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Houston hits back


plumbGER

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POSTED ON BEHALF OF CRAIG HOUSTON

 

The purpose of this statement is to inform the Club 1872 members who could not make last Thursdays meeting, where, Craig read this out to those present. 

 

Yet again I find myself the subject of many myths, conjecture and discussion online and unfortunately feel I need to defend myself publicly. 

 

 The latest round of discussions circle around me applying for a job at a club I love. I, like many others and even folk in this room applied for the same job and we found ourselves in the ridiculous situation of going through a private process in full view of the Rangers online community. I am used to this level of scrutiny but felt genuinely sorry for those who aren't and found themselves included on lists of candidates online and their individual merits discussed openly in public. The fact that some named are currently in employment and were put in awkward positions with their current employers was the most disappointing aspect of the circus that surrounds the process of filling this vacancy at our club. 

 

 I predicted this role could not be filled without a certain level of online discussion and removed myself from social media early in the process as I had no desire to be constantly berated on a private situation. As is normal in these circumstances, the majority of those commenting hide behind anonymous profiles and unable to even stand by their opinions using their own names. The most used excuse for remaining anonymous online seems to be due to the users job but if you really are in such an important job that requires your identity to be hidden then my advise would be to remain offline. The world will still spin and no one will die if you refrain from going online. By deactivating my personal accounts I am unable to manage the Sons of Struth online accounts and these are managed by others who had helped before I removed myself from social media. Some have stated that I have taken up secondary accounts online and post using alter egos, this is untrue. 

 

 The main reason for the noise online appears to have started when three directors resigned from club 1872 and decided to publish a blog on the subject. I have never defended myself to these allegations as I've been unable to online and because of the nature of the online community who demand instant news, updates and replies to their questions, when someone is unable to answer any slurs then they are found guilty by assumption. I am happy to now give my side of a story that seems to have been accepted by some with only 50% of the parties involved having a say. 

 

 I did apply for the role as Supporters Liaison Officer at our club and whenever asked I gave a straight and honest answer to anyone who enquired. If asked before I submitted my application I would answer saying I hadn't yet applied but was considering it and I would probably be applying and when asked after submitting my application a straight yes was my reply to anyone who quizzed me on the situation. 

 

 I was phoned twice by two different club 1872 directors on two separate occasions and asked if I had applied for the role. On the first occasion I hadn't yet submitted my application but confirmed to the director that I would be submitting it within a day or two. The upcoming meeting with Stewart Robertson was discussed and we both agreed that if I attended the meeting and didn't give Stewart a grilling on behalf of our members some may consider this a disservice and I decided that I shouldn't attend the meeting and allow others who hadn't applied for the role the opportunity to ask questions on our members behalf. I received several phone calls from members who were unhappy I wasn't at this meeting as they felt I would have been more than suitable to ask questions of the club on behalf of members and the wider Rangers fanbase. I am convinced I done the right thing under the circumstance. 

 

 The second call I received was on the morning of a Police Scotland planning meeting for the fixture against Celtic a few days later and this time when asked I confirmed that I had now applied for the role but had received no further correspondence. This second director felt I should inform the board of my application. Having already checked the legal position that stated I was duty bound to notify club 1872 only if I was successful in securing the role, I informed this second director that I was still considering what to do and my feeling at that point was I would notify the board even in the event of me being shortlisted and offered an interview. I felt this was a fair middle ground and informed the second director that I was still considering when to inform the board properly but would take his opinions and notify him of my final decision on when to notify the board. I had always publicly stated that for club 1872 to remain independent then no employee or agent of the club should serve on the board of Club 1872 and when asked directly at the election hustings I confirmed that if I should ever be fortunate enough to be offered a job at Ibrox I would stand down immediately from my post. I stand by that statement. 

 

 That evening I called back the second director and informed him that I felt my stance was fair and I would notify the board if I was to receive an interview. Once I notified him of my stance his position changed and he declared that by going to the meeting earlier that day I had somehow abused my position in an attempt to secure the job at the club. He felt I had potential harmed club 1872 by doing so. I refuted the allegation on the grounds that I had been attending these meetings for almost a year and the club were well aware of my attendance and I'm positive if there was any issues with me attending then they wouldn't have invited me to attend. The email inviting me was directed to me personally and not part of a group discussion and it has been suggested I wasn't actually invited at all but the email remains in my phone and I'm happy to show it to anyone who desires clarity on that situation. 

