12 Months On: Exploding the Myths

Twelve months ago today, the curtain went up on the oddest year in the history of Scottish football. Many people think of it as the day a crazy saga ended. In fact, as the rest of us know quite well, it was the day it began.

Twelve months ago today, the football club who’s former owner had called it “the country’s second biggest institution after the church” went into administration. It set off a chain reaction that destroyed Rangers.

It saw the successor club starting life in the Third Division. It saw an almighty scramble for power in the offices of our football hierarchy, and it culminated, yesterday, in revelations about the director of communications at the NewCo which assure the next twelve months might be just as interesting as what came before.

All sorts of phrases are in vogue now. Scottish football fans are “obsessed” with Rangers. That’s a good one, a recent one, but one that artlessly tries to hide the truth.

The truth is, a large number of fans are engaged with every aspect of life affecting their football clubs in a way we’ve never seen before. It means taking a keen interest in the health and wellbeing not only of their own team, but also in their rivals, as well as the issues which affect the wider game. These fans have made it their business to be as educated and aware of everything that’s going on in Scottish football as it’s possible to be. They want to be actually involved in debating, discussing and dissecting the big issues which face football fans in this country.

There are forums everywhere now  – the redoubtable Pie & Bovril ones for example – where the fans of other clubs come together and talk about the game, and the issues in it. There are websites dedicated to the game in Scotland in a way there haven’t been before. Not single club, or single issue sites, but those which want to dig deeper. It’s my hope this site will eventually become one of them.

Scotzine already blazes a trail in that regard, with Andy Muirhead and his team working seemingly impossible hours to cover as much of the game as possible, and taking a bucket load of grief along the way, simply for putting their views front and centre.

The Scottish Football Monitor has tried to be a “big picture” forum, and continues to try.

Say what you like about that particular site, accuse it (as this one has been accused) of focussing on a small microcosm of the Scottish game, in their case a continuing effort to uncover as much of what’s going at Ibrox as possible.

One thing cannot be denied. The guys over there are the only people continually doing sincere digging, not only into Green, but into the ways in which the rules were broken – and are still being broken – to give Rangers the kind of support, and help, that was denied to Gretna and numerous other clubs. They are uncovering stuff every day that makes you gape, as awareness grows that the media is, again, sleeping on the job. If I had to bet on someone finding a “smoking gun” regarding the goings on at Ibrox, I would stick my dough on the first evidence being published on TSFM. The hacks will, of course, follow suit many months later, and try to claim the exclusive.

The Rangers saga has been replayed endlessly on those forums, where the level of debate and discussion is a thousand times more sophisticated than that which you’ll find on the phone-in shows people continue to call despite the sheer ignorance of many of the “expert” panellists. Fans are no longer content to simply accept what they read or hear in the media, and really, how can they be based on what we know about Traynor now, and suspect about some others?

Many, especially those supporters who follow clubs facing their own tough financial times, study these sites intently and monitor the trends and moods of the game, like meteorologists study the prevailing winds. Many of them , for reasons obvious to anyone with half a brain cell, keep a close eye on what is happening at Ibrox. Are they also “obsessed” by Rangers, or, perhaps, do they look at what happened there with a view to doing what many Rangers fans seem unable to do; understand it, draw lessons from it, and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them?

Take Hearts. Their future interests me as much as that of any club in Scotland right now, as they are the only genuine threat to Celtic I can perceive arising for the foreseeable future. Some have accused their fans of sleepwalking into crisis, of ignoring the warning signs, yet you only have to look at their discussion forums to see how engaged they are with what’s happening inside the walls of Tynecastle. They are not sleepwalking into anything. Whilst the media has been slobbering over the loyalty of Rangers fans, paying ticket prices one third of normal and with the siege mentality driving them on, they’ve either forgotten, or chose to ignore, that Hearts would be dead, and buried, had their fans not stepped up to the plate.

Oh yes, indeed. Hearts would be dead if their fans weren’t doing their utmost to keep them alive. When the crunch came this time last year, and “Scotland’s Second Biggest Institution After the Church” was plunged into crisis, the Rangers fans failed to rally to the cause in a meaningful way. Their club did die. Hearts lives on.

The Hearts fans have learned the lessons of Romanov, and they’ve learned the lessons of the Whyte era too. Right now their supporters are roughly split between those want to see the Romanov’s depart and those are worried about the kind of unscrupulous charlatans the Lithuanians might decide to sell the club to. They look at Whyte, they look at Charles Green, and they wonder if things would get better … or worse.

Are they “obsessed” with Rangers, because they want to avoid the same fate?

The last twelve months have made history. Yet no sooner were the pages of that history being written, but it was being re-written. It still is.

A weird kind of myopia comes over certain people when you talk about the last 12 months. The facts are out there. The whole story is now known to almost everyone. Yet, you still hear people peddling nonsense. There are enormous mistruths still being portrayed as having some grounding in fact. In some parts of Scotland, when this issue comes up, reality is put on hold.

John F Kennedy said it best. “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

Let’s talk, then, about myths.

Let’s get the first one out of the way. That UEFA regards The Rangers Football Club to be a direct continuation of the one which went into administration 365 days ago. In point of fact, UEFA has never made direct comment on this issue, neither confirming it nor denying it. But the club was not allowed to play in Europe for three seasons as a result of the liquidation, because the UEFA constitution stipulates that it must have been a member of its national association for three years beforehand. Forget the filing deadline, and three years accounts … that is the all-important fact here.

Association membership. For three years.

People would have you believe this was a “transfer of share.” The argument is legally nonsensical. Had it been a simple “transfer of share” The Rangers Football Club would not have needed to apply for membership of the association. They would not have needed to leave the SPL. They would have had iron clad legal grounds to hold firm, and refuse to go. They had to submit a brand new application for SFA membership. They have to wait the full three years for European football eligibility. The evidence could not be more compelling.

