Gers Head for Winter Sun

Davie Leggit

By Davie Leggit

While central Scotland shivers in the freezing cold midwinter weather, Graeme Murty’s Rangers squad, fresh from their stunning 0-0 draw at Celtic Park, will be leaving it all behind them for a warm weather break at a luxurious holiday resort in Girvan.

Bandilands

The luxurious Bandilands resort in Girvan

The Ibrox giants will be spending ten days at Bandilands Holiday Park on the Ayrshire coast where they will be able to take advantage of the world class facilities such as the heated, 25 metre indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room, nine-hole pitch & putt course, free wi-fi and a full size football pitch.

The fabulous resort, just 300 metres away from golden sandy beaches, will be the perfect setting for the Saltburn Shankly and his stars to re-charge their batteries in preparation for their assault on title No55 after the winter break.

The players’ WAGS will be allowed to join them for the final three days, with luxury caravans at the resort sleeping up to six people, with both single and double rooms, open-plan living spaces, shower rooms and TV and DVD players (Gold accommodation only).

Places at Bandilands are like gold dust at this time of year, but Rangers legend Peter McCloy was able to use his contacts there to secure a batch of last minute cancellations. The Girvan Lighthouse, who played 535 games for the Ibrox club and won two league titles in his 16 years as Rangers’ No1, is still a popular figure around the ground and was only too happy to help out.

McCloy

Gers Legned McCloy

An Auchenhowie insider told the Decord, “The boys are going to really feel the benefit from these ten days for the rest of the campaign. It’ll be a working holiday of course, the gaffer has booked the full-sized football pitch for two hours every day while we’re there, and we’ll be working on high diagonal balls from each touchline on the halfway line to the far corner flag, but there’ll also be loads of time just for rest and relaxation.

“It’s not just about work, Murts thinks it will be great for team bonding as well. There’s live entertainment at weekends and there’s arcades there as well, and playgrounds and even a bar, so the boys are going to have a great time. They’ll be raring to go when we get back.”

This will come as ominous news to Celtic with their league campaign faltering and their eleven point lead over the Govan giants looking increasingly precarious.

 

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A Day in the Life

Pedro Caixinha

Pedro Caixinha breaks into song

Spew Heevins1

By Decord reporter Spew Heevins

Rangers’ visionary manager Pedro Caixinha has given a wide-ranging exclusive interview with the Decord, showing him to one of the deep thinkers of the global game whose philosophy is set to return the venerable old Govan club to where they belong in the upper echelons of European football.

We’ve got the full transcript here:

RD: Just how much of a blow was the defeat to Hibs at the weekend?

PC: Whatever kills you makes you stronger. That’s what the song says and I believe it. We’ll be much stronger on Saturday now, you’ll see.

RD: How much money will Dave King make available to you to strengthen this Rangers side?

PC: I don’t care too much for money – money can’t buy me love. My players love me. The Rangers fans love me. We are the people. I don’t need money. My squad is the strongest in Scotland

RD: What can you say to reassure Rangers fans, concerned about your stuttering start to the season?

PC: The only way is up, baby. Things can only get better. We won’t be playing Hibernian every week. We have some home games coming up against Kilmarnock and Motherwell, so God only knows why some people are worried. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

RD: Tell us about your footballing philosophy. What is it makes your teams tick?

PC: It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. That’s what gets results. You know, you’ve got to speed it up, and then you’ve got to slow it down. If you believe that a team can hit the top, you’ve got to play around. And soon you will find there comes a time for making your mind up. Then you have to stick to it. And that’s what we always try to do.

RD: How soon can the Rangers fans expect to see your footballing philosophy in action? How long till you can implement it?

PC: Mmmmmm. It’s a long and winding road. But someone once told me there’s always gonna be another mountain. I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be a uphill battle. Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. It Ain’t about how fast I get there and it ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side. It’s the climb. And I believe that.

RD: So we might have a wait a while until you’ve got the team playing the way you want it to?

PC: Yes. You can’t hurry love. No, you just have to wait. Love don’t come easy, it’s a game of give and take. The best things come to those who wait.

RD: What can Rangers fans expect to see from your team this season?

PC: We will… we will… rock you. We will… we will… rock you.

