Archive for July, 2013

Virtual Gers App by appeartome – Fun With Substance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 18, 2013 by BMC Rangers Rants

If like me you take your smartphone everywhere with you, you were probably intrigued like I was when the Virtual Gers App by appeartome was released a couple of weeks ago. Being able to keep up to date with all things Rangers when I am out and about is very important to me. Alongside the Official Rangers application this a welcome addition to the smartphone app world and is packed with features and content.

On downloading the app for free I immediately updated the app to get full functionality which cost an additional £2.99 which I think is completely reasonable. On opening the app for the first time I found the user interface to be very user friendly and intuitive.

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The headline feature with the app is the revolutionary 3d holograms of Rangers players past and present that you can add to photos of your own liking. I must admit it has had me entertained adding legends like Ally McCoist or Jorg Albertz on top of my coffee table etc. The results are simple but effective. Rangers have fans all over the world so its a great utility to get your picture taken with your Rangers hero no matter where you are in the world, Or like me you may just want Ally McCoist stood on top of your television.

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Hopefully as time passes more Rangers heroes past and present will be added to the user interface to further enhance the user experience.

Once the novelty of the photo app wears off I was a bit concerned the app wouldn’t offer much in the way of extra content. On inspecting further I found that not to be the case. One swipe to another screen and you find Club Legend Andy Goram the man us Rangers fans simply know as ‘The Goalie’ interviewing Rangers players past and present on their various favourite moments at Rangers and in their careers. I’ll be honest and say I favour the Legends interviews as it took me back to the times I seen them in our 9IAR days. A lot of what the players say brings a smile to this Rangers fans face.

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I must make special mention to the clothes Fraser Aird and Bert Konterman are wearing in their interviews. Hopefully the fashion police won’t take notice. Again hopefully in future further updates will see additional players added to the list of players Andy Goram gets to interview. One other possibility could be highlights of players questioned when discussing their memories, maybe show them on the app.

Once I watched each of the interviews I jumped to the next screen which took me to audio of various club interviews which varied from chats with Ally McCoist pre game, Andy Mitchell talking about extending his stay at the club, Henning Berg talking about his time at Rangers and much more. Again the user experience was very smooth and problem free.

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In addition to this fixtures, results, match reports etc. are all easily accessible again with just one swipe.

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Another interesting feature is the club Twitter feed which again is available at one swipe, which is kept up to date 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, personally I find it a vital source of official Rangers news.

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Finally there is the Rangers News feed. This has brilliant content from all aspects of the club and again is very easy to use.

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In conclusion I think the Virtual Rangers app is a brilliant way of keeping up to date on all things Rangers. The user experience is great and very smooth running. Having interview content from club Legends like Andy Goram is a bonus as you can see first hand the camaraderie there is at Rangers from generations past and present. I found the operating system very smooth and very rarely did the app crash which is always a great sign with a new app. My only small gripe would be the background music during Andy Goram’s interviews as it was maybe a wee bit to much ’70s disco’ for me but that is a very minor issue in an otherwise great user experience. Maybe in future the app could add push notifications for up to date club news which would be great to have.

If your a Rangers fan may I suggest you would struggle to find a better way of spending £2.99 on this app. Great fun with substance.

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So Far So Good – Still Work To Be Done

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 16, 2013 by BMC Rangers Rants

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Well here we are in the middle of July. Pre Season is well under way, we have played 3 games and things are shaping up nicely on the park it seems. 3 Wins, 0 goals conceded,  4 goals scored. Having an actual Pre Season is nice for both the fans and no doubt the club.

As the season ended we wanted a lot of change at Rangers. Both on the field and off the field. Ally has signed 7 players and he wants more. Daly, Smith, Peralta, Foster, Law, Bell and Clark have all arrived. Would I have signed each of these players ? Probably not, but these are the guys Ally wanted and now he has got them. He is said to want to sign 2 centre backs in Boris Pandza and trialist Bilel Mohsni and also apparently wants another striker ( Please not Miller or Novo ) and another goalkeeper. That will complete the set for Ally and allow him to take us forward for stage 2 of the trip back to the top. This is all fine and everything but our squad really needs reduced further. Neil Alexander, Dorin Goian, Carlos Bocanegra and Kane Hemmings have all left the club and Kal Naismith is currently on a trial at Accrington Stanley but even then we are still far to high in numbers.

