The Banter Years

They have been christened as ‘the banter years’. Now Rangers fans are looking to the future with enthusiasm rather than uncertainty. The last few seasons have provided some of the most extraordinary moments in the Light Blues’ history. The list of characters is lengthy and each plot line could have taken hours to sculpt, but it has all been very real for a fan base that have suffered more than their share of ignominies and embarrassments through no fault of their own. Events of the last week are right up there in terms of their importance and another chapter in the tale has now been closed as one of the main protagonists was finally written out. Excitement levels have risen amongst Gers fans in recent weeks as Pedro Caixinha has added to his squad and the appointment of Mark Allen as Director of Football was another reason to be optimistic ahead of the new campaign. It was the deal that Dave King and his board struck with Sports Direct that was the real shot in the arm, though. The announcement on Friday that Ashley had sold all his shares, including more than four per cent to Club 1872, was the icing on the cake. The legacy issues that King, John Gilligan and Paul Murray inherited had the potential to hold Rangers back for years. No matter how much the club wanted to move forward, the progress was always going to be stifled as the former regimes continued to make life difficult. There was a feeling of closure for many this week and a line in the sand has been drawn. Rangers and the fans can now move on. It has prompted supporters to look back at what has gone on over the last few years, to relive and remember the highs and the lows, the chaos and the controversy. Many of the moments are surreal but they did really happen. Amongst the anger and the disbelief, it was a case of if you didn’t laugh you’d cry for the punters. The drama unfolded everywhere from the steps of Ibrox to Charles Green’s hospital bed. The Yorkshireman handed out tea at the ticket office, delivered a Christmas message and wanted to do a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. He left, came back and left again, but his legacy remained. The sight of Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad or David Somers would send shivers down the spine of supporters. Don’t forget Craig Mather and Graham Wallace or Derek Llambias either. The Easdale brothers certainly won’t slip out of mind easily. They became two of the most despised figures of the whole narrative as they were heckled at games and mocked online. At least they did the ice bucket challenge. There was the infamous ‘winter of discount tent’ General Meeting, the red card protest that Somers said was about apartheid and the setting of alarms for Stock Exchange announcements at seven in the morning. On the park, there was the capitulation to Alloa, the cup final defeat to Raith Rovers, losing to a Stirling side whose manager was at a wedding and a handful of performances and results that will go down amongst the worst ever from a Gers side. There was the dancing Elgin fan, the commemorative t-shirts for reaching the League Cup semi-final against Celtic and a pre-season match beside a funfair in America. The likes of Seb Faure, Emilson Cribari and Anestis Argyriou won’t be fondly remembered, but at least Bilel Mohsni went out with a bang. So did Joey Barton. The Englishman made more of an impact that Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, the Indian trialists, and Fran Stella, right enough. That Fran Sandaza was sacked for being duped in a prank phone-call can’t be forgotten, and either can the arrival of the ‘Newcastle five’ – Remi Streete, Kevin Mbabu, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Shane Ferguson – when they weren’t fit to play. Last season, Mark Warburton was respectful every week and a song about Joe Garner prompted a Twitter spat with Little Mix fanatics as they became the latest additions to a lengthy list. Rangers still have some distance to travel on the road to recovery but a corner looks like it has been turned this summer. There is no other set of supporters that deserve a sense of normality back at their club more. As Rangers look for a brighter future, the banter years could be consigned to history. They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.” Chris Jack – 20 June 2017

There is so much to take issue with in this piece that it will take more than my typical article length of one thousand words to refute his fallacious assertions. Some of Jack’s words do have merit if one is an advocate of the minutiae, but the central messages are so distorted that they could have been penned by the Glib & Shameless Liar himself; or perhaps the ‘Celtic supporting’ taxi drivers who agree with King’s thesis that Celtic have only won ‘two-in-a-row‘. Even Kris Void, a man admittedly not noted for his mental gymnastics, could not get his head around the career criminal’s narrative.  King is renowned for his parsimony. Any tip would have been of the nature of an advisory not to smoke in bed. Did these ‘Celtic Supporters’ dismiss four titles for a kiss of King’s hem, or is it just the latest in a long and loose cannon of lies? I am more persuaded by the latter of these alternatives.

Jack unsurprisingly given his affection for the new club has been rather selective in his choice of memorable events. He has even managed to avoid the Elephant in The Room: The Cold Shoulder.

