Showing posts with label Glasgow Rangers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glasgow Rangers. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rangers Value

Rangers’  plummeting share price has resulted in its value dropping by £16 million in 4 months. The club’s current market value now sits at £19.9 million.

Shares in the club closed at 31p yesterday, dipping as low as 30.4p before close of business. In September, the share price was 55p - 44.5 per cent higher than last night’s figure.

 Fans who bought shares in the club in December 2012 have seen more than 50 per cent of their holding wiped off, as fans were originally offered 70p per share. This is in contrast with Charles Green, who was able to purchase 5 million shares at a price of 1p in October 2012.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

We are all Spartacus - political football

Celtic come face to face with Spartak in the Champions League.  Moscow is the home of Spartak as well as Dynamo, CSKA, Torpedo-Luzhniki, Lokomotiv and Torpedo-ZIL but historically, the main Moscow grudge derby-match is between Spartak and Dynamo

Sport has always had a political dimension, especially football.

In the early days of Soviet football many government agencies such as the police, army and railroads created their own clubs. So many statesmen saw in the wins of their teams the superiority over the opponents patronizing other teams. Almost all the teams had such kind of patrons such as  CSKA – The Red Army team. Dynamo Moscow were a creation of the Interior Ministry, then essentially a euphemism for the secret police. The de facto founder of Dynamo was Felix Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the OGPU (forerunner to the KGB). Spartak were created as an independent football team, with no affiliations to one or other part of the state machine and considered to be the "people's team". The name Spartak that was derived from Spartacus, the gladiator-slave who led a rebellion against Rome.

In the Soviet Union millions attended matches and obsessed about their favorite club, and their rowdiness on game day stood out as a moment of relative freedom in a society that demanded rigid conformity and control. Fans of Spartak Moscow would have you believe that their club almost single-handedly defied the state machine.

Spartak emerged from the rough proletarian Presnia district of Moscow and spent much of its history in fierce rivalry with Dinamo. To cheer for Spartak, Edelman shows, was a small and safe way of saying "no" to the fears and absurdities of Stalinism.

Spartak was for seven decades by the four Starostin brothers, the most visible of whom were Nikolai and Andrei. Perhaps because of Spartak's too frequent success against state-sponsored teams, they were arrested in 1942 and spent twelve years in the gulag. Instead of facing hard labor and likely death, they were spared the harshness of their places of exile when they were asked by local camp commandants to coach the prisoners' football teams. Beria, the secret police chief, was possibly fuelled by a personal vendetta. As left-back for a Geor­gian side in the early 1920s, Beria had turn­ed out against Nikolai Starostin, who had completely played him off the park. Beria, Stalin's henchman, was not a man to forgive and forget. In 1942  branded “en­emies of the people”, with Nikolai and Andrei initially accused of plotting with the German Embassy to kill Stalin and set up a Fascist state but instead charg­ed with stealing a consignment of clothing,embezzlement and bribery. Returning from the camps after Stalin's death, they took back the reins of a club whose mystique as the "people's team" was only enhanced by its status as a victim of Stalinist tyranny.*

Like the Rangers Ibrox Disaster, Spartak has suffered tragedies. 30 years ago in a game against HFC Haarlem in a UEFA Cup one section of Spartak fans started streaming out to get to the Metro but a late goal in injury time caused some fans to turn back and the two streams collided with the tragic result of 66 dead according to official figures but probably many more.

Sadly the club like so many others these days is under the ownership of an oligarch, Leonid Fedun, estimated wealth of over $6 billion, and its fans have been associated with racist chanting.

* See here for more

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Capitalist Game

The biggest football story recently has been the financial collapse of  Rangers and now a similar impending fate for Hearts. This is not just a sporting story but involves many of the failings that have been played out in the wider economy. Corporate failure, greed, arrogance, criminality and cheating are included in the list of accusations.

