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.

Club 1872 Election

My first ever column for the inaugural issue of WATP magazine was an article criticising Alistair Johnston and his calls for Rangers supporters to “police” and remain vigilant with regard to new owner Craig Whyte. There is nothing wrong with fans exercising vigilance, in fact I wholeheartedly support such a notion, the problem was that Johnston had been part of a board who had failed to give the support any measure, means or method of exercising any type of effective vigilance. In short he was asking us to perform a role he and others had failed to equip us for.

The events and the aftermath of February 2012 will live with all of us forever. Even now several years on, it is hard to express in words the feelings and emotion of that time. The nights, where sleep was impossible just seemed to go on and on, accompanied by all night vigils glued to both television and internet searching for a glimmer of hope amidst a sea of all consuming darkness. One feeling towers above all – the feeling of being utterly powerless. We owe it to our club, ourselves, our children & our children’s children to never be in a position where we as a support feel powerless again.

I have been blogging and writing about Rangers online and in printed media for nigh on 23 years now but have never felt the necessity to stand for any of the various groups or fans organisations, predominantly as I felt it would be impossible to be objective writing about an organisation of which I was a member. I hope the fact that I intend to deviate from the norm to stand for the Board Club 1872 affords you a measure how important and vital I view this organisation for the future – irrespective of whether I am successful or not. We have a blank canvas to shape, mould and ensure this body becomes the supporter’s organisation which our support deserves.

Club 1872 needs to fulfil its initial aims and visions of being the independent body which speaks on behalf of the whole Rangers support, which has at its disposal the means of exercising effective vigilance not just in respect of this board but successive boards in the future. This is the legacy we must leave for our children – that the protocols and processes in place are not just tokenisms but allow us as fans to have complete and absolute confidence our club is being run correctly.

It will come as no surprise to any of you who read this blog regularly the importance to which I attach a robust defence of this club and support. Dignified silence was not only utter folly, it was a complete abdication of a responsibility clearly laid out years ago by John Allan.

“May all who look upon the old club with a friendly eye stand prepared, by precept and example, to protect it’s interests and it’s good name”

It is time for us to stand prepared and let our voice be heard.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the best to my fellow candidates.

 

Rangers Forever

 

Iain Leiper (D’Artagnan)