Dear JJ -‘Minder’ At Ibrox

Mr Regan patiently explaining the finer points of PAYE and National Insurance to Mr King.

 

“Dear JJ,

Lady Bear and I have just returned from another outing to The Court of Session. Reporting restrictions are in place to cover the unlikely event of a jury trial, but suffice to say the subject matter being discussed was asset freezing. Which led Lady Bear and I to discuss Our Dear Leader’s funds that were deposited in Guernsey being subject to a Mareva Injunction and the topic of relief. Mr King claimed ‘horticultural relief’ from his retained funds to cover his Psoralea Pinnata  shrubbery, which goes by the informal title of the  “Kool-Aid Bush”. As you may recall from Jim White’s ‘homage’ to our dear leader, the 32,000 bottles of wine that he misappropriated from the warrant sale of his Quoin Rock Winery have since been returned to their rightful owner, which freed up space to step up production of Mr King’s answer to Irn Bru.

He took a couple of sample flasks of his latest pressing to Hampden to dispense to his fellow directors at The Scottish Cup Final. Sadly Alastair Johnston, The Monocled Mutineer in the photograph, was not prepared to pitch Mr King’s heady brew to the scions of Wall Street as he could not envisage a return on their investments.

Mr Warburton, who took a flask of kool-aid with him on vacation, was overheard discussing the managerial vacancy at Watford and whether his experience with the under 10s should warrant an interview. What is your take on this JJ? Do you have any thoughts on the forthcoming Scottish FA enquiry? Will Campbell Ogilvie be hired to present evidence on behalf of the SFA? Will the SFA be accepting King’s Kool-Aid as an approved SFA beverage?

I apologize for the slew of questions. I was hoping for some clarity prior to Craig Whyte’s next hearing on Friday, then a trip to Epsom for The Derby on Saturday. Lady Bear is fond of a flutter, as you well know.

Yours in Rangers,

Edward (Teddy) Bear Esquire”

 

Dear Teddy,

Thank you for your letter. I understand your concerns apropos the forthcoming SFA enquiry. In some quarters of Govan they are calling for Mr Petrie to be airlifted to Iceland and dropped in the active volcano at Mount Hekla. One would hope that ‘kooler’ heads prevail and that this sacrifice to The Sons of Strewth will not be necesary. As for Campbell Ogilvie, The DOS/EBT Pimpernel,  speaking with forked tongue on behalf of the SFA tepee, nothing would surprise me when discussing this corrupt cabal.

Our Dear Leader’s bush-spinning idea may have some traction. In a worst case scenario it may wash down the medicine of a reduced contract for Mr Warburton. Over in the East End, Brendan Rodgers National Insurance payments will dwarf Mr Warburton’s new contract. Despite this tax being a relatively new concept at Ibrox, one can understand Mr Warburton’s concern. If one could only turn back the clocks to those heady days of wine and roses, with a picnic by a babbling brook of reduced tax payments to HMRC, and Sandy Bryson gambolling like a spring lamb in an imperfect, but acceptable, meadow?

As you and Lady Bear may have noted from my previous post (thank you for your support) some of the Rangers support also encroached on the field to stop nine year old boys from harassing the Rangers players. Mr Wallace complained of a gash in his side, but I would have thought that spears were prohibited at Hampden. I realise that the Police Scotland response was criticised as somewhat lax, but allowing fans purporting to be Zulu warriors into Hampden was surely beyond the pale? A more enterprising player may have used the netting that was readily available at the Hibs end to engage in a makeshift gladiatorial contest.

Next season the theme will be Minder :

Joey Barton will play the role of Terry McCann and Our Dear Leader will naturally be cast as Arthur Daley. It was somewhat prescient of Mr King to hire protection for the players. We should doff our bowler hats in recognition of his forethought.

 

Yours in Rangers,

 

JJ

Setting The Agenda

At this time of year we can look forward to more of the following genre of adverts that have become a regular feature at The Herald Group (The Herald, The Sunday Herald, The Evening Times):

 

Photo published for Danny Wilson: Rangers won't mind the gap as countdown continues to Scottish Cup showdown

There are two other boards at Auchenhowie that are rolled out to promote season tickets and ‘pay at the gate’. At The Herald Group every feature on a Rangers signing or a player renewing his contract is accompanied by advertising. What you will never see in The Herald Group is the following photograph from Getty images:

This was taken at The Scottish Cup Final. This must be what Chris Graham/ Mangetout Traynor were referring to as ‘restraint‘. We can but hope that the young poleaxed fan recovered from his assault.

