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    The Lance Armstrong of football. rick roberts 2 days ago The Lance Armstrong of football. A common call from celtic fans desperate to try and overstate Rangers FC use of then-legal tax-saving vehicles in the 2000s. It misses the mark on many points, but crucially a truer parallel meriting the sobriquet would be their own club – celtic FC. The parallel of doping in cycling would be doping in football. And doping programmes for footballers almost certainly exist at the top end of the sport. But that’s not the charge here. Blood doping in cycling had a huge effect on the athletes and in the 90s it was rife. A sizeable majority of top riders and teams had their own doping programmes – which, in its own ironic way actually removes doping as Armstrong’s “biggest crime”. Facts are all of his main rivals at the time were doping. It’s true that without EPO and other aids then Armstrong wouldn’t have been able to compete. But then neither would his rivals, so in that regard the playing field was warped but fair. So the slur falls back to financial doping. The only problem with that is that football is inherently financially unfair. Everybody is striving to improve their lot and any number of means are applied to extract advantage, which often fail the most basic morality tests. At the top of the pyramid teams arbitrarily have billions of pounds pumped in from oligarchs and sheikhs, similarly others have governments write off similar amounts in tax and to assist where they can. Football in the 90s and 00s were marked by players contracts getting more inventive. Media rights and all sorts of sponsorship monies and add-ons where being protected by well-payed tax experts and lawyers for their very well-payed clients. EBTs weren’t uncommon and were widely used in the UK. This is the context. If tax avoidance and the public purse is your moral ad ethical gripe then plenty sought to dodge the public purse through fanciful film schemes, a loophole which was also closed up with time. But we know that for Rangers biggest detractors, it’s was never really about ethics or doing the right thing. It is widely held view that Armstrong’s biggest crimes were his bullying and links with governing and anti-doping bodies – which is to say corruption. Armstrong is/was an alpha male and a very domineering and controlling figure. He literally forced riders out of races and out of the sport. He humiliated any one that stood up to him, let alone expose his methods. It got to the stage where press conferences attendance lists were personally approved by Armstrong. And he was able to lever this control by the force of his personality and from the weight of the money he brought into the sport. The equation is tried and tested – he made people money, so they backed him. Other teams saw benefit in this status quo. Manufacturers. Broadcasters. Sponsors. And presidents of the UCI and WADA. Does this sound like anyone in Scottish football at the moment? The links with UCI and WADA got a little too cosy. Arrangements were made that enabled, if not green-lighted, Armstrong’s programme. But perhaps his most reprehensible act is the accusation that he used the doping testing agency against his rivals. Perhaps he felt threatened as they were becoming too strong and offered a little bit too much of a challenge to his crown, perhaps he just liked the fact that he had control and could use it. Before that point the cycling doping omertà was very much honour amongst thieves – to then break that code sets Armstrong apart, it’s a departure from striving to improve your own lot to improving your lot through damaging your rivals. I don’t know how common examples like this are in world sport or football, presumably the number of teams and vested interests form a natural barrier to corruption and an independent governing body prevails. However, i do suspect very similar plots have been hatched and carried through in Scottish football. Anyone that follows the game in Scotland will be no stranger to patterns of proven unprofessional behaviour from celtic supporters targeting Rangers FC through their positions of employment. This goes from the man in the street, to the decision makers in the press, to people who held positions of considerable power at Westminster. It certainly makes the following both possible and probable. In 2011 the sale of Rangers FC to somebody was inevitable. Murray wanted to sell and Lloyds Banking Group wanted him to sell. The sale to Craig Whyte may have all been above board in that respect. What’s more debatable is who brought Whyte to the table. With hindsight his remit was pretty clear, take Rangers into admin and eventually liquidation – in short, commence a campaign of wanton corporate vandalism against the club from the inside. The thing is this guy is a nobody, with little means, less clout, and no history or interest in football. And yet the sea parted for him to allow the devastation to unfold. It’s difficult to see how he could have arranged all of that on his own? The Ticketus money. Duff and Phelps. Hand-picked administrators who only wanted to talk to Charles Green. Green and Whyte. The fact HMRC overlooked unpaid PAYE until it got to a level that gave them leverage in admin. A closed shop from the moment LBG facilitated the sale. One that left the club an empty shell and one saddled with burdens that would last until celtic planned to pick up their 10th title. So many coincidences. In the years preceding a former Home Secretary had been been on the celtic board. A man of means and contacts to open many doors. It’s almost certain that he spent his time lining up ducks, which would then be shot down in 2011. Why did HMRC choose Rangers to make a point over EBTs? Like so many stories, the names and nature of the people involved in the key decisions come out over time and it’s easy to put two and two together and get the wrong answer. However, when