One of The Clumpany’s favourite ‘recurring’ Tweets is this one:
It pops up on my timeline every week or so, and it always raises a smile because it so neatly and amusingly summarises the craziness of the Great Liquidation Lie peddled by large parts of the Scottish sports media (in the face of all the evidence, including that of their own eyes) that Rangers somehow survived liquidation. A lie which maintains – without a flicker of embarrassment – that the Light Blue outfit playing at Ibrox isn’t a tribute act whose off-stage name is “Basket of Assets FC”.
When confronted with a truly shameless and gargantuan lie it is hard not to laugh with pity at its perpetrators. And what better way to do it than via the famous scene in which noted genius ‘Trigger’ maintains that the broom with which he has swept Peckham’s streets all these years is the same one despite it having had multiple new handles and heads.
This famous TV moment came to mind when I read Keith Jackson’s latest column today.
Keith ran with the vintage ‘the managers won’t know what hit them when Rangers* play Celtic in the Cup semi-final’ story. We didn’t learn much from it, although I definitely want a pint of whatever Keith had been drinking when he wrote this:
“Deila and Warburton have been getting by in a sugary world where the clouds are made of candy floss, living happily next to one another in gum drop houses on Lollipop Lane.”
Isn’t that absolutely bizarre?!
I also guffawed at the suggestion that “Ronny Deila too has been enjoying a largely cosseted existence since pitching up on the other side of the Clyde two summers ago”. I suspect Keith may not have been reading the papers, listening to the phone-in pundits, or observing the output of many on social media (including me) who have been critical to degrees ranging from “fed up of his team selections”, to a Keevins-esque “cursing every atom of the universe for allowing Ronny to remain at Celtic”. 😉
Fair play to Keith however, for not banging the liquidation-denial drum too loudly [NB Evening Shark-Jump: please try and have some self-respect]. He only managed to err as far as referring to “the history of this fixture”, which is almost forgiveable.
And he certainly deserves praise for [*gasp*] mentioning some of The Warbmeister’s shortcomings. Regular readers will know that such comments are as rare as rocking horse manure (which – incidentally – is what the authorities use to keep the Hampden pitch in such remarkable condition….). Keith points out that – at times – Warbo has displayed signs of feeling the strain under pretty much no pressure at all, and also makes reference to his ‘issues’ with plastic pitches, as well as his side’s leaky defence.
Mind you, Keith may have overdone things slightly when he stated that Sevco “have been completely overhauled and transformed into a contemporary, stylish attacking unit. This process of modernisation has required vision and diligence from the man in charge. Warburton was also brave enough to take a blank canvas approach to rebuilding.”
He hasn’t masterminded the fielding of a team of Cruyffs, Keith!
But my favourite element of the piece was the epic overstating of Sevco’s rejuvenation over the past year. For example, there’s a reference to Warbo
“Rebuilding the football side of a club which, over a chaotic four years, had been horrifically mistreated off the park and horribly neglected on it.”
There we go again! The blameless ‘club’ existing entirely separately from the people and mishaps associated with it! Poor mistreated ‘club’! Someone should give it a hug to make it feel better.
And then there is this paragraph:
“While Dave King’s new regime have cleaned up the general working environment, Warburton’s hard graft and radical thinking has re-energised Rangers from top to bottom. As a result this club is unrecognisable from the putrid mess which King and his men liberated a little more than a year ago.”
“Cleaned up the general working environment”?!
You can see why I immediately thought of Paul Murray trudging around Ibrox, sweeping up the mess using the ‘same broom’ that belonged to the ‘same club’ which was liquidated in 2012. The comparisons with Only Fools and Horses’ Trigger don’t end there either. Trigger often said ‘Dave’ when there was no one called Dave there. Paul Murray probably often has a similar experience in relation to his overseas Chairman…
But what might Mr Murray sweep up with his veteran broom? Perhaps it is redundant calculations relating to the borrowing which is keeping the show on the road? Or maybe it is an early draft of the ‘going concern’ warning which appeared in the RIFC accounts? Neither of which get a mention in Keith’s tale of “liberation” from a “putrid mess”. [* Nice military analogy there!]
I look forward to seeing pictures of Paul ‘Baron Bouffant’ Murray with the ‘same broom’ in the near future. No doubt it has a history as unbroken as its eternal replacement handle. And I am sure that its bristles are in no way representative of anyone’s reaction to a mention of Rangers’ army of stiffed creditors…