His announcement followed the news that the stadium and other facilities are being built on-budget and on-time, including the Emmirates Arena containing the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The creation of these facilities will help to regenerate Glasgow’s east end, it is hoped. 80% of the Commonwealth Games are being funded by the Scottish Government.
After the games, local residents will be able to use the facilities as part of the government project Glasgow Life. 300 homes from the Athletes Village will also be handed over to the city’s housing council in an attempt to alleviate local housing problems.
Commenting on the forthcoming games, Mr Mason said: “The Games represent a unique opportunity for us to showcase our city to the rest of the world and I have every confidence that we will do that well. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a real boost to the economy of Glasgow and will provide a lasting legacy for the people of my constituency and across this great city. There have already been jobs for local people in construction and there will be more jobs in the longer term actually operating the facilities. In addition local residents can obviously use the facilities just as they do other places operated by Glasgow Life.
He went on to say: “It’s an exciting time to live in Glasgow and that excitement will only continue to grow as we approach 2014. Not only are we seeing the upgrade to the Tollcross Leisure Centre but there will be useful new complexes built such as the recently opened Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Green.”
Now that the Olympic football has started at Hampden, First Minister Alex Salmond, said:
“Olympic football at Hampden promises to be something pretty special and I’m very excited about being there to see it for myself.
“Many, many Scots have been working incredibly hard for months behind the scenes to make the Olympics get off to a safe and successful start here and I’m grateful to them all.
“The tie between the USA, the current women’s Olympic champions, and France will focus the eyes of the world on Scotland and I know our home crowd will do them – and us – proud.
“We have made tickets available to thousands of children and I hope thousands of families are going to make the most of the school holidays – not to mention the sunshine – by taking part in this once-in-a-generation experience.
“Scotland is playing host to some of the very first Olympic events and I can think of no luckier place to be than in the Hampden stand. All the very best to all those taking part!”
On Tuesday 7 February 2012, the Glasgow Science Centre hosts the eighth Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland emerging talent conference.
Attendees, including young people from Scottish businesses and colleges, will hear from Katherine Grainger MBE, the Olympic rower, as she makes her only public speech before competing in London 2012. The Glasgow born athlete has won a record breaking three Olympic medals and is a world champion rower.
Other keynote speakers are Peter Fisk, bestselling author of Creative Genius, founder of innovation business GeniusWorks and advisor to some of the world’s leading brands, and Captain Nick Bates the former captain of the QM2.
A series of workshop include experts such as award winning chef Willie Pike MBE; Shirley Spear of the Michelin starred Three Chimneys; the Green Tourism Business Scheme; Costa Coffee; Ecole de hotelier de Lausanne, Europe’s leading hospitality school and Women 1st.
The conference aims to raise standards and aspirations across Scotland. HIT Scotland will also announce the recipients of a £100,000 emerging talent scholarship programme.
This year, HIT Scotland has selected 80 of the 500 applicants who have the most potential to become future leaders. HIT Scotland scholars are expected to use their experiences to raise the skills and standards of their peers and take a future leadership role in the industry. Destinations include hotels in Dubai, Cornell University, schools in Switzerland and Cornell and Michelin starred kitchens.
The HIT Scotland Emerging Talent Conference is supported by Skills Development Scotland, People 1st, Xpress recruitment and Jupiter Hotels.
On the conference, Peter Fisk said, “Economic downturns are times of great shake-up when innovators can capture new moods and gaps in the market. Hospitality has seen less innovation than most sectors. It will be the emerging talent of the industry who take these opportunities, who try new ideas and ways thinking and dare to be different. They should forget Tripadvisor and think like the Thunder Show, instead of Facebook try Path, switch off X Factor and learn from their X Box. It is up to them to shape the future of hospitality.”
Captain Nick Bates, said, “Having worked on some of the most famous Cruise ships in the world I can quite empathise with HIT Scotland and the Emerging Talents they help to support. The service industry is one of the most important in Scotland and it is a pleasure for me to help share some of my experiences and encourage those who are making a career in the Hotel and catering industry.”
Shirley Spear, proprietor of the Three Chimneys, in Skye said, “The conference is wonderful chance to speak to people not only about the great career paths in hospitality but about the opportunities working for small and rural businesses.”