A corner was turned. Ashley, who could have kept his jackboot on King’s scrawny neck for another six years, decided to bail out. He knows what to expect when the Cold Shoulder begins to bite. There will be no credit; no payment of season tickets in instalments; no banking facilities; no supply chain willing to agree terms other than cash upfront; no staggered transfer payments; no BACS transfers of players’ salaries.

In summary should King continue at the helm of RIFC they will be the lepers of the financial community. The Untouchables.

If Rangers Lite go under they will be playing junior football next season. Merry hell is going to break loose and on this occasion look no further than King for a smoking gun. If one goes to bed with reservoir dogs with distemper one should not be surprised to be bitten by fleas.

The flood that is coming down the pike will be of Biblical proportions. Any ‘banter’ will be drowned out.

As for his cast of rogues or ‘rhats’ as they were called at The Gazebo AGM, David Somers is one of the most respected businessmen in the City and unlike King commanded a Nominated Advisor and maintained RIFC’s LSE AIM Listing. No-one would touch the convicted career criminal with a barge pole. Does King, knowing that he is toxic in the City, think they can do no more? Think again career criminal.

Llambias did a sterling job at Newcastle United and Graham Wallace pierced the corporate veil to reveal the challenges that the last honest Board would have to meet. As for the Easdales, what’s not to like about individuals who provided crisis loans and took nothing, not even their petrol expenses, from the club? I have not met either brother but their business activities are well known to me. They started life in the scrap business which is not for sissies. They have created a £100m business. They have the kind of appreciable wealth that could make a difference. They are both real Rangers men. But the fans believed Halloween Houston dressed rather appositely as a rat and Bomber Brown who had a quantum of £40,000 burning a hole in his pocket. I’m not going to gloss over the fact that Sandy was sent down, but surely he has paid his debt to society?

When the shit really hits the fan Rangers Lite will need men of the calibre of Somers,  Llambias, Wallace and the Easdales to rebuild them, if it’s not too late.

The latest statement of the rogue board, that they have run out of last season’s stock, beggars belief.

Are Puma joining Ashley in walking away from this toxic board?

However when we revert to Jack’s candy-coating, does the banter extend to the 200 Lite fans who invaded Hampden to set about the celebrating Hibs fans? Does banter include kicking a young unsuspecting Hibs fan in the head? The fan in question had already been felled by a punch from another Lite criminal. A thug from Antrim then kicked him in the head. That will teach him not to celebrate when The Klan are present.

We then had to endure James Traynor creating a series of lies to excuse the criminal actions of the Rangers Lite fans. The same travelling support that turned Manchester into a disaster zone. On that occasion a police officer was being kicked to the head.

When I attended the FBA awards ceremony I passed on the complimentary bottle of Budweiser and raised a small glass of champagne by way of celebrating my award. I had to keep my wits about me as The Klan were waiting for me outside. They would have kicked and stabbed me to death. Fortunately another crew, much higher up the local criminal pecking order, intervened and sent them packing. They shadowed me all the way to a taxi that took me to the safety of my B&B.

Is it banter to threaten the life of a social media commentator who only deals in accuracy and the truth? Is it banter to force him into exile?

The Rangers Lite supporters don’t do banter. They do bitter.

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29 thoughts on “The Banter Years”

  1. I don’t know who this fellow, Chris Jack, actually is although you have referred to him as a ‘journalist’. In Scottish terms, I would imagine that he is a fan with a laptop. A bit like Keith Jackson.

    Neither of these guys would qualify as contributors to this Speakeasy.

    Jack’s assertion that King, Paul Murray and the other RRM can now move on given that Ashley has gone beggars belief. These are the same RRM who were part of the train crash resulting in the collapse of the former club. No mention in his piece is given to the very serious Cold Shoulder charge. Not a jot.

    This is an incredibly serious charge which will prevent King from withdrawing cash from an ATM let alone being associated with the club. Contrary to Rangers moving on as he suggests, Rangers are moving in the other direction. King’s days are numbered and it is shocking that this doesn’t get a mention in the Scottish press.

    Somers did a fine job and had useful contacts in the City. The Easdales made a contribution. As did Malcolm Murray (I used to bump into him at the Fox in Charterhouse Street), and Ashley’s folks (Llambias) knew a thing or two about corporate governance.