Yet people continue to perpetuate this nonsense that UEFA regards them as the same club. Some point to their history still being on the website. Correct. So too are the histories of other clubs which have died, including some which never reformed. One of them even collected co-efficient points this season! What these people don’t want to tell you about the history being on the website is that the history ends – abruptly – on 13 May 2012, with a 4-0 away win at St Johnstone. A comparative glance at the page belonging to Celtic reveals not only latest scores, but a full list of forthcoming fixtures! Rangers is listed as having no forthcoming fixtures …

Where people are getting confused (deliberately so) is in the distinction being made by the European Club Association, which admitted Rangers for membership based on discussions with an un-named SFA executive who assured them the clubs were one in the same. Yet Rangers lost their full seat as a member there too, and have been relegated to Associate Member status. Along with Celtic, Aberdeen represents Scotland as a full member of this private members organisation – one which is not governed by UEFA regulations, and makes its own rules.

Let’s get the second myth out of the way, in relation to the first. That The Rangers Football Club was “relegated” from the SPL by a vote. It’s nonsense, and it’s proven nonsense.

For one thing, the club was not eligible for SPL membership! Please, do me a favour and read that line again. And when you have done that, please read this next one twice, and remember what it says. They’re still not eligible for membership in Scotland’s top division, and it does not matter a damn what that division is calling itself.

You don’t read that fact in the papers, but I assure you it is true. It’s a little known fact, except to us football geeks, those who’ve researched the matter. What it comes down to is simple; UEFA mandates that the top divisions in each country follow their own licensing criteria. The domestic licensing criteria is a separate thing. To be eligible to play in a division which send teams to European competition, you need three years membership of the national association, and those audited accounts.

NewCo Rangers is, effectively, banned from playing in our top flight.

I know what people are going to ask. If that’s true, then why did our authorities even make the effort to get Rangers into the top flight? The answer to that is simple, if you consider how incompetent the football authorities have looked, over any number of situations in the last year. They don’t know their own regulations in sufficient detail. They imposed a transfer ban on Rangers only to have the courts overturn it. Their disciplinary practices have been challenged, and overturned, time and time again. They freely admit now they broke their own rules, just to grant Rangers a temporary license, and then a full license, to actually start the season.

It has always been my belief that UEFA would have over-ruled any decision to allow Rangers NewCo to play in the SPL. It is my belief that they would over-turn such a decision if it was made in the light of restructuring. Rangers will not be “fast-tracked” for one simple reason; to do so would put the SFA in the crosshairs of UEFA, and FIFA.

Rangers were not relegated. The SPL clubs never got a vote on any such issue. They were asked to vote to allow a brand new football club, a phoenix club, into the top flight, and they said no. They were asked to ignore their own rulebook, the governing dynamics of the game, and even the unwritten rules of sporting integrity, and they refused. The same suggestion was put to the clubs in the SFL, and they also refused.

They did, however, allow Rangers access to the league structure itself.

New Rangers was not simply taken out of one league and put in another. They had to ask for permission to be allowed in any league at all.

Rangers started life where every brand new club admitted to the game has to start. The bottom. Enough of this nonsense about “relegation”. That is not what happened.

The third great myth is about punishment. This one says that Rangers have been continually punished, and continue to be . This is stated as fact, and with venom, as if it is somehow becoming vindictive. It, too, is a nonsense. What Rangers have suffered so far are consequences. Going into administration resulted in the deduction of 10 points. This is not a punishment, it is a consequence. It is in the rules, and requires no special hearings or convening of panels. It kicks in. Automatically.

Having to re-apply for membership of, first, the SFA and then the two league structures was not a punishment either. It, too, was a consequence, the natural consequence, of liquidation. Had the club not entered that process none of these things would have been necessary, and the rules are very clear on that too. European football would have been possible, once the requirement for audited accounts had been met, and the club would have gone on almost as before.

Players left once the liquidation was confirmed. Branded a punishment, this is perhaps one of the most ludicrous claims of all. Those players took wage cuts after administration. They made sacrifices for the cause, something a lot of people are in a rush to forget. At the time they were branded heroes, and that sacrifice was acknowledged. Now it is cast aside, because these people chose to leave when the club died.

Let’s pause there for a moment, to explore the utter unreality of Charles Green, and Rangers’, position on this one. For their claims to stand up – that the players were part of what he bought in assets – the players had to be contracted to the club, and not the holding company itself. Because if it was the holding company who held the contracts, that’s gone, and Rangers has no case.

So, the players belong to the club, the contracts were with the club.

Well, so too, presumably, were the contracts of those Rangers players who had EBT’s. How does he justify the stance that Rangers NewCo should be able to walk away from the EBT investigation, when it was over that very issue – the contracts of the players? Or is this policy of the club, not the holding company, owning the players a recent phenomenon?

Green, of course, is on record as having said he owns Rangers’ history, that it was an asset purchased when he bought the dead club’s carcass. I love that notion, that history is for sale somehow. Manchester City are clearly following the wrong football strategy, in spending all that money on players. Why don’t they just go to Notts Forest for their two Champions Cups, and ask them to name their price? They can book the open top bus and start ringing dates on the calendar.

I mean, it’s insane. How can you continue to push the notion that your organisation maintains its history, its goodwill, its assets, its name, and even its employees … yet none of the debt? Trying to walk both sides of the street doesn’t half get you in a state, Charles.

Rangers has suffered one punishment in the course of this whole shabby affair; they have suffered a transfer embargo, which they never cease to remind us was illegal. Yet this was not imposed on them or rammed down their throats. The minute the judge over-turned the  verdict, they should have been planning a spending spree. Let’s not forget, having gotten that verdict, having won their point in court, it was the club, itself, which decided to accept the SFA’s position after all.

The Rangers Football Club took that punishment on. They accepted it. If Ally McCoist wants to make further complaints about it, he should start with his own board of directors.  This is why I had to laugh when, at a press conference a few weeks ago, he actually suggested ending the transfer embargo was the price Rangers would seek for “accepting” the proposed restructuring plan!

It takes a brass neck, and a half, to come out with that.

