Green And Soros – The Truth

I really don’t know which is sadder – the Daily Record continuing their vindictive campaign against Charles Green, or that they are doing so devoid of the facts.

The latest piece by Gary Ralston which claims that Charles Green is NOT in talks with George Soros to invest in Rangers is a poor piece of journalism, either because the Record are trying to discredit Charles Green or because their journos are just too lazy to dig deeper for facts.

Thankfully, most Rangers fans shun the Record for their blatant hostility to Rangers and many will see through this smear job on Green.

I can assure Rangers fans that Charles Green is actively seeking top-drawer investors for the club and I have seen and have in my possession documentation that rubbishes the Record’s claims.

Rangers supporters can make up their own mind about Green’s involvement at Ibrox but they should do so based on the truth, not upon agenda-driven smears.

The saddest thing about this is that there are people out there who claim to be Rangers supporters but who are actively seeking to dissuade investment into the club from people who could take Rangers to the next level.

I have had cause to praise the Record in the past for some fearless reporting. But this hatchet job on Charles Green is very much proof of falling standards in journalism here in Scotland.

Speaking of doing a number on somebody, today’s lesson is don’t mess with Vincent Tan.

The wee Cardiff owner, who is like a caricature of himself, has bided his time and delivered the ultimate head shot to Mallky Mackay’s future career prospects.

Mackay has allegedly been involved in text conversations which are racist and sexist, apparently including racial slurs on Jews.

I can think of one famous club where this would go down well but it certainly won’t endear him to clubs in the English Prem.

Mackay was showing great promise as a manager and could have followed in the footsteps of famous Scots like Ferguson, Busby and Shankly.

Instead, his indiscretion may see him robbed of this chance and he could end up back in Scotland managing a much smaller team.

Unless, of course, Hamas ever start a football team where he would be a hot favourite for the job.

On a serious note, it is sad to see Mackay’s career disintegrate in such a fashion. His and Iain Moody’s attempts to pass off the texts as “friendly banter” between them are understandable but in the PC world we live in, it’s a lame excuse.

Tan’s revenge on fans’ hero Mackay could provide a wee moral to Rangers fans who are thinking about the possible involvement of big beast investors like George Soros.

Nobody messes with these guys. They take no prisoners and take no crap from anybody.

Exactly what Rangers could be doing with, if you ask me.


Reasons To Be Cheerful

There were two great travesties of justice in relation to Rangers’ 8-1 drubbing of Clyde.

The first is that Lewis Macleod was not given Man of the Match, though few would grudge Kris Boyd the award for his hat-trick performance and now trademark hard work.

The second is that there were not many more fans on hand to see Rangers play like Rangers and give us one of their best displays for several years.

You can’t say it was only Clyde because, although the defeat was heavy, it was not a reflection so much on how poor the Bully Wee were but on how Rangers clicked as a team at last.

Truth be told, Rangers played well within themselves but dominated the play and put on a fine show. What is encouraging was how disciplined every Gers player was and the team held its shape and moved the ball with pace and intelligence. Some really fine goals were the reward for creative play.

By the time David Templeton came on, Rangers were cruising but his electrifying skills ramped things up and Gers scored a couple more. I keep saying it – Templeton is easily the best player in the Scottish game and the team should be built around him.

McCulloch marshaled his midfield well around him and Macleod was outstanding. Aird put in a decent performance and Boyd was finally rewarded for his great activity in the jersey. Zaliukas is looking more and more assured and McGregor appears to be solid, though still a bit nervy at times.

We have had false dawns before under Ally McCoist’s tenure but the kind of performance Rangers put on last night only underscores that this team is capable of giving anybody a game in Scotland and are good enough to be a Premiership side. If they can play like they did last night more consistently, they will sweep all before them in the Championship.

I keep hearing stories of bust-ups and punch-ups in the dressing room, even including manager Ally McCoist. I really hope they are true because I want to know it hurts for the players and coaches to lose. It means they care and many a great side has been built following a good saloon brawl or two!

Traditionally Rangers have always been slow starters in the new season so maybe last night’s victory was the turning point. More likely it would have been Friday night’s vital win against Falkirk. That was a dire display by Rangers but a much-needed three points were bagged.

Bluenoses everywhere can only hope a corner has been turned.

There may be turmoil ahead off the field for Rangers but if Super Ally keeps his focus on matters pitch-side and doesn’t have his head turned by boardroom matters, Rangers fans might have good reasons to be cheerful in coming months.

Time For Change

The farce over Legia Warsaw’s ridiculous elimination from the Champions League qualifiers over a technicality is another nail in the coffin of UEFA.

I have been predicting for some time that there will be a revolt of clubs – led by the top teams in Europe – which will be the death knell of this deeply unpopular organisation.

The Legia Warsaw incident is, in fact, a perfect example of how the stuffy bureaucracy of UEFA can kill enthusiasm for the beautiful game – and be potentially ruinous for clubs who are unfortunate enough to fall prey to it.

Celtic may have benefited from the incident, although it remains to be seen if they can beat Maribor. There will be very little goodwill for the Parkhead club out of the whole sorry mess, however.

Even UEFA’s appeal system sucks. To think that there is a possibility that the decision may be over-turned by an appeal or even by the Court of Arbitration for Sport is actually unfair to Celtic and makes a mockery of the whole system. Teams and fans have to plan for games and it is ridiculous to think that could all be changed.

There needs to be a system which, in matters like the Legia Warsaw one, there is a clear final decision before the tie is awarded to the other club – in this case, Celtic. Appeals and CAS involvement while the other club is reinstated are, quite frankly, laughable. If competitions are delayed as a result, better that than sporting integrity  being soiled once more.

UEFA is not fit for purpose. I actually cringe when I see Platini strutting around like the Napoleon of football. It is even more galling to think he played the game and was a fabulous footballer. His morphing into the epitome of a bureaucratic dictator is loathsome to behold.

The sad thing about football is that it has always attracted stuffed shirts and control freaks whose desire to make sure everyone lives by the rule book has stifled creativity and ruined many a career.

Of course, this strict adherence to rules and regulations has not managed to eradicate the bribery and corruption that is now a gigantic problem in football governance, one that threatens to destroy the existing powers.

Every now and again UEFA and FIFA love to make an example of somebody. Legia Warsaw are the current whipping boys for what is a perfectly understandable clerical and administrative infraction and clearly not an attempt to cheat or swindle by the Polish club.

Our own governing bodies here in Scotland recently showed their own prejudice toward our biggest club – something the Vanguard Bears are admirably exposing at the moment. The problem was that this vindictive witch hunt against Rangers very clearly was a suicidal initiative by the “authorities” here in this footballing backwater.

The problem for those of us who love the game is that football is corrupt. Not just because of bribery, money laundering, gambling swindles and match fixing. It is corrupted in its ethos. Bureaucrats run the game, imposing strict Financial Fair Play rules while denying justice to teams. Governing bodies are riddled with people lining their own pockets and many more are trying to get their nose in the trough.

Football is also riddled with politics as much as it is avarice and self-serving.

It’s still the beautiful game when played by two teams who are enjoying playing and competing against each other.

It’s the surrounding stuff that stinks more and more – the boardroom battles, the unjust rulings, the distasteful scrabble for money, the racism, bigotry and violence in the stands, the backhanders and the really annoying pundits.

Football cannot run itself. It needs an independent governing body. It needs arbiters. Games need referees.

We just need 21st century ones, that’s all.

Other sports have thrived by binning the stuffy old bodies that were strangling them.

It’s time football did the same.