RD: You mean Rangers could win the SPFL Premiership?

PC: There’s been so many things that held us down. But now it looks like things are finally coming around. I know we’ve got a long long way to go. And where we’ll end up, I don’t know. But we won’t let nothing hold us back. We’re putting ourselves together. We’re polishing up our act. Well and if you’ve ever been held down before, I know you refuse to be held down any more. well don’t you let nothing, nothing stand in your way. I want you to listen, listen to every word I say, every word I say.

Ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move. Ain’t no stopping us now, we’ve got the groove.

RD: That’s brilliant Pedro, we’re just blown away by your visionariness and super excited about the prospect of Rangers being back in the Champions League this time next year. Thanks so much for your time.

PC: I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life. Oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life

 

Interview ends.

 

 

 

 

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Lennon “has gone too far this time”

Angry Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon on being told his coupon had come up yesterday

Craig Prawn

By Craig Prawn

Several dozen spectators had to be rushed to the Southern General Hospital from Ibrox Stadium yesterday after Hibernian scored a shockingly provocative goal against the Light Blues.

Over 40,000 spectators were innocently enjoying a family day out when entirely unprovoked, Hibernian put the ball in the Rangers net in scenes reminiscent of the far right rioting in Charlottesville.

With the home side putting on a fine display of attacking football, Hibernian showed their petulant side when Simon Murray blatantly fired the ball into the Rangers net, despite clearly seeing that the Rangers defence was trying to prevent him from doing so. Indeed the Hibernian player shockingly skipped past two fair challenges as he blatantly weaved his way into the penalty box.

The home fans, who had shown their sportsmanship from the start by good-naturedly ribbing Hibernian manager Neil Lennon about his playing style from his Celtic days, suffered serious palpitations at this shocking act, with the smelling salts being passed around liberally in several sections of the Sandy Jardine Stand.

But the worst was yet to come, with the snarling figure of Neil Lennon being seen to leap joyfully into the air, pump his fist repeatedly and finally cup his ears in the most blatantly provocative goal celebration ever seen in this venerable old sporting arena, home to the world’s most successful football club, Rangers, which was founded in 1872.

Several female supporters were seen to faint in the stand behind the snarling Lennon’s dug out as St John’s Ambulance men raced to their aid. The heroism of the match stewards and the emergency services prevented an even more deadly catastrophe as they calmly and efficiently dealt with the upset and the incapacitated.

Crying children were taken to the safety of the Club Deck, where they were comforted by specialist officers.

From that point, what had been a fantastic family day out turned into the most outrageous display of blatant provocation seen in this country since Lennon was signed for Celtic by Martin O’Neill in December 2000.

Clearly panicked by the aggression of Lennon and his Hibernian players (particularly the appallingly provocative Anthony Stokes), referee John Patrick Beaton was coerced into sending off Rangers’ Ryan Jack for an innocuous spit in the general direction of a Hibernian player.

Beaton, who should never be allowed to referee a Rangers game ever again, went on to have an appallingly inept game, completely ruined for the spectators by his failure to apply the rules fairly to both sides.

The time has clearly come for the footballing authorities to put to bed childish campaigns for the stripping of titles won fair and square on the park and seriously consider banning Hibernian from all domestic competition for at last the remainder of this season.

The Leith club have form. In May 2016, as Scottish football finally seemed to be getting back to normal with Rangers leading 2-1 in the Scottish Cup Final, the Green and White shirted Hibernian (then managed by former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs), shockingly scored two goals, one of them in the final minute, to deny Rangers the trophy they so thoroughly deserved.

If this wasn’t enough, tens of thousands of Hibernian fans then took to the pitch at the final whistle and assaulted every single Rangers player, many of whom had to be carried off the pitch swathed in bandages.

Things would have been far worse if not for the heroism of the Rangers support, who swarmed onto the pitch to defend their players, despite the best efforts of Lawwell puppet Stewart Regan to provide covering fire from the main stand.

The time has come for everyone with the best interests of Scottish football at heart to make a stand. The persecution of Rangers must end and end now.