Bell, Gallacher, Argyriou, Hegarty, MacAusland, Foster, Mitchell, Cribari, Faure, Perry, Wallace, Smith, Peralta, Law, MacLeod, Hutton, Black, Templeton, Shiels, McKay, Aird, Stoney, Clark, Daly, Little, McCulloch, Cole, Gasparotto, Crawford and Naismith.

That is a squad of 30 players. Yes 30. That I am afraid is just far to much. Add to that another 3 signings Ally wants and that takes us to 33 and we can all see the need for exits from the club. Now bare in mind last season with a £7 mil a year wage bill for players we were losing £1 million pounds a month I’m sure we all become clear that we need to drastically reduce this cost base. High earners such as Alexander, Bocanegra and Goian leaving will help as the player brought in are said to be on nowhere near as high wages and understandably so. The problem is now we have players such as Ian Black who are on £7,000 per week plus bonus who clubs will just not touch. I regularly tweet about 10 players from the list I gave that we could get rid of that would not hinder us greatly but I am always met with the same response, ‘who would want them? and who would pay their wages?’ and to be honest that is the dilemma we are facing. Last season we won SFL 3 at a canter but can anyone say hand on heart they were impressed by any of our players week in week out? You could argue the case for MacLeod (pre injury) , Little and Wallace maybe but they are not the players we want to be rid of, they are the players we should be building around. So that will be tough for Craig Mather the new permanent Chief Executive to take care of. But it quite simply must be done.

Ally has his players now and as Ian Durrant said today in an interview there are now ‘no excuses’ for this team going into the next season. The off season has seen a refreshing honesty from most at the club on what happened last season. Ally McCoist spoke at length about what last season was lacking and where he will fix it going into next season and it was good to hear. Did I agree with all he had to say? No, however he warrants this chance to put things right. He has his players, the ones he wanted. He has a pre season. He has a new head of sports science. He has a far quieter boardroom. He can focus on the pitch and does not need to be sidetracked by what is happening off it.  So as Ian Durrant said there really is ‘no excuses’. Rangers have the 2nd highest wage bill in Scotland. Rangers have the best training facilities in Scotland. Rangers have the best support in Scotland. All of these things cannot be disputed. So now Ally has to show he can manage this team and get us back to the top and display a level of football that is acceptable to our deserving fans.

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As for our fans…. What can I say? 32,000 season tickets sold and more being sold every day. Nothing ever surprises me with our support. In the 3rd tier of scottish football and in a tough economic climate for the club to sell in excess of 32,000 tickets is just Phenomenal. The fans show at each turn they truly are ‘Simply The Best’.

At Boardroom level there appears to be a bit more sense of decorum, Maybe a certain Walter Smith has assisted in that aspect? Each day doesn’t appear to have continued leaked stories to enemies of the club and we appear to be on the back pages a lot more than the front pages which is very welcome for this Bear. Craig Whyte appears to be running out of options and as each sensationalist accusation is made they are swatted away with quick response or complete disregard. Charles ‘Rangersitis’ Green is away and his wee pal Ahmed also. How much did that cost us? I’m sure we will find out in due course. Malcolm Murray is also away as is Phillip Cartmell which always appeared inevitable. All that has gone on at board level is unclear and until the audited accounts are released I will reserve judgement.

James Easdale is on the board now and to be honest I am not comfortable with that at all. He and his brother don’t have the greatest of reputations and ultimately I don’t see where they can assist in running one of Scotland’s biggest institutions. Again we will have to see how that plays out.

Once the accounts are published then we can see where we are. How much is left of the IPO money? What has it been spent on? What are our operating costs? What happened to stadium sponsorship deal with Sports Direct? What happened to Club museum idea? What happened to Stadium renovation? What happened to Edmiston House plans? Maybe they are all underway but maybe they are not. The club has the responsibility to tell us the state of play and hopefully we will see that. If the IPO money has been spent on operating costs alone then we have a problem. What happens when that money runs out? What are we doing to prevent that happening?

So as you can see we still have a lot of unanswered questions. Lets hope the Rangers Family get some forthcoming answers.

So Far So Good. But there is still work to be done.