Media, Scottish Football, Sevco, SPFL

A Lightweight Contest

Good Evening (and please Vote ‘Clumpany’!).

Sometimes it is good to chuckle at the trivial. The froth that fills the newspapers on a day so slow that even Kris Boyd could outrun it.

There is no end of full-blown epic nonsense to guffaw at (see 200+ Clumpany blogs for an illustration. Or a copy of the Daily Record), but on occasion a bit of micro-garbage can really capture the imagination. And so it was yesterday when the Clumpany stumbled across this delightful piece in the Evening Shark-Jump.

Times Talker: Can Rangers* keep their winning league run going?

Wherein two of our favourite journalists slugged it out over one of the great issues of our time: can the all-conquering* Warbolution continue its bladder-emptyingly exciting winning run? [*That defeat in the League Cup is clearly best forgotten].

The Clumpany is still marvelling that the Evening Shark-Jump managed to find anyone willing to argue the ‘No’ side of the ‘argument’, and assumes that Matthew Lindsay only reluctantly agreed after several weeks of intense negotiations. 

On the other hand, The Clumpany suspects that Chris Jack is still punching the air with delight having been given the opportunity to proclaim “Yes they can!”.

At first, I wondered about the precise duration over which they were discussing the winning run continuing. Naturally – given that the MSM usually struggles to imagine anything ever going wrong for an Ibrox-based ‘club’ – I assumed it was probably “for ever and ever”.

But no, Chris was quite restrained, suggesting that it is “still far too early to talk about the Gers* going through the 36 game league schedule unbeaten. Shocks can easily happen. But while Warburton has his tried and trusted stars [stars?!] to call upon and if complacency doesn’t set in, Rangers will believe they can keep up the momentum for some time yet.”

“The Ibrox boss will continue to keep his, and his players’, feet on the ground, but it would be no surprise if they racked up a few more wins in the coming weeks.”

But Chris was in no doubt about the overall prospects for Sevco FC: 

“Having swept all before them on Championship duty thus far, Warburton’s side will head into the second quarter of the season in fine form and high in confidence, and rightly so.”

To be fair to Matthew Lindsay, he did a commendable job of pointing out the possibility of the Warbo XI slipping up at some point soon:

“Mark Warburton’s side were highly fortunate to make it nine wins out of nine in the Championship against Falkirk at the weekend.”

“It took them until the 81st minute to edge ahead of Peter Houston’s team – and even then they only did so after being awarded a controversial free-kick. But, for me, it highlighted that the Ibrox club can, despite being comfortably the best team in the second tier and strong favourites to lift the title, be held to a draw or even beaten.” [GASP!!]

“A few key Rangers players failed to turn up and perform and they toiled to break down hard-working opponents as a result. If they struggle like that on their own turf when they are having an off day how are they going to get on at another ground when they aren’t at their best?”


Matthew concluded his ‘argument’ with some words which immediately made me think of the wider picture 

“Rangers* will come unstuck sooner rather than later.” 

He meant this in a footballing sense. But what both he and Chris failed to do (as is so often the case with media commentary on Sevco) is to lever in the wider context, which – like it or not – has the potential to bring the Warbolution to a shuddering halt. 

And that wider context can be summed up in one word: money.

Dave King himself has indicated that Sevco will need additional money to see out the season, and other commentators have suggested that finance will be required well before King’s stated 6 months’ period of grace has elapsed. At some point – possibly very soon – money has to be found to keep the lights on, and the players on the park. 

Sevco already owe millions to Sports Direct, RIFC Directors and ursine benefactors, and it remains to be seen who is going to provide further finance given that a share issue looks a distant prospect, assets are already secured, and looming court cases have the potential to cause further difficulties.

I look forward to Chris and Matt doing a discussion piece entitled “Can Rangers* keep the lights on?”, because even though they are sports journalists, the answer to that question will ultimately provide the real answer to the question of “Can Rangers* keep their winning league run going?”

I am sure colleagues on the News and Business desks in Herald/Shark-Jump Towers would be delighted to help. 


NB Astonishingly, The Clumpany has made it to the final of the Football Blogging Awards 2015! Many thanks for your support! All previous votes have now been wiped out so your renewed support would be greatly appreciated! 

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