Level Five set the agenda for The Herald Group. A programme of ‘indirect’ advertising does not come cheap. No-one should be in any doubt that the Herald Group’s main focus is the sale of advertising. Graham Spiers is more aware of this than most. His article that someone on the Rangers board was warmly disposed to a proscribed song, namely The Billy Boys, resulted in his freelance articles being surplus to requirements. The Level Five/Rangers Account and The Park Group Account are much more important than honest copy at these despicable organs. Chris ‘Union’ Jack, who runs his own Rangers fanzine within The Evening Times, has Craig Houston on speed-dial to solicit quotes from an organisation that openly advocates a return to excluding Catholics from the staff at Ibrox. I don’t anticipate Joseph Anthony Barton being on Mr Houston’s speed-dial as an after dinner speaker at a Sons of Strewth social event, where partners might well be referred to as ‘plus two‘ as they are subject to change.

If you are running for office, as is the case with Stewart Robertson, who better to turn to than Level Five and The Herald Group. Does anyone believe that all those images of the Rangers Managing Director, and all the corresponding copy, is little more than a blatant attempt to elevate his profile for a seat on The SFA Professional Game Board or to replace Eric Riley on the SPFL board? Mr Robertson would prefer that Rangers fans sing proscribed songs as opposed to attacking young Hibs fans, however he should have been condemning both. Mangetout Traynor has his feet in his mouth so often these days that his head is a ventriloquist’s dummy for his brown brogues.

As those who follow this site are aware, there is a plan to publish two advertising articles on Resolution 12. This is a crowdfunded initiative from supporters of CFC, Aberdeen, Hearts, Dundee United and other clubs.The SFA did well to avoid the fallout from the expose of their malfeasance in the TJN report, however they are not out of the woods yet.This initiative will question the decision by the SFA to allow Rangers to participate in 2011 UEFA tournaments despite having overdue social taxes. When the ‘Resolution 12′ newspaper initiative was announced, two newspapers were mentioned – one in Switzerland and the other based in England. The intention was to spread the message across Great Britain and also in Switzerland, where UEFA is based.

This initiative, which is being coordinated by Celtic Quick News (CQN), which I am led to believe is run by Paul Brennan, caught the eye of The Herald’s Senior Media Accounts Manager.He contacted CQN on the 19th May with the following e-mail:

“I appreciate you guys are running some advertising in The Guardian to raise the Resolution 12 matter & with this in mind I wondered if there was opportunity to take advantage of our portfolio of media brands can help to drive awareness. We have a successful track record of commercial success stories & over 4 million adults engage with our brands via print, digital or social media each month and on a daily basis we connect with over 400,000.”

It’s evident that grammar is not a strong point at The Herald’s advertising desk, but this did not deter the enterprising media accounts manager, who later that day followed up with:

“Would you be using the content from the Guardian advert? If so can you forward me this & I will check with editor & legal team etc”.

This is a reference to the legal team who approved an earlier CQN advertising initiative on 25th January, 2015, on the eve of the ‘first‘ match between CFC and ‘new entity‘ The Rangers Football Club. This led to numerous complaints to The Advertising Standards Authority. None of these complaints were upheld. The proposed advert was not ready for remittance at that time.

A few days later The Herald’s Senior Media Accounts Manager was back in touch with CQN on 23 May . He wrote:

“Just had feedback from the powers that be & we are unable to run your proposed advert. Good luck with the coverage in the Guardian.”

In response to this CQN stated:

“The newspaper group that carried the ‘New Club’ Statement, that had actively canvassed for more advertising booking on this subject around the Scottish Cup Semi Final and had approached CQN specifically about running the ‘Resolution 12′ Statement had, without ever seeing the text for the Resolution 12 Statement, now decided that they did not want to carry this Statement on the issues surrounding Resolution 12”.