 

 The claim that by attending a meeting that may or may not have club officials in attendance who may or may not be involved in the recruitment process would somehow influence their decision making process was not only a slight on my character but even more so on them. The fact that there was over 90 applications submitted at this time and I hadn't been informed if I even had an interview made the point even less valid. I think a more important influence could have been my actions over the last four years that had put me in direct contact with the same people even before my involvement with club 1872 but to suggest even this would have influenced them would question their integrity more than mine. 

 

 It is also prudent that members are aware that during this conversation by two participants with different opinions, at no time was there either any argument nor anything other than respectful discussion. I did state that my opinion was of no different value than his and either of us could be wrong but if his opinion was shared by the board I would resign on that basis. I thought that he could take his opinion up with the rest of the board by telephone, email or face to face and if they agreed with him I would respectfully resign. The following day three directors resigned and that was followed up with a public blog. This surprised me and I feel they took the wrong course of action and this could have been remedied in an easier, more constructive manner notwithstanding the fact that if I had done something as bad as suggested I wouldn't have had the opportunity to resign as such behaviour would have seen me removed if indeed it was as serious as made out. Notes from the board meeting on the 6th of February actually state the boards position on employees of Rangers being on the board of club 1872. The board felt the issue should be put to members and considering if my opinion was shared by the three directors who left then our board would have easily passed the motion that employees shouldn't serve yet they have reacted in such a way to a board member simply applying for a job seems at odds with their obvious position on the subject at this board meeting. 

 

 The aftermath of their blog seen the reemergence of some myths about me and raising of some new ones. My phone has received many screenshots and links etc over the last few weeks. For the avoidance of doubt and clarity I will deal with some of the more poplar conspiracies. 

 

 THE BLUE POUND. 

 

 It has been claimed that I profit from Lionbrand, SOS football academy, question and answer sessions with ex players and a book. The only one that has provided any income for me personally is the book and I had to withdraw £500 at Christmas due to my own personal situation at the time. Other monies from the book helped start our academy and even provided a team of ex service men with their teams playing kit after their initial sponsor bounced a cheque on them. I have no connection with lionbrand other than as a customer as SOS academy buy our kit from them and they market our replica kit and make a donation for each sale. SOS football academy is a volunteer organisation and no one involved receives any payment whatsoever. The q and a's I have organised and attended have never been for my own personal gain and have raised money for a number of causes including the new sensory room at Ibrox, the Lee rugby foundation, the Nith valley accident fund, band funds and SOS academy. 

 

 THE SENSORY ROOM FUND RAISING

 

 At Monday's launch John Brown declared that £46k was raised by fans and I had been involved in the raising of these funds. I approached Rangers a year ago with a view to renting a box in argyle house for the use of kids on the Autism scale but once there I was shown a project idea from the clubs Disability Action Group and I was so impressed I asked when it would be actioned. When I was told it would happen as soon as the funds of £30k were available I committed immediately to raising the money and through several events and by the assistance of others we raised well over the original amount. I have since been sent screen shots of comments online suggesting the money wasn't used up in the project due to materials and services being donated by fans and questions raised about how much I had trousered in the process. These claims are some of the sickest I've ever faced and the fact that all monies were deposited to a separate line on the clubs accounts specifically for the project and many donators will testify that when submitting donations they placed them directly with the club and received receipts for their money. 

 

 I WENT TO BARCELONA TO WATCH CELTIC

 

 This is one of the oldest and most outrageous claims I've dealt with and to think it would be possible for a Rangers fan with my profile at that time to be able to travel to Europe to watch Celtic without a single photo or me receiving a sore face make the ridiculousness of the claim more outrageous. For avoidance of doubt the last time I attended a professional game not involving Rangers was the champions league final in Manchester when I won the trip to watch Ac Milan play Juventus in 2003 as part of a Ford Motor Company sales competition. 

 

 USING ALTER EGOS TO POST ONLINE

 

 I can confirm that I have never used false profiles for any social media sites and as recent as yesterday I was with someone in this room while one of my supposed profiles was posting on Twitter. This persons earlier tweets were also done during a time when this witness knows I was in a meeting and proves it is impossible to be of my making. 

 

 These are just a sample of the things that appear online and no doubt because I've not discussed some others then that in its self will be enough for some to claim the others must be true such is the madness of social media. 