The transfer ban itself came about because we had the ridiculous, and scandalous, spectacle of a football club simply deciding it was not going to pay any of its bills. The blame has fallen on one man; Craig Thomas Whyte, as if he was the only person inside Ibrox when all of this was going on. As if that was a decision he took alone, and for which no other person was liable.

This too is one of the great myths to be spun in the last twelve months. There were a lot of people inside Ibrox who were “in the know” about what Whyte was up to. Were they dozens? I think there probably were. Christ, I heard myself, from a source not even inside the walls, that Whyte was “sticking every bill in a drawer” in October 2011! Was my source just taking a flyer? If so, I want him picking my lottery numbers.

There is more talk of how Rangers might next be “kicked when they are down”, this time over the thorny issue of EBT punishments. I will hear none of it.

If Rangers broke the rules on the grand scale many in Scottish football believe, there should be no mercy shown to them.

The case of Spartans is a good starting point for what should happen. For misdating a single piece of paper, they were kicked out of the Scottish Cup and fined a quarter of their annual income. There is no suggestion that this was an attempt to defraud anyone, or break the rules … it was a simple mistake. They forfeited the match, and lost a lot of money because of an administrative error.

What happened at Rangers was no such thing. It did not affect a single game, but hundreds of games over a decade. It was not a mistake, or something someone overlooked. The First Tier Tribunal Report talks about a “policy of concealment”, of stalling tactics, of activity bordering on the criminal. Title stripping is talked about as the maximum punishment, and this is perhaps the greatest myth of all, and the one which may just end this wooly notion of the club being a continuation of the dead one.

If Rangers is found guilty, the panel is faced with two choices. Stripping titles is a matter of course. It should be automatic. They should be removed from Rangers’ historic record, and a black mark should be inserted next to each.

It’s what decision is taken next that should intrigue every one of us. If the panel accepts Rangers NewCo as a continuation of the Old, then the repercussions of it will be utterly enormous. The NewCo could face almost unlimited fines, and sanctions including, but not limited to, bans from Scottish competition, further signing embargos, deduction of points and any number of others covered in the rules.

But if the committee finds the NewCo can’t be punished … then the argument over whether this is the same club or not is over. Because a senior law lord, working for the SFA, will have ruled that one does not follow the other, and that issue will be settled once and for all, and Green and Traynor can whistle Dixie.

Again, it’s instructive to look at Green’s contradictory claims. Rangers retain the parts of their history they like, but not the baggage that goes with the bits they don’t. He bought the history, lock, stock, and barrel … and so it belongs to the club. The same club as before. Because it lives on. Yet the SFA can’t touch it because … it doesn’t belong to the same company. Eah? Is he for real?

One last myth has to be dispelled. The notion that this is not the fault of Rangers fans. I think it’s time we all started facing a harsh truth here, and knocked that one into the tall grass. Rangers fans are indirectly responsible for much of what has happened. First, they allowed Murray an easy ride for years, never questioning where the money was coming from, or if it could be sustained. They dined on glory, paid for on the never-never.

I wrote my first article about the coming demise of the club in 2008. Called The End of Rangers?, it posed a number of questions about where that club might end up unless someone called a halt to the madness. Hugh Adam, who had served on the board, was warning Rangers fans before even then. Ours were not lone voices in the wilderness. It didn’t take a genius to see insanity in Murray’s “for every fiver Celtic spend” boasting. He paid £12 million for Tore Andre Flo, doubtless as a statement of intent after Celtic had spent £6 million on Chris Sutton. It didn’t matter that we had taken a risk, but a calculated one. Murray wanted to stay true to his egotistical vow, and he sanctioned a piece of utter recklessness bordering on madness. The Rangers fans lapped it up, not asking how a Scottish club could afford an eight figure transfer fee.

By the time Craig Whyte bought the whole club for a quid, we already knew he wasn’t a billionaire or, indeed, even a man of any verifiable wealth at all. When he didn’t appear on the Sunday Times Rich List, alarm bills ought to have rung loud and clear, as there are 500 people on that well-researched and painstaking assembled examination of where our national wealth is. The people in the lower reaches of that list have wealth in the low tens of millions; if Whyte wasn’t on there, then he didn’t have the money to carry the losses at Ibrox for even a year. But you couldn’t tell that to the bulk of the Rangers support, who believed this guy was going to put his hand in his own pocket, and pull out a £15 million wedge, for signings.

That story, of course, was written by none other than Jim Traynor himself, a man who, unknown to the Rangers fans, had decided not to investigate any of the enormous information being dug up on sites like Rangers Tax Case and elsewhere, but instead was trying to secure for himself a more lucrative salary than that paid by the papers. The constant stream of positive stories from his news-desk were not journalism at all; they were job applications, cunningly disguised with bad grammar, bizarre assertions, fallacies of logic and lunatic deductions.

The closer we got to February 14 2012, the clearer it became to everyone that Rangers was a club living on borrowed time. Rangers fans would hear none of it, choosing to believe that anyone who said a bad word about their owner, or their club, was motivated by hate. Not even the famous Valentine’s Day announcement from Whyte changed their minds one bit. They listened to the voices who said it would all be okay, and they believed there was an anti-Rangers agenda when we told them, over and over again, that the only likely ending was a well catered funeral. (Jelly & ice cream as standard).

Traynor and Green said that would be the end of the history. The death of an institution. They were both correct, but you can’t sell season tickets, or hope to be paid a chunk of what they bring in, by telling Rangers fans an unpalatable truth like that, so both men publicly changed their tune. When I used the word Sevco the other day in a discussion, I was asked what the word meant. I said, only half joking “it’s the word Jim Traynor uses, in private, when people ask him who’s paying his wages these days.”

I understand why they’ve both done it … but I am amazed the supporters can’t see that it’s all about getting their money.

So yes, Rangers fans are partly to blame for this, and as a result, they do deserve a lot of the pain they’ve had to suffer in the last 365 days. Their unquestioning attitude towards their own club, their absolute intolerance of any dissenting opinion, their hatred for anyone, no matter how well intentioned or whatever the facts on their side, who tried to tell them any different … when you are so closed minded, myopic and entrenched, you get the leaders you deserve, the owners you deserve and, in the end, exactly what you deserve.

