It may have survived ‘Armageddon’ and fended off a ‘slow lingering death’, but Scottish football is apparently not out of the woods yet. For we are now apparently in a period of ‘suffering’. And I fully expect emotive appeals for aid to appear on TV and in the newspapers very soon.
Yesterday, Sevco treated us to a wibbletastic statement about the SPFL and the recent Big Tax Case judgement. Its closing words were magnificent:
“They should be saying it is time for everyone to move on and work together for the greater good of the game. Scottish football has suffered enough.”
Stop laughing at the back please… And you at the front, stop sniggering. And those of you in the middle, please cease your guffawing! It is most undignified…
But that isn’t the only ‘evidence’ available that we are suffering. Because Paul Lambert has also spoken about it.
The article is pretty standard sympathetic fare about the expectations facing the Celtic players and manager. However, its concluding paragraphs are particularly noteworthy.
“Another factor Lambert feels is contributing to Celtic’s struggles in Europe – they are bottom of Europa League Group A – is the lack of a domestic title challenge.
‘The worst thing ever to happen was Rangers getting demoted. It took the competition away and made Scottish football a mockery’ he said. ‘Scottish football is suffering without Rangers playing against Celtic. I’ll guarantee if Rangers came up, you’d get a lot better standard of player coming to this country to play’.”
Suffering without Rangers? Demotion?
Once again, the twin fallacies of Rangers having their fate imposed upon them, and Scottish football cutting off its nose to spite its face are given an unchallenged airing. As I set out in September, Rangers’ demise was entirely at their own hand. Furthermore, their tribute act was damned lucky to be granted access to senior football in such a hurry, and ahead of other possible candidates.
The only thing that made a mockery of Scottish football was financial doping (including the unpaid tax on EBTs) and systematic rule-breaking on the part of a ‘club’ that chose to run headlong into oblivion.
Lambert says that a promoted Sevco would mean a lot better standard of player coming into Scotland. But how, Paul? Because in the period in which you experienced this ‘challenge’ from an Ibrox club it was seemingly a lie. Not a fair competition, and stuffed full of ‘better’ players whose employment seems to have left the tax man and thereby each and every citizen of these island out of pocket.
The notion of the Blue Pound being akin to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for Scottish football remains a complete myth. So much so that it runs around a field of light blue grass with unicorns, under the watchful eye of a Minotaur.
So I am afraid that The Clumpany doesn’t buy Lambert’s misguided ‘analysis’. What the game needs is a level playing field, and clubs living within their means. Rangers killed themselves and everyone has to live with the consequences of that. And as for the alleged suffering in our game, it feels like there is a lot less of it about than there was prior to 2012 when most fans of Scottish football were being taken for a very painful and expensive ride.
That said, there is still some suffering around. And you could hear in the voice of the BBC’s Richard Wilson when discussing EBTs and title stripping on last night’s Sportsound. You get the distinct impression that he and a number of other media commentators are not prepared to suffer the indignity of the late Rangers football club having to give up any unfairly won trophies…
NB Remember! It is most certainly not too late to write to your club about the outcome and implications of the Big Tax Case!