john clarke says:
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 20:18
Unlike you, instead of addressing my concerns to Colonel Blimp and General Melchett, I took the political route to the chappie in Whitehall.
The Right Honourable Philip Hammond MP
Secretary of State for Defence
13th November, 2012
Military Presence: Ibrox Stadium 10th November 2012
I watched a Rangers TV video covering the half-time behaviour by members of the armed forces at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow on Saturday, 10th November 2012. I was appalled that those in charge of The Rangers Football Club had turned the annual Remembrance Day observance into a circus.
You may be aware that in the west of Scotland the poppy appeal has in recent years been hijacked by The Rangers Football Club in order to encourage the more baser elements of its support in a display of triumphalism.
At a time when our troops are being denied all necessary numbers, training and equipment to properly do their duty oversees, Rangers F.C. directors are currently responsible for avoiding some £94 million in tax. This is a substantial sum of public funds, which could have contributed greatly to improve the lot of our brave service men and women.
I wish to know:
Who was responsible for sanctioning the presence of military personnel (regular and territorial) at Ibrox Stadium on 10th November 2012?
Who authorised the artillery weapon to be brought into the stadium and just how did it add to the dignity of the remembrance?
Why was an officer not appointed, or do his job to ensure that all the servicemen acted with the utmost discipline and decorum on such a solemn occasion? (I note that the conduct of the servicemen at football grounds elsewhere in the UK was impeccable).
I presume that, as these troops were in uniform, they were being paid expenses and ‘drill’ money. There would have been additional costs for military transport etc. What, therefore, was the overall cost to the taxpayer in The Ministry of Defence providing this ‘entertainment’?
I sincerely hope that you will carefully review any future request by The Rangers Football Club for any “rent a regiment” appearance at its stadium in future.