Club 18-72 rep Gris Crayon told the Decord:

“Old Popcorn Teeth has gone too far this time. He has a long record of antagonising Rangers fans, for reasons best known to himself, but when he can’t even control himself when his team scores at Ibrox it’s time this bitter, hate-filled, Rangers-hating bigot is sine died from Scottish football for the good of Scottish football.”

 

 

Football Carnival in Leipzig

 

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Kenny Miller bamboozles three Red Bull defenders

 

Spew Heevins
By Decord reporter Spew Heevins

It may not have been the result they were looking for but 15,000 travelling Gers fans still made this match a carnival of football as the club made its long-awaited return to the European stage.

They came from every corner of the UK, turning the airways red white and blue in scenes reminiscent of Manchester eight years ago, minus the heavy-handed policing that so blighted that occasion.

As they have been since The Journey Back to the Top began five years ago, these Rangers fans epitomised all that is great about Scottish football as they packed their end of the arena to the rafters after being applauded into the stadium by the Berlin police officers who had given them an honour guard all the way from the airport.

Two sets of raucous fans created an atmosphere more akin to a Champions League semi-final than the glamour friendly this actually was.

As the match kicked off it soon became apparent the Gers were suffering the effects of their long lay off since the turn of the year as they struggled to shake off the ring rust in the opening exchanges.

Class never leaves you though and £2.5m rated centre half Rob Keirnan was the rock on which the early Red Bull attacks foundered.

One particular headed clearance from the Englishman from a dangerous cross into the box put you in mind of Terry Butcher in  his late-80’s pomp.

Around the 15 minute mark Gers began to take control with some slick passing orchestrated by Spanish superstar Jon Toral, making his European debut for the club.

Just as it looked like Red Bull might be succumbing though, the Championship title holders were stunned by a sucker punch delivered by Werner who took advantage of an unfortunate bounce outside the penalty box to round Foderingham before slotting home despite a last-ditch attempt by the impressive Danny Wilson to keep it out.

Ten minutes later and it was 2-0 for Leipzig as Scotsman Oliver Burke, playing against his boyhood heroes, scored a fine second.

Burke will be hoping that he did enough to catch the attention of Mark Warburton and clinch a dream loan move to Ibrox before the transfer window closes.

Just on half time it should have been 2-1 as the mercurial Toral buried a shot behind the keeper. The Gers fans behind the goal wildly celebrated what should have been a vital away goal, but the celebrations were cut short as the ref wrongly ruled it out.

The on field action petered out in the second half as it so often does in glamour friendlies with a glut of substitutions, with Red Bull scoring a further two goals but it hardly mattered to the travelling Gers legions, who were too busy making friends and enjoying the occasion by this stage.

Berlin is famous for its operas, but it won’t have heard singing like this for many a long year.

The UEFA delegate is sure to add in his match report that this sense of occasion, so sorely missed on the continent since Rangers’ financial problems saw them relegated to the bottom tier, is just what the Europa League needs next season.

The beaks at Nyon would be negligent in their duty to the game if they denied the Ibrox giants the opportunity to repeat their heroics of 2008.

The Europa League is a tin pot competition which needs a strong Rangers and as yesterday demonstrated so amply, UEFA would do well to remember that.

 

Gers in Twin French Swoop

 

pierre-atits

The Pierre-Atîts twins, Jean (left) and Marcel

 

Craig Prawn

By Craig Prawn

The Master Baker, Mark Warburton, is hopeful of making Rangers fans forget their Hogmanay Old Firm woes as he plots the sensational double signing of the twins dubbed “The French de Boers.”

The French wonder kids, from the small town of Camembert-sur-Merde in Brittany, are attracting attention from a host of top European clubs but Warbs has jumped to the head of the queue after watching the pair star for their local side.

The Pierre-Atîts started their careers at the Paris St. Germain Academy where they quickly established themselves and starred in the Next Gen series, invented by Warbs to give Europe’s top youngster a taste of the Champions League experience.

Jean, who is equally comfortable up front or in the No10 role, was the driving force as Paris St Germain reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 2013. Then aged 16, the youngster dubbed “The French Ronald de Boer” caught the eye with his quick feet, close control and cannonball shot. Pacey and with an eye for goal, he was the subject of an eye-watering €20m bid from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013. PSG told the Spaniards this was far below their valuation of the player.