people connected to celtic crop up at every single stage on the journey then you’re allowed to question coincidence. Were these people simply involved in process, or did they make themselves involved and push things in a certain direction? The BBC for example. Members of their sports team certainly threw themselves to the fore to tell their side of the Rangers story (and still do). But it isn’t necessarily the merit or veracity of any story that rankles with Rangers supporters, it’s the fact that we know they would never deal with other clubs or subjects in the same manner. It’s bias. It’s hypocrisy. And given that the driver is tribal and the target is their rivals, then it’s an abuse and misuse of a position of trust. All at the tax payers expense I may add. The import of the press cannot be over-looked. It’s a blanket to cover improper behaviour. It’s a mask to convince the public that certain actions are justified whilst conveniently omitting other details that damage the argument. It’s a form of corruption in itself and it’s often an integral part of the actual act of corruption, part of the fraud. None more so than the recent 10th April, 2020, SPFL vote. This is the part where I copy and paste definitions from the internet. What Constitutes a Bribe? Broadly, the Act defines bribery as giving or receiving a financial or other advantage in connection with the “improper performance” of a position of trust, or a function that is expected to be performed impartially or in good faith. Bribery – means giving or receiving an unearned reward to influence someone’s behaviour. One common form of bribery is a “kickback” – an unearned reward following favourable treatment. Both are corrupt. Corruption – is any unlawful or improper behaviour that seeks to gain an advantage through illegitimate means. Bribery, abuse of power, extortion, fraud, deception, collusion, cartels, embezzlement and money laundering are all forms of corruption. It’s difficult to look at the actions of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncasters, his remuneration compared to his performance and come to any other conclusion than the SPFL is corrupt. Most of the definitions listed above resonant with him and his controlling cronies. The same few familiar faces and persons of conflicted interest that hold court at the SPFL and the SFA – and whatever they are up to it isn’t performance driven. The ONLY explanation for their rush to harry through the season-ending vote in April 2020 was that they, Doncaster/MacKenzie/MacLennan, wanted to ensure that celtic were ensured the title by avoiding the possible risk of the season being declared null and void due to the COVID pandemic. celtic pretty much rubber stanmped the corrupt by speaking out against an independent investigation into the farce. The recent vote held parallels to the Whyte fiasco, in that the SPFL enjoyed the backing of a sizeable chunk of the media. Almost unconditionally, regardless of subject. The obvious explanation is that the actions are being carried out for the benefit of celtic, so they were gifted their press bloc to hide the bodies. Armstrong, doping, winning, money, press, governing bodies, corruption – repeat. So a similar cycle repeats with celtic, money, press, governing bodies, corruption, which leads to winning. Armstrong had it all figured out. For a period of time he was untouchable. But he pushed it too far. He stepped over too many people. And eventually told one lie too many when eventually the right people started asking questions. celtic FC are in a similar position. Lift the veil from their recent silverware and what sits underneath doesn’t glisten quite as much. The facts are that whatever has been won has been won in the boardroom. Maybe Rangers were due a fall, careless/reckless, but their main rivals conspiring to facilitate that push should see celtic as pariahs in football. The most reprehensible act. The punch from behind. The stick in the spokes. From that moment forward they benefited, and anything after is tainted. To make matters worse the corruption doesn’t end there. Rangers recovered, worked back and returned to the top flight. Still far from a full power and it was debatable whether Rangers were even yet a viable title challenger, such was the gap in club finances and the inferior starting point. celtic too hadn’t been idle, their people in positions of influence around sport had grown. The Compliance Officer at the SFA in 2018/2019 season saw over 10 citations for Rangers players, which eventually led to key players missing matches. celtic had no citations despite involvement in incidents of similar nature (note: this is fourth celtic supporter in a row to occupy this role, formed after celtic caused a referee strike in 2010, just in time for Rangers troubles!). It’s worth mentioning that much of the COs work came on the back of what the press (primarily BBC Sportscene) decided was an issue, where some of the editing is of questionable balance to say the least. Each of these systems are autonomous in their own right, but equally each of them has a duty to identify and prevent improper behaviour. But here, together, they were working is tandem to corrupt the game and apply favour. The statistics on the performance from the referees makes worrying reading; namely, teams have been allowed rough treatment against Rangers, yet Rangers players are more readily booked. celtic figures show the opposite. This could be dismissed as an anomaly is one or even ten matches, but it’s there like a background noise, and in 2019, like 2020, the effects were key players suspended after the turn of the year. Subtle yet effective. And wilfully eroding the spirit of football. You could argue if this is due to extreme external pressure from the press and supporters or an indicator of something more systematic at the SFA – either way, improper behaviour that seeks to gain an advantage through illegitimate