Is it possible that the ‘unseen’ hand of Mangetout Traynor is at work here? Did he remind The Herald Group of the commercial contracts that would be at risk if they ran with this advert?

The TJN Addendum

“For the first time I’m confident that the 2011 fraudulent licence application will be dealt with by CAS.This will not be good news for RFC or the SFA.
Lying to UEFA will result in a ban for the club and expose the collusion between the SFA and the establishment club. Those involved at Hampden will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from their cosy sinecure and dumped in Mount Florida.
Cue faux outrage from Level 5 and their media placemen.This could get very interesting. The licence application was made by Oldco so nothing to do with Newco you might argue.However Newco signed up to the 5 way agreement, part of which entails Newco accepting any punishments handed down by the football authorities.Of course this single topic on it’s own exposes the continuity sham and the mess that that the SFA has helped create.A possible 3 year ban from UEFA competitions will be a dagger to King’s wallet and Joey Barton’s European aspirations”.

I have edited this comment from the previous post to set up an article on the points it raises which I believe are predicated on an article by James Forrest. Mr Forrest refers to an addendum to  the TJN article that skewered the SFA. The SFA and SPFL, and a compliant media, would have us believe that the team playing at Ibrox is the original Rangers. These stakeholders in the survival myth have a vested interest in Rangers continued. However when exposed to a court of law the truth emerges.Had the new club qualified for UEFA participation this season, its UEFA coefficient would have been 3.460. 3.460 is the country co-efficient for Scotland and is only used for clubs that have not participated in Europe in the last five seasons.UEFA chose not apply the old Rangers coefficient ranking of 4.960. This is because the rules of UEFA are clear cut and set in stone. The Rangers Football Club now have a different company registration number from the club/company that is being liquidated and any points or rankings gained by the old club were not handed to the new club. 114 titles were handed to TRFC by the SFA/SPFL but UEFA don’t play by the ethereal rules in Scottish football.

I therefore do not envisage any punishment being handed down to the new club unless the SFA were foolish enough to press home the myth that they were the same club. Alan McRae, and his nonsense about Charles Green buying the goodwill of RFC Plc, chose to play this card to John Clark of TSFM, before he reverted to playing the man. This bumbling Cove Rangers nonentity would not try this on with UEFA.

The other point in the preface refers to CAS. The Court of Arbitration for Sport would only respond to a complaint by a member club. CFC could lead this but won’t. They are happy with the status quo. As I write CFC have sold 34,000 season tickets for the resumption of the Punch & Judy show. They welcome ‘the chase‘.

In the TJN addendum, the following point cuts to the thrust of their argument:

“The UEFA Investigatory Chamber can ask a compliance audit to be performed on the declarations submitted by any clubs. Should the information submitted by a club be considered as incorrect or misleading, due to overdue amounts being incorrectly disclosed as “deferred” or “in dispute” and/ or being concealed by a club, the case will be automatically referred to the Adjudicatory Chamber for appropriate measures to be taken.”

As TJN points out, five of the eleven compliance audits performed during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons were upheld by UEFA due to incorrect or misleading information. The Investigatory Chamber expects full transparency as well as true and accurate declarations from clubs. Therefore, the submission of false or inaccurate information by a club is considered by the Investigatory Chamber as unacceptable behaviour for which harsh sanctions will  be imposed.

In regard to an overdue payable to be considered as validly “deferred” in accordance with Annex VIII of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, the debtor must propose a deferral agreement which must be accepted in writing by the creditor before the applicable deadline (i.e. 30 June or 30 September for the monitoring process).During the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 audits a number of football authorities of various member countries were found to be in breach, although at this point they had not looked at the Scottish FA.

In an email from Keith Sharp, Financial Accountant at the SFA to Ken Olverman, the Financial Controller at Rangers, Sharp states that UEFA have verbally indicated that they ‘are satisfied with the submission in respect of Overdue Payables as at 30 June’.

This would not have been the official position as it flies in the face of the UEFA rules. The SFA know that they are exposed on this issue but the new Rangers can and will walk away from this.

 

 

 

 

A Broad Church?

