Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

The Whine-In-A-Row ‘Hero’

Good Evening.

Richard Gough has popped up to try our patience once again. We all remember that in 2012 the former Rangers captain, close associate of Dave King, and now Intergalactic Ambassador for Sevco famously said

“The club I gave blood, sweat and tears for is dead.”

And it was impossible to disagree with him. Because it was the truth. 

Gough has reappeared on The Clumpany radar from from time to time, and he always gives cause for merriment:

Dry Your Eyes Richard

It’s Oh So Quiet…

Completely Losing The Plot

Moving On To Solids

And he certainly didn’t let us down today. Writing* in a ‘newspaper’ (which I won’t dignify by naming) he came up with this spectacular wibble-a-thon:

[* It is just possible that a supportive PR-type operation assisted with the drafting of Gough’s piece…]

IT was September 2012 and my brother’s name flashed up on my mobile phone. I answered, we spoke for a while and then he hit me with a question: Where is Annan? Rangers had just started the season in the old Third Division and they were playing Annan Athletic in a league match that day.

I wracked my brains for a few seconds and then I had to give up. I had no clue where Annan was. I’ll never forget that moment.

A few months earlier, I had watched Rangers beat Celtic 3-2 at Ibrox to postpone our old rivals’ title celebrations.

The stadium was full that day. The sun was shining and despite already being in administration, the team was full of international players.

It was a great game, a real battle with some good goals. Ibrox was bouncing at the end as the Rangers fans savoured some good times amid the gloom. Fast forward a few short months and pretty much all of those players had departed and the club was in the fourth tier of Scottish football.

A couple of hours after my brother’s phone call, Ally McCoist’s side drew 0-0 with Annan. Two weeks later, they lost 1-0 to Stirling Albion. For me, that period summed up the surreal nature of the last four years with the club’s demise and journey back up the leagues.

At points, supporters must have felt like it was all a bad dream. How could one of Britain’s biggest clubs fall so low?

In those early days, there was defiance. Fans went to places like Annan in their hundreds and thousands. They made the best of it. They backed the club at its lowest ebb but it was like putting a plaster over a gaping wound.

Rangers will be back in the Premiership if they can beat Dumbarton on Tuesday. But the last four years has damaged Scottish football.

I agree the club had to be punished for what happened under Craig Whyte. I understand the authorities had to take some action.

But I completely disagree with the route the clubs decided to go down. I genuinely don’t think other football nations would have made the same decision.
Why not place Rangers in the top league with a points deduction? Surely that would have made more sense? I’d be saying exactly the same had Celtic run into the same financial difficulties. We are a small football country and we need our big clubs.

But the clubs had their vote and opted to put Rangers in the Third Division. That came after SPL clubs made it clear there would be no place for them in the top flight. I will always believe that was a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Rangers needed to be punished but the game didn’t. Clubs haven’t gone out of business but what happened HAS had an impact on our game.

Celtic, more than any club, have suffered financially. It’s estimated they have lost £10million per season. Can we now return to a semblance of normality?
Well, Mark Warburton’s team are on the verge of making a major step forward by winning the league. It’s been a defining 18 months at Ibrox. Dave King and the board safeguarded the club’s financial future and the football side is looking promising.

From the 6-2 Petrofac Cup win over Hibs on the opening day of the season, Rangers have sent out a message and barring a few bumps, they have been very consistent. A few weeks ago, you wondered if the title fight would go right down to the wire but that was when Rangers stepped up to show the mark of champions.

They ground out a few 1-0 wins against the likes Queen of the South, St Mirren and Falkirk — and that proved crucial. At the same time, Hibs had a heavy cup schedule and maybe that had an impact on their league form.

Whatever the case, they fell away and Rangers captain Lee Wallace could now get his wish of winning the title at Ibrox against Dumbarton. I’ll be honest, I didn’t care where we clinched the championships in my day. I just wanted to get over that line.