Tickets cost £ 80.00 and are available from www.hitscotland.org
HIT Scotland is supported by I am Clothing Solutions, Highland Spring, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Caterer.com, Enterprise Rent a Car, Phillips and Brakes Fresh Ideas
Photo courtesy of Peter Devlin SportScotland
by Stewart Primrose
I would, however, be shocked to see Miller move to Birmingham, especially with the likes of Fiorentina and Marseilles reportedly linked with the SPL’s top goalscorer. If it were me, an offer abroad to France or Italy would seem far more attractive than moving down south in what will most probably be a relegation battle.
Miller has been to England twice, with mixed success, and it would be good at this stage of his career, in what is probably his last contract, to try something new. Also the prospect of European football would remain, with Championship football being a distinct possibility next year at Birmingham.
Miller can pick and choose his clubs. He has earned the right to do so after two and a half excellent years at Ibrox. This season, in particular, has been fruitful for the ex Celtic man. 22 goals at the half way stage of the season has seen him in strong contention for the golden boot, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo his main challengers.
Whatever Miller does, though, it is not good news for Rangers fans. They cannot afford to give Miller a new contract. It simply is impossible for a club in Scotland to offer the £30,000 a week Miller is reportedly looking for. However, would it not be sensible to keep Miller on for the rest of the season and let him do what Kris Boyd did last year and leave on a Bosman?
£700,000 is not a lot of money and Rangers are going to struggle to get someone near Miller’s quality for even double that amount. The financial problems have been well documented at Ibrox, but surely keeping Miller could bring in more than his potential transfer fee?
Firstly, Rangers are still in Europe. Progression into the last 16 of the Europa League will mean more games, and the TV money and gate receipts alone would amount to more than £1 million.
Without Miller, Rangers do not have any suitable forwards to lead the line domestically and in Europe. Nikica Jelavic is cup tied which means the much maligned Kyle Lafferty is the likely candidate to replace him.
Steven Naismith can also play there but the squad is already too small at Rangers to contemplate losing its best player this season. If they could bring in David Goodwillie for around £1 million it would soften the blow, but he is potential and not someone to rely upon to fire the goals towards a third consecutive domestic title.
Secondly, another title gives Rangers a chance at Champions League qualification and a possibility of £10 million. The SPL winners would be pitched in with champions from other small nations, like Romania and the Czech Republic, but they will be seeded, giving them a favourable draw.
Is the gamble that much to take? £700,000 is not a lot of money in today’s mad football world, even with Rangers debt.
The problem, of course, is it’s not football people running the club but bankers. You do wonder what kind of influence absentee owner Sir David Murray has over transfer policy. He still owns the club and should be taking far greater responsibility than he currently is over the financial mess that was allowed to engulf on Scotland most successful sporting institution.
It was him, after all, who ran up debts of £80 million chasing an unrealistic dream. Then, after a share rights issue of over £50 million, he ran up more debts. This is mismanagement at best. Murray may have been a good thing for Rangers initially, and he has overseen some fantastic moments with the club, but his legacy is fast becoming known for financial ruin and embarrassment.
The decade of downsizing continues for Rangers with Miller’s expected departure. How long for and to what extent is now the real worry for everyone connected with the club.
First Published on Stewart’s own blog
STV is delighted to confirm that it will be screening Rangers’ vital Champions League match against Manchester United on Wednesday 24 November live from Ibrox.
Former Rangers captain Richard Gough and Everton Manager David Moyes will be joining Sports Centre presenter Gerry McCulloch for full analysis and discussion of the evening’s football action.
Live coverage of this crucial game will be on STV from 7.30pm to 10pm, with an online video chat from the stadium on stv.tv/sport from 5pm to 6pm.
The match commentary will be provided by Derek Rae and Craig Burley.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s ‘Battle of Britain’, Gerry said: “It will be fantastic to present this key match live from Ibrox with two such knowledgeable guests.
“I’m sure our viewers will appreciate unique Scottish coverage of such an important game and I’m looking forward to welcoming Richard and David to the programme.”
In addition to live coverage of all the action from Ibrox, STV will also be screening a live two-hour highlights show at 10.30pm from the STV studios.
STV sports presenter Raman Bhardwaj will front the programme and he will be joined in the studio by ex-Rangers striker Peter Lovenkrands, currently playing for Newcastle United, and Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez as he brings viewers highlights of all the Champions League matches from across Europe.