“He may have felt as though they were recounting stories of another club – it was all about titles, Europe and the Champions League. A different world.
Nine in a row, great Old Firm battles, success after success – it just poured out of the mouths of his predecessors.”
So said Gordon Parks in his Sunday Mail piece today. He was referring to Warbo having a conversation with Graeme ‘EBT For Scouting’ Souness and the legnedary Cardigan Smith at the Scottish Football Hall of Fame dinner at Hampden a couple of months ago.
Parks was discussing the challenge facing Warbo in trying to create a team which can challenge Celtic’s ascendancy in Scottish football, following the Hogmanay Glasgow derby which saw the Hoops stretch their Premiership lead to ‘a country mile with a game in hand’. Should you wish to give the paper the online hit, you can find the article here:
The quote at the start of this blog encapaulates the fundamental flaw of both the Mail piece and so much commentary on our national game. Because Warbo simply isn’t managing the same club that Souness and Smith did. Liquidation makes that impossible. However, the determination of all those associated with Sevco, and of all those who report on it to believe and show that it is Rangers unwittingly places a hugely debilitating millstone around its neck.
Sevco behaves and spends as if it is Rangers. And even though the players and financial sums involved are minuscule compared to those of the souped-up Rangers juggernaut, the ultimate effect looks set to be the same. Sevco is living beyond its means and faces disaster unless it finds a sugar daddy or some sort of perspective on its predicament.
Neither of which seem very likely to happen.
Meanwhile, the press writes articles based on the false assumption that Sevco is a massive institution which really ought to be in the business of challenging Celtic and doing whatever it takes to achieve it. It is akin to writing articles about horse racing when you actually spend all your time watching greyhounds.
But the press do it anyway, and it helps to create a completely unrealistic narrative around the game as a whole which does no one – least of all Sevco fans – any favours at all. On some days the output of the MSM and the realities of Scottish domestic football are so far apart that Megabus look set to provide services to transport folk between the two.
The Parks piece certainly wasn’t in that league of nonsense, but it did fall back on the oldest Ibrox cliche in the book: that all could be well if only ‘Rangers’ would just invest in the playing squad.
And sadly there is no analysis of whether the current club – which runs an admitted deficit financial model and which had a going concern warning in its latest accounts – has a cat-in-hell’s chance of raising enough money to splash on players.
What’s more, there was no acknowledgement that the ‘success’ of the Souness and Smith eras was built on utterly unsustainable foundations which contributed to huge financial losses, and eventually the demise of the club, leaving behind an army of creditors.
As so often in the MSM’s ‘analysis’ of Sevco, all the piece offered was a suggestion that more investment was needed. In short, that Sevco should try even harder to be Rangers.
Can anyone with any common sense see how that could possibly end well for the latest Ibrox outfit and its fans?
One of these days, someone in the MSM will call for Sevco to accept its predicament, live within its means and build sustainably. Even if that meant that it would take many years to fully compete with Celtic.
However, I fear that day will be in the distant future in a far-off galaxy. Because right now, the ludicrous Rangers survival myth and the entitlement-driven fantasies of domination held by some Sevco fans seem to be the limit of the imagination and business strategy of pretty much all of our mainstream media…