracy and sheer dereliction of reporting the legal facts. I also asked for an explanation as to why they reported such nonsense.

    I further stated that I had no confidence in their ability/desire to tell the truth, and have given them the opportunity to ‘lay the Big Lie’ to rest and give me an HONEST answer to my query.’. This, I suspect, will not be taken!

    Should the BBC continue to bury the truth, I believe that I would have, at the very least, a moral case for not renewing my TV licence fee as they would dishonestly be colluding with other perpetrators of said Big Lie.

    I finished up by asking what else might they lie about, if they cannot acknowledge such a basic absolute fact as the one that Rangers ‘died’ in 2012.

    Well see. However, I think I’ll be cancelling my over 75 TV fee! – confidently armed with such information as provided by you good self above.


  43. Glad you’ve done it Bect67. While the Continuity Lie is the big one, it is definitely a harder one to force them to correct. All the institutions are just SO committed to it. Given the Relegation lie is demonstrably so easy to prove wrong, that’s what I decided to focus on at this point.

    I posted my complaint not to impress anyone, but rather because I’m still struggling to figure out how SFM can become more of a campaigning group. I guess showing that I’m at least doing something is hoping that others will follow suit, if they aren’t already. The true campaigning stalwarts like Auldheid, John Clark etc are the real stars of this site imo. As well as BP, of course, for allowing us the forum to begin with).


  44. Albertz11 9th March 2021 At 09:45
    To me , that gives it a worse look . They are prepared to go on a spree of wanton vandalism and destruction , then think throwing money at it makes it alright ? I don’t see any contrition , either from the fans or the club .


  45. Upthehoops 9th March 2021 At 13:34
    ‘…If I recall correctly it was Stewart Regan who peddled the Armageddon theory.’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Ah, yes, I think you’re right.
    I believe that on one occasion he sought guidance from CW on how to word a letter to HMRC relating to tax matters?
    Perhaps he used the word ‘Armageddon’ in some other communication with the Ibrox board, and it was picked up by others involved in the acquisition ?


  46. Response today from my local MSP following my complaint about the events of the weekend….

    Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding your concerns about the scenes in Glasgow over the weekend.

    I want you to know I take this extremely seriously.

    Winning the Scottish Premiership title was a special moment for Rangers FC, but that does not excuse the disgraceful behaviour of those fans who broke lockdown restrictions and risked the progress we have made in suppressing COVID-19.

    To see so many people deliberately flouting those rules with no regard for the safety of others, is shameful. Events like this risk spreading the virus.

    The behaviour of those who broke restrictions show no regard or respect at all for the millions of households across Scotland who have been sticking to the rules – unable to meet up with friends and families, to fully celebrate birthdays and in some cases to attend funeral services for their loved ones.

    We must be clear however that the majority of Rangers fans did celebrate from the safety of their homes. The Scottish Government and Police Scotland reminded Rangers of the need for the club to advise fans to adhere to the current restrictions during discussions on 26th February and 5th March.

    The First Minister spoke on this matter today in Parliament and yesterday during the Covid Briefing. The Scottish Government will be making its extreme disappointment at the club’s lack of leadership clear and will be speaking to the authorities about what further assurance they can offer going forward.

    I also understand that many people have questions regarding the operational decisions of the police and why they did not prevent people from gathering.

    The Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, has spoken to the Chief Constable and Rangers FC and will be doing so again – to understand why the events over the weekend took place as they did and what more can be done to try and ensure we do not see a repeat of those scenes.

    I completely understand and share your anger at the actions we all witnessed.

    Thank you again for raising your concerns, if I can be of any further assistance on this, or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    I have already gone back to her asking what will be done about both Rangers as a club and Steven Gerrard homologating/encouraging the fans’ behaviour (Club by opening stadium doors, joining fan celebrations at that point and from the dressing room, as well as from cars through the throng; SG by his comments on Friday that any breaches would be understandable because he wanted the fans to really enjoy the moment and that the fans take priority).


  47. I posted above the response from my MSP. Here’s how I have gone back. Sorry, it’s quite long……

    Thanks for your quick response.

    I was heartened to see some strong and specific criticism of Rangers FC and its fans by both the FM and DFM among others over Monday and Tuesday.

    There appears to be a grey area over how Rangers FC handled the likely breaches. The club claims that it was pro-active in liaising with the appropriate bodies while the DFM in particular was highly critical of Rangers’ lack of action. I agree with the DFM and those stating that the club did not do nearly enough in advance to help prevent these absolutely predictable events (I could see them being organised on social media in real time).

