I was given pause by a Rangers Lite fan who has faithfully attended Ibrox for 34 years, supporting both clubs. Our site, which many Lite fans love to hate but cannot ignore, does not attract contributions from many of a light blue persuasion. I could count their donations with the pinkie of my left hand. However when Iain stepped up with his PayPal confirmation he had every right to make a comment. He made a comment that resonated.
I receive unsolicited abuse every day. One charming individual, taking his cue from my articles on Madeleine McCann, threatened to kidnap my infant daughter and bury her alive. His e-mail was of the ‘burner’ variety. I could approach the police, but which police would I choose as I’m now living in enforced exile? Would I choose Police Scotland who passed on details of my address to one of the hit squads? Or do I merely add this account to the many who skip my inbox and automatically revert to spam?
According to Iain this insidious hatred and the death threats have resulted in a slew of negative articles about Rangers Lite. However they are such a basket case that it’s hard not to take aim and fire.
Perhaps one should bear in mind the fact that the Rangers fans did not ask SDM to cheat his way to 17 titles. They had teams which featured the spine of the England first eleven, with players as good as Laudrup putting in a shift. Those who cared probably assumed that Murray was bankrolling the club, or that the funds were being borrowed on the ‘never never’ from The Bank of Rangers. It was a giddy time of nine-in-a-row and Ibrox playing host to the cream of European football. They were posting operating losses of north of £60m year after year but no-one cared. Murray just accommodated this debt in his burgeoning MIH credit facility. He then decided to cheat and invited Scottish journalists to eat lamb that melted off the bone, washed down with the finest Bordeaux. Roddy Forsuth and Graham Spiers, who wore their support of Rangers on their sleeves, were advised not to look under the bonnet but to gently kick the tyres. They both had the intellect to cause trouble. Others such as Jim Traynor were as thick as Cornish clotted cream and would do as they were told.
There are those who perceive Scottish football as a see-saw. You will find many of this ilk on the sixth floor of Hampden. As Billy Big Baws was cheating his way to 17 unlawful titles, wee Timmy was in the air, flailing his arms and legs at the injustice of it all. Timmy was dismissed as paranoid and obsessed. He was invited to bow in deference to the EBT-fuelled juggernaut and laugh at Helicopter Sunday.
“Hard cheese wee Timmy, better luck next season. Just remember that We Are The People. Now take your seats at the back of the bus.”
Fast forward to the present season and one will find that those who were once at the back of the bus are now driving it. They are informed and they have a voice. They have had enough of Doncaster and his lies about continuation. They have had enough of those who hide behind the bastardised LNS commission. They have had enough of the well-polished turds that were defecated on demand by Rod McKenzie and Gerry Moynihan. They have had enough of the slippery shoulders of Stewart Regan.
I am one of their number and make no apologies for it. Rangers cheated ergo the titles must be stripped. There are no ifs, buts, maybes or whatabouts. It’s a binary choice. We either accept the cheating and move on or we challenge it.
As Iain will note as he has been with me since the beginning, my true loves are the so-called ‘Diddy’ clubs. I played for one of them at a decent level but I did not enjoy myself as much as I did playing three games per weekend for school, amateur club and county. When I was not playing or training for these clubs one would find me playing street football. When my local professional club knocked on my parents door to offer an ‘S’ form my father advised them that they had passed me playing in the street. The first team manager and his assistant then sat down on the grass behind the jacket goal posts to watch me play.
I’m not going to lie down to the threats Iain. I will call it as I see it and it will always be truthful and grounded in facts. I have lost any affection I once had for Rangers. My sneaking admiration for Celtic has grown as I have read, and listened, voraciously about them to catch up. No Scottish Football blog worth its salt would discount its champions.
I digress. The statement by Club 1872 was at worst libellous and at best a breach of the ‘utmost good faith’ covenants in SFA regulations. Club 1872 must be punished. Which leads one to the vexed question of who are these people who claim to represent the club? Are they just heads on a stick that do King’s bidding or are they pressed into action by Traynor to deflect from a reverse, or as I suspect both of the above?
Are their press realeases wtitten by the ubiquitous conveyancing consigliere, James Blair, and published via the shadow operation that is Supporters Voice Limited (SVL)? It’s almost as if they want to earn praise for and solicit contributions to 1872, while leaving any fallout to SVL.
As 1872 only have a 10% holding in SVL they may form the view that they can get away with malicious statements apropos the manager of a member club. When John Daly took Brendan Rodgers to task for his tacit support of Ian Cathro, it was an open man-to-man exchange of views, not an attack By James Blair with SVL-issue tights over his head. If Blair, who is the company secretary of TRFCL, did not pen this release, did he in his capacity as a director of 1872 and SVL sanction its publication?
Blair should be hauled before the beaks to establish his role in this malice aforethought. If Traynor is using 1872 as a squirrel then he too should be exposed. I invite the press to film Jim, who has the body of an obsese platypus, on their next visit to Murray Park. I recommend a wide-angle lens to capture Traynor in the raw.
The last word in this article is the preserve of Celtic who face a tricky tie against Astana to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League. One might argue that Rodgers’ recruitment of players during the current window is predicated on qualification.
Rodgers favours a Goliath ball winner at Centre Back coupled with a skilful ball player. A Vidic/Ferdinand type combination if you will. Simunovic might pass as a poor man’s Vidic but would one accord the Ferdinand mantle to Nir Bitton? Tierney could put in a shift, but Celtic would lose his threat on the left flank. Lustig who has lost a yard, could be drafted in. As for Ajer, is he now discounted at this level?
If Rodgers persists with Bitton his charges might concede an away goal. I would start with Lustig in the centre and Gamboa to his right. I would drop Ntcham as Rogic has more to offer. The uncertainty over Armstrong is a concern as he could have added value this evening. Griffiths should be restored to the number 9 spot with Forrest on the flank.
It will be an interesting encounter. All eyes will be on Celtic Park this evening.