“I was born to be a Rangers supporter.I had no real choice in the matter.My father was a Ger, as was his father and his father.It was accepted that as soon as I was old enough to be lifted over a turnstile I would attend Ibrox, faithfully.I worshipped at the shrine of Rangers for several decades.Fortunately for me, my father was the least religious and the least bigoted man you could wish to meet. His religions were the trade unions…..and Rangers.Also fortuitously and because he was not bigoted, our next door neighbour and dad’s friend used to take me to Parkhead to watch Celtic too. Something I enjoyed immensely as I felt convinced the ‘Tims’ could see right through me…..exciting! This caused me a bit of confusion at school when I was supposed to hate the ‘Tims. Some of my family were ‘Tims’…in fact my favourite aunty was a convert to Catholicism and was as devout and decent a Catholic as you will ever meet. The conflation of football and religion was as normal as the smog filled air we breathed in 60’s Glasgow.It just was what it was.You were either Proddy Ranger or Timmy Celtic.It wasn’t to be questioned. Only my dad did question it…loudly and often. He tried to explain the wrongs of the situation to me many times. I remember asking him why he still was a Rangers man if he disliked the whole Proddy/Tim thing that went with it.“They are my team son….the morons can’t change that” he told me.I accepted this dichotomy for quite a few years or at least until I started attending Ibrox on my own and watched the rampant cretinism happening around me. My normal position in the stand was immersed in a sea of fuckwits who came over on ferries from Northern Ireland to spew out unspeakable shite at anyone stupid enough not to be wearing a Rangers strip or scarf.I grew increasingly uncomfortable with the songs, the chants and the bile. I had heard stuff at Parkhead of a similar type…but it just seemed more…..intense…definite..meant…at Ibrox.More than once I pulled up someone sitting next to me about the stuff they were spewing out…either they just looked at me and shut up or it got very unpleasant as they questioned my ’loyalty’. I spent more time listening to the chants and songs of utter hatred for ‘Fenians’ than I did watching my team play. Ironically, I truly believe that 98% of those prattling on about fenians couldn’t tell you what one was…beyond the inaccurate and rather pathetic….’Kafflik’. Eventually I just stopped going.But even then I still supported Rangers as a couch potato supporter.Then something happened that changed my attitude totally. I had a son.At first, like my dad, I assumed the boy was going to be a Ranger…then I thought about it at length.There was no way I was going to take him to a game and spend endless hours explaining to him that what his fellow fans were belting out was ‘just a bit of fun’ and some ‘tradition’ that they maybe really didn’t mean…or maybe did….or not…at least not the good ones.“How can you tell the good ones dad?” was the future question that bounced around my head.The answer “The ones not singing” just seemed more and more pathetic.I resolved that he would grow up to be whatever form of football fan (or not) as took his fancy.I also resolved that my half hidden hypocrisy and plainly turned blind eye was no use to either Rangers or me. I decide we would part company.That was in 1992.I have been back to Ibrox once since then.As the supporter of another club and to watch my son play there.My wife and myself, along with all the other small band of supporters isolated in a corner were subjected to non-stop venom, bile, foul-mouthed abuse and threats for the entire 90 minutes.My son’s girlfriend and her father came to see him play but left at half-time…utterly disgusted at the things they saw and heard.We also had the distinct privilege of witnessing an Armed Forces Day degenerate into a farce as many of those in uniform went to the Blue Order and danced and sang the same crap that had driven me away from Ibrox in the first place. One particularly helpful RAF type came over to us to give us the benefit of his knowledge about how we were all ‘Bitter c@@@@…cheer up’.Commendably, a Royal Navy Commander (who I believe was sent down from the stands by the GOC) tried to break up this ‘celebration’ of all things blue….to little avail.The scenes were disgraceful and convinced me that my decision all those years ago had been 100% correct.Those of a Rangers persuasion can call me a liar if they so choose. I don’t lie about anything accept my height.Recently and because of the troubles they have inflicted on themselves as a club, Rangers have decided to play the victim card. It would be funny were it not for the hypocrisy involved.The recent press release regarding the idiotic actions of Hibs fans is a case in point.It is at once, hilarious and pathetically lacking in self-awareness.The great chant of “We are Rangers..super Rangers…no one likes us…we don’t care…..we hate…” (Let’s not carry the next bit on) rings a bit hollow these days.Perhaps they should be asking themselves why they are indeed, almost universally detested within the Scottish game. There will be supporters who disagree with that view….but I will go by my own experience of visiting grounds and talking to other fans.Are all those supporters of all those clubs just jealous bitter bastards? Is that it? Are they all just wrong?I still have mates who attend Ibrox…they are good guys…they are just as ashamed of the crap as I am. But even though they are the majority, they feel intimidated into not challenging the shite….such is the brutal vehemence of the large vocal minority of Ranger’s ‘support’.To my mind, the past few years have encouraged a problem that was an improving situation.The bitter nasty bastards have the upper hand again and there seems to be no will at the top of either Rangers or the puerile SFA to change things. Don’t get me started on the lick-spittle sports journalists who fall over themselves to whitewash what happens at Ibrox.So….that’s my wee rant. I expect to get the usual pelters for it…but I’m sick of the whole thing. Perhaps I will once more get some cretin from Belfast publishing a google earth picture of my home on Twitter?Blocking and reporting is easy. Getting rid of the source….not so much.“They are my team son….the morons can’t change that”.Sadly in many ways….I’m not my father. Good luck to the many decent Rangers men and women……you will need it”.