Brother Marcel, the elder of the two by 20 minutes, also starred in PSG’s triumphal march to the Next Gen semi-final. Quickly dubbed, “The French Frank de Boer” by l’Equip, he was the ball-playing defensive rock of the PSG youth teams.

We spoke to French journalist Jean-Paul Douxieme who broke the story on his blog, Football Francaise. Douxieme told us:

“These two have phenomenal potential. The sky is the limit for them in terms of what they can achieve in the game. They had the world at their feet at PSG and were wanted by Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but coming from a sleepy little town in Brittany, they struggled to really settle in Paris and eventually decided to return home and play for their local side.

PSG begged them to stay and offered them €2m a year each to persuade them to stick it out in Paris, but they had made their minds up and that was it.

Now they are both 19 and ready to return to the big time. They both feel that joining Mark Warburton at Rangers would be the perfect move to re-launch their careers.”

The Pierre-Atîts are expected to fly in to Glasgow tomorrow morning for signing talks and a medical ahead of what would be a double-signing to strike fear into the hearts of the other 10 clubs chasing Celtic at the top of the SPFL Premiership.

The highly-rated French youngsters will go a long way to not only clinching a European slot for the Ibrox club, but also laying the foundations for a title charge next season.

Douxieme is in no doubt:

“Celtic have been very strong this season, but with the Pierre-Atîts in their side, Rangers would be unstoppable and could even make the Champions League the season after next. That’s how good these two boys are.

Scottish football will never have seen anything like them. Jean can unlock the tightest defence with his passing and ability to ghost past defenders, while Marcel is unparalleled in his ability to marshal a defence. In the air he is virtually unbeatable, he is unbelievably hard-tackling, and he has the ball-playing skills to control the game from the back. His long balls out of defence will transform Rangers’ system.”

The twins’ father, Gaston, is excited by the prospect of his sons joining the Gers. A family friend told the Decord, “Gaston came to Glasgow in 1976 to cheer on St Etienne in the European Cup Final. He fell in love with the city and always said if his sons made it as pros he would love them to play in Glasgow.”

Decord Sport understands this stunning double signing should be finalised by Tuesday, with Warbs keen to further strengthen his squad before the end of the transfer window as he implements his plan to make Rangers the top team in Scotland and a force in Europe once more.

 

 

The Offshore Shame?

Michael Joseph McCafferty

Michael Joseph McCafferty, funder of the Tax Justice Network

 

Davie Leggit

By Davie Leggit

 

Contrary to misinformed diatribes by internet bampots that we have been ignoring the recent report by The Offshore Game into the governance of Scottish football and the financial collapse of the old company that used to run Rangers, The Decord has in actual fact been examining it carefully.

The report itself is a legal minefield and our lawyers have advised us to refrain from making any comment on it, but behind the scenes our sports team have been digging for information and we can today exclusively reveal the whole thing is a nefarious conspiracy aimed at discrediting the SFA and Rangers.

The Offshore Game is a website financed by the secretive Tax Justice Network, which was ostensibly founded in order to shine a light on legitimate tax avoidance schemes, which it is alleged cost the exchequer billions of pounds in lost revenue every year.

But the Decord can today exclusively reveal the shocking truth behind this sinister organisation.

The power behind the Tax Justice Network is the 82 year old billionaire and disgraced former Catholic priest, Michael Joseph McCafferty.

Our investigations reveal that Donegal-born McCafferty was ordained a priest in Rome in 1961 by Pope John XXIII himself. He was considered a rising star of the Church and great things were expected of him, but he quit in disgust over Vatican II document Dignitatis Humanae, which said that people were free to not be Catholics.

McCafferty became part of breakaway ultra-traditionalist group Society of St Pius X, who quickly spotted his ability to handle money after a financial scandal in his parish involving some funds for a pilgrimage to Lourdes “resting” in his account.

The Society paid for his retraining as a chartered accountant and so began McCafferty’s meteoric rise in the financial world. By 1980, he had left the priesthood and made his fortune on the New York stock market, buying distressed companies, liquidating them and selling the profitable parts at a huge financial gain.