    Not only did they not do enough beforehand, but in my opinion the club actively homologated and encouraged the breaches by their fans over the whole weekend in question and that is what I find most annoying – and to my mind, punishable in some way.

    On Friday, 5 March Steven Gerrard was asked in his pre-match press conference about the possibility/likelihood of fans congregating in breach of Covid regulations. His response was incredibly mealy mouthed and, I believe, gave tacit approval for fans to come to Ibrox Park on Saturday, 6 March. He started well by stating that fans should respect the rules and celebrate safely at home, but he then went on to say “…but at the same time it’s out of my control….” and “People have to understand the situation our fans are in and what they’ve been through….”. He also said “The fans are the priority here and we totally understand and relate to how they are feeling at the moment. There’s a real excitement and rightly so. We want them to really enjoy this time and revel in the moment.”

    In my opinion, this helped trigger the large unlawful gathering at Ibrox before, during and after the St Mirren match the following day.

    On arriving at the ground on Saturday morning, Steven Gerrard and the players drove through/past the crowds happily taking the applause of the fans, giving the clear impression that their unlawful attendance was appreciated. Gerrard commented after the match “I’ve got to get my words right here – we are still experiencing and are involved in a pandemic. It’s important fans try to stay humble and safe. That’s the priority – people’s safety. I totally understand that but at the same time, if you’ve got anything inside you or any part of your heart can understand what the fans have been through, you can totally understand what’s gone on outside this stadium. Safety is paramount at the moment but it’s tough because it has been an emotional three years for me. The fans have been here for much longer than that and have been through a lot in 10 years. So you can certainly understand it.” Again, at best a mixed message and very far from the clear, stay away message that Rangers FC claims to have made. Instead, I am convinced that this acted as a trigger for the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.
    After their win against St Mirren, knowing of the large scale unlawful gathering outside, someone at Rangers FC decided it was appropriate to open the stadium gates so that all of the players could go toward the fans and dance in celebration in sight of the fans. Indeed some fans threw scarves to them, which the players were happy to pick up and place around themselves. Steven Gerrard reportedly commented later that “I totally understand why the players wanted to go to the corner, but at the same time the priority is the fans’ safety.”

    This club-condoned appreciation of the fans being there unlawfully was, in my opinion, yet another trigger for fans to turn out in even greater force on Sunday 7 March.

    After the win against St Mirren, Rangers players celebrating in the dressing room decided it was appropriate to open windows so that fans could see and hear them celebrate. As fans chanted their names, individual players appeared at the small windows singing/chanting along with celebratory drinks in hand. Yet again, this desire to have fans involved in the club’s celebrations signalling they appreciated the fans being there only encouraged or triggered the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.
    When leaving Ibrox park after the win against St Mirren, Rangers players and Steven Gerrard drove through the crowd with windows open celebrating along with the fans, signalling that they appreciated the fans being there. Again this only triggered the larger scale unlawful gathering on Sunday, 7 March.

    Even now, after the “shameful” and “disgraceful” scenes over the weekend, Rangers FC has not taken responsibility for, nor apologised for, the events at Ibrox and George Square. Instead, they claim the moral high ground by stating they were proactive in engaging the authorities…and, of course, their statement of 8 March reiterates Steven Gerrard’s stance throughout that they can’t control fans and everyone else should understand the emotions that drove such large numbers of them to break the law.

    In normal circumstances, I would share their view that individuals are responsible for their own choices and a club should not be punished for the actions of their fans. In this critical instance, however, items 1. to 5. above clearly show that Rangers FC, its Manager and its players at least contributed to the weekend’s breaches, undoubtedly enabled them and may indeed have actually caused them. As a result, I feel it is vital that responsibility be placed where it sits and these specific examples of Rangers FC’s culpability called out in Parliament and Rangers FC punished in some way over these events.

    While I agree that Police Scotland were caught in an invidious position on Saturday and Sunday, they and the Scottish Govt must accept their failings in not developing a proactive plan for handling the entirely predictable law breaking – should heads be rolling? My only addition to this is that the Scottish Govt should be very aware of the PR damage done by the sight of Rangers fans being ‘helped’ to break the law by Police Scotland when compared to how Celtic fans were dealt with when attempting to celebrate a title – batons drawn, mounted police etc are still vivid comparisons.