Jock Stein said that “football without fans is nothing”. Capitalist ideology tells us that the consumer is king and that the decisions of millions of consumers decide what production takes place. If companies fail it is because they don’t sell goods or services that people want or at a price they are prepared to pay. There is just enough truth in this to give it the credibility to make it widely accepted. What it leaves out, among other things, is that production also has to make a profit and that indeed this is the main reason any production takes place at all. Given the ownership of the means of production in the hands of only one group of people, these people thereby being called capitalists, and the exclusion of others, who must be required to provide workers for these owners, it is the relations of this production that, more than anything else, determines the wealth and income of the respective classes. This in turn determines to a large degree the pattern of consumption, which is further conditioned by advertising and monopoly suppliers etc.

Commodification and all its contradictions have since spread over an increasing variety of human activities. Sport has for some time become a global industry, more and more determined by the demand for profit. Sport must have room for chance, accident, unexpected triumph and unexpected failure while sporting contest subject to the requirement for profitability more and more implies certainty and the elimination of the possibility of monetary loss.

Adapted from here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

As others see us

"Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame, penned a novella that many consider to be a foundation stone of modern fiction’s addiction to substances, transformation and death – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll liked to swallow chemicals turning himself into something unpredictable, Mr. Hyde. It’s a good metaphor for the calamity that is tearing Scottish soccer apart.

Think of Scottish soccer as a test tube in Dr. Jekyll’s lab marked with skull and cross bones, WARNING – DO NOT SHAKE! Sitting at the top of the mix is the colors of Irish green and British blue – green is the substance called Glasgow Celtic Football Club bonded to the blue known as Glasgow Rangers Football Club. Mix them up and they can explode but when they sit side by side at rest they produce something called the Old Firm, a successful alliance of opposites that has largely dominated Scottish soccer, economically and culturally, for over a hundred years. The elements that make up their wholes would require too long a label to delineate – suffice to summarize it as an emulsion of historical grievance, religious division, sectarianism, and nationalist politics that produces a soccer clash unrivaled anywhere in the world. The Old Firm is the defining intense soccer rivalry. Super hot, beyond sport.

But now things have changed. The tube has been ruptured. The blue half of the mix has evaporated. Rangers have been declared bankrupt due to many years of mismanagement. They consumed a hubristic formula of reckless expenditure in an effort to destroy their other half, Celtic. They failed. And were left weak to the point of death like Dr. Jekyll.

They have been discharged from the top Scottish league. The league rules and the animosity of rival clubs and their fan bases dictated their plunge. They now face the prospect of starting from scratch in the bottom division of Scottish football, three levels below the top tier. The economic implications are negative. Fears for other teams evaporating are real. Rangers worked the pump of investment in the Scottish game – their games with Celtic broadcast globally, a premium brand – the Old Firm was the bank that all the other clubs had an interest in. No Old Firm game and it could mean less or no money from TV contracts, and therefore less monies to share with the other clubs. The prospect of Scottish soccer boiling down is now a possibility.

The Scottish Football Association believes it may be the end for the Scottish game should Rangers not be allowed to return to the top flight within a year. Besides the economic armageddon for the clubs, the chiefs have warned of “social unrest” if Rangers are exiled to the deep. It’s an extraordinary claim that social strife could result as a consequence of a soccer club going bust. The commentary from Scottish soccer fans has ranged from celebratory dances on Rangers grave to dire warnings of revenge when/if Rangers return from the shadows.

Dr. Jekyll was unrecognizable after swallowing the poison – disfigured, mean and hostile – and finally death. Will Scottish soccer follow the script or synthesize a new beginning free from the mix of the Old Firm chemistry?"

 The price paid by Charles Green for Rangers included a £1.5 million fire sale for Ibrox Stadium, Murray Park and the club’s valuable car park. The knockdown value was approved by administrators Duff & Phelps despite them valuing the assets at three times that price just two weeks earlierat over (£4.5million) . And when David Murray sold the club to Craig Whyte two years ago, he had the same land, bricks and mortar assets valued at £110 million. The difference between the valuations compared with what they actually sold for has left fans scratching their heads.

The report also revealed that Green also factored in a fee of £2.75 million to buy the contracts and registrations of the club’s players, which would have been worth £25 million in an open market.