Twelve months on, they’re still telling themselves it will all be okay.

The old saying goes that “Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.”

Fasten your seatbelts folks. There’s a lot more to come.

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

73 thoughts on “12 Months On: Exploding the Myths

  • 15 February, 2013 at 2:26 pm
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    Well mate, you’re the recognised expert on the procedural hoops the Newco has to go through. Do you fancy writing us a timeline of what they need, and when they need it? I think that’d be very interesting.

  • 15 February, 2013 at 6:54 pm
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    Great article James though someone told me they are only missing from Uefa website as they are no longer in the top league. Thoughts?

  • 15 February, 2013 at 6:58 pm
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    Amazing that these people can find their way to the UEFA website, but can’t find the part with the licensing regulations, isn’t it?

  • 15 February, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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    Brilliantly written article. Not in any way biased, just absolute truth. It’s about time some of the more intelligent fans take heed. History will ultimately repeat itself. Cash will run out pretty quickly at The Rangers HQ. Where will the next investment come from? No chance of another share issue and operating costs going through the roof. CG on a salary that would make your eyes water, not including expenses. A hell of a lot more to appear over the coming weeks and months, including the liquidation report and the fact that once and for all, The famous Glasgow Rangers will not be allowed to pass themselves off as the phoenix club they are today. And you thought last year was interesting?…………………

  • 15 February, 2013 at 10:00 pm
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    brilliant article – concise, accurate summation of the death of rangers (RIP).
    Unfortunately, those who should really read this and take in the facts (annonymous?) will see it as more anti-rangers propoganda by jealous Celtic fans.
    Scottish football as we knew and loved it, died along with rangers – if the authorities had got their way and allowed them to enter scottish football in the SPL, the fans of every other club would have deserted the game.
    As it is, their demise has left the SPL without the finances / competition required to make it a desirable spectacle, which means the quality will continue to get worse.
    It didn’t really matter which course the authorities took, scottish football was never going to recover.
    That’s the real legacy rangers have left scottish football.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 1:16 am
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    So many lies in that blog i don’t even know where to start.

    1) The SPL can’t fine Rangers a single penny, as Rangers don’t play in SPL it would be like the football conference in England trying to impose a fine.

    2) Rangers are not full members of the ECA because clubs have to be playing in the top league in your perticular country to be a full member if you get relegated you become associate member(s). This was said by the ECA at the time also that Rangers are the same club.

    3) Rangers have had assocation membersship of the sfa for 3 years as the licence from the sfa was transfered over, IT IS NOT a new licence, it is the same licence RFC PLC 2012 owned now under the new company RFC LTD.

    4) If Rangers suffered the consqueneces of going into administartion then why did Motherwell and Queens park not suffer an consqueneces?, maybe cuase sfa/spl brought in these new rules as a punishment after the fact.

    5) You say Rangers did not carry any debt across to newco, again lies the club paid all football debts why is a new club playing debts if they have not signed anyone in your mind?

    6) Has no other Scottish club used insolvency law to wipe away debts???? , but thats ok cause its only bad when Rangers do it and not when Hearts,Motherwell,Queens park and Dundee do it, Hypocrisy???

    7) If Rangers are not the same club then does that mean Hibs are not the same club as they have gone bust before. As well as Leeds,middlesbrough,Fiorentina,luton town.

    Could go on but doubt you will post this as it shots down about 90% of the myths on this Rangers hating blog.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 1:36 am
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    Ho-ho-ho, there’s always one …

    1) The SPL paid prize money to Rangers over any number of years. If it’s found they were cheating that whole time the SPL is fully entitled to fine them to get that money back. As is the SFA. And I’ll tell you something else … the other clubs have a good cause for suing as well.

    2) Your point about the ECA reasons for making Rangers an Associate Member might be right and they might be wrong. But how many other clubs in the ECA are actually not playing in their top division? Do you know the answer? I do. None. And yes, I know the ECA said they were the same club. They asked someone at the SFA to clarify the position. If you actually read the article, it says UEFA have never commented. The ECA is a private members club, and their “recognition” of Rangers means nothing.

    3) What in God’s name are you talking about? They’ve been an associate member for three years? What? Who told you that? They are an associate member because all new clubs have to start as associate members. Did you get that from RangersMedia or somewhere like that? Cause it’s cobblers. A share transfer! Pah! Absolute garbage. Even Charles Green says the club had no license at one point, no share at all. Wake up and smell the coffee!

    4) Are you thick, or what? The rules were changed after Motherwell because until then there was no punishment! You make it sound like the punishment was brought in the day after Rangers went into administration. Seriously … you’re having a laugh with that one, right?

    5) Football has its own rules. New Rangers was only granted a license at all if it agreed to meet the old club’s football debts. Football could do nothing about your club leaving the country out of pocket, but it could protect itself. You think that makes a difference to the Newco/Oldco equation? No, it was football protecting its own. Perfectly reasonable if you ask me. It’s only a shame the authorities didn’t make the license conditional on paying ALL debts.

    6) The difference between Rangers and those clubs is that those clubs made restitution to their creditors to the best of their ability, via CVA’s. You didn’t get a CVA. To put it bluntly, and plainly … that’s how come you are dead.

    7) None of those clubs went bust. All were rescued via CVA. What part of that is hard to wrap your wee brain around? The example of Luton Town is interesting though, and instructive, as it pertains to this situation. They were found guilty, in 2008, of “financial irregularities” and docked 30 points. Keep that in mind. When the Lord Nimmo Smith verdict comes in you might want to look for that as a precedent.

    Why would you doubt I would post your rant? On this site, on other sites, we let anyone have their say, and debate issues. We are not afraid of facts which contradict what we think. That is the difference between these sites and the ones you are used to languishing in. Unfortunately, in this case, you had no contradictory facts, just a lot of ridiculous assertions that only reinforce the central point I’ve been making. Some of you are like sharks. You’ll swallow anything.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 2:30 am
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    Great read clear and to the point

  • 16 February, 2013 at 2:44 am
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    Let me reply to that and your lies yet again….