    Alas, these chaps weren’t RRM and were the ‘rhats’. Incredible stuff. Well, the club and the fans have what they deserve. The bitter banter started with deranged Bomber Brown demanding to see the deeds. He is now a club ambassador which takes the club to such a low depth that our most advanced submarines would struggle with.

    The bitter banter has frightened off genuine quality businessmen coming forwards and saving this small, loss making business. No one of quality will touch this toxic stock.

    Chris Jack seems elated that this current regime has loosened the shackles of previous regimes.

    What he DOESN’T report is that those shackles will be attached to Dave King within months.

    1. All good men and true, but the vocal fans that were incited and sponsored by King wanted corporate detritus. A classic case of being careful what you wish for.

  2. In my bleary eyed state earlier this morning JJ I did not realise the first part of the post was actually a Chris Union Jack article; thought you had gone soft or had a fall for a moment! It’s really quite remarkable how such a fawning piece of puffery can see the light of day in a national newspaper but I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore. In fairness to him though he has highlighted a cast of characters which is far larger than I would have imagined – if the Lite story was a movie the credits would be longer than Star Wars.

    I’ll make usual monthly donation via the Family & Friends option later today. All the best, TS

    JJ: Cheers TS.

  3. Excellent article JJ. I really should sympathize with all the fans being rooke but if they believe the constant drivel dribbled by a tame media then hell mend them. Thanks for your articles.

  4. A staggering article which defies belief. The Laptop loyal writer must have his eyes on a position in SFA or RIFC and sharing a full English world class breakfast with the squatter of Murray Park.
    Regarding the Career Criminal. When his exit comes prepare for the “Job is done. Club on a solid foundation. Growth plans, infrastructure and people in place. Time for me to get back home to other business interests ” – with everything to do with RIFC we are through the looking glass.
    There will be no 2nd demise of the establishment club. Once was enough. Another will not be tolerated. There will ever be that demographic to be catered for and social standing must be maintained for the true blue of the Edinburgh elite. Elsewhere Mob rule, where the laws of the land don’t apply and violence and intimidation incur no penalty will always be there. Mores the pity. The world moves on but Scottish Football and some sectors of Scottish society will always be a time capsule for the horrible times.

    JJ: Thanks for your contribution buddy.

  5. In my opinion if a narrative of drawing a line and positive progress this season is to be made, all connected to sevco are deluded and the media spin will do nothing but set an awkward, unreal perception that will end in death.

    They were in better shape at the start of last season. A bunch of latino unknowns is better than last season’s team is the common perception whilst sh!tting on last season’s players and management team.

    Crisis loans in June FFS !! I believe this is to supplement what is owed to Puma/SD or some other large bill. This is not going to play out well.

    When I read some sevco blogs it is almost like they NEED to be fed manure, a craving for crap just to get an assurance that they will have a sevco to wake up to regardless of how much of a laughing stock this whole saga is.

  6. Referring to the fawning and delusional coverage of all things sevco by Jack and his ilk, it would be more apt to refer to this period as The Wanker Years.

  7. Celtic are ‘The Invincibles’..
    Sevco are ‘The Untouchables’..
    When the penny finally drops with the gullibears the carnage will be funnier than an England v Germany penalty shoot-out.

  8. Like The Spaniard I read the initial blue text and wondered if something was amiss. I should have known better. I can’t believe Jack claims to be a journalist. Such garbage enables King et al to fleece the gullibillies and fast track the club to “liquidation the sequel” Given the behaviour of the hoardes attending Ibrox they get what they deserve but I can’t help wondering whether they failed to save their club unlike Hearts as the media lied to them. Jack, Jackson etc. are doing their beloved Sevco no favours by turning a blind eye to the wanton corporate mismanagement.

  9. Dave King knows that he is a convicted criminal in South Africa and soon to be a convicted criminal in Scotland. The Cold Shoulder will sink Sevco. It’s just a matter of when. If the directors are prepared to become paupers they might last till December. This will be a momentous year and I hope you will stay healthy to record the death throes.

  10. So the Appeal is being held a week today on the tax cheats. Someone mentioned the late Paul McBride, if only he was still with us to take the slimy SFA to task as well.
    JJ on a different note, how do you make a payment on Paypal without incurring the charges and I will do this in future

  11. Another meritous exercise in unspinning Sevco.

    Alex Thompson has tweeted that the Supreme Court judgement on old Rangers FC offshore EBT tax avoidance will be delivered on the 5th July.

