The never-ending story

Just the basic facts…can you show me where it hurts?

Rangers Tax Case

The news BDO will appeal the “Big Tax Case” (or the “so-called Big Tax Case” as many like to call it”) means this saga may yet have some twists and turns to it. Like many I yearn for the end of this process, but BDO do need to be seen to have exhausted all avenues to show an even handed approach to the interests of all creditors.  Therefore news that they will seek leave to appeal is understandable. However, there are still many people who seem confused by what this was about. Myths have developed. Confusion reigns over whether Rangers’ conduct of the relevant tax cases is currently considered legal or illegal. Was it was tax avoidance or tax evasion, and so on. Most significantly, the campaign to have the farcical Nimmo Smith Commission findings set aside must be put on ice. However, the context of the tax cases and what effect…

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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


Moonbeams, Blue Dreams and Colour Schemes

Sir David Murray had a worry he was broke and in a hurry

As he’d borrowed funny money from the mint.

Now his assets were in danger cause he’d lost it all on Rangers 

who were strangers to the facts of being skint.

So he paid Black Jack to use his black arts to sell the Whyte man with googly parts

to the blue horde.

Using scams the boys in blue ignored.

Alright, the Blue Knights were allowed flights of fancy

but their green remained unseen,

while the real knight slipped quietly from the scene.

Mr Whyte with his green well hid

bought the lot for a single quid.

“Keep them out of the black and into the red,

you get nothing at all for two in a bed” he said.


A parcel of rogues in black suits and brown brogues

turned their gaze from the impending crash

taking the time to count their cash.

When the taxman had no patience left

he consigned the Club to certain death.

The yellow-bellied SFA quickly looked the other way.

They couldn’t get a CVA so

What would they do ? What would they say?

They took a chance but lost the lottery

Round one to humble old bampottery.

Though with the aid of Duff and Phelps they tried their worst

but nothing helps.

Mr Miller and Mr Ng didn’t see a single thing

to make them think this could survive.

“How come this monster is still alive?”

Bold Bomber Brown fell down

like Mr Custard the bluenose clown.

Outside the park that he once played for.

The type of man these teams are made for.

The type of dream that he still needs

The deeds, indeed. Do the deid need deeds?


The red tops employed their dark arts

Convinced the fans that the spare parts were the whole thing

Even better than the real thing.

While Mr Green with an oily sheen

preened by The Rangers PR machine

promised orange tops for the angry horde.

Sanctioned by the grey suits on the SFA board.

This spiverry was given pass

to liposuck that scrawny ass.

The stillborn club was clubbed at birth

For every penny it was worth

Mr McCoist with puppy dog eyes declared it all a big surprise

He didn’t look but he eyed the prize

A lifetime supply of Broxi Pies

or £825K a year plus shares

Taking the piss out of the teddy bears

But nobody likes them so nobody cares.

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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


Propaganda Handbook #23 – Drawing Moral Equivalence

In the last week since what the Scottish media have dubbed with undue hyperbole “The Battle of Amsterdam”, we have once again witnessed those inglorious hacks from the Scottish tabloid media grasp every opportunity to slate the oft-praised travelling Celtic support and to equate their actions (reactions?) to some previously diagnosed Neanderthal Glaswegian Disorder which affects “both sets of fans” (as though there were only two clubs in Glasgow).

Mr Keevin’s most recent and poorly-written article in the Sunday Mail was no more than another blatant effort  to push the old ‘Old Firm’ paradigm and, most likely, a poor attempt to garner whatever ‘market-share’ of bigotted idiots that Mr Traynor may have left behind in his not insignificant wake before he comes looking for his old job back. Unfortunately, for the less hard of thinking,  it is also classic example of what us ‘internet bampots’ like to call ‘whataboutery’ and what, in diplomatic circles, is known as ‘moral equivalence’.

Moral equivalence is a term used in political debate which seeks to draw comparisons between different, often unrelated things, to make a point that one is ‘just as bad’ as the other or ‘just as good’ as the other. It may be used to draw attention to an unrelated issue by comparing it to a well-known ‘bad’ event, in an attempt to say one is as bad as the other. Or, it may be used in an attempt to claim one isn’t as bad as the other by comparison. A good example might be attempting to draw a moral equivalence between the Israeli Defence Force’s heinous treatment of the Palestinians and some disaffected arab youths throwing stones at a Merkava tank.