Warburton has built a team full of flair and he hasn’t spent a fortune. Credit to the coaching staff for being able to gel so many new players together quickly. The imminent title celebrations will see an outpouring of emotion from the fans. All of them will know where Annan is now, yet you could forgive those Rangers diehards for never wanting to see those lower-league grounds again after everything they’ve had to go through.

But it’s almost over now. Rangers will soon be back where they belong and that painful chapter will be closed.”

There’s that endearing entitlement-oozing ‘back where they belong’ phrase once again.

Gough’s brass neck is so thick that his life must be one long hassle as scrap metal dealers chase him down the streets looking for a piece of the action.

He hilariously reminisces about 2012, saying “the stadium was full that day. The sun was shining and despite already being in administration, the team was full of international players.” 

The clue is in the mention of administration, Richard. The thing you are pining for was all a lie. A great big unsustainable lie built on other people’s money which will never be repaid in full.

It’s an embarrassment to football and to Scotland as a whole.

And as for moaning about the other clubs cutting off their nose to spite their faces by voting Sevco into Division 3, you have to wonder whether the concept of sporting integrity is rattling around ANYWHERE inside Gough’s head. The only way in which Scottish football ever suffered in relation to Rangers entities was when the first one embarked on a systematic bout of rule-breaking and reckless spending. Once that stopped, our sport started to recover!

Any suggestion of victimhood on the part of either of the Ibrox clubs is as ludicrous as it is insulting to 

  • every single person in Scottish football who played by the rules and tried to live within their club’s means; and 
  • to every fan who paid into what was effectively a warped game for the best part of two decades.

Rangers brought disaster and death on themselves. With the exception of the fine handed out by the SFA judicial panel for non-payment of taxes, the 10 point penalty for going into administration, and (by a roundabout route) the £250,000 LNS fine, everything that happened to the first Ibrox club was a consequence rather than a punishment.

There was no Rangers following the rejection of the CVA in June 2012, and Gough should be thankful that Heaven and Earth were moved at record speed to admit Basket of Assets FC to senior football AT ALL!

Gough suggests that starting Sevco off in the top flight with a points deduction would have been a more appropriate ‘punishment’. What utter horsesh*t! Sevco had absolutely no right to be in that division ahead of other clubs who had played by the rules and had a track record of more stable operation. 

Amusingly, the ‘Whine-In-A-Row’ legend manages to undermine his own ‘argument’ by pointing out some of the atrocious results that Sevco achieved in the Third Division. If they couldn’t beat Stirling Albion and Annan Athletic despite the huge resources at their disposal, why on earth should they have been placed in the top division? The same point can be made in relation to their inability to get promoted out of the Championship last season. In a genuine sport you have to earn your success. Only next week – when they will doubtless beat Dumbarton – will Sevco have finally earned a place in the Premiership.

What would Gough have wanted the SPL clubs to do if Sevco had started life in the top division and then been relegated as a result of a points deduction and poor results? Would allowing Sevco to go down have represented clubs foolishly “cutting off their nose to spite their face”? Gough probably thinks that it would have! 

Let us hope that no Sevco fans are misguided enough to believe a single syllable of Gough’s argument otherwise they might end up going insane with rage at how ‘unfairly’ ‘their’ ‘club’ has been treated by everyone EXCEPT those who actually destroyed the first one from within.

On a different note, it was amusing to see Gough remark that “It’s been a defining 18 months at Ibrox. Dave King and the board safeguarded the club’s financial future”.

Leaving aside the fact that Gough’s statement is predicted on the ‘same club’ having stiffed 276 creditors, it is worth noting that the former Rangers captain seems blind to some very significant things. For example, the various court cases hanging over Sevco which threaten its hold over its assets, and the ever-increasing amount of debt that the ‘club’ is accruing. 

I am no expert, but a ‘going concern’ warning in the accounts doesn’t exactly scream ‘safeguarded financial future’ does it? Maybe Gough is less concerned about Sevco’s finances now that he isn’t the frontman for a potentially-disruptive season ticket trust fund which seeks to withhold money from the ‘club’ unless security is offered over certain assets?

Who knows?

Keep on whining Richard!

And as for the rest of you…


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