    1) The spl (CAN NOT) fine Rangers end of story, they could in your made up possible scenrio go to court to get money back but they really won’t be around for too much longer as they plan to merge with the sfl and form a new body. as for the actual cheating myth itself the spl witch hunt is based on 5 players contracts over 10 years, much like the tax case you seem to have presumed Rangers guilty before any verdict.

    2) The ECA is a uefa sanctioned body if they say something it will always be the same stance Uefa take. You can’t be a full member unless you play in a top league that is why Rangers are an associate member at the minute not cause of anything to do with being a new club.

    3) You seem a bit confused between the SFL and SFA? Rangers are associate memebers of the SFL not the SFA. All of Rangers history is listed on the sfa website but lets just ignore that cause you seem to know better than them.

    4) No don’t think i’m thick but you might be as you seem to contradict youself, you stated Rangers were not punished for going into admin now you are writing that the rules were brought in after Motherwell went into admin as there was NO PUNISHMENT for doing so at the time. So now you saying that it was broought in as a punishement????

    5) Football does have it’s own rules but Airdire utd did not pay the Football debts of Aridrie nor did Motherwell etc.

    6) Again deflecting the point not talking about cva’s, the point is these clubs ran up millions on debts and walked away from them.

    7) so you saying none of the clubs went bust? my god you know nothing.

    Middlesbrough liquidated in 1986 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough_F.C._survival_from_liquidation

    Leeds utd fined 15 points for going newco and liquidating the old company http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/2318216/Leeds-United-handed-15-point-deduction.html

    Fiorentina liquidated in 2003 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACF_Fiorentina

    Hibs went bust in 1891 but claim to have won the Scottish cup in 1887 how can that be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibernian_F.C.

    Yeah all these clubs got a cva passed ha ha ha….You know nothing.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 3:52 am
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    Great summing up. The most astonishing thing is the depth of denial from the fans, I have never seen anything like it, almost like a mass case of delusion, and I know that sounds like I am trying to be funny or have a dig, but it is true and there is no polite way of putting it. It is unbelievable that so many people could be so easily led with such ease, and for such a sustained length of time.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 4:43 am
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    Let’s start at the beginning … Once Upon a Time ….

    You know why I start with that? Cause you’re indulging in fairytales. Totally disconnected from reality.

    1) In your bizarre scenario, where you are claiming the club lives on, the SPL is FULLY entitled to fine them. Are you daft that you don’t see it? If you are right, and the club isn’t dead, then the SPL can impose sanctions on them even if they are not in the league. They can, for example, make those penalties CONDITIONS OF ENTRY if your NewCo ever wants to play in this country’s top division. It’s pay, or never be promoted. Do you know what the “five way agreement” was? It was the deal YOUR CLUB signed to get a license. Part of that deal was accepting SPL jurisdiction over them in terms of the EBT’s. Do you really believe Green when he says the club will fight? Don’t be so daft. He’s already given up the ghost. It’s why McCoist can bitch and moan about the transfer ban … but your club ACCEPTED IT. No Surrender doesn’t apply here. You got a license … because your board threw in the towel.

    2) The ECA is NOT a “UEFA sanctioned body”. It shows how little you know about the subject you’re slabbering about. They have a “letter of understanding”, which means they are recognised by UEFA, much like a trade union, but they are not PART of UEFA any more than your local pub league is. Rangers was a founder member of the ECA. That is why they are allowed to retain membership .. but only at an Associate level. You really are scraping the barrel.

    3) Oh for Gods sake … Rangers do NOT have full SFA membership! They are associate members of both the SFA and the SFL. And why are they “associate members” of the SFL? Because they need three years membership of the SFA first. Which, because you are a NEW CLUB, you do not have. Give it up already! You are embarrassing yourself!

    4) Punishment and CONSEQUENCES! Is this REALLY that hard to work out? The rules were not changed to punish Rangers! The rules were there BEFORE Rangers went into administration! Forget Motherwell FFS … the rules were brought in after they escaped with no sanction. The SFA realised there had to be consequences for clubs which failed in their financial responsibilities. They changed the rules. Rangers administration came AFTER those rules were changed, and so it was NOT a “punishment” but a CONSEQUENCE already written into the rule book! Seriously, is this REALLY so hard to understand?

    5) Airdrie United didn’t pay football debts because it BOUGHT another club, SFA share and everything! It assumed the identity of another team! If you wanted to dodge those debts, as well as all the rest, you should maybe have tried harder to buy St Mirren, or some other club. Motherwell wasn’t liquidated. It went into administration, and exited by CVA. It paid its debts as best it could.

    6) What was your point, if it wasn’t about CVA’s? Clubs have run into financial difficulty before, yes. But none has walked away without paying the creditors SOMETHING. And this was NOT just a couple of creditors … this was the Exchequer. This was the tax payer. This was my money, your money. The SPL commission said what your club did was an offence so serious only match fixing would have been worse. Those other clubs paid what they could, but more importantly, they reached an agreement with their creditors. Your club did not. Which is why it died.

    7) We’ll start with Hibs. Are you really going to cite a precedent from 1891, before bankruptcy laws, before UEFA regulations, before the complexities of the modern day? It says clearly in there, if you read it, that the club was homeless. Homeless isn’t dead. They had nowhere to play football for a year. They bought the Easter Road site, and they started up again. Not hard to understand, although clearly for you it is. As to Middlesborough … there is a lot of debate over whether the club actually was liquidated or not. Read the report PROPERLY. In fact, start with the title, which is a bit of a giveaway … “MIDDLESBOROUGH SURVIVAL FROM LIQUIDATION ..” I mean, it’s only the TOP OF THE PAGE, the FIRST THING you read … SURVIVAL … not DEATH …

    I knew you would mention Leeds! I absolutely KNEW it. I knew you would gibber on about them, not understanding the point, not understanding the issue. \\

    Leeds achieved a CVA which was challenged in court by HMRC. League rules meant they couldn’t start the season whilst this was in dispute. Ken Bates created a new COMPANY and the league agreed a transfer of share in that case because Bates had originally GOTTEN a company voluntary agreement. In other words, the creditors – HMRC aside – accepted what he put on the table. I will say this again for the stupid .. LEEDS GOT A SUCCESSFUL CVA … they were fined 15 points as standard, for being in ADMINISTRATION at the start of the season.

