Well, well, well…
We all know that the incorporated Rangers Football Club died spectacularly at its own hand in 2012. You know it, I know it, every single person working in the media and at Hampden knows it, Rangers fans know it, and Sevco fans know it too.
[*Pause to allow us all to laugh in the face of the person reading this who is currently thinking “but the Advertising Standards Authority said”…. Mwahahahahahaha!*].
We all saw what happened, and even read about it. On the front pages. Of Scottish newspapers which had once worshipped Sir David Murray’s souped-up juggernaut. We all witnessed Charles Green picking up dismembered body parts from the corporate mortuary and put them in a bucket where they sloshed around until he superglued them together to form a new ‘Rangers’-themed entity which had to apply to join senior football, received a transfer of Rangers’ SFA membership, and which kicked off its footballing life against Brechin City in the Challenge Cup before it actually had the legal right to be called ‘Rangers’.
It really is very simple and straightforward.
Since 2012 a myth has been created that Rangers somehow survived liquidation, which is quite the most ridiculous notion ever to disgrace the world’s favourite sport. Scottish football’s governing body can’t actually bring itself definitively to say that Sevco IS Rangers (I wonder why, eh?), but nevertheless a farcical sports media and Sevco itself have asserted that it most certainly is the same club that trampled all over the rule book and financially doped itself up to the eyeballs with (quite often) other people’s money for well over ten years.
The overriding reason for this great big lie would seem to be that “it sells”, as a noted radar-wielding billionaire-finding philosopher recently remarked. The argument seems to go that without a Rangers-flavoured ‘attraction’ Scottish football has little merit. This mantra is manifestly bullsh*t, but that doesn’t prevent it from being repeated over and over again.
The other main factor underpinning the ludicrous survival myth seems to be an aching need in a significant number of folk to believe they maintain a sense of superiority over everyone else who follows Scottish football. Frankly, I would have thought that if you need to cling on to the corpse of a football team to feel better about yourself you might want to rethink your view of life. However, rationality clearly goes out of the window when ‘Rangers’ are concerned, and anyone who dares to speak the truth about liquidation can expect to have a torrid time at the hands of the most ‘determined’ survival-mythers.
You are all familiar with the epic pile of manure which is pointed to when it comes to ‘proving’ Rangers survived death, and the verbal gymnastics undertaken to say anything other than “Rangers Football Club was liquidated”. Two of my previous pieces go through and mock a large number of them
Aside from Rangers’ death being an undeniable fact on the basis that the entire world witnessed it, the UEFA Article 12 definition of a ‘football club’ really ought to kill the pretence of continuation stone dead:
Article 12 – Definition of licence applicant
A licence applicant may only be a football club, i.e. a legal entity fully responsible for a football team participating in national and international competitions which either: a) is a registered member of a UEFA member association and/or its affiliated league (hereinafter: registered member); or b) has a contractual relationship with a registered member (hereinafter: football company).
Boom! A legal entity. Like a company. Which can be liquidated.
Not an ethereal construct.
Hitherto, UEFA have not officially said anything about what happened to Rangers. And they were unlikely to unless Sevco qualified for one of their competitions. A possibility which the new club well and truly ‘Hibsed’ in May’s dramatic Scottish Cup Final.
But now they HAVE spoken, in response to the Celtic shareholders who have been pursuing Resolution 12. It should be remembered that Resolution 12 has nothing to do with Sevco’s status as a new club. It was and remains about the SFA’s licencing practices, particularly the circumstances in which they granted a UEFA licence to Rangers for season 2011-12 when they appeared to have ‘overdue payables’ to the taxman. However, in explaining why they can’t investigate (or perhaps take action) against Rangers over the matter, UEFA seem to have unequivocally stated that Sevco are a new club/ company. This appears to be nothing less than a death certificate for Rangers.
This news has broken following the publication of an extract of a letter from UEFA’s Head of Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play in Celtic fanzine ‘Not The View’. As a fairly cynical and suspicious ethereal entity, I would ideally like to see the full letter – which was copied to Celtic and the SFA – and confirmation that it is genuine. I have been told by numerous folk who I trust that the letter is genuine and undoctored. This gives me a very high level of confidence, but I hope and trust we will have definitive public confirmation in due course. Here is the extract:
In a healthy, well-functioning liberal society we should reasonably expect the media to enquire into these latest developments and establish the facts around UEFA’s view of Sevco as a new club. It is – after all – clearly in the public interest. After all, we were once told by the Chief Executive of the SFA that there could be “social unrest” if Scotland was no longer blessed by having Rangers playing senior football.
I certainly hope that STV will follow-up their story of 20 June 2016 wherein a UEFA spokesperson explained why action would not be taken against Rangers in relation to Resolution 12. Curiously. the spokesperson made no explicit mention of the latest Ibrox outfit being brand new and therefore ineligible for UEFA competitions as it lacked a sufficiently-long membership of its national association. Here is the statement, taken from the STV piece:
“As a consequence of decisions taken against Rangers FC in 2012 as well as the administration of the club and the events and measures that followed (including the club being ineligible to apply for a licence to participate in UEFA competitions for three seasons), there is no need for UEFA to investigate this matter any further since the club was not granted a licence to participate in the 2012/13 UEFA club competitions, the club entered the fourth tier of Scottish football and it was not able to play in UEFA competitions for the next three years in any event.” – UEFA spokesperson
Over to you STV and others. The truth is out there!
Assuming all is confirmed to be as it appears -and subject to any further exchanges with UEFA – this really ought to put the utterly needless and embarrassing ‘same club’ nonsense to bed forever. And the SFA and SPFL would have absolutely no reason to still attribute Rangers’ trophies to Sevco, no matter what the secret Five-Way agreement may have said.
Of course we all know that Scottish football is nothing if not ‘murky’ and the authorities will have to be pressured to say or do anything at all which utters the truth about the entity currently masquerading as ‘Rangers’. We can also be sure that most of the mainstream media would rather bury their heads in the sand and have concrete poured over them than prompt the SFA to do anything which might derail the lucrative but phoney ‘Rangers’ and ‘Old Firm’ gravy trains.
We shall see what happens, but for now let us enjoy a welcome step towards official confirmation of the truth. And also the huge amount of discomfort it will be causing some folk right now…