Talk:Graeme Souness

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Untitled[edit]

"That summer, Souness was selected by Ally McLeod for Scotland's squad for the World Cup in Argentina. He had only won six caps by this stage and injury robbed of him of a place in Scotland's first two group games against Peru and Iran"

I was under the impression that it was McLeod's decision not to play Souness, and rely instead on the established midfield of Don Masson and Bruce Rioch, rather than any injury to the then Liverpool player. Can anyone verify? (user: Stockton 6th July 2005)

In the Daily Telegrah on-line edition (I only read it for the sport, honest) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2005/07/30/hansen/ufnpro.xml#h Tim Rich writes of Souness 'had he been fit for the first two games of Scotland's 1978 World Cup campaign, Ally McLeod might not have become a byword for out-of-touch management' Neil Leslie 03:29, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Rangers' signing policy[edit]

Souness has publicly stated that he was determined to end Rangers' policy of not signing Catholic players, particularly as his wife was Catholic, and has written that with this in mind he tried to sign Ray Houghton and John Collins before Johnston.

In his autobiography Souness: The Management Years (Andre Deustch, 1999), he covers the signing of Johnston [pp 52-55] -

"Rangers simply never signed Catholics. ... It never made sense to me but that was the way it had always been before I broke the mould and brought Johnston to Ibrox. I knew there would be fierce opposition in some quarters and that proved to be the case - and not just among the Rangers fans. There were divisions in the boardroom and in the dressing room at the idea..." [p52]

"...if we had not had the courage to sign Maurice who knows how long that ridiculous ban would have remained in place" [p55]

He also covers the signing in Graeme Souness: A Manager's Diary (Mainstream, 1989; pp 7-23). He says that whoever follows him as Rangers' manager won't have to "face up to the particular problem of religious discrimination which bedevilled my first three years at Ibrox. That is now a thing of the past."

On p.17, he writes

"For years Rangers have been pilloried for what the majority of people saw as discrimination against one section of the population. Now we have shown that this unwritten policy at Ibrox is over. It's finished. Done with."

Terry Butcher, the club's captain at the time, has also written of Souness' intention -

"At the time, it was a very strong principle that Rangers did not sign Catholics, but Graeme Souness was no fool and particularly anxious to break the mould ... He had played in Italy and Liverpool and knew the only way to be successful was to encompass everyone."

[There is an extract adapted from Butcher's autopbiography here - http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/tm_objectid=15926094&method=full&siteid=66633&headline=graeme-souness-prayed-i-would-be-the-first-catholic-to-join--rangers-name_page.html]

If you have a reputable source which can somehow prove the non-existence of such a policy, please cite it. However, it is clear from Souness' own writing that he knew there was such a ban in place, that he had pledged to end this policy when he became manager, and that after David Murray bought the club, he had the owner's backing to do it. Hippo43 16:39, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Excellent work, Hippo43! --Guinnog 16:44, 28 June 2006 (UTC)


A few slight problems with this anti-Rangers diatribe coming from a Celtic fan that is trying to show Rangers in a bad light for supposedly having a Sectarian signing policy which Graeme Souness broke with the signing of Maurice Johnston in 1989. Firstly we can completely discount anything that was written by Butcher, as Butcher was only a player at Ibrox at the time we can safely assume that if Rangers did have an official policy of not signing Catholic players Butcher was not privy to any official paperwork detailing this policy.

Now we have to look at all the content that you have provided from Souness's biography the only content that suggests that there was a ban on Catholics playing for Rangers is this line that you have quoted: ""...if we had not had the courage to sign Maurice who knows how long that ridiculous ban would have remained in place" [p55]"

This would suggest that there was an internal ban at Rangers on signing Catholics that Souness ended. However there is a flaw in this theory of cataclysmic proportions. What if there was a Roman Catholic player on the books at Rangers when Souness became the manager? John Spencer signed by Jock Wallace was at Rangers when Souness arrived and was a Roman Catholic. Therefore if there was ever a ban on Roman Catholics playing at Rangers it did not exist in 1985 when Spencer signed from St. Ninians school. --Roy Biv ( talk contribs ) 02:24, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


Several points here. How on earth do you 'know' if I am a Celtic fan or not? What difference would it make if I were? Either my contribution is accurate or it isn't. Clearly many fans of various football clubs (or rugby clubs, cricket clubs, bands, movie stars...) don't know what they are talking about no matter how passionate they are, and many non-fans (football historians, for example) may be better-informed.

If I had to guess, I'd guess you were a Rangers fan, but this makes no inherent difference to the quality of your edits - either they're accurate or they aren't. If you contributed to an article on, say, Wolverhampton Wanderers, your work would be judged on its own merit. Clearly you think that being a fan of one side of the Old Firm makes you inherently anti-Rangers or anti-Celtic - though it hasn't stopped you contributing to Celtic-related articles, and nor should it.

Obviously being a fan of one club doesn't stop someone being critical of that club for some of its actions - many Celtic fans, for instance, were highly critical of the Celtic management during the late 1980's and 90's, many Manchester United fans were passionately opposed to Malcolm Glazer's takeover and many Rangers fans were critical of their own club's stance on Catholics and therefore pleased when Johnston was signed. This is an encyclopedia, not a fans' site. By all means create your own site elsewhere and disseminate whatever version of history you want.