Rangers made trading losses of almost £4 million from the time it was placed in administration. Duff & Phelps have collected almost £3 million in fees from Rangers.

Stop supporting capitalism !

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rangers are staring into the abyss

One hundred and forty years of football history has been brought to an end. Rangers, who played their first games in 1872 and have been Scottish champions a record 54 times, will go into liquidation. This is a massive football club that has been ransacked by crooks and their underhanded dealings, clearly over years.

The European Court of Justice ruling in the case of Bosman is authority for the view that professional footballers are workers like anyone else.

PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart said that Rangers prospective owner Charles Green had a legal obligation to consult the union about his plans. Players will be free to walk away from the club if it goes into liquidation. Equally, they would also be free to accept offers to stay on at Ibrox under the new company which is set to take over Rangers but the choice would be theirs.

Green said that players would be in breach of contract if they opted not to move to his “newco”. Arguing that Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) legislation, known as Tupe, compelled the players to move from the old company to the new. But Mark Hamilton, a Tupe expert with law firm Maclay Murray & Spens, said the legislation made a specific exception in the event of insolvent liquidation. “The current Tupe Regulations, which became law in 2006, do say that, in general, employees’ contracts are automatically transferred when a company’s business is sold from administration. But the rules are different for liquidation. In that case, the key point is that employees do not transfer under the Regulations, though they are free to agree new contracts with the buyer of the business...Players and other employees can choose to move to the newco. But, if people do not want to go, they cannot be compelled...they are under no obligation to work for the liquidated company or any newco unless that is agreed.”

Fraser Wishart
said  “The purpose of Tupe is to protect employees’ terms and conditions of employment in exactly this type of situation...The players are being asked to decide upon their future with so many uncertainties involved. Unanswered questions such as which division the new club will actually play in, whether there be any sporting sanctions against the club, whether the club be eligible to play in the Scottish Cup and whether there will be a registration embargo. One or more of these factors may have an influence on a professional footballer’s career – particularly since it a career that is relatively short lived."

This is the face of 21st century football – clubs bought and sold speculatively and loaded with debt whilst communities get little benefit. Only TV companies, who stage matches at times to suit themselves are considered important. European football is where the strong thrive and become ever-more powerful and the weak get left behind.

 Back in season 2009/10, Christian Aid released the report Blowing the Whistle, which includes a league table of financial secrecy in UK and Irish football. Rangers came in at number 6. Ample warning of things to come. Channel 4 reporter, Alex Thompson, explained  how“Because – like the bankers – everyone was having too much fun living the dream? Partly yes, but partly a crucial check and balance to all the Ibrox hype had all but gone. For years too much football ‘journalism’ in Glasgow had been too lazy, sycophantic and incapable of asking awkward questions...Something about asking questions about RFC clearly angers some in the Glasgow media in a way I’ve never seen in 25 years of global reporting...So it went on – year after year. On one side the directors at Scotland’s football ‘governing’ bodies didn’t ask much. On the other, large sections of Glasgow football journalism declined to delve...Legions of fans sold out again,”
Football clubs are social entities and should not be corporate assets. The story of these clubs is the story of communities and the stories of the generations of families who have supported them through thick and thin. Club owners and their sponsors make millions from fans. There should be righteous anger from supporters - at capitalism.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cashing in on Rangers

Socialists are always fascinated by the ins and outs of high finance  and how the capitalist class and their lackeys take advantage of the system. The Scotsman columnist has an interesting take on insolvent Rangers.