    I truly hope you will share points 1. to 5. with the FM and DFM so that the media does not get the chance to run with Rangers’ claim that they did everything right.

    Thanks again. I look forward to an update.


  48. Gerrard swears from the bottom of his heart that Sevco/Rangers did everything possible to prevent the weekend’s happenings. In a nice touch by the DR they mentioned to find a photo of Garrard wearing a mask. Hypocritical does not come close to describing the article and the effort to portray Garrard as a leader in the fight against covid .. Shame on the DR …


  49. Vernallen 9th March 2021 At 22:50

    It is beyond dispute he and his players encouraged the fans to gather, sing and shout. The evidence is out there. They also ignored rules on car sharing, social distancing, and wearing masks. Again, the evidence is out there. They, and their fans, are above the laws that everyone else has to stick to. That much is obvious to anyone. The Police gave the club and its fans a free pass. Meanwhile the First Minster chooses once again to attack Celtic for something she relentlessly kicked Celtic for in January, and something she personally ensured the club had to pay the price for. Rangers prepare to travel abroad this week after being involved in the worst ever super spreader event in Scotland, and the media and Government say nothing about that. Meanwhile us inferior people are supposed to be eternally grateful at being allowed to meet a couple more people outdoors. Perhaps we should just put on a Rangers scarf and we can meet as many as we want. If we fancy a drink, no problem. Keep that scarf on and the laws about outdoor drinking don’t apply. No public toilets, again no problem. Just use the street, you won’t be challenged. Fancy a good cuddle with several strangers at a giant street party? Go ahead, only lesser people are not allowed to do that.

    The mob rules, and if they want to do it again they will. If we learned anything this week it is that one football club is more powerful than the Government and the forces of law. Let that sink in. This country makes me truly sick at times.


  50. Vernallen 9th March 2021 At 22:50
    ‘… Hypocritical does not come close to describing the article and the effort to portray Gerrard as a leader in the fight against covid .. Shame on the DR …’
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    The DR is by no means the worst , Vernallen.

    For nine years the SMSM have supported TRFC in its fundamental lie that it is RFC of 1872.

    There is not a journalist who does not KNOW that liquidation killed RFC of 1872 as a football club and that the 5-Way Agreement was an act of ridiculous, fear- and -money driven corruption of Sport.

    People who know the truth and ignore it—–I leave them to their individual shame and private disgrace .

    They will sooner or later either lose their jobs, be pensioned off, or retire, and grow old and eventually die-KNOWING in their hearts just what they were : people of straw, devoid of moral principle, earning their living by compromising with the Truth.

    And for the sake of what? Some great ideal, some cause of Truth and Justice?
    Not at all ! for the sake of a new football Club steeped in lies at and since its conception.


  51. Not being a Celtic fan , I don’t know how they’ll think , but one of my mates says he won’t renew unless the club states officially that the Old Firm died with Rangers and that renewing the trademark was only to stop others taking ownership . Much in the same way that Charlie had to say he’d bought the history before he could sell any ST’s .


  52. I think it’s fair to say that the title of this blog was prescient given recent events. Strikes me that whilst much may have changed in Scotland over the years, somethings haven’t at all or not very much.
    Is there a way to effect the changes needed to make things better for all (as it surely would be)? Holding a mirror up to the MSM doesn’t appear to make any difference. Agitating the authorities doesn’t appear to have an impact. Maybe pointing out the absurdities and pettiness to those beyond our shores may cause sufficient levels of embarrassment to make a difference – after all no one likes being laughed at! Of course it’s no laughing matter for those at the sharp end in Scotland who suffer the consequences of these behaviours.


  53. Upthe hoops March 10th 8:08
    John Clark March 10th 12:00

    On this side of the Atlantic we are not immune to a slanted view in the media, and, sports generally leads the way. Play by play announcers can be described as “homers” as they follow their team through a schedule and no matter how bad the team, or, a player performs, it is never pointed out. I can’t recall any sports league in North America suffering a team in liquidation, or other misfortunes that befell Rangers and so shabbily have it reported on or the league governors bending over backwards to accommodate the illusion the team survived liquidation, bankruptcy of players registered somewhat imperfectly. The media is so interested in gathering quotes from around the world regarding a tainted 55 th title, perhaps they could harness that energy and reach out to baseball, football, hockey or basketball and ask how they would handle such a situation. And, finally at least the sports hacks on this side of the ocean truly attach the word “star” to those truly deserving of such an accolade, not every tom, dick, or harry on a team.