In a previous article I outlined my ‘EuroMillions’ fantasy for Rangers. My first order of business would be to withdraw ticket sales to Northern Ireland. I don’t want their politics and hatred anywhere near football. The Harland & Wolff shipyard opened in Glasgow in 1912, adding to the foment of Billy Fullerton’s gang which was formed in the 1920s. As keen followers of this site will know, I worked and lived for many years in Asia. I recall a visit to Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It’s a sensational Bhuddist temple that is routinely attacked by Muslim fundamentalists who consider it a blight on their landscape. A young Indonesian couple asked me to take a photograph. My Indonesian girlfriend at that time explained that what they actually wanted was a photograph of me with them. They had never encountered a man with my eye colouring. To them I was a different species. As we engaged in converstion, with my girlfriend translating, I was asked whether I was a Christian. This was a binary question, as there was no awareness of the different strands of Christianity. I replied honestly that I was not a Christian. Jesus Christ to me was a man. He was not, to me, the son of a god that I did not believe in. They then asked a really clever question. How can you prepare for death if you have no religion?

I could have decided to respond with a secular Humanist argument, but I decided to concede the point. The advent of chidren in a man’s life is a reminder of his mortality. I chose to take my children to an Anglican church. I wanted them to have an understanding of Christianity. When they were old enough to make their own minds up, they could look back fondly on those years of family outings followed by a delicious village lunch, or embrace the  Christianity that I had introduced to them. I offered them a way to marry and to die.

Rangers is a football club. It is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. There are those who consider it the Protestant club, but I don’t ever recall any religious services at Ibrox , or the singing of hymns, other than at a time of tragedy. I don’t recall any Sunday school outings to Ibrox. Rangers are not the defenders of a faith or defenders of the realm. This has been imposed upon them by individuals like Fullerton and The Harland & Wolff émigrés.

However, as noted in the anonymous preface to this article, the bigots are running the show, aided and abetted by boards who pander to them. One of the best examples of this is Charles Green. Mr Green and his board were under siege by King and Paul Murray. Mud was being thrown at his board.When reporting restrictions are lifted I will go into specifics.To get people on his side, to win the PR war, Mr Green played the WATP (We are THE People) card. This is a firm favourite of the bigots. I would have difficulty in explaining this concept to my erstwhile Indonesian acquaintances, but I can easily explain it to readers of this site. What this expression conveys is that those who are of an Irish extraction are an inferior subculture. Not Northern Ireland as they are gerrymandered to be British. It’s an appalling concept. It was not Mr Green’s finest hour.

I will state for the record that I’m not an admirer of Roman Catholicism, however I respect the rights of those who wish to worship at this church.I formerly attended Ibrox with what we fondly regarded as our token Tim. However, he can no longer stomach the bile of the vocal minority. Ibrox is no longer a place to take your children. I had hoped that the renascence of Rangers, the new club, would be a new broom to sweep away the detritus of the old. However it’s evident that you cannot sell 38,000 season tickets to play games against part-time footballers unless you package them in a sectarian livery.

