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The RST built on sectarian & hate filled foundations

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With just one day remaining of the January transfer window a Rangers fans group are celebrating, no not because they have delivered on their promises of bolstering Mark Warburton’s side for the second half of the season – but because two journalists were sacked.

In fact, this weekend has been Dave King’s Carlsberg moment. Not only have Celtic lost their semi-final cup clash against Ross County, loan signing Billy King [dubbed King Billy by many a knuckledragger on Rangers social media accounts and forums]scoring a last minute goal – he now has a hollow victory over a journalist who supported Rangers as a kid and a female journalist who for several years has been subjected to vile abuse, but also threats of sexual assault and death – because of her being an outspoken critic of the same knuckledragging element of the Rangers support. With one Rangers fan going to jail for threats made on a podcast.

King’s rhetoric of ploughing £30 million into Rangers coffers is nothing but empty promises, the same promises that saw the likes of the Rangers Supporters Trust and other ‘prominent’ fans bend over and lift their skirts at all the sweet nothings whispered in their ears.

From tackling their ‘enemies’ in the Scottish game to those in the media, this sadistic and hate filled element of the Rangers support lapped up their rhetoric just like lambs to the slaughter.

Their club lurched into liquidation, falling on the sword wielded by a man that they lauded as their Whyte Knight – a man given a hero’s welcome that even the great John Greig has never had. Why? Because this knight in shining armour promised them the earth – but delivered nothing but misery.

Rather than looking at themselves, this group, its representatives and those who lick the spilled milk that emanates from their website statements on a regular basis target anyone who has the bare faced cheek to voice their opinions, to publish the facts and to even make light of Rangers’ self-inflicted demise.

This is a group and whose leadership wanted – yes wanted – to start again in the Third Division and hoped that by doing so the clubs who refused to bow to pressure from the SPL, from the Scottish FA and from certain elements of the journalism fraternity – would die.

They may claim to be victims and how everyone labels them ‘panto villains’ but the Rangers Supporters Trust is as much of a toxic organisation as those who belt out sectarian songs from the terracing with much gusto.

Their latest bout of diarrhea masquerading as a group statement targets journalists Graham Speirs and Angela Haggerty. Not only have they taken much delight in trying to ruin the lives of the duo, this group along with their spokesperson Chris Graham and his brown nosing cronies have targeted anyone they see fit – who fall into the category of ‘Enemies of Rangers’.

Be it ordinary fans, bloggers, award-winning journalists or club officials – this band of reprobates makes Major Reisman’s Dirty Dozen look like angelic good samaritans.

Too harsh?

Well their current spokesperson Chris Graham, lasted two days in the blue suit and brown brogues of a Rangers director before he had to resign in disgrace over a racist and bigoted tweet he posted in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris. While many of those online posted comments thinking of those who died, their families and showing solidarity with Parisians and France in general – Chris Graham used the horrific attack to post a homophobic slur on the Prophet Muhammed. It was nothing short of a tweet that members of UKIP, the BNP, Britain First and the EDL would be proud of.

In fact, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson praised Chris Graham for posting the homophobic ‘cartoon’ – while Muslim leaders and politicians in this country denounced the hate filled comment and demanded action.

Whether Graham left of his own free will or was asked to leave after bringing scandal upon the doors of Ibrox does not matter – what matters is that this is the type of man that no fan group should ally themselves with and yet the RST happily appointed this anti-Muslim bigot to their board.

What does that say about the group, its leadership and the fans they profess to represent?

But the history of the RST and its sectarian and bigoted foundations does not begin with Chris Graham nor will it end with the self-confessed financial consultant.

Next we have Mark Dingwall a co-founder of the RST – who runs the Rangers forum Follow Follow. In fact he produced a football fanzine of the same name – which was banned from being sold at Ibrox by Sir David Murray over its sectarian content.

At the time of the ban being imposed in 2002 [a year before the RST was founded], a club spokesperson said: “Due to the sectarian elements within Follow Follow, Rangers Football Club do not wish to be associated with it.”

