Showing posts with label Kyle Lafferty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kyle Lafferty. Show all posts

Friday, 18 August 2017

Pedro says former summer target is a 'great player'

In another surprising twist during the build up to tomorrow’s clash, Rangers’ manager Pedro Caixinha has exalted the virtues of Hearts and former Rangers star Kyle Lafferty, begging the conclusion as to why he did not snap him up when he was available.

The Northern Irish international signed on the dotted line for the Gorgie side following weeks of speculation over his return to Ibrox, and Pedro has waxed lyrical over his qualities.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ex-Rangers star to return to Ibrox

This weekend sees more than a few subplots at Ibrox; Jamie Walker set to start against the side he wishes to join, manager-less Hearts trying to kick-start their season; but the one we will focus on today is the return home of one of Govan’s most controversial sons: Kyle Lafferty.

The guy sure gets Bears talking – a clear Bear himself, he had a reasonable time of it down south, following odd spells in both Switzerland with Sion and Italy’s Serie B with Palermo, which led to a prolonged period at Norwich.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker and Kyle Lafferty

It is hard to refer to these three without casting one’s mind immediately back five years and to the hell of Summer 2012. It was a period of time we will never forget, nor should we, but this article is going to forego all discussion about it and examine the present day and the football side of things.

As we know, Pedro Caixinha is busy underway rebuilding his Rangers team in time for pre-season training. Naturally he is unlikely to have all business completed within two weeks but he will hope to have made major inroads by then, with further deals thereafter, and three of the most frequently-linked names are three of the so-called ‘deserters’ – Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker and Kyle Lafferty.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

60-times capped international confirms desire to join Rangers

Ex-Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty has confirmed his desire to come back to Rangers, with the 29-year old forward recently freed by Norwich. The circumstances of his departure were disappointing, albeit not as controversial as the likes of Naismith and Whittaker, and the Northern Irish international is keen to amend the wrongs of the past. He said:

Fear and confusion in Glasvegas

These are extremely uncertain times at Ibrox. While fans do not, thankfully, have the direct fear of extinction of our great Club looming over our heads, nevertheless the depths to which the team plunged last weekend, itself following a dismal reverse as it stood, have left the Rangers support, by and large, thoroughly beleaguered.

While there is a portion of the fanbase who are not only content with where Rangers are but are in fact delighted (yes, they are really out there), the majority finds itself in a painful dichotomy of that limbo between where Rangers should be, and where we sadly sit.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A who's who of Wednesday's Rangers Rumour Mill

As is now becoming more necessary, here is the latest transfer update with all names linked to Ibrox. This list will include those more tenuously sourced. In short, all names, in one neat place.

Kyle Lafferty:

28-year old Northern Ireland striker is said to want to return to Scotland for family reasons and is entirely out of favour at relegated Norwich. Rangers fans mostly do not want him back at their club.

Joey Barton:

33-year old midfielder said to be mulling over the decision to come to Rangers, after numerous individuals claimed his signature would be announced already. Mark Warburton this morning admitted he had done as much as he could to persuade the former Marseille man, and we can only wait. Problem with this is it contradicts the Magic Hat’s own philosophy of only wanting players who want to come. His decision may also depend on European football, and that would be determined on Saturday with a Scottish Cup win.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Kyle Lafferty

Before last week few would have believed the Joey Barton or indeed Niko Kranjcar stories, but they are real and Rangers are serious. Ergo, short of linking Messi with a move to Govan, it does seem that the previously less believable transfer rumours are now holding a little more water than they once did.

And as such, the latest name to crop up as hitching a ride up from England is Rangers’ ex striker himself, Kyle Lafferty.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Kyle Lafferty - why the deserters should be ignored

In 2012, as is all-too-notoriously remembered, effectively Rangers’ entire first-team squad thereabouts abandoned the Club in its hour of need. That infamous press conference with Steven Naismith & Steven Whittaker, the refusals to TUPE and get Rangers some desperately-needed money; these all added up to an unforgettably sour experience and left those deserters as some of the villains of the piece.