    And Fiorentina … my oh my … how little YOU actually know. In Italy, football teams don’t suffer liquidation. They enter what’s known as “judicially controlled administration”, where their status is “frozen” and their assets are put up for sale. They didn’t die either. They were denied a place in any of the leagues for a season, but were allowed into the lowest tier the following year on sporting grounds. They did have to purchase a lot of their old assets from the administrators, including their club logo and colours … but they never died. Nice try though.

    Let me tell you something, and you need to get this into your head. The history issue means less than nothing to me. When your club is in the SPL again I will consider them our rival, as I always have. The history issue is totally irrelevant to me. But your CEO said if you failed to get a CVA the club was dead. Your director of communications pronounced the club dead when it went into liquidation. You think they woke up one morning and saw the light? They changed their tune for one reason only … to get their hands inside your wallet.

    You’ve read every word of this article. Which means you’re not completely thick. I am glad you read it. You should read some of the others, too. The point, in case you missed it, is that you have to wake up and stop believing the nonsense you are being fed in the media, and from inside your club. The people who have their hands on the controls are interested in one thing only … money. You have a CEO who isn’t even a football fan, and a media guy who has spent his entire career hiding the truth from you. I know full well Rangers fans have never trusted Traynor. Why has that changed because he’s working inside the club? That should scare the living daylights out of you, but for some reason it doesn’t. You would rather come on here and try and pick holes in what I’ve said, than pick holes in what they say.

    At the end of the day, what am I to you? I don’t have one hand in your pocket. They do. I don’t control the destiny of something you profess to love. They do. I have said nothing in this article that Traynor hasn’t said, or Green wasn’t saying. They’ve changed their minds. Do you think it’s cause they now love Rangers? Read Alex Thomson from the other day. Traynor was trying to land himself a job with Whyte. He couldn’t have cared less about bringing the truth to you and your fellow fans. Save your indignation, save your probing questions, for THEM.

    They are the biggest threat to the continued existence of your club. They are the ones you ought to be focussed on.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 9:12 am
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    My God did you actually read the middlesborugh link or just look at the headline? maybe you should look under that to the first sentance which reads:This article details Middlesbrough Football Club’s liquidation in 1986. Do you have a 5 year old near so they can read it to you?

    Here is a link to the club site saying they were liquidated in 1986 as well http://www.mfc.co.uk/page/club/club-history/0,,1~352502,00.html (READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH, or get someone who can read to do it for you!!)

    As for Hibs again you cant seem to read that link either here a copy and paste of what it says

    “Mismanagement over the next few years led to the club becoming homeless and it ceased operating during 1891.[9] A reformed club was established and they acquired a lease on a site in late 1892 that was to become known as Easter Road. Hibernian played its first match at Easter Road on 4 February 1893.[23] Despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup
    (Note the words CEASED OPERATING and CONTINUED HISTORY)

    Whatever the law is in Italy it does not change the fact that Fioentina went bust and did not take part in Football for an entire year again a quote for you

    “This form of bankruptcy (sports companies cannot exactly fail in this way in Italy, but they can suffer a similar procedure) meant that the club was refused a place in Serie B for the 2002–03 season, and as a result effectively ceased to exist”

    (Fioentina ceased in 2003 and were replaced by ACF Fioentina yet are still the same club in uefa’s eyes)

    As for the rest,

    Yes i can see by the vast amount of times that you talk about Rangers history that it’s something that is very irrevent to you???, As for whatever Green and JT said in the past that was opinion at the time not fact. Amazing that you slate Green for talking nonsense one minute then use a quote from him the to back your own argument up the next, really don’t get irony do you?

    I would read some other articles maybe from Rangers tax case or something but he seems to have ran away with his tail between his legs ever since Rangers were cleared in the tax case much like some of the other tax experts.

    Yes i saw Alex thomsons blog the other day wow it really was earth shattering stuff JT sent a text to Whyte maybe asking for a job?? wow just wow surly this is the biggest news story the entire world has ever seen? (YAWN). As for Thomson himself since you lot seem to believe every word that comes out of his mouth why no quotes on his unversity chat when he said Rangers are still the same club? shhh this must be ignored just like the time he had a go at Celtic fans for flying terriorist banners sweep sweep.

    There is no threat to Rangers existance we just brought in £22,000,000 in an ipo a few weeks back and are the 13th best supported club in europe right now, unlike some lessr clubs whos fans deserted them in 1994 Rangers fans turn out in vast numbers at every game to watch what is a poor team in most respects.

    If a so called brand new club who play in div 3 are the best supported team in Scotland by a some way whay does that say about the rest of Scottish football? And enclosing the final question of who i think you are, well thats simple you are a bitter wee Celtic fan with nothing better to do in life than obsess over Rangers every waking minute. This pretense that somehow Rangers fans should be greatful to you and sites like this for telling lies about the club is utterly laughable. You have no interest in Scottish football nor it’s health only about ranting about Rangers time and time again which is amazing as you seem to rant about something you claim does not exist.

    Yeah i’m Rangers history is irrevant to you thats why you bring it up at least 100 times in the blog and it’s replies??, Lets get down the bottom of things here you are jealous of Rangers history and always have been that’s the only conclusion i draw from the rants on this site. If you think Rangers are not the same club as Rangers good luck to you

    Next time Rangers win a trophy it goes in the same trophy room as the rest of the trophies, Next time Rangers run out on the pitch at home it will be at Ibrox that is what a football club is not a silly bit of paper with words on it, if you pasific shelf595 fans think that’s what your club is then it proves you are just a bunch of glory hunters with no feeling for your club.