 “Charles Green has 20 investors?”
“Er, no, it’s five or six.”
“But he said he had 20.”
“He seems to have lost 14 or 15 of them since he said it.”
“They’re gone already before we even knew who they were?”
“That’s if they were ever there in the first place.”
“At least his backers are offering HMRC some money…”
“Which the club has to pay them back, with interest.”
“And they’re throwing Ticketus a few quid…”
“And they want that back, too. Apparently 8 per cent on top, thanks very much.”
“Duff and Phelps said his was the best deal for creditors…”
“The best deal for Charles Green more like. And for Duff and Phelps, of course. They’re getting every penny of their multi-million pound fee, which is about 91p in the pound more than the people whose corner they were supposed to be fighting.”
“But what about the creditors?”
“The £55, 415, 632 the club owes to all manner of different people?”
“Yeah, shame about that. There’s about £5m left for those guys.”
“That’s feeble. When are they going to be paid?”
“So Duff and Phelps, the champions of the creditors, are getting almost as much as all the other creditors put together?”
“It’s business, baby. They might get more in any case.”
“Ah, right. If they sell a player some of the money goes to the creditors…”
“No. It goes to the club.”
“The TV money, then. They’ll hand some over to the poor saps they’re shafting…”
“No, it goes to the club. Nothing personal. They could get an extra £25m from a law suit against Collyer Bristow.”
“Maybe. Possibly. In theory.”
“When might they get it?”
“Whenever o’clock.”
“Well, the creditors can tell Green they’re not having his CVA…”
“Yes, they can. And so it’s liquidation-time and a newco and the stadium and the training ground and the Albion car park and all the rest of it that has a book value of more than £112m immediately becomes available for £5.5m”
“Result! To who?”
“Charles Green.”

Friday, May 04, 2012

Neither Orange or Green but Red

Even up to the present time, demonstrated by new laws to curtail bigotry and letter bombs mailed to the Celtic manager Neil Lennon and other Catholics, Scotland has been plagued by religious sectarianism. For many Scots "1690" and "1916" have had more resonance than "1314" or "1707". Many blame it on segregated denominational schools, some blame football supporters, the football clubs blame extremists and the extremists blame the Catholic schools, a vicious circle. Catholics make up only 16% of the Scottish population, largely descended from poor Irish immigrants, and still largely working-class. Though overwhelmingly of Irish extraction, even by 1900 most Catholics were Scottish-born. Yet they were still known as "Irish" up until around the Second World War. Despite this Scottish Catholics do not any longer largely define themselves as Irish anymore, but Irish symbolism and allegiances can still be witnessed amongst Celtic or Hibs supporters which can be seen more now about working-class alienation in modern Scotland, an alienation perhaps equally shared with their "loyalist" counterparts on Ibrox or Tynecastle terraces. Communal strive between the Orange and the Green was just as prevalent in other regions of mainland Britain eg Liverpool, however, that feeling of religious differences has faded and has effectively disappeared yet remains strong in Scotland. What often still matters in a lot of places in parts of Lanarkshire and West Lothian is whether you are a "Billy" or a "Tim", "Hun" or "Fenian" .

The Scottish Reformation did not launch a major religious civil war in Scotland. The biggest religious disputes here were actually been between Protestants: the Episcopalians and Presbyterians (the Covenanters). The war fought between James and William had little to do with Irish independence or religion.These two foreigners were fighting over the throne of England and influence in Europe. Catholics and Protestants fought for both sides. It was only after the abortive United Irishmen revolution over 100 years after the Williamite wars, the British founded the Orange Order pretending that the Williamite war was fought exclusively by Protestants on one side, and Catholics on the other. British government used religious differences as a political tool over and over again. It nurtured the Orange Order and related organisations that led to Protestant hatred of Catholics. In Glasgow in the 1790s, there lived no more than 39 Catholics in the town, but there existed 43 anti-Catholic societies. And paradoxically, on the other side, the Catholic Church was always the enemy of popular freedom movements throughout the world. In point of fact, most revolutionaries in Ireland were excommunicated by the church for their activities. It was only after Irish independence that the church authorities found a sense of nationalism in the scramble for political power and influence. Thus both sides played into the British governments hands. It is easy to divide and conquer when there is already religious tension. The religious card was played over and over again by successive British governments. It led to an institutionalised religious intolerance. The breeding and recruiting ground for religious and political extremism may have been the over-crowded and poverty-stricken streets of the Scottish slums AND there is a tendency to associate the  sectarianism in Glasgow as a working-class phenomenon, sustained by the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic, but in the inter-war period anti-Irish prejudice became much more pronounced and cannot be identified solely with working-class Orangemen. Prominent politicians, churchmen, intellectuals, and even the aristocracy all contributed to the growing perception of the Catholic-Irish as a threat, not just to the established Protestant religion, but to the "Scottish race".

