My whole experience of Rangers and their fans over many years was that to deny them their assumed prerogative was to risk chaos. Too many instances of pitch invasions and attempted assaults on Celtic teams after cup final defeats, and even more examples of attacks and assaults on Celtic buses and on individual fans over many years offered evidence that this group of people recognise no boundaries when things go against them.
At one point Eddie expressed the view that ‘there is a darkness at the heart of that club’ and in that phrase offered a very accurate summary of our experience of them.
Thankfully that club is now dead, a result of its own excesses, its obsession with success, which drove its management and its owners to break any number of rules, football and social, breaches of common decency and refusal to play its part in the very cement of the society which it claimed to represent more than any other football club.
That the establishment club, the club which described itself as ‘quintessentially British’ should perish on the rocks of tax evasion and failure to pay its debts was somehow entirely appropriate.
When their demise was imminent, there was much broohaha in the MSM to the effect that there would ‘always be a Rangers’, that somehow they would rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of their own self destruction. While it was not clear in what form or at what level of the game this zombie would emerge, it was obvious that the message to all was that ‘the big house must stay open’ in some form, and the administrators failed miserably in their declared objective to protect the interests of the creditors but succeeded brilliantly in ensuring that this was indeed the case. That this involved no end of chicanery and sleight of hand – indeed the old RFC methodology of smoke and mirrors in spades – seemed to be of secondary concern to the media in Scotland with one or two notable exceptions.
I had hoped that they would actually pass from our ken completely, that the prospect of never playing on that ground or against a team supported by their fans was a reality, but somehow the organisation known as Sevco, a team who masquerade as the former RFC continues to haunt the Scottish Football scene.
When it became obvious that some form of football entity would persist in wearing their colours I had some hope that it might involve a form of Truth and Reconciliation experience, whereby an acknowledgement of their crimes and misdemeanours – ranging from rampant sectarianism to fiscal malpractice and rule breaking – would be forthcoming and a new and cleansed club might be the result. A public apology would have gone a long way to garner support from other clubs who held the fate of Newco in their hands.
Instead we have had the exact opposite. Arrogance, anger, abuse, blame and a whining self pity has been the outstanding feature of Newco and their followers. Indeed rather than accept any responsibility for what happened to their club the huns have made every effort imaginable to find scapegoats , hate figures and enemies at every turn.
That we figure high on the list of folk who will suffer their wrath comes as no surprise – we have been their reason d’etre since the years following the great war, without the Celtic they are nothing, since the entire focus of their support is anti the community which gave our club birth.
The various internet bampots who made the grim mistake of telling the truth about goings on at the Death Star over many years became, in their eyes, legitimate hate figures, most notably Rangers Tax case and Phil Macgiollabhain, but our own web-site deserves much credit for exposing their crimes over time.
That the default position of the knuckledraggers and troglodytes who form the hard core of their support is one of delusion, denial and hatred is a given, but that many who might have been considered reasonable intelligent members of the wider community bought into the myth of persecution and victimisation did come as a surprise to me.
The notion of accurate and forensic analysis of the conditions which led them to extinction was at no time a feature of the response which we saw during the months leading to and following their liquidation and re-birth as a new club.
Encouraged by a compliant and supportive media – the main protagonist of which we now find is legitimately their paid cheer leader when before it was, for him, only a hobby – they have embarked on a programme of hideous self parody where they perceive enemies behind every corner and instead of focussing their energies into taking their new enterprise forward, seem intent on exposing and punishing everyone whom they regard as in any way instrumental in their collapse.
The emergence of one Charles Green and the manner in which he has played them like a banjo is stark evidence of how deeply their core values lie and how far beyond redemption that club and their support really are.
For many years their great anthem – We are Rangers – contained the phrase ‘no one likes us – we don’t care’. Paradoxically it was when it became clear that indeed no one did like them that their whining and their self pity was at its most obvious – in truth – they did care, and they did not like one bit. Where any other community might have asked itself why, what is it in our make up and our behaviour that people don’t like and tried to remedy these things, the follow followers and their spokesmen – Dingwall, Graham, et al became even more vicious and hateful in their response to imagined wrongs from everyone, even Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
That they actually perceive malice in the actions of the government is an illustration how disordered and dysfunctional this club and its followers have become.
Despite our hopes of the summer we are faced with a reality which suggests that even though Rangers Football Club are no more, an entity around which their followers can muster and parade their worst qualities will be very real feature of Scottish life, both sporting and social.
From all the available evidence Rangers are no more, but the huns not only continue to exist but have in some way become even more empowered and entitled in their perverse and warped world view which proclaims that they are ra peepul.
It is interesting that this weekend there are once again riots on the streets of Northern Ireland, the root cause of which is that the community which provides the core support for the former RFC and now Sevco have shown again their inability and unwillingness to accept the word ‘no’.
It was ever thus!
The saddest feature of the whole sorry saga is that for once, a chance to make life better in Scotland was passed up because a compliant media coupled with weak political leadership, both in the social and sporting spheres, were unable and unwilling to lance a boil which has poisoned our small nation for over a century.
You can follow the author on Twitter @LachieMor1