Kill Devil Hills & Club 1872

Kill Devil Hills North Carolina, may seem a strange place to start a discussion on Club 1872. But it was here on the 17th December, 1903, that Wilbur and Orville Wright pioneered mankind’s first powered flight. The maiden flight that day lasted all of just 12 seconds and covered a distance of only 120 feet. The second and third attempts managed 175 and 200 feet respectively before the fourth and final attempt of the day managed the grand old distance of 853 feet during a voyage that lasted 59 seconds. That final attempt saw the plane crash into the ground causing damage to the frame thus preventing any further sojourns that day.

This fairly inauspicious and less than spectacular start did little to deter either the brother’s, or mankind’s enthusiasm for powered flight. And less than a century later not only was it possible to traverse continents by air, but also explore beyond the earth itself.

It would be inaccurate to describe Club 1872’s maiden flight as either “fairly inauspicious” or “less than spectacular”, in short it has been an unmitigated disaster, a shambles. The birthing pains of an organisation born prematurely and not fully prepared for the environment into which it was born to operate. For those of us who are disciples of fan ownership it has been a considerable setback, but it is more important than ever that we metaphorically “keep the faith”.

The recent excellent synopsis by Andy McKellar & Big Blue Bear on Gersnet

http://www.gersnet.co.uk/index.php/news-category/current-affairs/770-the-club1872-crossroads

provides a clear signpost of where we want our organisation to go.

Club 1872 is a workable, sustainable but nonetheless challenging model for fan engagement. Whilst the workload is huge, it is manageable. It would be even more manageable if there was effective PR at our club, with volunteer and unqualified Club 1872 board members not being left to defend both club and support. There is nothing dignified whatsoever in a silence which sees both our club and support besmirched by newspapers and journalists with a clear agenda.

With only one remaining director it is clear the organisation requires fresh elections and the nomination of a new board of directors. My understanding is that the new poll suggesting the re-engagement of both Laura Fawkes and Joanne Percival is a means of both facilitating and expediting such elections, along with the introduction of a much needed constitution. Having worked with both of these ladies in the past, I have no doubt as to their ability and commitment to undertake the necessary unglamorous work in order to bring such elections and constitution to fruition.

I believe now, as I have for many years, that we as a support are better placed to both safeguard and influence the direction of our club if we have a fans organisation which can exercise not only  passion, but also authority, courtesy of a significant shareholding.

Cancelling your direct debit only weakens that authority.

Let us get our fans organisation airborne once again.

Club 1872 – Statement of Resignation

As you will be aware following the announcement from Club 1872, all 3 of us have resigned as directors. We considered it an honour and a privilege to be voted to serve on the board of Club 1872 by our fellow Rangers fans, and those of you who know each one of us personally will understand how painful it was for us to leave an organisation we firmly believed in and worked tirelessly to establish since our election.

We feel it is incumbent upon us to outline to members the reasons why we felt our positions had become untenable. As anyone who has served on a board or committee will know there will always be differences of opinion and varied interpretations on matters and the Club 1872 board was no different in that respect.

However, throughout our tenure we found the conduct of one director particularly challenging, causing all of us to make considerable personal compromises at times. However last week a situation arose, which we felt compromised the organisation rather than ourselves, and that was one compromise we were not prepared to make under any circumstances.

As many of you will be aware Rangers have recently advertised two job vacancies in respect of a Social Media Officer and a Supporters Liaison Officer. At Club 1872 we were informed recently that the latter of these two roles would be our main point of contact at the club in the future.

Word subsequently reached some of the Club 1872 board members that one of our directors had applied for the position of Supporters Liaison Officer. However, as no notification had been received from the director in question this matter remained as nothing more than a rumour.

Matters came to a head when the director in question intimated he, in addition to two Club 1872 directors who had already confirmed their attendance, would attend a meeting at Ibrox facilitated by Rangers Security personnel. This meeting was in respect of the forthcoming Old Firm fixture at which both Police Scotland and Club 1872 were invited participants.

As persons present at this meeting from Rangers were to be involved in the interview and recruitment process for the vacant Supporters Liaison role concerns were raised within the Club 1872 board. As nothing had yet been received in writing to the Club 1872 board this necessitated a phone call by one director to the director in question at which time it was established he had in fact applied for the role of Supporters Liaison Officer.

On such confirmation, the director in question was advised that it would not be appropriate for him to attend this meeting. In essence, we had a Club 1872 director who had applied for a job at Rangers, attending a meeting where persons from the club who were not only involved in the interview and recruitment process, but would also have direct line management responsibility for the post in question, were present.