Thomas Johnston, a leading labour personality of the times, was particularly dismayed by the religious sectarianism that existed. No sympathiser with Orangemen, he nevertheless tried to convince them without too much success that their Protestant heritage could find expression through the Left. In 1919 the Orange Order attempted to establish the strikebreaking "Patriotic Workers League" In 1923 the '"Orange and Protestant Political Party" defeated the sitting Communist MP in Motherwell and Wishaw to win its one and only seat. In 1923, the Church of Scotland published its report "The Menace of the Irish Race to Our Scottish Nationality". This document advocated deporting Irish natives receiving poor relief and job discrimination in public works in favour of native Scots because Scotland was "over-gorged with Irishmen". The Church of Scotland and United Free Church attacked the General strike with stories about "Catholic manipulation".  In the Depression years specifically anti-Catholic parties - the Scottish Protestant League (SPL) in Glasgow and Protestant Action (PA) in Edinburgh - took up to a third of the votes in local council elections. Ratcliffe of the SPL had previously been a member of the "British Fascists", along with Billy Fullerton of the Bridgeton Billy Boys. Fullerton was also a thug who was awarded a medal for strike-breaking in the 1926 General Strike. Ratcliffe became an anti-Semite and follower of Hitler in 1939, but by then his support was waning. Edinburgh's John Cormack of Protestant Action lacked such fascist connections, and even led physical opposition to Oswald Mosley on his visit to Edinburgh in 1934. The Blackshirts sympathy for a united Ireland and Mussolini's associations with the Vatican were too much for them to take. But Cormack's own violent incursions into Catholic neighbourhoods and combination of electoral intervention with control of the streets suggest at least an outline of a Protestant variety of fascism. Cormack remained a councilor in Leith for twenty years. Orangeism had long been a crucial element to working-class Toryism.The Orange Order leadership's Conservative politics can be stressed but it can also be contended that the Order's appeal to the working class was to a large extent based on issues such as education and jobs  and  the perceived Irish Catholic immigration, issues which did not break down neatly into party political terms.

The Masons were perhaps just as influential than the Orangemen in Scotland. Freemasonry still has a disproportionately large Scottish membership, and is strongly identified with protestantism. Though they did not go in for public displays of racism (or anything else) their rituals, loyalty to the Sovereign and networking amongst groups with marked establishment associations all reinforced a socialisation process. It kept the Catholic Irish as outsiders, excluded from influence and mainstream public life. Skilled positions in industry were also difficult to obtain. Bairds in Coatbridge, a town with a large Catholic population, did not have a Catholic member of the skilled engineers' union until 1931.

Religious divisions in European politics are not unusual, but the Catholic church's support in Scotland for the traditional Left is. The Catholic church hierarchy had previously always reserved strong opposition for its socialist opponents, and raised money for Franco in Glasgow Churches in the 1930s. They remained arch-enemies of those on the Left, organising against them both at elections and within the unions. But they could not prevent their followers from recognising a basic class interest and voting Labour, once the Irish question was effectively removed from Scottish politics in the early part of the 20th century.

John Wheatley formed the Catholic Socialist Society in 1906 and suffered the hostility of local priests who on one occasion incited a mob of several hundred to burn an effigy of him in front of his house while singing the hymn "Faith of our Fathers". Glasgow of that era was solidly Liberal due to the Liberal Party's support for Home Rule and it was the shift of activists towards the labour movement that led to a re-positioning of politics and religion. Until 1914 the main outlet for political activists within the Catholic community had been the United Irish League. The UIL expertly marshalled the Catholic vote to the ends of Irish nationalism. Ex-SPGB member Bill Knox comments in his Industrial Nation that "Irish Catholics might disobey their priests and the UIL and vote labour; however, it was a rare occasion, and was never repeated in local elections." Many Irish Catholics in Scotland were afraid that labour politics, dominated as they were by men of Protestant backgrounds might lead to secular education." The STUC in 1913 had voted for such secularism in all state-aided schools. Knox refers to the anti-Irishness of the likes of ILP hero Keir Hardie who described the typical Irish immigrant coal-miner as having "a big shovel, a strong back and a weak brain" and to Bruce Glasier who declared upon the death of Protestant Truth Society's, John Kensit, "I esteem him as martyr... I feel a honest sympathy with his anti-Romanist crusade"