Rest assured, Rangers fans did not completely object to their best players leaving under the circumstances of a drop to the Third Division, it was the refusal of a number of them, nay, most of them to transfer their deals over so Rangers could at least get a transfer fee.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Why Fraser Fyvie owes Rangers' Andy Halliday an apology

Without beating about the bush, Andy Halliday was completely cheated yesterday at Ibrox by an opponent endeavouring to get a fellow pro sent off.

Hibs midfielder Fraser Fyvie, recently praising of Rangers to then-fellow team mate Rob Kiernan at Wigan prior to the defender’s move north, engaged in a flagrant disregard for dignity and honesty and feigned the receipt of a headbutt from Rangers’ defensive anchor.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty; we don't need to hear them

With Scotland facing Northern Ireland tomorrow night at Hampden, it sees a return to Glasgow of two controversial ex-Rangers players, Steven Davis and Kyle Lafferty.

Both rejected the chance to stay at Ibrox, both rejected the opportunity to TUPE their contracts over to Charles Green’s newco consortium, and both, being on the opposing team tomorrow night, have gone to the press with their views.

But are these views worth listening to?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Let's Sue Rangers!

If one thing stank more than anything else when Rangers were plunged into administration, it was the very real threat of the losses of playing staff. It was inevitable that players would leave, and of course, for the fans, the ultimate barometer of loyalty to the club was those who were willing to remain.

The initial departures were not overly concerning, with Rhys McCabe, Mervan Celik and Gregg Wylde saying their goodbyes for various reasons. However, when Charles Green's consortium agreed a £5.5M deal with Duff & Phelps, a mass exodus was initiated by, in particular, Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker, who refused to transfer their contracts from the old Rangers company to the new one. Indeed, Naismith went so far as to declare the club 'dead' which certainly did not endear him to his (now) former supporters. As for the attention-seeking, sympathy-demanding selfishness with complete lack of apology for either manager Ally McCoist or the club's fans, well let us just allow that to speak for itself along with the club's expensive loyalty to him during his two lengthy periods out injured. Not to mention the total lack of consultation with McCoist:

            "It has been reported that a couple of players have indicated they want to challenge the transfer of their contracts. This is news to me. No player has spoken to me about it."

He was by no means alone - a huge raft of exits hit the club hard, with the likes of Allan McGregor, Kyle Lafferty, Steven Davis and Sone Aluko all either refusing to transfer their contracts, or letting their present one expire.

It all left a very bitter aftertaste. Supporters knew a number of players would leave, but the manner of the exodus was really rather unpleasant - while Davis and McGregor were at least 2 of those who did consult McCoist before departing, the sheer volume of players who joined them was disturbing. Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, John Fleck, Juan-Manuel Ortiz and Jamie Ness were just another 5 who decided either to wait around for other clubs' offers or just quit immediately. To their honourable credit, Dorin Goian and Carlos Bocanegra only departed on loan which could see a return. Unlikely but possible.

However, the above all illustrates just how hard it hit the club when these valuable assets opted for pastures new. Not only had Rangers lost a great number of high-quality playing staff, but in the cases of Naismith and Whittaker, for example, the club received no compensation. The former, being worth around £8M, the latter, anything up to £2M. CEO Charles Green is fighting these and other cases via a tribunal, but for now nothing has been received. So, not only had these players departed by breaking their contracts, but Rangers' received nothing for them.

So it was with bewilderment that news broke recently that '67' players had launched legal action against the club. Initial reports suggested the entire current playing staff plus players previously contracted to the old company had signed up to this PFA legal suit, headed by former Rangers player Fraser Wishart, which intended to sue the club at an industrial tribunal. The nature of the action was initially unclear, but it did emerge that at least 3 players, Sone Aluko, Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ness were filing for 'constructive dismissal'. So, not only had these players deserted their manager and fans, without compensation, but now it emerged they intended to sue for 'damages'.

Nigerian international Aluko moved quickly to tweet his non-participation, citing he would investigate what was taking place - 2 days later he 'confirmed' he was not part of the action, had not initiated it, and is not:

            “...interested in slightest in any claims/tribunals and any other scenario of that nature against anyone."

