The Clumpany received an anguished phone call from Mr Custard last night.
He was in a high state of distress as he had seen this article from Roddy ‘Deprived of his Ibrox Debenture by Liquidation’ Forsyth in the Telegraph.
Our Custardy Friend was terrified that the article may have displaced him as ‘the single more bizarre Rangers/Sevco incident’ in the Clumpany Comedy Pantheon.
I was able to reassure him that his part of the saga remained in a ‘batsh*t crazy’ category all of its own, and that he had nothing to worry about.
Reassured, he went off to check his email to see if any fans of an Ibrox club in meltdown had accidentally sent him money.
But what of Roddy Forsyth’s article?
Well, Mr Custard was right to look at it with incredulity. Because it is an absolute belter which even the Evening Shark-Jump might reject for fear of losing credibility.
Here are some key extracts:
“The possibility of the Ibrox club being stripped of titles has fuelled concern among several clubs, who fear financial repercussions.”
“Last night one chairman, who asked not to be identified, told Telegraph Sport: ‘There is a strong feeling amongst clubs that this has to be handled extremely carefully because of the possible consequences. Suppose for the sake of argument Rangers are stripped of all the honours they won during the time they operated EBTs. Do we award those honours to the runners-up – and trigger the bonuses that would have been paid to the players who were on their books then if they had actually won the trophies?’
‘Celtic might be able to afford that but nobody else could. The alternative would be to withhold all of those trophies and devalue all our domestic tournaments at a time when we’ve had to go cap in hand to find sponsors.’
Another chairman, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ‘I certainly don’t fly any flag for Rangers and my view is that the EBT scheme was questionable and maybe even reckless from the start but they were given expert advice and they acted on it and it has taken the taxman three tries to get a favourable result.’
‘Rangers have paid the price for that but so has everyone else in Scottish football since the oldco went under. Right now I would say that matters are moving sideways and we still don’t know if the taxman has actually won.’
‘Don’t forget that the SPL clubs got solidarity payments from Uefa because Rangers were in the group stages of the Champions League as Scottish champions. If we take titles away from Rangers and Uefa demand their money back, who would be able to pay it?'”
So, we have two unnamed Chairmen separately raising a somewhat left-field concern about the bonus and solidarity payment implications of the outcome of the Big Tax Case.
Clearly we must all now stop thinking about whether cheating has occurred on an industrial scale, and whether sanctions are required. Because some clubs might struggle to pay out any monies that may or may not be triggered!
What price the value of Scottish football as an actual sport, Roddy?
I would call the piece ‘scaremongering’, but that would be to ignore the fact that it is laugh-out-loud hilarious. As has been demonstrated by the online reaction of the Global Community of Clumpaneers.
The idea that anyone could possibly be scared by the contents, and prompted to think Rangers (IL) should avoid sanctions for ‘the good of the game’ is utterly risible’.
We have been down the ‘Armageddon’ road before. And it was a steaming pile of crap. We are all still here. Even Sevco. Just.
Who knows what the motivation for Roddy’s piece was. Perhaps he was simply reporting what he had been told during the course of his day-to-day work?
But if he (and any PR operation that might have contributed to the story) seriously thought it might change minds and create sympathy for Rangers (IL) then they are badly mistaken.
Finally… As with all the best comedy, Roddy’s piece had more than one layer of hilarity.
When the Telegraph first tweeted the story last night, the Tweet was extremely alarmist, speaking of clubs fearing ‘bankruptcy’ (sic)!
Whatever the case. We are still mocking them this morning.
Armageddon, my arse…