As there have only been two cup games against CFC during ‘the journey’ the games against Hibs were a field day for the bigots. The invective at these games was a paradigm shift in hatred. Was it any surprise when Rangers supporters of a certain stripe entered the field of play to pick off the most stupid of the Hibs support who goaded them?  The responsible respectable Rangers supporters, the non-vocal majority, had left the stadium.

If Rangers wish to be a family club, they must curb the excesses of the bigots. The Billy Boys and other odious chants must be prohibited. The current board is led by a career criminal, so we don’t expect any reform to emanate from him. The term moral compass has no resonance in his life. The spineless SFA should introduce the deduction of points to curb the sectarian chants. However, we all know that they won’t and that this cancer in Scottish football will be malignant.

 

Assessing The Hibs Fine

Anyone who has ever read this site knows that the SFA are not fit for purpose. An independent report by The Tax Justice Network exposed the SFA as being corrupt and self-serving. As Stewart Robertson, MD of Rangers, helpfully pointed out, Mr Regan has called on a couple of occasions since events on Saturday. The first call was understandable. It behoved him to ensure that the players survived their ordeal unscathed. As for subsequent calls, Regan probably dipped his toe in the water apropos a fine for Rangers and was informed that Dave King would have him in court faster than he could say ‘judicial review‘.

Money is tight at Ibrox. A fighting fund has been set aside to take Green, Stockbridge Ahmad, Llambias, Ashley and SDI to court. With so many respondents, should the matter not be resolved in Rangers favour, the costs will be substantial. James Blair’s Anderson Strathern are pursuing those who engaged in the Rangers Retail agreement. They will be seeking millions in costs.

Given that Regan has been told in no uncertain terms to exonerate Rangers, his thoughts will turn to how to punish Hibs. What sanction will be appropriate? At this point he will invite the SFA’s Vice President, Rod Petrie, to dinner in The Glengoyne Suite at Hotel Du Vin. He will offer him one of two possible sanctions. A fine or a Scottish Cup game behind closed doors next season. Regan will strongly recommend a fine as a closed gate deprives Regan of revenue. The bidding will start at the £250,000 mark as per the LNS findings, which Mr Petrie will rail at as this was deemed appropriate for eleven seasons of systemic cheating. The traditional fine would be £50,000 but as this was a cup final with maximum publicity, this will be doubled to £100,000 with Hibs bound over for a year, with a sanction of £250,000 should they reoffend.

Having dealt with the matter with Mr Petrie, Mr Regan will have a chat with the Police Commander to agree with his assessment that the police presence was appropriate. Mr Regan will thank the police for their sterling efforts on the day that nipped a pitch battle in the bud.

Does anyone actually expect a proper enquiry? How naive of them!

A Rangers Song For Europe

“Hello, hello, we are the Billy Boys
Hello, hello, you’ll know us by our noise
We’re up to our knees in Fenian blood
Surrender or you’ll die
For we are the Brigton Billy Boys.”

At their peak, Billy Fullerton’s gang had 800 paid up members. They received medals for breaking up strikes. They organised Orange Order marches. Some of their group were convicted murderers. The verse ‘up to our knees in Fenian blood‘ was apposite. Srathclyde Police cracked down on this gang of criminals in the mid 1930s and by the onset of the second world war the gang no longer existed.

Why a group of bloodthirsty thugs and murderers are venerated at Ibrox is difficult to explain. This proscribed song should not be allowed at any Scottish professional football game, but the SFA are unwilling to deal with it. Their well paid sinecures in Scottish football are much easier if they choose to avoid it. They have been ducking it for generations. However let’s revisit the song in a style that Billy Fullerton, who formed a Scottish chapter of The Ku Klux Clan, would be proud of :

  1. Hello, hello, we are the Billy Boys
    Hello, hello, you’ll know us by our noise
    We’re up to our knees in Jewish blood
    Surrender or you’ll die
    For we are the Brigton Billy Boys
  2. Hello, hello, we are the Billy Boys
    Hello, hello, you’ll know us by our noise
    We’re up to our knees in Negro blood
    Surrender or you’ll die
    For we are the Brigton Billy Boys

Any reasonable man or woman would be appalled if these chants were allowed at Scottish football, so why is it still open season on Fenians? In 2014-15 there were 193 charges under section 1 of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, reported by the police to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). In the 2014-15 period, the accused were mostly males. Of the 193 charges, 189(98%) involved a male accused. The largest group of offenders had an affiliation with Rangers.