    Rangers are still here and still going and it’s really eating you up ha ha ha….Oh and one last thing FORZA JUVE!!!!!

    P.S. good luck to Celtic today playing in front of 25,000 fans, maybe you lot need to go newco as well might be the only time you see what a full ground looks like.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 10:09 am
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    A very well put together debate and counter debate between jim smith and James Forrest, having digested both sides of the argument I think jim wins as rangers do have a full sfa license. The eca comment by jim is also true. Your responses to jims well thought out arguments appear to me, as a proper fan of football, to lack real credibility as you resort to the type of responses a losing debater who’s out his depth when faced with a more knowledgable foe would turn to. Your choice of references is also questionable too (ie the rangers tax case blog and Alex Thompson). Didn’t the RTC get it wrong and rangers won the case and where found NOT GUILTY? Hasn’t Alex Thompson been totally discredited yet in your eyes with his association with the man “tarred and feathered as being a secterian bigot”. Perhaps you just don’t like the fact your opinion on events is in fact your opinion. No doubt you believe you are factual but I believe jim smiths version to be more factual. Isn’t that why we all love football? Lets you believe your own opinion is in fact correct.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 11:08 am
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    Ooooft James Forrest has just destroyed Jim Traynor…..ouch

  • 16 February, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    Sigh … how tough are my points to understand? How hard?

    Hibs first. As I said, you’re going to use a precedent from the 1800’s and try to compare it to modern times? Really? It is in the article. They had nowhere to play! That is not the same as running up tens of millions in debt and being formally liquidated! Nowhere to play does not equal DEAD. There is a difference.

    Middlesborough. What did I say about differences of opinion on this? You are obviously thicker than two short planks, so let me explain to you the difference. The existence of the club never came to an end. Middlesborough maintained their membership of the English league. They did not have to reapply. They did not have to start at the bottom. The club, quite literally, carried on as before. You got that? THE CLUB DID NOT DIE. There was no time when the club itself ever fell out of the game, even for one minute. You comfort yourself with some of what Charles Green says – £22 million share issue, and yet the club is skint? WAKE UP FOR GODS SAKE! – but are perfectly willing to ignore the rest. He said your club would be dead without a CVA. He said there was period where the club did NOT have a license, or membership of any of the football bodies. He is correct on both counts. That did not happen to Middlesborough, it never happened to Leeds, I don’t know if it formally ever happened to Hibs! This is NOT hard to comprehend.

    I love the way you cite regulations, rules, try to kid on you know what football’s rules are … but blithely wave away the law of the land in Italy! Ha! Wonderful! In Italy, sports institutions do not legally “die.” You have an amazing knack for reading but not understanding. “Virtually ceased to exist.” The first word – virtually – is a qualifier. Remove that word, and maybe, if you’re willing to IGNORE THE LAW IN ITALY, they could have been dead. But … with that word in there, the fact remains … they NEVER ceased to exist. It did not happen.

    As to Charles Green … let me explain it to you, the clearly very thick, what is going on there.

    Before Green took control, he was a pragmatic man who didn’t care whether he upset all you poor, daft sods or not. His priority was to get his hands on the club. He told your fans that without his taking control, the club would enter liquidation and be dead. He wanted the house keys, and he wanted to make it look as if his was the only bid that could save you. In truth, nothing could save you, and he knew it well. Having got his hands on the club, and facing a revolt led by The Great Walter, he had no choice but to reinvent himself as the Great Defender of Rangers.

    I will say this only once. If you believe a word that man says, you are a mug. There is an old aphorism amongst confidence tricksters; “you can shear a sheep many times, but skin him only once.”

    One of two things is going to happen with this guy. Either he is going to skin you and make off with what’s left or the carcass … or he and his people are going to fleece you for the next 20 years.

    Either way, if I were you, I wouldn’t be wasting time replying to this. I would be trying to find out EVERYTHING. The fact you’ve swallowed this £22 million nonsense is a sure sign you’re already fully on board, bent over, with your pants down. Enjoy the shafting.

    Your contention that anyone in the green half of Glasgow is jealous of Rangers history is … hilarious.

    I will say say eight words, and they will sum up my response to that. Seville, 2003. Manchester, 2008. Barcelona, 1972. Lisbon, 1967.

    Lose your history, keep your history. It is all the same. Two European final riots, sanctioned for your singing, a sectarian signing policy, EBT’s, liquidation … all part of the history.

    Alex Thomson is entitled to his own view on Rangers history. You know mine. Mine is shared by your CEO and media spokesman, and they should know, right?

    Your references to terrorist banners are unworthy of response. Pitiful. What ever will you come out with next? Oh wait … I can guess, and don’t bother, because it won’t get posted.

    The Pacific (spelled with a C, not an S you illiterate goon) Shelf story has been shot full of holes more times than a paper target. If you’re resorting to that you’ve got nothing left.

    I agree a football club is more than a bit of paper. I always have. I made that very point in my last reply, and in the last article on this site. Which is why it couldn’t matter less to me what the status of Rangers’ history is. That history will be changing shortly, one way or another, with the EBT verdict and the stripping of the tainted titles.

    Rangers attendances have been very interesting, but predictable. You’re paying 1/3rd normal prices, for a start, yet your average attendance is barely a few hundred above ours. Not great. You all still cling to this “great adventure” cobblers … but you have high expectations. You believe, for reasons I can’t comprehend, in what Green is trying to punt you. When he fails to deliver real money for the manager, and your season ticket prices sky-rocket for next season I am going to be watching carefully to see what happens. Will you and others pay £500 – £600 each to sit in the Ibrox Sports Direct Arena and watch garbage?

    We’ll see.

