“They have been christened as ‘the banter years’. Now Rangers fans are looking to the future with enthusiasm rather than uncertainty. The last few seasons have provided some of the most extraordinary moments in the Light Blues’ history. The list of characters is lengthy and each plot line could have taken hours to sculpt, but it has all been very real for a fan base that have suffered more than their share of ignominies and embarrassments through no fault of their own. Events of the last week are right up there in terms of their importance and another chapter in the tale has now been closed as one of the main protagonists was finally written out. Excitement levels have risen amongst Gers fans in recent weeks as Pedro Caixinha has added to his squad and the appointment of Mark Allen as Director of Football was another reason to be optimistic ahead of the new campaign. It was the deal that Dave King and his board struck with Sports Direct that was the real shot in the arm, though. The announcement on Friday that Ashley had sold all his shares, including more than four per cent to Club 1872, was the icing on the cake. The legacy issues that King, John Gilligan and Paul Murray inherited had the potential to hold Rangers back for years. No matter how much the club wanted to move forward, the progress was always going to be stifled as the former regimes continued to make life difficult. There was a feeling of closure for many this week and a line in the sand has been drawn. Rangers and the fans can now move on. It has prompted supporters to look back at what has gone on over the last few years, to relive and remember the highs and the lows, the chaos and the controversy. Many of the moments are surreal but they did really happen. Amongst the anger and the disbelief, it was a case of if you didn’t laugh you’d cry for the punters. The drama unfolded everywhere from the steps of Ibrox to Charles Green’s hospital bed. The Yorkshireman handed out tea at the ticket office, delivered a Christmas message and wanted to do a deal with the Dallas Cowboys. He left, came back and left again, but his legacy remained. The sight of Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad or David Somers would send shivers down the spine of supporters. Don’t forget Craig Mather and Graham Wallace or Derek Llambias either. The Easdale brothers certainly won’t slip out of mind easily. They became two of the most despised figures of the whole narrative as they were heckled at games and mocked online. At least they did the ice bucket challenge. There was the infamous ‘winter of discount tent’ General Meeting, the red card protest that Somers said was about apartheid and the setting of alarms for Stock Exchange announcements at seven in the morning. On the park, there was the capitulation to Alloa, the cup final defeat to Raith Rovers, losing to a Stirling side whose manager was at a wedding and a handful of performances and results that will go down amongst the worst ever from a Gers side. There was the dancing Elgin fan, the commemorative t-shirts for reaching the League Cup semi-final against Celtic and a pre-season match beside a funfair in America. The likes of Seb Faure, Emilson Cribari and Anestis Argyriou won’t be fondly remembered, but at least Bilel Mohsni went out with a bang. So did Joey Barton. The Englishman made more of an impact that Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, the Indian trialists, and Fran Stella, right enough. That Fran Sandaza was sacked for being duped in a prank phone-call can’t be forgotten, and either can the arrival of the ‘Newcastle five’ – Remi Streete, Kevin Mbabu, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Shane Ferguson – when they weren’t fit to play. Last season, Mark Warburton was respectful every week and a song about Joe Garner prompted a Twitter spat with Little Mix fanatics as they became the latest additions to a lengthy list. Rangers still have some distance to travel on the road to recovery but a corner looks like it has been turned this summer. There is no other set of supporters that deserve a sense of normality back at their club more. As Rangers look for a brighter future, the banter years could be consigned to history. They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.” Chris Jack – 20 June 2017
There is so much to take issue with in this piece that it will take more than my typical article length of one thousand words to refute his fallacious assertions. Some of Jack’s words do have merit if one is an advocate of the minutiae, but the central messages are so distorted that they could have been penned by the Glib & Shameless Liar himself; or perhaps the ‘Celtic supporting’ taxi drivers who agree with King’s thesis that Celtic have only won ‘two-in-a-row‘. Even Kris Void, a man admittedly not noted for his mental gymnastics, could not get his head around the career criminal’s narrative. King is renowned for his parsimony. Any tip would have been of the nature of an advisory not to smoke in bed. Did these ‘Celtic Supporters’ dismiss four titles for a kiss of King’s hem, or is it just the latest in a long and loose cannon of lies? I am more persuaded by the latter of these alternatives.
Jack unsurprisingly given his affection for the new club has been rather selective in his choice of memorable events. He has even managed to avoid the Elephant in The Room: The Cold Shoulder.
A corner was turned. Ashley, who could have kept his jackboot on King’s scrawny neck for another six years, decided to bail out. He knows what to expect when the Cold Shoulder begins to bite. There will be no credit; no payment of season tickets in instalments; no banking facilities; no supply chain willing to agree terms other than cash upfront; no staggered transfer payments; no BACS transfers of players’ salaries.
In summary should King continue at the helm of RIFC they will be the lepers of the financial community. The Untouchables.
If Rangers Lite go under they will be playing junior football next season. Merry hell is going to break loose and on this occasion look no further than King for a smoking gun. If one goes to bed with reservoir dogs with distemper one should not be surprised to be bitten by fleas.
The flood that is coming down the pike will be of Biblical proportions. Any ‘banter’ will be drowned out.
As for his cast of rogues or ‘rhats’ as they were called at The Gazebo AGM, David Somers is one of the most respected businessmen in the City and unlike King commanded a Nominated Advisor and maintained RIFC’s LSE AIM Listing. No-one would touch the convicted career criminal with a barge pole. Does King, knowing that he is toxic in the City, think they can do no more? Think again career criminal.
Llambias did a sterling job at Newcastle United and Graham Wallace pierced the corporate veil to reveal the challenges that the last honest Board would have to meet. As for the Easdales, what’s not to like about individuals who provided crisis loans and took nothing, not even their petrol expenses, from the club? I have not met either brother but their business activities are well known to me. They started life in the scrap business which is not for sissies. They have created a £100m business. They have the kind of appreciable wealth that could make a difference. They are both real Rangers men. But the fans believed Halloween Houston dressed rather appositely as a rat and Bomber Brown who had a quantum of £40,000 burning a hole in his pocket. I’m not going to gloss over the fact that Sandy was sent down, but surely he has paid his debt to society?
When the shit really hits the fan Rangers Lite will need men of the calibre of Somers, Llambias, Wallace and the Easdales to rebuild them, if it’s not too late.
The latest statement of the rogue board, that they have run out of last season’s stock, beggars belief.
Are Puma joining Ashley in walking away from this toxic board?
However when we revert to Jack’s candy-coating, does the banter extend to the 200 Lite fans who invaded Hampden to set about the celebrating Hibs fans? Does banter include kicking a young unsuspecting Hibs fan in the head? The fan in question had already been felled by a punch from another Lite criminal. A thug from Antrim then kicked him in the head. That will teach him not to celebrate when The Klan are present.
We then had to endure James Traynor creating a series of lies to excuse the criminal actions of the Rangers Lite fans. The same travelling support that turned Manchester into a disaster zone. On that occasion a police officer was being kicked to the head.
When I attended the FBA awards ceremony I passed on the complimentary bottle of Budweiser and raised a small glass of champagne by way of celebrating my award. I had to keep my wits about me as The Klan were waiting for me outside. They would have kicked and stabbed me to death. Fortunately another crew, much higher up the local criminal pecking order, intervened and sent them packing. They shadowed me all the way to a taxi that took me to the safety of my B&B.
Is it banter to threaten the life of a social media commentator who only deals in accuracy and the truth? Is it banter to force him into exile?
The Rangers Lite supporters don’t do banter. They do bitter.