Second, this isn't anti-Rangers, or a diatribe, simply a reasoned attempt to explain the context of Souness' action (using his own words), and why it was such a controversial issue among Rangers fans at the time. How is me praising one of Rangers' managers an anti-Rangers diatribe??

You say we can discount anything written by Butcher because he was 'only' a Rangers player - why? As club captain he was clearly very close to Souness, very close to the situation and, as is clear in his writing, knew the importance of the Johnston signing. If you have credentials which make you a better-qualified source than Rangers' then-captain, please let us know.

Moreover, any policy of this sort is obviously most likely to have been an unwritten one, as any record of it would be obviously damning. Souness himself refers to it as such in the quote I used above - "Now we have shown that this unwritten policy at Ibrox is over. It's finished. Done with." If I am wrong, as you say, then what does this mean?

He makes clear that there was opposition at board level to signing a catholic - are you saying he is lying?

As for Souness' 2 biographies I quoted, you stated "the only content that suggests that there was a ban on Catholics playing for Rangers is this line that you have quoted..." Let me be clear - I never called it a 'ban', or suggested there would be official paperwork recording it. I called it a policy of not signing Catholic players. Every one of the quotes I used shows the reality of the situation - please read them again. I could have chosen from any number of quotes from his books and found it difficult to stick to 2 from each. If you think only one of these 4 quotes suggests Rangers had a policy of not signing Catholics, I think you need to take your head out of the sand.

Both autobiographies contain lengthy sections on this time, and are unambiguous about the reality of Rangers' policy. I tried to include a good sample of it but you are free to read it all - both books are very clear.

When he became manager in 1986, Souness stated publicly that he wanted to sign the best players for Rangers, irrespective of their backgrounds. He has since said, in books and TV interviews, that he was determined that he would be able to sign Catholic players if they were good enough, as he was married to a Catholic and didn't want to live by one policy at home and another at work. His writing shows that David Murray's backing (after Murray bought the club in 1989) was crucial in his being able to sign Johnston - he refers to "the particular problem of religious discrimination which bedevilled my first three years at Ibrox", and to the opposition he faced from some of Rangers' board.

I am not claiming Rangers never employed Catholics before Johnston. It is well-known that they did in many cases, Spencer being one, but it is also clear they had a general policy of not signing Catholic players (hence Johnston being referred to as 'Rangers' first high-profile Catholic player in modern times' in this article). Spencer arrived as an unheralded 15-year old schoolboy - do you think there would have been no problem with him signing for Rangers in 1985 if he had been an established, well-known professional?

I have quoted Rangers' manager and captain on the subject, yet you still think you know better. If anyone wants to know the truth about this, they are free to read Souness' own words in any library, rather than relying on you to interpret for them. Souness refers to it as 'this ridiculous ban' - why don't you tell us what you think Souness was talking about? Hippo43 10:44, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Dispute with Sky[edit]

I deleted the sentence in the intro, "He is currently in a dispute with Sky as they claim 'his comments were not worthy of his fee'". I can't find any evidence that this has ever been the case. As of March 2007, Souness continues to be a Sky pundit, usually on Champions League coverage. Stockton 00:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Rangers' No Catholics Policy[edit]

A recent television program from BBC Scotland called, "That Was The Team That Was", featured Aberdeen F.C. and Alex Ferguson. There was a reference to Alex Ferguson turning down an invitation by Rangers to come and manage them in (I think) 1982. The program's voice-over stated that Ferguson had been promised that he would be allowed to sign Catholics and showed a newspaper headline that said, "And He Can Sign Catholics".

Ferguson's wife is a Roman Catholic and he was known to have expressed disapproval of the 'no Catholics' policy.

I would tend to conclude from this incident that, while Graeme Souness's signing of Mo Johnston may have been first time that Rangers made a high-profile Roman Catholic signing, the familiar tale of Souey heroically overturning the 'no Catholics' policy in the face of determined opposition from narrow-minded traditionalists does not pass muster. The promise given to Ferguson by the Rangers board, four years earlier, suggests that when Souness broke the sectarian barrier, he was not so much storming a stronghold of resistance as pushing at an open door. He deserves some credit for his courage in signing Johnston - but not nearly as much as he claims for himself in his various memoirs.

Flonto 23:15, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Honours section[edit]

Why does the honours section as both player and manager, not show his accomplishments with Rangers? probably the most successful time of his career, and all that is shown here is the English stuff!! was it perhaps an English man that made this page?! 194.221.133.211 (talk) 09:27, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

If you know or can find out what he won with Rangers, how about adding them to the article yourself? BarretBonden (talk) 16:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Now added (by an Englishman). Daemonic Kangaroo (talk) 19:27, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Support of Rangers[edit]

I added and cited a reference to Souness' boyhood support of Rangers, which is well documented in print and from the man's own mouth. He used to go to Ibrox to watch Rangers as a boy as well as to Tyncastle to watch Hearts, and indeed still occasionally takes a place in the directors box. Can't understand why this reference was removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.44.95.116 (talk) 16:18, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

FA Youth Cup[edit]

I have corrected the year as it was wrongly given as 68/69 but that was Sunderland v West Brom.Statto74 (talk) 14:03, 11 March 2014 (UTC)