The Act criminalises hateful, threatening and otherwise offensive behaviour that is likely to incite public disorder in relation to football. The nature of the offence was threatening (e.g. including engaging in fighting or challenging others to fight)in 61% of the charges. It was ‘hateful’ (e.g. including negative references to religion, race, sexual orientation or other forms of hatred) in 30% of charges. It was ‘otherwise offensive’ (e.g. including a reference to celebration of loss of life or support of terrorist organisations) in 13% of charges. Some of these charges contained reference to more than one category.

As was the case in the first two years since the introduction of  the act, Roman Catholicism was the main religion that was the subject of the charges that related to religion. Forty-two of the charges (84%) included behaviour that was derogatory towards Roman Catholicism.In 2014-15 there were more charges outside football stadiums (54%) than inside stadiums (46%). There were only eight arrests at Ibrox.

With the SFA unwilling to act, and with only eight arrests in an entire season, is it any wonder that those who wish to engage in this appalling verse believe that they are immune from prosecution?

Rangers Managing Director, Stewart Robertson, when launching Club 1872 at The Herald, chose the following choice of words:

“If I recall correctly, the Billy Boys was sung after the Hibs fans came on to the pitch. We don’t condone that kind of behaviour. However, if I had a choice between the fans singing a song or piling over the wall into a pitched battle with the Hibs fans, I know what I would choose.That doesn’t make it right, but you have to put it into context. I’d rather have that than two or three thousand piling over the wall and we have a riot on our hands.”

Allow me to disabuse Mr Robertson of the notion that the Billy Boys was sung exclusively after the Hibs fans came on to the pitch. It was sung throughout the game, and should Mr Robertson require proof of this I respectfully refer him to Youtube. Some of the Rangers fans did spill over the wall, engage in fighting and escape without arrest. Not several thousand, but they made their presence known.

Were some of these supporters whipped into a sectarian frenzy by this proscribed song? As we have since discovered, the SFA and Police Scotland found it appropriate to only allocate 138 poilce officers in the stadium. Allow me to repeat this for emphasis. In a game that was recognised as a potential tinderbox, the SFA took the view that only 138 police officers was appropriate.

If Scotland was not a banana republic where the laws of the land are ignored, heads would roll at the SFA. However, the SFA are cunning and will apportion blame on the Hibs fans. To apportion blame on the Rangers fans would involve a review of the proscribed song which is something that they steadfastly refuse to do. The song will ring out at Ibrox and all major stadiums in Scotland next season. Should Rangers qualify for UEFA tournaments in 2017/2018, this song will be the Rangers song for Europe. Their Eurovision Song contribution. Only then will the club be hit hard, as Scotland to its shame looks the other way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Whyte in Session

I note that Mr Whyte will be in The Court of Session  tomorrow in regard to a restraint order, which is the criminal law equivalent of the civil law Mareva Injunction:

Friday 27th May

P1015/15 Pet: HMA for Restraint Order re: CraigWhyte

Mr Whyte will be represented by his retained solicitors, Gildeas
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are the pursuers.

Those who have been following the ebb and flow of this matter will note that Mr Whyte was ordered to disclose his assets. If Her Majesty’s Advocate Depute can convince a Lord Ordinary that these assets are the proceeds of his criminal activity, then a restraint order has the effect of freezing the assets and bank accounts of the persons against whom it is directed.

However this leads to one obvious question. If Mr Whyte has sufficient wealth to warrant a restraint order, how did he manage to qualify for Legal Aid?  Paradoxically, his case for Legal Aid might seem to be strengthened if the order was granted. But therein lies the problem as if he made an application for Legal Aid with significant assets at his disposal, his Legal Aid certificate will be revoked and he will be ordered to make reparation to the public purse.

In the final analysis one might posit that this is the desperate action of a desperate prosecutor.