Likewise, Keevins’ esteemed colleague, Mr Jackson opined on live radio that the scenes in Amsterdam were like “Manchester all over again” in a serious(?) attempt to conflate the “skirmish in the square” with the utterly disgraceful scenes the whole world witnessed during the full scale rioting in at the UEFA Cup final in 2008. You’ll no doubt remember, that was the one where ‘uniformed’ Police officers were attacked with bottles and bins by literally hundreds of Rangers fans, cars were turned over and shop windows broken by the dozen, ostensibly because a big telly didn’t work.

Now, I am certainly no apologist for thugs of any description and have myself seen Celtic fans behave disgracefully many times. However, in my experience, these incidents were generally isolated to a few drunken individuals and I have even witnessed the Celtic fans police themselves on many occasions by demanding that these idiots ‘get a grip’ and even pointing out the ill-mannered miscreants to the stewards in attendance.

You see ‘both sets of fans’ pride themselves on their reputations. Celtic fans have a reputation for being a big, friendly travelling support, having even won a UEFA award for the best fans in Europe in 2003. This well-founded reputation is also why Celtic are often the first port of call when a club wants to play a testimonial. Fans of the old Rangers, on the other hand, are proud of their reputation for being ‘the peepul’ i.e. thuggish, triumphalist and downright disrespectful. Don’t get me wrong, fans of ALL clubs have their share of nutters, it’s just that fans of the team playing in blue at Ibrox appear to attract a much higher proportion of nutters that the rest of us.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Scottish MSM, at least for as long as I can remember, have favoured Rangers over Celtic (and Celtic over every other team in Scotland). For the majority of the mainstream media the ‘Old Firm’ was the only show in town. Playing on the antagonistic relationship between fans of these two clubs was the bread and butter of their work for decades. That’s how they sold their unworthy rags and kept the ‘Old Firm’ kettle boiling. Now that Rangers are dead, they are having difficulty accepting this new reality and still try to link Celtic with this new club at every opportunity. Amsterdam was that opportunity and they grabbed with both slimy tentacles.

Of course, the club that was Rangers has long since succumbed to the creeping cancer of corporate corruption, coupled with a heavy dose of institutional bias. However, those treacherous acts that brought down a once-mighty institution were (and continue to be) ‘papered over’ by compliant media lapdogs and completely ignored by the cowardly and ‘heavily conflicted’ football authorities. This ongoing deceitfulness and simple failure to tell the truth still has the potential to utterly destroy the game in Scotland.

Even now, the New Rangers fans (who still think they are old Rangers fans) are being force fed a steady diet of lies and misinformation calculated to keep them sweet, on-side and continuing to buy into their deluded drivel. The poor excuses for journalists in this country continue to purvey delusions of grandeur to the gullible hoards even as their entirely new and financially crippled club wheels itself inexorably towards the fiscal cliff. Meanwhile the SFA simply do SFA.

I am going to go out on a limb here and state categorically my belief that, over the years, Celtic have indeed been shown favour by the SFA and their hand-picked referees when playing other teams in the SPL. However, this favour has only ever extended insofar as it did not adversely affect Rangers. They wanted both teams to fight it out for the top spot just so long as Rangers won. It’s as simple as that. That is why fans of smaller clubs had no sympathy for Celtic when they complained about bias towards Rangers. That is why they were able to call us paranoid.

Call me paranoid if you want to but I remain absolutely convinced that the SFA, with Il Presidente being well aware of the old Rangers financial distress, conspired with the men in black to ensure that the team in blue won the 2009/2010 SPL championship which ‘guaranteed’ them access to the riches of the Champions League. You will recall that this was also the year of “Honest mistakes” which caused Celtic FC to compile a video dossier of ‘evidence’. It was also the year of ‘Dougie-gate’ and the referees strike.