Despite such advice and the concerns of fellow board members, the director in question attended the meeting.

We tendered our resignations shortly thereafter.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere apologies to all members, and in particular, those who voted for us. However, all 3 of us believe that by resigning in such circumstances we were reflecting the standards, values and principles which saw us elected.

Laura Fawkes
Joanne Percival
Iain Leiper

FOI – Scottish Govt – Ibrox roof

foi-ibrox-roof

The abov FOI response from the Scottish Government was sent to me courtesy of an individual who wishes to remain anonymous – and any reference to his details have been edited out the original document.

The comments of the Scottish government make for very interesting reading given the assertions in the original blog which gave rise to the FOI request being made.

Saturday Night At The Movies

It would appear Santa was kind to big Robert Marshall of Louden Tavern fame, judging by events on Saturday. His new shiny Pyle Pro Bullhorn electronic megaphone has replaced the old and trusted microphone, alas as a consequence of Santa’s benevolence there is just “No place to hide” in terms of escaping Robert’s infamous one liners. There is an upside however – one can reasonably enquire of this landlord “How are your pyles this evening squire”? And I would encourage you all to do so.

After Saturday’s match against Celtic there will be a lot of bears wishing Santa, albeit belatedly, could be so kind to our manager in the January transfer window. At times, it was akin to a Night at the Movies with Tav determined to land a role in Jenny Agutter’s “Walkabout” and Waghorn apparently, a stick on should they decide to do a re-make of “White Men Can’t Jump”. I doubt I’m the only bear in the room who would wish these two exposed to a Jock Wallace type de-brief on their respective performances rather than some modern-day education about how to improve their “pitch geography”.

It was painful to watch at times with the term “hot knife and butter” perhaps summing up our catastrophic defending, not so much a nightmare on Elm Street but Edmiston Drive.  The fact we could have somehow squeezed out a point at the end of the day says more about Wes’ continued improvement as a keeper and their inability to finish than anything else. Perhaps however Saturday did end the mystery of Harry Forrester’s irregular appearances this season, whether it be down to selfishness or poor judgement of the final ball, but Oh Lord, how many of us will re-live that simple square pass for the rest of our days? While “Harry Met Sally” or “Deconstructing Harry” might seem like suitable contenders for this moment, personally I’d opt for Hitchcock’s 1955 classic “The Trouble with Harry”.

While our midfield may be competing for the leading role in “The Invisible Man” at least young Barrie had the swagger and look about him as one who may be a contender for “The man who would be king”. Its just a pity that so many others could not even provide a “best supporting role” let alone an accurate pass. When Souness was at the helm at Ibrox it was considered a crime to give the ball away unnecessarily, Saturday unfortunately provided us with a long list of potential movie villains in this regard.

Coming home on the bus on Saturday provided the setting for “12 Angry Men” (so long as you are generous with numbers and gender) with everyone from the board, to the manager to the players, none failed to escape the “The Wrath of Khan”. The eventual consensus was not particularly encouraging, nor were the solutions either quick or easy. Unless of course a benevolent, belated Santa were to come along with a Slumdog Millionaire.

Felonious Insensitive Farcical Arrogant

I suppose it should come as no surprise to any of us that an organisation so bereft of morality, so lacking in accountability and so clearly out of touch with reality should levy fines on the Football Associations of our Home Counties for having the temerity to pay respect to our war dead. After all, this is an organisation which is so delusional it has scrapped it’s anti-racism task force amid claims all the objectives have been met.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/sep/25/fifa-anti-racism-task-force-russia-2018-world-cup

Good luck with that.

Had FIFA been less inclined towards stamping a heavy jackboot over our Footballing Authorities, and more inclined to careful consideration as to what such ceremonies symbolise, perhaps they would have not drawn the ire of normally level headed people.

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And if that careful consideration had been duly exercised perhaps FIFA would have realised that the sacrifices which we in this country hold so dear are also absolutely consistent with many of FIFA’s own initiatives which are attempting to eradicate racism and other forms of prejudice from football. Or perhaps FIFA needs reminding that many of those fallen which we seek to honour and remember courtesy of our remembrance ceremonies, died fighting a tyrannical regime which persecuted and murdered people according to their religion, race and lifestyle.

So often the target for our criticism, our Footballing Authorities deserve immense credit on this occasion for refusing to acquiesce on such an important issue. They could go one step further and challenge the validity of the fines and the interpretation from FIFA that the poppy as a symbol has either a “political or religious” connotation. In fact, they may well have to otherwise we may well find ourselves in a “déjà vu” situation come next November.