Yet history changes. The 1918 Education Act, which brought Catholic schools within the state system in Scotland and guaranteeing their religious character, although provoking opposition, expressed in the cry of "No Rome on the Rates" was a transformative moment for the Catholic Church and Labour Party relationship. Although the Labour party had no responsibility for the Act, its general willingness to support denominational schooling encouraged an identification of Labour and Catholic.

There is "a strong socialist republican tradition running through the Celtic support" professor and play-write Willy Maley argues. In 1992, double the proportion of Scottish Catholics to Protestants voted Labour. Catholic support for Labour has always antagonised establishment Scotland, who have exploited the links whenever it suited them. The "Monklandsgate" scandal of 1994 falls partly within this tradition, though it was also aided by new critiques of Old Labour. Complaints by four Labour councillors in Airdrie (all Catholics) became sensationalised as allegations of Protestant discrimination. This rested entirely on apparent bias against "Protestant" Airdrie in favour of "Catholic" Coatbridge, both towns had "minority" populations of over 40 per cent.

One of the 16%% Catholics living in Scotland in the 21st century is more likely to be the victim of a hate crime than if you are a member of any other ethnic or religious minority. Catholics were victims in 58 percent of the 693 criminal offences aggravated by religious prejudice in 2010/11, the highest recorded number in four years. Protestants were victims in 37 percent of cases, while crimes related to Judaism comprised 2.3 percent and Islam 2.1 percent. 51 percent of hate crimes in Scotland occurred within the Glasgow area, a third of the charges were directly related to football. 

Of course, there are other forces at play here other than due to the tactic of divide and rule ,such as  the fact that Glasgow Celtic Plc and Glasgow Rangers Plc and the media corporations knew that there is a lucrative market for sectarianism. Also Professor Tom Devine of Edinburgh suggests that Scotland, so long a stateless nation, sought to over-invest in religion as a form of identity. In this regard the Socialist Party desires that the Scottish Protestant and the Scottish Catholic cast aside their religious and nationalist affiliations and identify and bound with one another on an economic basis, as part of the World's working class. In 1932 the workers of the Falls Road and the Shankill united upon class lines to fight for their own interests and made common cause against the ruling class, the one thing the capitalist class most fear - working class unity.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In the red, Whyte and blue

A "large number" of players at struggling football club Rangers have agreed pay cuts of between 25% to 75% to save the jobs of non-playing staff, administrators have said. It is understood senior players like captain Steven Davis and Scotland internationals Allan McGregor, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker have accepted the largest wage cuts.

In a statement, joint administrator Paul Clark said: “The agreement on very substantial wage reductions and voluntary departures from the club represents a major sacrifice by the Rangers players."

Socialist Courier takes this opportunity to clarify why footballers earn so much.

Footballers at least start from the same position as the rest of us: not owning any wealth from which to obtain an unearned income, to obtain what they need to live they have to go out on to the labour market and offer their mental and physical energies for sale. Most professional footballers, working for clubs in the lower divisions or for non-league clubs, never earn anything more than the average worker.

But some, those who play for the top clubs, are paid fabulous amounts of money, by working class standards. What is their income? Is it wages? Not really. It’s more like rent. Rent is paid whenever there is a natural monopoly in something that cannot be increased, normally land, mineral deposits and other natural features that can be employed in production. The rent of land and natural resources is essentially fixed by the paying demand for it. The higher the demand, the higher the rent.

