Anyone who reads the twaddle that I occasionally write on here will know that I rarely comment on current affairs and never comment on The Rangers. However on this occasion I am willing to make an exception.
I would much rather dabble in a bit of nostalgia and chronicle the touch and vision of the young Dalglish, the dribbling and crossing of the elusive Provan or the majestic skills of the wonderful Moravcik. But some things have to be said.
Everyone I am acquainted with knew two things recently. Firstly, that Rangers would be found guilty of illicit payments, and secondly, that they would not be stripped of titles. Few of us had any faith that the authorities, whether footballing or the judiciary, would have the courage to inflict a suitable punishment on the oldco for their misdemeanours. No one has the stomach any more for this long running farce which has plumbed the depths and dragged Scottish football through the mire and the ruling from Lord Nimmo is basically an admission that Rangers can do what they like and carry on regardless.
It’s easy to forget the scale of the biggest example of financial doping scandal ever to hit British football. And yet to understand what went on at Ibrox you have to look inside the psyche of the Rangers supporters and those who have been in charge of that club.
They can accept defeat, yes, but will not accept defeat to Celtic. After Martin O’Neill’s success at Parkhead in the early 2000’s the powers of be at Ibrox proved they would stoop to any level in their desperation to compete with Celtic and regain the ascendency. EBT’s (whether declared or not) massive debts, non payment of tax or even PAYE. Anything to keep ahead of their most bitter rivals. Even the face painters and the local newsagents were fair game in order to seek financial advantage. When they were eventually put into administration they became the only club who actually tried to increase their wage bill by signing Daniel Cousin, again a desperate attempt to compete with a resurgent Celtic under Neil Lennon.
And yet it’s easy to forget amongst all their euphoria that they have been found guilty. Imagine the man who steals a number of books from his local Waterstones book shop. When faced with the judge he tells the court that he has gone bankrupt and has changed his name. The judge then tells him that he’s guilty, fines him a paltry amount of money which will never be repaid and let’s him keep the stolen property. Welcome to the crazy world of Scottish football.
I don’t feel angry for Celtic over all this and had they been stripped of titles I wouldn’t have advocated Celtic getting them in return. My sympathies lie with the minnows of the SPL, with Livingston, Gretna, Dunfermline, Falkirk and the like who all acted honourably during that period in paying their debts and paying their players above board in an honest fashion despite their limited resources and were then thoroughly cheated in the process. Celtic have actually prevailed. We ran our affairs in an appropriate way and are now reaping the benefits by having a Champions League profile and a bulging bank balance whilst the newco lurk in the murky waters of the fourth division of the Scottish game.
If there was any integrity (now there’s a word that has been abused in the last year) then the other clubs in Scottish football would simply refuse to play them. Let them have their own one-team league in which they emerge victorious every season which should satisfy their desperate lust for success.
But here’s the rub for Charles Green. There is still the small matter of a £250,000 fine to be paid regarding the fine on the oldco Rangers and it’s said he has no intention of paying it. If Green really believes that continuity RFC are an extension of the old club then he has to pay the fine. If he doesn’t then that is a blatant admission of guilt that Rangers international football club is not the same entity and is an entirely new club altogether.
It’s your call Chuckles.