Earlier today, The Clumpany watched this news report on the BBC website:
Allow me to give you the gist of the story, with some added background information courtesy of our good friend Wikipedia. Given that The Clumpany isn’t a court of law I think it is ok to quote from that particular site… 😉.
“Recreativo de Huelva was founded on 23 December 1889. They are the oldest football club in Spain.
It all began courtesy of two Scots, Alexander Mackay and Robert Russell Ross, overseas workers at the Rio Tinto mines, and the club was originally named Huelva Recreation Club. The doctors founded a recreation club in order to provide the mine workers under their care with physical recreation.”
Recreativo play in the third tier of Spanish football. They previously had stints in the top flight (the most recent being in 2008-9), and even made the final of the Copa Del Rey in 2002-3.
However, as the BBC report explains, they have “fallen victim to a very modern problem” and are in deep financial trouble. Recreativo owe €20m in taxes [you have guessed where this blog is going, haven’t you…?!]. What’s more, wages haven’t been paid for 8 months and the club (for it is indeed a ‘club’) is surviving on ticket sales.
The language in the BBC report is unambiguous. The club is apparently “on the brink of extinction”.
And the President of the local supporters association paints a bleak picture of what that extinction would mean. He said:
“Memo to HMRC. We will not stand idly by and watch our club die. Our history is our heartbeat – no to liquidation. Show liquidation the red card!
Liquidation and admin are different. HMRC liquidate then club die. Stadium, players, everything goes. Admin they don’t.”
Whoops! I cut-and-pasted the wrong text from my ‘Football Club Deaths’ file!
Let’s try again…
What the President of the local Recreativo supporters association actually said was this:
“For us it would be as if our Fathers and Grandfathers disappeared. We would lose our football education and knowledge.”
“It would be like a tsunami coining through here, destroying everything.”
Apocalyptic stuff, eh?
And the dark assessment was continued by the BBC reporter during her concluding voice-over:
“An SOS was sent to the fans warning that this could be their last ever game” “What needs – and fast – is new investment otherwise 126 years of history could finish before the season does.”
First of all, let me wish Recreativo fans all the best in their fight to save their historic club. It’s an awful position to be in.
Secondly, allow me to point out that you don’t have to be a Professor of Sevconomics to spot that the language used in the BBC’s report was awfully similar to that used by the Corporation and many others in the run up to Rangers’ self-inflicted demise.
What’s more, if you are a regular reader of this blog (apologies for any distress caused…) you will be aware that the BBC has repeatedly spoken in similar terms about the implications of football clubs going bust, and a new version being created to replace them. For example:
A Slice of Parma Sham? (Regarding Parma).
Openly Flaunting Two Faces (Regarding Rushden and Diamonds).
The Two Faces of the BBC (Regarding Chester, Maidstone, Hereford, Bradford Park Avenue and Darlington).
Inconsistent Aunty (Regarding Hereford United).
And thirdly, you don’t need to have more than one functioning brain cell to note that the joker in this pack of death is the BBC’s coverage of Sevco, where Aunty – alongside most of the rest of the Scottish sports media – will do ANYTHING to avoid speaking the truth about Rangers’ liquidation.
As you all know, for many sports journalists in Scotland it seems preferable to treat some of their readers like morons rather than acknowledge that a new football club started life at Ibrox in 2012.
As I have said before, fear, editorial instruction or personal choice might all be responsible for the peddling of the worst lie in Scottish sport since someone said “well done lads, that’s a really good World Cup song.”
The apparent lack of imagination about the possibilities for Scottish football, the misguided blind faith in the fundamental importance of the ‘Rangers’ brand, and the shameless peddling of basic untruths are a sickeningly awesome spectacle to behold. An awesome spectacle that betrays Scottish football, and which treats readers, viewers and listeners with utter contempt.
Whatever the motivation, a lie is a lie. And while we continue to ‘enjoy’ the bizarre spectacle of the left hand of a media outlet pointing out the demise of certain clubs while the right hand gestures towards a Light Blue squirrel, I will continue to mock it.
Some of you may wish to join me.