It is always good to see the Scottish sports media focusing on contemporary and cutting edge matters.
And today the Daily Record – adopting its all-too-familiar guise of the ‘Broken Record’ – gave us a real treat. Apparently Ronaldo almost signed to play at Ibrox!
Given his stellar, trophy-laden career and recent success at Euro 2016, this would have been a truly remarkable coup for The Warbmeister. An actual bona fide coup rather than one of those ‘picked up a Bosman who was standing around looking bored’ sort of coups that usually capture the ‘imagination’ of our esteemed press pack.
Still, if Sevco only just missed out on Ronaldo, that presumably means they might still be able to capture slightly-lesser world class players. And presumably from this world, rather that another…
What? The Record was taking about dead Rangers and the OTHER Ronaldo? The one who retired a few years ago after a highly successful and latterly corpulent career?
Oh. That’s slightly less impressive. Given all the issues flying around Scottish football at present, news from the previous millennium has the look of a squirrel (or at least ‘vacuous page-filling’) about it. Especially given that the Record previously reported the thrust of this story in 1997 [Hat-tip to the always-excellent @mintys_lamb for that spot!].
You can only wonder which bit of the rule book might have been trampled over, and how much longer the list of Rangers creditors might have been had £20m been shelled out to engage the services of Ronaldo.
However, if we are prepared to believe the tale told by his agent, I am sure it would have been money well spent:
“The offer from Glasgow Rangers was incredible. They told us he didn’t have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League.
They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in the European matches only.”
I must admit that part of me wishes Ronaldo had signed on those remarkable terms just to witness the obliging media pundits explaining why it was a masterstroke by Sir David Murray and then lecturing us on how Ronaldo was too good to play in the Scottish domestic game.
And we all know that they would have done it!
For me the above articles are a useful reminder of two things. Firstly, the expensive Fantasy Island nonsense which surrounded Rangers and which provided daily guff for our papers to churn out rather than provide meaningful scrutiny. This was an ultimately toxic combination which sent Rangers to the mortuary without a European Cup, to the complete surprise of many of its fans. It was also a combination that consigned much of our MSM to eternal disrepute.
Secondly, it reminds us that -amazingly – this sort of crazy coverage still has currency in 2016 and is likely to be repeated all over again in relation to Sevco. It’s almost as if parts of our sports media yearn to get back to the surreal days of Sir David Murray when the spectacle of a souped-up and yet still overhyped Rangers engaged in ‘mortal combat’ with Celtic and often came out on top. The fact that it was ultimately a sham, and that the other 40 clubs in our league barely got a look-in seems not to be important. As long as things can get back to the way they were, all will be well for our sports media and (somehow) for our national sport.
If it wasn’t embarrasing to see and likely to end in tears again, it would be hilarious.
I look forward to more Memory Lane moonbeams in the coming days:
“Rangers’ hover pitch would have floated six feet higher than previously thought!”.
“The ‘Helicopter Sunday’ helicopter was actually Pegasus the winged horse of legend, and was bred in SDM’s private laboratory”.
“For every fiver Celtic spent, Rangers actually spent £10 and a penny”.
“Walter Smith: How my free-flowing football won the 2008 UEFA CUP”.
“Paul Gascoigne: I really can play the flute. On-pitch antics inspired me to write a concerto”.
“Mayor of Manchester thanks Rangers fans for successfully regenerating the city centre”.
I can hardly wait.