    As to your contention about me not loving Scottish football … you deduce that how? I have no love of your club, but in case no-one ever told you, your club is NOT the only one in this country. What happened to your club over this summer was a monumental victory for the integrity of our game. It showed the world that here in Scotland we place values higher than value. That some things are more important than money. That our sport is not utterly without principles or a sense of justice.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 1:01 pm
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    Jim

    Do you have a five year old that can check your spelling for you ?
    Once you are finished banging your head off the keyboard and foaming at the mouth I suggest you do that.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 1:22 pm
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    Brian C:

    First up, thanks for reading the discussion. It’s been a corker, and as much as I might appear to be pissed off a bit, I’m actually enjoying it hugely, and it would be a great one for a long day in the boozer. I’d certainly buy Jim a drink or two as we did the back-and-forth. It’s been a lot of fun.

    I’ve attended a lot of debates, and to be honest, winning or losing has always been a matter of personal opinion. I’ve said that my belief in the history being dead is a direct result of Rangers being without a license or membership of the governing bodies, as a result of the liquidation. That, to me, suggests a broken history. I didn’t get that from RTC or Alex Thomson.

    Explain to me where I have used the award winning Rangers Tax Case blog to support my arguments here? I have used the award winning Alex Thomson’s article from the other day, and I said elsewhere that I believe that because he had the evidence. Jim himself does not dispute the veracity of that story, but seems to believe it’s unimportant. I disagree. Alex Thomson did something extremely important in the course of this series of events. He brought it to the attention of the world in a way that would never have happened had he not been on the scene. Rangers fans got more information about their club from Thomson in a few months than they got out of hacks like Traynor – suddenly reinvented as the greatest journalist in Scottish history – in years. This is a guy from outside Glasgow, a guy with no axe to grind, a guy with no agenda. I don’t agree with everything he says, but that’s par for the course in keeping an open mind.

    Your contention about him being associated with a “tarred and feathered sectarian bigot” is right out of the hate-filled blog written by a disgraced former journalist, who spends his days dribbling into a beer glass, surrounding by sycophants who never question a word he writes. You’re referencing a certain Irish journalist there, right? I could care less what he writes myself, but I tell you, if certain people were writing about me some of the things that have been written about him, I would be pursuing it through the courts.

    You want to talk about friends in low places? Your own CEO has known, and still knows, some real desperados. Men who’ve committed huge acts of fraud. You want to talk about troubling associations? Look into those. Be as shocked as I was. Stuff that’s not appeared in any national newspaper. For goodness sake man, the notion that Alex Thomson is tainted because he wrote the foreword to a book is a nonsense. I could run down a list of names a mile long who have dark associations with people inside Ibrox now and in the past, but what purpose would it serve? Thomson is an award winning journalist with a sterling reputation. That’s reality, not the half-baked (half pished) fantasy spun on a certain person’s blog. Attacking the guy who brought you more truth than any of the hacks up here ever did is madness.

    As to the Rangers Tax Case blog, I do not believe that has been discredited either. Even if it eventually turns out that the central plank of what that blog said – that Rangers were guilty – proves not to be the case, and we are a long way from knowing that for sure, I am not about to ignore the enormous evidence that was uncovered there regarding the EBT scheme itself, the business history of Craig Thomas Whyte, the things he was doing inside Ibrox and the truth as regards the early business history of one Charles Green. That site provided more than just information on the tax case, and even if that case goes in favour of the oldco, that site did a wonderful job in dissecting the entire affair, in forensic detail the media could only dream about. That’s why the blog – collectively, the whole blog, not the writer – won an award.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 1:37 pm
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    Give The Rangers old Rangers history. It’ll make it even funnier when the permaraged have to face up to the loss of cups and titles. Armageddon out of here.

  • 16 February, 2013 at 3:08 pm
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    And so the tired argument continues, as if there was anything to argue about!

    Rangers 1872 are effectively dead. The club formed in 1872 that became a limited company in the late 1890s (the year after Celtic — ’twas ever thus!) went into administration one year ago. The club was subsequently refused a CVA and the liquidation process was embarked upon. The only thing holding up the liquidation is an investigation by the liquidators, BDO, into possible criminal behaviour by any number of Rangers 1872 (deceased) executives. I’m being generous by saying ”possible”.

    The dead club’s main assets – ground, training ground and carpark – which should have been sold for the benefit of creditors owed more than one hundred million pounds, were, instead, slipped to a bunch of still unnamed investors fronted by a used car salesman from Yorkshire for #5.5m, a fraction of what they were worth, in a shadowy deal which may yet be rolled back by BDO.

    The company which bought the assets was called Sevco, one of at least two by that name, and renamed The Rangers, one of at least three by that name. Oh, lest I forget, in a separate transaction ”goodwill”, which is alleged to include the most shameful history in sport, was sold for one pound to Charles Green – not Sevco, not any one of the multiple Rangers, but the Yorkshire spiv himself. He has said it any number of times but the Bears are not the brightest. Personally, I reckon he overpaid. And Sevco fans wonder why we laugh at them? Buying history. Whoever heard the like?

    But we are told by Jim that because Sevco is recognised by the ECA (for reasons still unexplained) that they are therefore recognised by the powers that be as Rangers??? Really? Let’s have a look at what Fifa said in its Review of the Year on its website on 26/12/12:

    “Rangers go under
    14 June
    Rangers’ perilous financial position had been an open secret but there was still shock when, after 140 years of history and a world record 54 league titles, THE CLUB was consigned to liquidation in mid-June. The Glasgow giants were subsequently reformed as a NEW COMPANY and granted entry to the Third Division, Scotland’s fourth tier, which they currently lead by nine points with a game in hand.”

    These are facts. They are unarguable, except by the deranged. Strangely enough, the truth is written on the gates of Ibrox: “Rangers Football Club Ltd.” Not Rangers Holding Company Ltd, not Rangers The Club Never Actually Became A Company Ltd, just simply and plainly and truthfully: “Rangers Football Club Ltd.” Sadly for them, that was then… Time for new gates, lads.

    The club did indeed became a company, and now that club/company is as dead as last week’s mutton. But the reason this is a pointless argument is that, as can be discerned from everything that is slowly emerging, Sevco will soon be following ”the putriying incubus” into the abyss. Maybe next time Trigger’s Broom FC might get it right. Here’s hoping.

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