As more reports emerged, Green moved equally swiftly to clarify the situation. Yes, there was action being taken, but it was not by 67 players. Green quoted 'about 6' players were part of this plus a separate filing by the 3 aforementioned players (one of whom has explicitly denied involvement). Furthermore, on investigation, the PFA have the power to instigate class action like this without asking their clients. Anyone listed within this must invoke their power of veto to remove themselves from participation.

This does all raise 2 worrying questions:

1: Exactly who are the players who are absolutely confirmed as taking legal action against the club?

2: Why are the PFA initiating this action of their own volition?

It appears that no player was the catalyst for this, and indeed the suit has emerged out of nowhere - so whose idea was it and does the PFA even have the jurisdiction?

Even more curiously, we are informed by Green that 3 players have raised the 'constructive dismissal' suit, but what on earth is the agenda for the other 6?

It is all very well saying that these individuals are taking Rangers to an industrial tribunal, but who decided that? And is it the PFA themselves who are going to the tribunal or are they just the body who represent the players' lawyers?

Green states:

            “Separately PFA Scotland has raised an employment tribunal claim against the Club supposedly on behalf of 67 unnamed players, alleging a failure to consult on the part of oldco prior to the players’ contracts being transferred on June 14."

The action being taken, according to the CEO, is that the old company 'failed to consult'. Presumably this means the claim is that the old company did not ask the players if they wished to transfer their contracts to the new one.

This turn of events goes beyond the pale. And the bizarre. Put simply there are a number of players who remain part of this legal case, players who 'got their way' and managed to leave the club - without any compensation for Rangers; yet who appear to be willingly taking part in class action against it. Talk about salt to the wound.

Green has dismissed the entire episode as a 'tactic', an action by PFA to stop Rangers' claiming compensation for the departed players. But this is curious as well given it is the Scottish PFA and none of these players moved to Scottish clubs - why would the PFA have involvement over compensation claims against English (and European) clubs?

This action has raised way more questions than answers, and appears extremely bitty and seedy, not to mention political and unnecessary.

It is yet another unwanted piece of nonsense in a sea of absurdity which has blighted Rangers since Craig Whyte took charge.

However, on the bright side, at least we win away from home now!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Division 1 V Division 3 - Romance V Reality

Now that that Rangers have lost the ultimately-redundant vote regarding the newco's participation in the SPL, an increasing line of debate has been argument regarding which division supporters would rather the club ended up in. For now it is best to overlook the idea of overhauling the Scottish game given it is all theory and none of it has been executed or will be any time soon, and focus specifically on the two choices at the disposal of whoever has the power to make the final decision.

There are two leagues which Rangers may ultimately drop to, and they are SFL Division 1, or SFL Division 3. Argument has raged for the past week or so as to which division is the better option after the initially emotional reactions when it became clear Rangers would lose the vote.

With that in mind, let us have a look at both options and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of residing in either.

Division 1 Advantages:

Income level reductions are minimised. With the Division 1 proposal having been proposed by Sky as a compromise to negotiate the inevitable expulsion of Rangers from the SPL, the broadcasting giants would continue to fund the SPL which would lead to parachute payments down to the SFL First Division.

            “If Rangers are not in the SPL, that would change things for us, naturally. It would leave a quality hole in Scotland’s top division. Competition would deteriorate and, in that event, we would have to renegotiate."

These payments, of an estimated £1M, would presumably be funded by Sky albeit distributed by the SPL. The concept in theory would see Rangers promoted after a year meaning everything would return to 'normal' by summer 2013.

            "No Rangers equals no Sky, unless Gers are back very soon. It's just not going to be commercially worth it if it's going to be any longer than 12 months with no Old Firm league games."

Furthermore the general commercial hit from going down a division is minimised out-with the Sky deal, with gate receipts taking a hit but potentially not a catastrophic one.

