PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE
The official Rangers website had them all going on April fools Day with this story (right). It concerned the imminent signing by the cash-strapped Ibrox club of 'Turkish strike sensation Yardis Alpolfo'. Now, the clue here is that the player's name is obviously an anagram of April Fools Day, but anybody with half a brain could have worked it out without this sledgehammer giveaway by reading the fee, £10 million. Given that the Death Star doesn't have two brass florints to rub together these days that should have had readers splitting their sides with laughter.
Nonetheless the story did manage to fool countless numbers of gullible blue-noses into believing their team was about to sign a new player. If you read on it's easy to see why: 'The Ibrox men beat off some of Europe's top clubs to land his signature. Alpolfo is wanted all over the continent but the Light Blues have been working furiously behind the scenes to complete the deal which will make the young Turk a Rangers player next season. The giant striker has been described as the new Hakan Suker. '
This isn't satire. This is the template used by most of the hacks in Scotland to write their Rangers Signing exclusives. You only have to fill in the name of the player concerned and, hey presto! (which is where the Laptop Loyal might be more gainfully employed).
bad news bears
Bad news on the financial front for Rangers following the release of their dire half-year accounts (pre-tax losses of £9.9 million - ach, let's call it ten - for the first six months of the financial year to add to the staggering debt they've already accumulated). Premium TV (PTV), internet partner to several football clubs, announced in March that it was about to unleash another wave of redundancies and had sent its CEO home on 'gardening leave'. What's that got to do with the price of potatoes, I hear you ask. Well, PTV's parent company is NTL -itself suffering under the weight of a huge debt burden - sponsors of Rangers and the company to which David Murray sold off the internet rights a few years ago when they were about to make a real assault on European glory ('I mean it this time' - D. Murray).
PTV have the rights to the official Rangers website, thanks to the NTL deal, but they're finding it a struggle to make any money at the moment. PTV originally agreed a £65 million deal with its client clubs, with £30 million paid up front and the rest due in regular payments over 15 years. Unfortunately this was restructured last September because of the dismal revenue being generated by the sites so that now repayments are only made when the websites make some cash. It has a mere 36,000 subscribers for its 80 clubs (mainly English Football League but including Rangers).
Most worrying for the Rangers bank manager is the prospect that NTL are not formally obliged to fulfil any contracts should PTV, as expected, go four legs to the ceiling.
Celtic, as you know, have kept their powder dry on this one and still have full control over their own internet rights. As the financial clouds darken over the Death Star we can only hope and pray that the SPL do not follow the lead of the English Football League who, according to reports, 'are seriously considering punishing clubs for poor financial mismanagement with so-called 'sporting sanctions', including point deductions, relegation and elimination from the league.'
more bad news
More bad news for doyens of the Death Star as one of the club's directors and major investors is jailed... again! Dave King was huckled in South Africa as part of an alleged corruption enquiry. He is Rangers' second biggest shareholder and it follows his arrest last June on 11 counts of alleged fraud involving almost £60 million in unpaid taxes. Surely this enough to get him a front page on the Retard all to himself? It certainly knocks a piss up in a Gateshead boozer into a cocked hat if you ask me.
upping the stakes
Contrarian that he is, David Murray hasn't let all this doom and gloom get him down in the dumps. In fact, he has chosen this moment in time to increase his investment in Rangers. He spent £87,000 last month on Rangers, which bagged him 87,000 shares (two years ago he would only have got 22,000 shares for that). As a result the price rallied to a gallant 105p on the ofex market, which represents a loss to Murray on his original investment in 2000 of around £100 million.
Remember Dave, the value of you Rangers shares can go down as well as further down.
Possibly a more savage blow to DM's ego is the fact that he has been papped out of the Scotland on Sunday 'Power of Scotland' list, a who's who of 'the nation's 100 most influential people'. Maybe he's bubbling under at position 101, but wherever he is he's languishing way behind Martin O'Neill (cue Alan 'Fluff' Freeman Top Of The Pops music) at number 10 in the charts, a rise of 48 places on last year's position (nor 'aff).
The fans are also represented on the list by Peter Mullan (a new entry at 64 pop pickers) and James McMillan (another new entry at 93).
In the blue corner
I am so glad that the recent fad for organising boxing matches between celebrities appears to have abated. In the interests of peace and love perhaps it's just as well that the proposed bout between Ian Durrant and Peter Grant had to be postponed, but it's a shame that Chic Charnley never got the chance to step into the ring against the opponents of his choice: 'I'd like to put the gloves on and fight Hugh Dallas or Willie Young' he said (who wouldn't?), 'For obvious reasons... Or else I'd like to get into the ring with Mo Johnston - for even more obvious reasons.'
Should the latter bout ever take place I hope Chic remembers to slip a horseshoe inside his boxing glove.
the Noo and enjoy Seville
back to top