  54. Alexander McCall Smith is a wonderfully entertaining writer. I can say that much ,truthfully, from my own reading of his stuff.

    He is also something of a poet. I am not qualified to pass comment on whether he is a ‘good poet’, not myself being clear on what constitutes a ‘good poem’.

    He has a poem published in ‘The Scotsman’ today.

    The third section ( or is it ‘stanza’? ] begins :
    ” A newspaper exists to
    shine a light
    Into these dark corners, to
    say to us:
    This is what happens if you are too trusting ”

    The poem is entitled ” Daily Paper” and the dedication is ‘for The Scotsman’

    There was ,and is, little light being shone by ‘The Scotsman’ on the murky, deceitful actions surrounding the creation of SevcoScotland/TRFC or the Big Lie that TRFC is the self-same club as a football club that went into Administration, failed to exit Administration , entered Liquidation -and ceased to exist as anything other than a liquidated football club unable to participate in Scottish Professional Football.

    Rather there has been concerted effort to deny the fact of the Liquidation of Rangers and instead propagate the nonsensical lie that TRFC ,newly admitted into Scottish Football in 2012 is actually RFC of 1872.

    ‘The Scotsman’ , cynically lying on its sports pages on an almost daily basis, no more deserves to be praised for its professional integrity than does the rest of the SMSM .

    Its ‘masthead’ is not, as McCall’s final verse proclaims,
    ‘ a flag under which
    the weak, the silenced ,
    may muster, ‘ nor is
    ‘The ink that flows in your
    veins….the life blood of liberty, nothing less’
    Its masthead is, on the contrary, a piece of hypocritical cant proclaiming that ‘the ‘Conductors’ … first desire is to be honest’.
    Not when it comes to Scottish Football and football governance…


  55. Paddy Malarkey 10thMarch 18.11

    Can’t comment on the Celtic support , it would however be remiss of me if i didn’t correct your comment regarding “Charlie”. and your assumption that in order to sell STs he had to say he had bought the history of the club.
    The lack of Season Ticket sales was in fact down to the fans backing a rival consortium led by Walter Smith. If memory serves me correct Charles Green was asked to step aside and allow them to proceed with their deal. This of course was unsuccessful and the total STs sold numbered 38228 in total.


  56. It matters not who claimed to have bought history, or for whatever reason. The bottom line is that whoever dreamt it up was obviously mental, and believers obviously lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.


  57. Not being a ‘Twitterer’ or ‘Tweeter’ I’m only just catching up with the “we’re not half of anything-not our problem” tweet from Celtic .

    The reluctance in 2012 to query the award of a UEFA licence to CW’s Rangers ,

    the subsequent obstruction for years of those shareholders who were insisting that the matter be investigated ,

    the readiness after those years of obstruction simply to accept as final , without demur, the SFA’s decision not to have itself and Rangers independently investigated ,
    provide clear enough evidence of there being (metaphorically) an anatomical connection of the fundament.

    And the disgraceful complicity in the Big Lie evidenced by the meek acceptance of such nonsense put the matter beyond question.

    The Celtic tweet is bare-arsed hypocritical crap, in my opinion.

    And the chance to make a meaningful point about being ‘one club since 1888’ was missed by not insisting that the SFA and SPFL officially declare that TRFC are not continuity Rangers and cannot legitimately claim to be such.


  58. Today’s Herald the latest to claim Rangers were relegated. It is a fact, ruled on by a Judge in a court of law, that they were not relegated. What an incredible country we live in when journalists can’t even recognise the findings of a court and just make up their own rules. It’s actually beyond belief but it’s repeatedly said.


  59. Interesting from Phil, BB. I would have expected UEFA’s lack of knowledge to mean they would be looking to check out the implications of the 5-way agreement, but their reply doesn’t suggest they are likely to. What next, I wonder.


  60. Nawlite 11th March 14.21

    Walter Smiths consortium withdrew it’s bid on June 19th.
    Season Ticket sales were suspended as further talks continued in private with only 250-300 having been processed. As the DR article says ” fears over Greens ownership” was a factor in this.
    Assurances were sought by two of the unsuccessful consortiums that in exchange for certain conditions being met they would then, in meetings with supporters representatives, encourage the purchasing of Season Tickets.

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