By the late 1990’s, Michael Joseph McCafferty had made his peace with the Church and began funding the building of new churches in the developing world, aimed at winning new converts for the Church in Africa and Asia.

The Decord has seen correspondence which suggests that among the volunteers who worked for Michael Joseph McCafferty in 2002 (the year before the Tax Justice Network was founded) was a gap year student, Bernadette Anne McCluskey, whose father Gerard Francis McCluskey worked for the company which publishes The Celtic View.

Bernadette Anne McCluskey has been employed as McCafferty’s personal assistant since graduating from Notre Dame University in 2007. We have seen evidence that her tuition fees for one of the most prestigious universities in the United States were paid for by none other than Michael Joseph McCafferty.

Bernadette Anne McCluskey is today a regular attender at Celtic Park, where she is regularly seen in and around the players’ lounge and has been spotted several times deep in conversation with Peter Lawwell.

All of this raises serious questions about the motivation behind the Offshore Game report. It is motivated less by concern for legitimate tax avoidance practises at Rangers and transparency in football governance, and more by jealousy and bitterness over the success enjoyed by Rangers in a period where in the words of Lord Nimmo Smith, the club gained, “no sporting advantage” over the other clubs. Particularly Bernadette Anne McCluskey’s beloved Celtic.

We have passed on our investigations to the SFA and hope that the people entrusted with the stewardship of our national game will ask serious questions of Peter Lawwell and his involvement in what is clearly an effort, inspired by bigotry, to bring our game to its knees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warbs’ Words of Wisdom

 

_83645806_warburtonWarbs wants better referees for Rangers fixtures

 

Craig Prawn

Exclusive by Craig Prawn

 

As the controversy over Andy Halliday’s controversial sending off in Rangers’ hugely impressive 2-0 win over Greenock Morton at Cappielow rumbles on, Mark Warburton (as usual) brought an almost searing clarity to the debate last night.

The football world was left perplexed and bemused as the midfield dynamo was inexplicably shown a second yellow card for merely celebrating his side’s second goal with a simple clenched fist gesture in the direction of the home fans.

Warbs firmly believes the controversial incident, which has sent shock-wave reverberating across the football world from LA to Tokyo, could so easily have been avoided if only a better referee had been appointed to take charge of the glamour Monday night fixture.

Taking time out from a gala dinner at Ibrox to celebrate the loan signing of the Salt’n’Sauce Ronaldo Billy King last night, the Master Baker told the Decord:

“It’s a dangerous one because if you start giving cautions for that they’ll be handing cautions out every weekend.

“I’m all for giving young players the chance but you mention the term ‘rookie ref’ which suggests he’s an inferior quality and my immediate response would be that’s too important a game for us.

“It’s on television and you’ve asked questions in the past about the quality of Scottish football and the product. Therefore, here’s a game that’s on television and you need a good product.

“‘Rookie ref’ would suggest – and I’m not saying he is – an inferior quality. You’ve got to provide the best officials you can for every game.

“If he is such a young referee, why was he doing a game with the team at the top of the table, on television? Was that the best decision? I’m not sure.

“Everyone’s got to train, everyone’s got to learn but no specific club should be the victim of that.

“I’m saying that as we’ve lost a player who has played almost every minute of every game for us and that’s not right there’s no appeals process, nothing we can do.

“We’ve got to wait for clarity. It’s not appropriate, that decision.”

With no right of appeal for second yellow cards, it’s too late for Halliday but when a football visionary like former city trader Warbs speaks out, we should all sit up and listen.

With so many of Scotland’s top whistlers unavailable to take charge of that powderkeg Morton-Rangers fixture, how hard would it have been for the SFA to pick up the phone and ask Warbs if he knew of any experienced English referees from his time with promotion chasing Brentford who might be able to help out?

These are days of huge optimism in Scottish football as its longest winter gives way to the Govan Spring.

Rangers are tantalisingly close to finally returning to the top flight, which would re-energise Scottish football and led to a mega-millions deal with Sky and BT for the right to broadcast Premiership games from a packed to the rafters Ibrox once more.

It’s too important to the future of our game to put Rangers’ promotion hopes at risk by handing their fixtures to a rookie referee like Barry Cook.

Rangers and their long-suffering fans deserve better.