Prior to the main thrust of this article I take pause to consider the curious approach of Stephen Thompson in response to my exclusive that U.S. interests have bought a controlling stake in Dundee United. I have no doubt whatsoever in my source and the veracity of my information, so why does Thompson choose to lie about it when approached by the likes of Jim Spence. Jim came to prominence when he correctly asserted that ‘Rangers are deid‘ which stuck in the craw of the continuation jihadists. So why is Thompson denying what I know to be true? Do the U.S. interests not wish to show their hand until the transfer window opens in January? Would any price paid for prospective players be increased if it was common knowledge that The Arabs were being bankrolled by American dollars? Or are there regulatory concerns to be addressed?
Jim Spence no longer works for BBC Scotland. He has been replaced by a cabal of tax-evading former Rangers players that frankly should be nowhere near any state broadcaster. One has to look back to former Eastern bloc dystopias like Ceauscu’s Romania to see criminals being favoured and bankrolled by a corrupt state media apparatus.
Alex Rae EBT (£569,000) believes that Scottish football needs a strong Rangers. He opines that if Celtic’s dominance continues for another decade, supporters will lose interest in watching our game. I agree that the WATP supremacists will lose interest in the game should Celtic surpass their previous club’s record of 54 titles and set a new record for consecutive title wins, but why should we care if individuals stupid enough to believe The Continuation Myth turn their back on the game? Surely if the lowest denominator of what passes for sentient beings in Govan choose to haunt malls on a Saturday afternoon the IQ coefficient of Scottish football fans will be elevated? Elevated sufficiently to smell a rat in the argument of a tax-evader.
Graeme Souness, who took a number of bungs while in management and was not in any way exonerated by the Taylor Commission, initiated this debate when he used BBC Hunland as a PR Agency to promote his book, ‘Football: My Life, My Passion.‘ Would his oeuvre be a better seller if he told it warts and all with a new title:- ‘Football: My EBT’s, My Bungs.’
Souness like Rae does not have any upper moral ground or any real authority to opine about Scottish football but this did not stop him asserting that:
“As much as Celtic supporters and other supporters of clubs in Scotland have enjoyed the moment, it has damaged football in Scotland beyond belief. There was always an interest in Scottish football from football fans in England. That is no longer the case. So everyone who rejoiced at Rangers’ problems, I hope they’ve had a rethink and they now see the consequences of that.”
I would prefer not to use industrial language but does anyone give a flying fuck about how palatable Scottish football is to an English audience? The only time Scottish football is exposed to an English audience is when it features in a Champions League highlights programme or as was the case in 2008 when Rangers supporters were on the police wanted list on Crimewatch.
Rio Ferdinand criticised Craig Gordon for the positioning that led to Bayern’s opening goal. Gordon responded that Boyata was the real culprit and was taken to task by Brendan Rodgers in the Celtic dressing room. Gordon could have gone further by inquiring of Rio Ferdinand as to whether he had seen the entire game or only 12 minutes of edited highlights.
If we have a strong Rangers will there be a clamour for domestic highlights south of the border? Will highlights of the Scottish Premiership replace The Football League Show after Match of The Day?
Let’s be quite clear about this. The only individuals who want a strong Rangers are Rangers Lite themselves, their supporters, the Lite-facing SMSM and their lickspittles at the SFA. The rump of Scottish football fans are so fervently celebrating the demise of the former club and its stumbling facsimile that there has been a run on jelly and ice cream.
When Rangers were cheating their way to 17 titles and winning nine-in-a-row through ‘allegedly fair’ means and often foul, was there a clamour for a stronger Celtic? When Sir Bribe & Lie was boasting that for every fiver spent by Celtic, he would spend a tenner, did anyone hold him to account?
When Maurice Johnstone signed for Rangers in 1989 what tax strategy was used to make the Rangers offer much more commercially attractive than the deal proposed by Celtic? How did Bill McMurdo turn Johnston’s head when he had already posed with Billy McNeil leading everyone to believe that he was returning to Celtic Park?