Once again, major players.
Squad losses reduced. Speculation about the number of players Rangers will lose has gone into overdrive. Confirmed departures already having taken place are Kyle Lafferty, Steven Naismith, Jamie Ness, Steven Whittaker, Steven Davis, Sone Aluko, John Fleck, Juan-Manuel Ortiz, and Allan McGregor. However, a number of players have remained, such as Chris Hegarty, signing a new deal, plus Lee Wallace and Lee McCulloch. At least 13 returned for pre-season training on the 28th of last month, but the crucial issue is, in particular, represented by Dorin Goian. The big Romanian stopper has implied his enjoyment of life in Scotland and a drop to Division 1 would not persuade him to depart. Carlos Bocanegra, to his similar credit, has put out a statement awaiting the outcome of the vote, albeit this is a redundant course of action. The point being though is that while the American is on record as being disappointed at no European football, he has not joined the mass exodus as of yet and may still remain. Maurice Edu is another whose future is uncertain, but has not made any apparent moves to leave.

He may stay, you know.
Only a year to wait for Old Firm matches. On the assumption Rangers do get promoted within a year, the Old Firm derby will return to Ibrox reasonably swiftly. Some supporters may be of the opinion that they do not care about these particular matches, but the truth is this match is something all Old Firm fans live for. The Old Firm match is a special, historic and unique game, and football in general would be much poorer without it. Old Firm day is something all Rangers fans look forward to, and debate furiously - plus the nerves on match day would not exist if it was not a match of some relevance or importance. Its return would also see Sky continue to fund the top flight, and most importantly Rangers.

Division 1 Disadvantages.

SPL clubs still get funded by Sky. Clubs like Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts, Dundee United, Aberdeen etc - clubs which voted against the newco Rangers and appear to wish great ill upon the club will financially benefit from Rangers going to Division 1. The vast majority if not all Rangers supporters feel this is a kick in the teeth, given these clubs clearly wish Rangers extinct yet the vote to hurt the club will see Sky money continue as before, albeit perhaps the deal's value may be reduced for a year. Nevertheless, having voted to reject the newco's entrance to the SPL, Aberdeen and the like still survive on Sky's money - based on the compromise deal the company proposed to Scottish football.

Lack of integrity. 'Sporting integrity' has been the buzzphrase in Scottish football ever since Celtic's Peter Lawwell infamously uttered it as a 'reason' why Rangers should not get a league extension in 2008 when trying to compete on 3 fronts, including Europe. It was of course spin of the most transparent nature, and has been used as a cliché ever since. It has once again reared its head over this vote, with many journalists and Rangers fans of the opinion that its use in Scottish football has been selective in recent times, and Rangers' demotion to Division 1 would possess anything but 'sporting integrity', with such action being a pure sell-out and based on money, not honour or the 'right thing'.

Really should have kept his mouth shut.
No guarantee of promotion. Despite the assumption being made that this compromise will only be required for a year, and everything will return to status quo within 12 months, there is no actual guarantee it will occur. With the team Rangers have left, the majority of players are youth such as Ross Perry, Kal Naismith and the aforementioned Chris Hegarty. There are seniors such as Broadfoot and Alexander, but the squad left, in truth, is not that terrific and may indeed struggle in Division 1. It is by no means certain this side will bounce straight back into the top flight. Admittedly some supporters might be quite happy if promotion was not achieved and the SPL did indeed sink into oblivion without Sky's money, but that is another argument.

Sanctions.  It is pretty clear that a massive worry supporters have is that a condition for inclusion to Division 1 is incontestable punishments. The potential for legally unchallengeable sanctions and just how far the powers-that-be could take them is staggering. Given manager Ally McCoist already pointed out the embargo, the fines, the demotion - are more sanctions really necessary? And yet, there are potentially more waiting for the club in Division 1.

Having focused on Division 1, let us now turn our attention to Division 3. What are the good and bad points about life down there?

Division 3 Advantages:

The retention of Sporting Integrity. That phrase rears its head again, good old Sporting Integrity. Many supporters are of the feeling that Division 3 is the 'right' thing to do, that if hypocrisy is to be avoided, then Division 3 is the proper destination. With the violation of morality that is perceived with entrance to Division 1, a great number of supporters wish Rangers to 'start again' in the lowest flight of Scottish football and fight its way back up with dignity to the SPL again.