    How sensitive, one week before the 12th.

    Sevco IS the legacy of EBTs.

    1. I predicted that July would be a momentous month as High Court Judges only work 10 months per year. They all decant to Chiantishire or Lords during August and September. It will be a complex considered judgement that will be interpreted to suit an agenda in the SMSM. I was hoping to have a short break to recharge having worked every day for 22 months. No rest for the committed.

      1. I cannot foresee their most excellent Lordships of the Appeals Court of the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh having been in err.

        “It was obvious and common Sense” rings out.

        SDM told the court in the Craig Whyte trial, if James Doleman’s tweets are accurate, that the EBT Beneficiaries were to pay their individual tax avoidance figures back.

        If this is true, claims by Players against Oldco creditors pot, against RFC tax advisers and against their own agents may materialise.

        Imagine SDM claiming £6m against Oldco creditors pot to pay his EBT TO HMRC.

      2. Hi I cant always afford a donation as I can no longer work due to chronic pain and obviously unwaged, I have made 1 previous donation and have tried to navigate paypal friends & family without any joy. Can you send me an email address or talk/walk me through how I can make this type of payment/donation as I would much prefer you got as much £ possible and I am unable to make this recurring.

        I love your forensic dissection of all things trfc especially dick/dave and his fabrications, how he manages to fool their support God only knows I suppose having a compliant MSM must be a great help. “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything” unlike dodgy dave who cant remember and just keeps digging bigger and deeper holes to fall into.

        Please don’t feel obligated to print this as you have many better and more eloquent posters, all part of the pleasure enjoyed by all who visit this speakeasy long may it continue being a beacon shinning light into all the dark nooks and cranny’s that many guilty parties wish you hadn’t.

  12. PayPal make it possible for me (and others) to make donations to (amongst others) your good self, JJ, without me or said others being able to trace your whereabouts.

    Are they not worthy of their fee?

  13. One minor point. Whilst I agree the imminent cold shouldering is the current elephant playing hide go seek, the whole “club emerging from its troubles” commentary is ignoring the gigantic liquidation mammoth that’s hiding behind the elephant.

  14. Excellent article as ever….the most informative site for accurate information in the land….
    overheard in a workplace today……TRFC fan to Celtic fan….’ how do you think your team will fare if they get to play Linfield’….. reply….’If we play at anywhere near last season form we’ll
    come back with a 7 – 0 lead and a United Ireland’ !!!

  15. Dunno if the amnesty is still in place but sent ya a fiver anyway.
    Union Jack is really a fleg wavin fan of the Sevco … jaysis how that gets printed I don’t know and how anyone can read it with a straight face …. Do the likes of him and Keef actually have press credentials????

  16. Sad and deluded are the Gullibles. Got a text from my son’s friend that said “It’s my birthday and I’m 26 going on 22…according to Dave King”

    Lashing out at anyone who isn’t in message has put the shitters up some MSM journalists. I know one who writes (sic) for the Sun who stated to me – “Celtic fans don’t buy the Sun so we have to serve our clientele” Quote unquote.
    I called into SSB one night to ask them why they hadn’t congratulated the fundraising efforts of the parents of Oscar Knox and Celtic fans in raising over £30k at a Sunday home game v Dundee a few years ago. I genuinely thought/felt this was a good-feel news story, however at ClydeSSB they were very reluctant to even mention it. This spoke volumes me as to their deliberate exclusion of non-Rangers good vibe stories.
    Please note that I’m not wanting this post to me using a sick childs’ story to make a point – it’s for the other posters/lurkers to understand the point I’m hoping to make.
    If you are a “lurker” why don’t you donate 16.5 pence a day? If so – you’ll be able to read the truth, the whole truth & nothing but.

    P.S. If you’re in Luz Mr The Mensch then a cold bottle of Cristal awaits your lips in Kelly’s

  17. Running out old stock is not a financial bonanza for Rangers. Most of the money goes to SD or Puma. This is stock they had effectively written off. The lack of new stock is hardly surprising given how King shafted Puma. The gullibillies are under the delusion that they have aided Rangers. How often will they swallow the media crap.

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