It was a publication littered with derogatory references to Catholics and Catholic schools – decribing them as “Apartheid schools”. They targeted Glasgow City Council for being ‘bigots who are only too happy to prop up Catholic schooling in Scotland’.

The fanzine was also investigated by Grampian Police for making threats towards an Aberdeen publican – after he had installed video screens in urinals at his pub which played Rangers videos on them and inviting Dons fans to piss all over them.

Upon hearing of this new installation, Dingwall’s fanzine threatened: “Treating your opponents like this will lead to violence. Why don’t we visit the Paramount bar next time the Bears are up there and piss on Mr Wilson?”

Mr Wilson took the threat seriously enough to contact his solicitor and Grampian Police, who investigated the matter.

Again this is a man who not only helped to found the RST but was a regular fixture in the group’s board despite the board and RST members knowing of his sectarian and abusive history. Why is that?

Why would they want to associate with someone who is clearly a sectarian bigot?

Dingwall is no longer with the RST following some alleged dodgy dealings with money going missing according to numerous reports from both the media and other Rangers groups.

The RST investigated Dingwall over ‘allegations of improper conduct’ – it was revealed by a Rangers website that Dingwall was alleged to have misappropriated group funds.

An RST Board member quit the group in disgust having discovered that the fanzine owner had “misappropriated” £2690 of RST/fans money for a period of over two years. With allegations of unpaid print firm bills and missing Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal (RSEA) money persisting.

These allegations were made by Rangers fans not by myself nor this website. Safe to say that given all the allegations and mistrust in the RST board Dingwall left.

On top of Dingwall’s controversial exit from the group he helped found, the trust supported the signing of the racist Famine Song in 2008. Despite widespread condemnation from politicans, groups and the media – the fans group dismissed claims that the song was racist.

They claimed: “Racism is not a wind-up, however distasteful, aimed at Scottish Celtic fans and in rejecting these specious accusations the Trust restates our opposition to racism and sectarianism, which stands comparison to any other similar body.

“The Trust’s position is clear enough, the vast majority of the Rangers support do not regard Celtic FC as Irish in any shape or form. They shouldn’t be worried about whatever building they build there. Why would they if they don’t pay for it? So what if a foreign contractor like siamrealestate builds it?Therefore, sentimental songs about how these British/Scottish people at Celtic suffered because of the Irish famine are bogus and degrading to the real Irish people. It is hardly surprising there is constant mockery of those at Celtic Park’s permanent confusion about their own identity.”

Soon after two Scottish courts of law ruled that the Famine song was racist and jailed a Rangers fan for singing the song at Rugby Park during a game against Kilmarnock.

What does that say about the group’s moral compass?

And I haven’t even touched on the group’s official stance on the rioting by Rangers fans during and after the 2008 UEFA Cup Final in Manchester.

A statement posted by the RST in the wake of drawing Manchester United in the Champions League, led chairman Stephen Smith to say: “People will make a lot of the fact that we are going back to Manchester but I don’t see any reason at all why Rangers fans shouldn’t be allowed to go because of the over-hyped bother in 2008.

“Only a tiny, tiny amount, a tiny fraction, were involved in trouble. The fans who go this time will be legitimate Rangers fans who are members of the travel club.”

Not only did he try to claim that the fans who caused the trouble were not legitimate Rangers fans – despite court records of those arrested and jailed proving otherwise – he also claimed that the riots and the destruction was ‘over-hyped bother’.

Yet a judge labelled the riots as “….the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city centre since the Blitz. What came afterwards, the damage, the filth and litter was apparent to all who arrived in Manchester the following day.”

The RST claim to be this group wanting to rid Scottish football of sectarianism and of the knuckledraggers, yet the group’s own foundations and history has been built upon sectarian hatred and hate filled bile aimed at anyone that fails to toe the party line.

Just imagine where Rangers and the group would be now if they put in as much effort into supporting their club and chasing that dream of having a seat on the Ibrox board – as they do in attacking rival fans, groups, bloggers, journalists and club officials.

A toxic group filled with toxic individuals built upon sectarian foundations. What a group to be a member of.

Graham Speirs or the Rangers Supporters Trust – who to believe?

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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