A few days ago I noted that Sky’s Andy Walker had strayed into unusual media territory by speaking a stark truth about Rangers’ demise…
Most notably, the ex-Celtic player said
“It was completely and utterly Rangers’ fault, their spectacular mismanagement that led them into administration and liquidation.”
In Walker’s opinion, no one external brought Rangers down. No one pulled a chair from underneath them as they were about to sit down. No one put salt instead of sugar into their tea. No one had a perfectly-ordinary-looking-flower on their lapel which squirted water in their eye without warning. No one put a bag of flour on top of a door so that it fell on them as they passed through. And no one shook their hand only to inflict an electric shock from a hidden device.
No, the truth was much more straightforward and infinitely more hilarious. There was no trickery or malice involved. Rangers spent way more money than it had, broke numerous rules, attracted the attention of the tax man and was liquidated. You might think that is a statement of the obvious, but as we all know, there are many out there who will see anything other than the very simple facts
So it was refreshing to see Walker speaking one element of the truth even if he couldn’t quite bring himself to acknowledge the full implications of liquidation.
Such as death.
In fact, especially death. Keep trying Andy though. You are making good progress!
And guess what? Andy isn’t the only one whole has been careering ‘off message’ recently. In a shock development the Daily Record had something interesting and realistic to say about one or other of the Ibrox clubs.
Yes, I am astonished too…
I refer to this remarkably sensible piece from Michael ‘Mr’ Gannon:
Displaying an unexpected flair for Clumping, Michael commented on Dave King’s statement which accompanied RIFC’s unaudited Interim Financial Results on 7 March. In particular, this remark:
“Many of the clubs in the Premiership will also be hoping Rangers is promoted because Scottish football has suffered on many levels since our club went down to the bottom division.”
It would be fair to say that my assessment of those arrogant-sounding comments was not a kind one.
Michael also took King to task, albeit more politely:
“Suffered. Really? Hands up the clubs who agree.
Ask around the likes of Aberdeen, St Johnstone, Inverness, Hearts and Ross County. See what word they’d use to describe the last four years. It won’t be suffered. It’ll be more like enjoyed.
The only thing that’s suffered in Scottish football terms has been the European coefficient. There’s no arguing that poor wee thing has taken a pounding.
Our league was 15th in 2011 and is now down to 25th. It was already on the slide before Rangers hit the skids but with the Ibrox club out of commission, it’s gone over the cliff.”
“Having two clubs in continental action until Christmas in either competition helped keep the numbers up in the previous years and no one outside Celtic have managed it since 2012. But domestically it’s been a blast for most teams.
There’s been street parades and parties in Paisley, Perth, Aberdeen, and Inverness. There’s been top six finishes and cup runs elsewhere and crowds have increased at more than half of the top flight grounds.
Even the bank managers have been kept sweet. The old Armageddon line has been flogged to death but instead of going down the tubes, many clubs have cleared the decks. Dundee United, Killie, the Dons and Hibs have wiped their debts, Hearts have escaped admin and are packing out Tynecastle every other week.”
“Good luck finding a Hoops fan who’s ready to admit out loud they wouldn’t mind having Rangers – or Sevco, Newco or whatever they want to call them – in the top flight, just to brighten the place up a bit.
But as for the rest? Forget it. They’ve been happily going along their merry way and a fair few of them will look back on these recent years as the glory days. They couldn’t care less if Rangers are in the top flight or not. They didn’t expect to win the league before and won’t do in the future.
The Premiership will be commercially and competitively a better product with Rangers in it. As it would with Hibs and Dundee United. But that’s not how it works.”
‘Couldn’t care less!’ Ouch! That’s you on ‘the list’ Michael! And I doubt you will be winning any awards voted by your peers. The prevailing narrative of most of the MSM has been that the game has been a deeply flawed ‘product’ since Rangers’ demise. Which explains the absolute trouser-wetting glee on display across various media outlets since the Scottish Cup semi-final draw gave us a Sevco v Celtic tie.
The old lazy ‘Old Firm’ autopilot has been engaged and everyone can have an easy life.
Michael’s assessment is also at odds with the colossal misplaced superiority complex of some Sevco fans, who seem to think that their ‘club’ has a divine right to crush everyone else under foot, and for whom Rangers’ demise is so mortifying they have to convince themselves that the game has been utterly worthless since 2012.
But of course, Michael is absolutely right. As many of us have said before, Scottish Football is about so much more than two ‘clubs’, if only parts of the media and administrators would care to take a look.
Frankly, any major sport which had to rely on the recreation of a rule-breaking and creditor-stiffing entity for its excitement and survival would have a very big problem indeed. In fact, you would have to argue that it was morally (as well as financially) bankrupt.
You’d think that grown adults in parts of the media and at Hampden might realise that.
But well done Michael! Help yourself to a drink from The Clumpany’s ethereal drinks cabinet. I am sure Sevconia will forgive you one day..