means. Another example, and a different angle of attack. Indirectly, the politicking continued at pace. The sectarian background to Rangers and celtic is no secret. And from that a campaign was waged to have Rangers more robust language punished, whilst celtics was quietly mitigated in the background. A campaign waged largely in the Scottish press and through outlets in Holyrood. But which achieved a level of success where by UEFA turned an eye to Ibrox, and thanks to persistently keen and dedicated hearing from celtic supporters acting for FARE (sic), they managed to extract fines and stadium closures from Rangers. Which affects football on the pitch, very much, directly. I know I see these things from a Rangers point of view. Sometimes its an easy fit and convenient fit. But there’s not much of this article that is up for debate. Culturally, there exist people going out of their way to wilfully attacking Rangers FC. Maybe that’s the rival fans lot. Maybe not. Maybe it’s only a problem when the management or editorially level of companies and governing bodies start to allow the bias and unprofessional behaviour more fitting to the pubs after a match. Usually there are checks and balances to prevent that, but sometimes corruption succeeds. Certainly in Scottish football, many bodies of influence have went bad – they’ve forgotten what their role is and what sport actually is. So the next time someone mentions a Lance Armstrong of football. You can look past the administrative paperwork to extract benefit from legal tax loopholes. And look instead at the systematic corruption of Scottish football and its supporting industries by celtic FC and its supporters.
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    Fuckin hell people will really moan about everything and anythin. It’s barely changed from the original yet it’s minging and honking 😂 Have a day off man
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    Good seeing this, old boy looks absolutely made up edit: even if he didn’t really know what was going on at the end 😂
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    This is what happens when the club pander to the masses. Stick to our own fucking guns and don't meddle in 'politics'. Everyone IS welcome, we DON'T have to advertise that just to appease.
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    Ex Hearts goalkeeper joins us today on a free transfer from Sunderland. No leaks, very little paper talk, just happened! Could be a good pick-up, similar to Neil Alexander’s signing. Hope he is just as successful.
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    Says more about Scotland really that a black guy speaking at a black lives matter protest gets heckled because of his association with Rangers. Country is poisonous.
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    Just seen this, terrible how they are treating a person abused at their club.
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    When the first case is won in court, Humza should be forced to resign for completely ignoring what will turn out to be the biggest crime against a sporting organization. Whoever is behind all this hard work to finally get to this stage should be applauded whilst Sturgeon & Yousaf should be jailed for hiding crime.
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    Sorry if it's been mentioned elsewhere, I've just read it there. Apparently playing golf and was in back pain and found out he needs to have a kidney removed due to it. Big man always be remembered for that Brugges screamer - career cut short through injury and now this. I'm sure he's still fairly athletic and can beat this. As someone who suffered a kidney condition myself before (although nothing like this) it's an absolute bastard with check-up's making the sure the function stays above a certain standard and then all sorts of meds. All the best big yin. Canter for you.
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    How did you get back on. Hate when bans don't stick.
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    Its a Rangers legend TELLING Pressley he's talking shite. Fucking hell man.
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    ...and entry to the lucrative Champions League... I've always suspected that the rush and process to get all this done, regardless of the consequences for others, has been the primary driving force behind this. Especially when you know ; 90% of the clubs don't really give a fuck as to what happens at the top, most other clubs are relieved and are happy to take the money those that are directly affected can't afford to do anything but cry Calimero and suck it up (as Partick Thistle admitted) all the others will tell them to "take their medicine" (because it's not them) and the press, almost to a man, will fall in line and promote "for the greater good", "we need to move on" and "put it behind us". Then along come's Anne Budge. That wasn't in the plan.... As they say, follow the money and you find the criminal
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    Amazing how a wee 2 minute video can put a smile on your face!! I think its fair to say alot of us have been quite disheartened with what's happened over the last few months, with Scottish football as a whole and of course with our form since the turn of the year. But isn't it fucking great to see us back kicking footballs again. Such a simple remedy to all the shite that's going on. I fucking love Rangers.
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    IMO Alex Wilson is the real hero in that video. 88-year old supporter, still buying his season ticket. Possibly somewhere in the region of 80-years as a supporter and seen/done it all. Good on him. Hope he had a great day meeting the manager.
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    Sporting authorities should be all over this like a rash once the legal stuff is done.