One comment made by Billy McMurdo’s son – who was one of the three men including his father who ran the best Rangers site of all time (RSL) – on our Sitonfence Speakeasy has always resonated with me. He asserted that if his father were to name names and open the books on the shady transfer deals, Scottish football would be rocked to its core. It’s instructive to note that Billy senior spent most of his career representing Rangers players.
Alex Rae EBT spoke fondly of the days when Rangers and Celtic were ‘Eachy Peachy.’ I digress to note that it’s evident that Rae EBT did not spend his ill-gotten gains on adult education classes. He pointed out that during his lacklustre playing career in England he would jump in a car and drive his English colleagues to old firm games where the result hung in the balance. What he failed to mention was that Rangers at that time were a financially-doped tax-evading supremacist juggernaut which was cheating its way to titles that it did not deserve. Are these the glory days of Scottish football which inspire his nostalgic daydreams?
If Rae (EBT) and Souness (EBT & Bungs, not mutually exclusive) cared to notice, during Rangers demise and the protracted rise of the facsimile club, there was a more even split of domestic honours than was the case when Rangers and Celtic inevitably shared the trophy spoils. When stripped of the odious sectarian backdrop and the social unrest caused by street defecating knuckle-draggers, the upper tiers of Scottish football were better places.
Rae EBT is upset that Rangers Lite games against Celtic are foregone conclusions. He should have thought of that when he had his nose in the trough taking Hector’s coin and the part he played in the £168.6m debt implosion at his former club. Can Rae not get his head round the idea that Lite are a start-up who took two seasons to gain promotion from the second tier? The new club has to learn to walk before it can run with the pack. As we saw in Luxembourg it’s still wearing baby reins.
However not all who opine on the dearth of a challenge from Govania were hell bent on tax-evasion. Pat Bonner constantly reverts to his thesis that a strong Rangers would result in an improved Celtic making a better fist of their UEFA participation. However there is a major flaw in this argument. There is only one CL place. If it were consigned to Rangers Lite, as it was by foul means to the former club in 2011 (How long will it take the compliance officer to come up with a ruse which exonerates Ogilvie, Regan, Petrie, Dickson and Bryson) Lite would be the dominant force in the transfer arms race, with Celtic having to cut its cloth. The CL revenue is the game changer. Ceteris Paribus Rangers Lite’s just under 50,000 capacity cannot compete with Celtic’s just over 60,000 box-office.
Would Rodgers have pushed Lawwell to spend several million on a competent centre back if the threat from Miller and Morelos was too much for Boyata and Bitton to handle? Even if he were tempted to do so, would the best midfield and forward line in Scottish football not spare the defence’s blushes?
Scottish football is not showjumping as per Kevin Bridge’s quip. It’s still a two horse race. One horse pulled up lame and had to be destroyed. Its stable mate looks as if it has been gelded or prematurely put out to stud. Another horse, Aberdeen, has taken the place of the nag that will soon be glue.
Scotland’s second best club pushed Celtic very close in last season’s Scottish Cup Final. Who is to say they cannot do so again? When one reverts to Bonner’s argument would Rodgers not be minded to improve his defence if the challenge from the North East was more potent?
One way of undermining the challenge from Aberdeen is to hire their manager. What Chris Sutton is proposing will drag Aberdeen down to Lite’s level. McInnes won’t challenge Celtic with an inferior squad. It would take many millions and several transfer windows to make a dent in the Celtic monolith. Even then he still would not be in a position to spend £13.8m on players as was the case with Celtic in their last fiscal year. Celtic are not standing still and will continue to improve. If Lite with Qatari loans started to bridge the gap, Celtic could spend a tenner for every fiver.
Scottish football does not need a strong Rangers Lite. It needs a a strong and flourishing Aberdeen, Motherwell, Hearts, Hibs, St. Johnstone et al, all the way to the Junior ranks and my much beloved Largs Thistle and The Undertakers of Port Glasgow. It needs a strong Morton, St. Mirren, Falkirk and Dundee United.
There is much more to Scottish football than Rangers Lite, which is just as well as they are currently trading whilst insolvent and could go under.