 

 

Over to you Mr Regan

It is not about rival supporters having skewered moralistic bragging rights, further ammunition to taunt rivals on match days, new material for distasteful banners or lyrics for equally distasteful songs.

It is about one thing and one thing only – the protection of children.

It is about one thing and one thing only – the protection of children.

It is about one thing and one thing only – the protection of children.

As child abuse revelations continue to shake the foundations of our game to it’s very core it is beyond belief, beyond sheer incompetence in fact, that the Scottish FA have not mirrored the action of their English counterparts and ordered a comprehensive review of child protection procedures.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38121724

Alarmingly, within the Scottish media there is a clear indication that there remains to this day a reluctance to speak about the reasons why such a comprehensive review is essential.

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Furthermore, you have to ask yourself why the normally intrepid Mark Daly at BBC Scotland allowed the Peter Haynes story to slip through the net until the current storm regarding child abuse started blowing.

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It is not only procedures and information sharing protocols which need to be reviewed, altered and challenged, but more importantly priorities.

The lessons of the Jim Torbett and Frank Cairney episode at Celtic Boys Club have a considerable irony about them. In their botched attempts to protect the name of Celtic Football Club, the failings of those Celtic officials to deal with the matter properly and effectively has left an indelible stain on the name of Celtic Football Club forever. The psychological stain on the victims however is even worse.

As you work through the recent media revelations of child abuse within the Scottish game there is a common denominator – a catalogue of errors and missed opportunities. It goes well beyond arrogance and into the territory of neglect to suggest that Scottish Football does not require a comprehensive “warts and all” investigation into child protection and child abuse procedures.

Courage and foresight is required at the Scottish Football Association. It is abundantly clear from the Peter Hayne’s story that many of Mr Regan’s predecessors will not emerge from such an investigation with their reputations intact. But when we are presented with a set of circumstances where a victim of child abuse is offered a tour of SFA headquarters as some sort of remedial action then you really must declare “enough is enough”.

It is clear from the past that child protection measures within Scottish Football having fallen far short of what was required, and for a variety of reasons were not fit for purpose. We have an opportunity to right that wrong, to safeguard children in the future and to build a robust and sustainable model of child protection within our national game in the future.

Will we Mr Regan? Or will we once again fail Scotland’s children?

 

The NSPCC offers a free helpline for footballers who have been abused. It is available 24 hours a day on 0800 023 2642.

A Little Hero in Blue

josh

It was a parent’s worst nightmare. What should have been a joyous occasion for Amanda and Mark Adair became a living nightmare, as a scan revealed a problem with their unborn baby. Further tests provided no succour, nor did the medical prognosis with doctors cautioning they did not expect their unborn son to survive pregnancy.

In a decision involving the exercise of both considerable faith and courage Mark and Amanda made the conscious choice to see the pregnancy through to conclusion rather than the medical alternative of termination. That courage and faith was rewarded in June 2011 with the arrival of baby Josh against all the medical odds.

Josh’s earlier scans had revealed he suffered from a rare and incurable disease called Jeune Syndrome which means he has short arms and legs, but more significantly, an unusually narrow ribcage which causes severe breathing problems.

The first month of Josh’s life was spent in an incubator and its fair to say his whole life has consisted of a series of challenges which he, with the help of loving and adoring parents and skilled medical practitioners at Great Ormond Street, has overcome time and time again to defy all the odds. Despite his tender years, Josh has already survived one heart attack brought on by infection as well as a series of difficult operations designed to expand the chest cage. Such operations involve the breaking of his ribs and replacing them with metal or latterly, titanium plates.

Despite his medical condition, Josh is a very happy boy bringing joy and inspiration to all who have the good fortune to meet him. He and his dad are keen Rangers supporters and Josh can often be seen adorned in his favourites colours.

Josh’s condition has now reached the stage where further medical assistance is no longer available in the UK but it is in the US. The estimated cost of this surgery is a staggering 100K but unsurprisingly that has not deterred either Mark or Amanda to get the best treatment available for Josh They have created a Just Donate page for Josh and have already reached 1/5th of their target. Josh’s page can be found here and is both an inspiring and heart wrenching read.

https://www.gofundme.com/joshuaburnsadair

For those of you who have already given from the Rangers family, Mark and Amanda are eternally grateful. All I would ask of you is that you share Josh’s plight with someone who is unaware of it.

For those in our family who were unaware I would ask you to consider a donation via Josh’s Just giving page.

Sometimes our heroes in blue are not necessarily found on the park.