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    Struggling to sell ST’s. Fans at war with club over repayments regarding last seasons tickets and hospitality tickets. The Thumb having a meltdown. Child abuse claims starting.. Lovely.
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    He a really good keeper. We also need Scottish players for the Euro squad as it restricted our squad last season + with Halliday leaving. Makes sense all round
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    How’s that “embarrassing” dossier turning out now Pete, ya sleekit fat fenian peado enabling bastard
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    Prso what a guy. Could see it meant the world to him. Not had a day like that in years, we need to get our shit together pronto.
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    👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
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    McGuire added: “ We are now in a position where celtic’s management will appear in court to argue that these victims are owed nothing by celtic. Shame on them." Oooofffftt shit just got real for Lawwell and co. 👍🏻
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    And that ladies and gentlemen of RM is why we are superior in every way no matter what happens on the pitch.
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    Yes indeed point scoring, worst excuse ever to ignore something. Honestly if this was Rangers that covered up systematic abuse, I would not support them. Can I remind everyone though that now we are seeing court action, we need to make sure there are no posts that could impact on any case. Printing what is out there by MSM, fine. There is a line that needs drawn (fuck all idea where that line is yet) and posts will be monitored and hidden if necessary. Ca' canny as my gran used to say.
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    The last 25 minutes were unreal that night
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    I didn’t think they were capable of phoning the police.
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    Tell you one thing that Hollicom has fair made its money considering celtic have already lost a case and this is the first we are seeing it. Also the celtic fans defending this are absolute vile scum. It’s being also reported that celtic fans have been threatening victims and their families with death threats - not only online but in person, absolute scum and a drain on this country!!!!
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    Particularly like the bit about Hearts and Thistle effectively holding a gun to Scottish Football’s Head, Oh The Irony Ffs 😂😂
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    Of course Penny Arcade is sectarian, it's about folk playing machines and losing money, which in turn gives them a chip on their shoulders. A chip is made from the potato and because you are now skint, you can't afford to buy potatoes, leading to you having to famine. If you had kept your money instead of wasting it in a machine, you would have had enough to go home. Simplistic to the normal person.
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    I just love Ibrox the way it is now, with the tarriers in the corner, it has made a huge difference with them not taking over the Broomy IMO. I accept it is difficult for our away fans but I believe the benefit we get at home is well worth it and our away fans even back to the 7K or whatever it is are pushed into the corner anyway. PS I had forgot about the season ticket holders who had to move or miss the game, another huge reason to keep it as it is.
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    Kk ineligible too because he's not completed 5 years at school
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    Surely if the proof is out there that the vote was indeed received at 16.52 then something has to happen.....anyone reading or looking at this farce will now see that everyone has been lied to for 3 months now....a private investigation came up with the same lies, any credibility Deloitte have as a trust worthy company is shot as they have lied also Their proposed resolution had indeed failed at 16.52...at that point the season could not end....what has followed from that minute on is CORRUPTION...but this shitehole of a country will continue to bury their heads in the sand and it will no doubt get swept under the carpet again What should happen is the court should be able to overrule the verdict to finish the season, whilst heads need to roll....the reality is that NULL & VOID should be put on the table....the vote was corrupted from day 1, it really is that simple
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    Football has returned (albeit behind closed doors) to Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Portugal, Turkey…hell, even ICELAND are returning to action and completing their seasons. UEFA have confirmed the current season’s Champions League and UEFA cups will play out. Yet the only decision the SPFL could possibly come up with was to award the title to celtic, despite a botched vote that won by 1 vote…and that 1 vote from a team who initially voted to play on. Hmmm…
  46. 22 likes
    You can play 5 games in 8 days if need be.
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    There’s Kontermannnn OH WHAT A GOAL! One of the standouts growing up.
  48. 22 likes
    Why should Rangers fans pay upwards of £4-500 for season tickets only to to be moved for 2 games a season to accommodate they smelly bastards? People that usually want them having the full stand back don't sit in the Broomloan so of course they're happy with it as it doesn't affect them. Why anybody would want more of those cunts in our stadium is beyond me.
  49. 21 likes
    Its like the bouncy song, or penny arcade, the perma offended just make things up to be faux offended by saying theres sectarian undertones or history involved. Just bullshit.
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    Actually by going through all the reconstruction stuff, Hearts have strengthened their case as they tried to do all they could to achieve a fair outcome after the vote fiasco before resorting to court. Now they have no option but to go to court and the spfl can't say that they were not warned nor can they say the action is premature or there is another way as all options have been exhausted. And all the while Rangers emerge as bastions of credibility and integrity as not only did we call foul but we tried to fix it and were only thwarted by the corrupt.
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