The romance of Division 3. From the very start, there has been a concept of romance about going down to the bottom. Somehow it feels, in a way, of 'cleansing' the club, ripping it all up and starting again - and supporters turning up in their thousands as loyal bears to cheer on the club against Elgin, Clyde and Berwick Rangers at Ibrox as the mistakes of the past slowly become distant memories and the club is reborn and earns its way back to the big time again. That concept is very appealing to a great number of fans. With Ally McCoist having said 'Rangers supporters don't do walking away' the fans seem to want to prove it.

Division 3 Disadvantages:

Vastly reduced income. With Sky no longer funding the club or the division it is in, the level of income Rangers would receive in Division 3 would be almost fatally reduced. Ibrox is a 50,000-capacity stadium whose running costs are considerably higher than the level of income Division 3 could provide. And Ibrox is only one of the many strands of day-to-day overheads running the club generates. The others are plentiful, and barely need to be mentioned; from world-wide merchandising to Internet operations, the money previously used to run these would simply be gone. Without the level of income the club normally expects from the SPL, financially Rangers would be at serious risk of complete extinction. Division 1 would take a hit too, as stated, but it would be a vastly increased cut going to Division 3. Lest we forget, Division 3 is a part time league. People with day-jobs compete in this league! If it is lost on anyone, Irn Bru are the sponsors of the SFL and a recent pledge to youth development was of £70,000. Over an entire 3 leagues. 30 clubs having to share such small amounts of cash which previously Rangers used to pay 3 top earners in a single week.  

Irn Bru pledging £70,000 among 30 clubs' youth schemes.
Loss of gates. Rangers fans do not do walking away, but reality bites and after the initial novelty of the romance of Division 3, how many supporters will still be turning up on a miserable November night to support Rangers against Elgin City at Ibrox? It would be simply incredible if the stadium managed to regularly beat 30,000 supporters, and that is optimism in itself. Fellow bears who disagree with what I am expressing here need only look to what occurred in the 80s, when Aberdeen and Celtic dominated in the league until Rangers prevailed again in '87. Yes, that is indeed correct, the attendances took a massive hit - biggest attendances were when Celtic visited, which were 42k, but for the likes of the rest:

17 September 1983 Aberdeen H                    0–2 27,500
19 November 1983 Dundee United H              0–0 27,800
17 December 1983 Dundee H                        2–1 16,500
7 January 1984 Aberdeen H                           1–1 37,500

Best home attendance of 1983-1984 other than Celtic was the 37,500k who showed up for an Aberdeen match. Worst was 7,500 for a Dundee United match.
These were bad times for Rangers, and the gates suffered tremendously, so I really consider why this modern occasion will be different. So, it presumably follows on that this will lead to a huge chunk of revenue gone.

I doubt attendances would go this low but who knows.
Mass redundancies. Maybe the worst of all, the sheer number of staff positions which will have to go to cut costs. In a part-time league, there simply is no way to pay the salaries of hundreds of the ordinary workers at Ibrox, be they stadium staff or employees by association. The number of people on a modest wage who will lose their jobs is unimaginable and horrific. By wishing the club to go to Division 3, supporters have to realise it will lead to the loss of the club's own crucial employees who do not have the savings to take the hit of going out of work - Kirk Broadfoot admitted he was using his savings to fund his lifestyle when he took the wage cut, but sadly less affluent club employees do not have that luxury. Hospitality jobs, groundsmen, canteen ladies and gents, Internet staff; all will be at massive risk of losing the ability to earn cash, and during this appalling economic crisis and with a massive lack of decent jobs on the ever-shrinking and deteriorating job market, it frankly does not bear thinking about.

Some have suggested a club-run Rangers TV covers all our matches, subscription-based, to help compensate for the loss of Sky's money and general income. Or indeed selling the media broadcast rights to the highest bidder. These are both plausible solutions but only theoretical, and it is hugely unclear just how much of the financial hit of demotion to Division 3 they would sooth.

What is clear is both options, Division 1 or 3, have strengths and weaknesses. But the overriding feeling, from my research, and evidence, is that Division 3 could well kill the club, despite the emotional romantic notions such an outcome would cause. of course, I could be completely incorrect - history is there to teach us but it does not always dictate how the future will pan out. The club could well survive in Division 3; but sadly I cannot see how that is possible.

The future of Rangers balances delicately.