As Arsène Wenger pointed out, “you normally need special qualities to be a strong footballer”. It is these “special qualities – which are a sort of natural resource that cannot be increased – that enable the best footballers to command so high an income, but as rent rather than as the price for the mere sale of their labour power. Their income is so high because the demand for their talents is so high.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Rangers Blues

The woes of Rangers grows by the day. The insolvency firm Duff and Phelps have set a 48-hour deadline over the sale of the club after cost-cutting talks involving slashing players' salaries to prevent redundancies broke down and are already considering the possibility of liquidation if they cannot reach a deal. They also said Rangers may not be able to fulfil their remaining SPL fixtures without the promise of new income or drastic measures to reduce costs while also confirming Rangers had no chance of competing in Europe next season as they would not be able to submit fully audited accounts by a March 31 deadline. .

Asked if Rangers was in a state to be sold, an administrators source admitted: "There's an awful lot still to be resolved. It is all about who owns what. It doesn't matter whether you are selling a house, or a football club, or a company, you have to know what you're buying."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has described the prospect of Rangers going into liquidation as "a disaster...[and] the news that the club is running out of cash and may be unable to fulfil their fixtures is the final piece of news that will send Rangers fans into despair."

The popularity of football inside capitalism made it an activity much adored by workers often too unfit to play it themselves, but keen to follow the efforts of their local sporting heroes. With the development of capitalism football has just become another business opportunity. Its development more likely to be followed by financial journalists rather than football ones. Football used to be about watching the match, buying a greasy pie and a cup of bovril. But now stadiums are like shopping malls. It is a truism - if not a cliché - that football today is big business.

Every activity that capitalism touches it turns into commodities.

As Rangers football club ails, vultures circle. In a society where common and shared identity count for little when there is a quick buck to be made, it can be no surprise that football has become infested by the sort of parasites whose idea of of a pastime is making money, especially at other people's expense. The market economy creates the conditions in which they can prosper and seize control of assets that communities often mistakenly think are theirs already.

It is time to take the money out of football altogether. And that means abolishing money in all other areas of life.

We live in a world of inequality. That is a natural consequence of the workings of capitalism. Socialists want a world of equality where everybody would have an equal say in the way things are run including our local sporting associations and where there would still be football, but no bankers or stockbrokers dealing in a football club's future, that being determined solely by the players skills on the field.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Businesses as usual

Rangers has filed legal papers at the Court of Session to appoint administrators. Rangers awaits a tax tribunal decision over a disputed bill, plus penalties, totalling £49m which the club would be unable to pay.

Celtic has announced a big fall in pre-tax profits for the second half of 2011, profits of only £180,000 compared to a £7m profit at the end of the previous year. Cash from player sales also fell from £13.2m to £3.1m. Bank debt is £7m.

And in the east, Hearts still struggle off-field as much as they do on-field. Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday that all wage arrears with the debt-stricken Scottish club have been settled (Hearts players have suffered late wages since October), but admitted to an outstanding tax bill that threatens their future. British tax authorities lodged a petition with a Scottish court earlier this week saying Hearts had eight days to settle the bill, reported to be around £150,000 , or face liquidation. Romanov put Hearts up for sale in November along with Belarus' Partizan Minsk and Lithuanian side FK Kaunas, saying he wanted to leave the football business. Authorities in Belarus expelled Partizan Minsk from the Top League due to Romanov's refusal to keep bankrolling the team. Romanov's decision to withdraw cash backing to FBK Kaunas saw the Lithuanian FA demote the ten-times champions to the second tier.

Stop supporting capitalism!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The red white and blue of Larkhall

The Scotsman describes the religious bigotry of the Central Scotland town of Larkhall where the colour green and the connotations lead to vandalism and the only "safe" colours is the red and white and blue of Glasgow Rangers and the Union Jack .

"...historians believe anti-Catholicism to have been greater in mining towns such as Larkhall, where Irish Catholics were used by pit owners to break strikes. So the fuel was as much economic fear as it was cultural dilution of Protestant stock, the idea which found support in sections of the Church of Scotland in the 1920s and 1930s..."

By playing the "orange card" the bosses employed the divide and rule tactic to weaken the Scottish workers and the consequences linger on to this day .

Isn't it time to discover class loyalty rather than loyalty to the crown ?