 

 This is an ongoing issue and I sympathise with the departing directors as I witnessed them being drawn in to endless discussions online by folk they would never win an argument with and seen some real derogatory language used against them. I know from personal experience how difficult this can be to cope with and it's something no volunteer should need to put up with as their integrity was questioned while doing their best as a volunteer. This behaviour also lost club 1872 two great election candidates as I witnessed one top legal mind and a female Ulsterwoman Managing Director change their mind on standing for election last year once they seen the level of abuse flung about online. Out of the 15 candidates who stood many have since cancelled their subscriptions and made themselves unavailable for election and I know from personal discussions that others have no intention of putting themselves through the scrutiny again. This worries me as I guess many who have witnessed the recent online behaviour towards existing and ex directors will be put off enough to refrain from putting themselves forward in the future. Club 1872 is the loser by this type of behaviour and it makes you wonder if effecting club 1872 in such away is the real reason for some of the behaviour. 

 

 The ridiculous of the online community needs no further explanation than the immediate response to our boards statement of resignations and some took to social media declaring there must be misappropriation of funds or some deep rooted conspiracy theories. 

 

 In summary to recent events, I worked in the motor trade for over 20 years and folk who would employ me easily in the past now find it difficult to place me in garages due to me being such a high profile supporter of Rangers. My efforts over the last four years appear to have made me almost unemployable in an industry that I could readily gain employment during the previous years and the only offer I have been able to secure required over two hour commute which is unpractical for me. In applying for a job at Rangers the vitriol shown online by some may have effected my chances of employment there. 

 

 If my only crime was to apply for a job at a club I love to secure a sorely missed income and I attended a meeting that benefited the fans travelling to Celtic park then I am guilty as charged. I however don't believe I done anything wrong and I rest my case. 

 The aftermath of their blog seen the re-emergence of some myths about me and raising of some new ones. My phone has received many screenshots and links etc over the last few weeks. For the avoidance of doubt and clarity I will deal with some of the more poplar conspiracies.

 

I rest my case.

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"The claim that by attending a meeting that may or may not have club officials in attendance who may or may not be involved in the recruitment process would somehow influence their decision making process was not only a slight on my character but even more so on them. The fact that there was over 90 applications submitted at this time and I hadn't been informed if I even had an interview made the point even less valid. "....

So if the points not valid and everything above board, how did you know how many people applied for the role :hmmm:...

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3 minutes ago, Sportingintegritymyarse said:

Me me me me me me me me me.

Surprised the meeting hadn't ran out of time by the time he'd read his ghost written statement.

If he's defending himself, he's not going to talk about... 'him him him him him him him', is he ?

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Long and heavy read but he's trying to put over his side of the story, partly in answer to social media criticsms.

Those who have been critical and looking for answers should welcome it, rather than moan about the length.

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4 minutes ago, buster. said:

If he's defending himself, he's not going to talk about... 'him him him him him him him', is he ?

-----------------

Long and heavy read but he's trying to put over his side of the story, partly in answer to social media criticsms.

Those who have been critical and looking for answers should welcome it, rather than moan about the length.

Was it the CH meeting everyone was attending?

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59 minutes ago, plumbGER said:

POSTED ON BEHALF OF CRAIG HOUSTONThe purpose of this statement is to inform the Club 1872 members who could not make last Thursdays meeting, where, Craig read this out to those present. 

He could have avoided having to issue that if the C1872 board had aired the meeting for all members.

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Just now, buster. said:

Not far off, it was CH and the subsequent resignations that were the issue.

Don't really follow your logic !

SLO role

Blue pound, Sensory room, Barcelona, Alter egos.

1 issue, the SLO role, was relevant to the c1872 meeting - the issues and possible resolution - the other 4 were CH taking the liberty of using valuable meeting time to defend himself and explain his victimisation.

Is this appropriate or the best forum?

No, but it's all about self preservation and taking advantage of situations, as he appears to have done.

Me me me me me me me.

"I rest my case" in the words of a "high profile supporter of Rangers"

 

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1 minute ago, plumbGER said:

Craig is the voice of Rangers fans, he saved the club after all:whistle:

He got off his arse and tried to do something but only gets abuse from some.

He's far from perfect but the scale and type of abuse he gets shows some of our support in a bad light.

Where appropriate, constructive criticsm would be more reasonable and he's left himself open to some in this case.

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