As per usual, they were aided and abetted throughout this scandal by their paid up lackeys in the MSM (including the aforementioned Messrs Keevins, Jackson and Traynor) who decided to focus our attention on encouraging an irrational hatred of Neil Lennon (squirrel!) while simultaneously averting our gaze from the impending train crash at Ibrox.

This last week has been like watching history repeating all over again only this time the squirrel is the “skirmish in the square” while the ‘real’ story remains the SFA’s wilful collusion in allowing a handful of sociopathic money monsters to rob the entire game of its integrity, its financial security and its hard-earned reputation. This is not, as some would have us believe, a war of attrition against Rangers, The Rangers or Sevco something or other, this is a battle for the hearts and minds of the fans of our beautiful game.

The SFA and MSM have driving massive bulldozers over the very notion of integrity in Scottish football, while us bampots have been busy throwing chunks of rock at these armour-plated monstrosities. In my humble opinion, we are barely making a dent. It is high time we changed our tactics.

Scottish football fans need to ‘Get a Grip’. Boycott the SFA and the MSM. Stop providing fuel to the corporate shills who are ruining our game.

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Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


The Immortality Project

 -or- Death and Denial

First Posted on TSFM

Death has a tendency to put everything else into perspective.

My family recently suffered a bereavement. It wasn’t a sudden death but it was still far too quick and far too soon for any of us to get our heads around. As our loved one’s illness progressed, each of us, in our own way, began to prepare for the inevitable. In the end, whilst it was not unexpected, it was nevertheless very traumatic, for everyone concerned.

Grief is a strange and often debilitating set of emotions. Even now, a few months on, when the intense sadness and tears have given way (mostly) to disbelief, we still find it hard to fully comprehend what has happened. We might never completely ‘come to terms’ with that fact, however, we do accept that it DID happen, much as we all wish that it hadn’t.

Many of you will be familiar with the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Well, I am aware of having experienced each of these stages over the last year, as well as a couple of others which I wasn’t prepared for (a lot of personal reflection, a little guilt and a not insignificant amount of pain).

It seems to me that the Rangers supporters have been purposefully ensnared in an interminable cycle of the first two stages of KR; alternating between the denial of the death of Rangers and anger at what they feel has been done to their beloved club then back again to denial. This, as any first year psychology student will tell you, is a very unhealthy state of mind which, if not addressed, can quickly lead to physiological and behavioural problems.

At its lowest level, for example, people throughout the ages have continued to set places at the dinner table for their long-dead loved ones. They know in their hearts that the person has died but are comforted by the familiarity of doing the same things that they have always done. However, in extreme cases people have even kept and maintained the actual cadavers of the deceased, dressed them, talked to them and watched TV with them, in a state of absolute denial.

In archaeology, accepting and recognising the inevitability of death through conducting ceremonial burial services is considered to be one of the very first signs of a civilised people. You see, grief is a uniquely human and cathartic process i.e. it can produce ‘a feeling of being cleansed emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically as a result of an intense emotional experience’.

In short, grief is ultimately a good thing which leads you through a series of natural psychological steps towards acknowledgement of an unalterable situation, allowing you to take stock, re-evaluate and start to move on with your own life in a positive way.

That is what should have happened with the fans of the old Rangers.

Instead, this ‘never-ending cycle of the undead’ was positively encouraged by those many unscrupulous individuals who saw a way of making a fast buck from maintaining the ‘Then, Now and Forever’ illusion. Worse still, this resurrection fantasy is being facilitated by the very people whom we have entrusted to stop this kind of thing from happening in the first place. If only the SFA or the MSM had told them the truth, they might have had a chance to actually face up to the situation.

Unfortunately, these two bodies were so complicit in Rangers demise, so right up to their necks in the brown smelly stuff, that they were too afraid to face the inevitable anger which would have rightly come their way. So, they made up grim fairy tales to feed to the bereaved souls about non-existent ‘holding companies’, the ethereal ‘club’ which transcends death and by suggesting that it is ‘all a matter of opinion’.

Ernest Becker, in his 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning book ‘The Denial of Death’, posits that “human civilization is no more than an elaborate, symbolic defence mechanism against the knowledge of our own mortality”. This fear of death acts as an emotional and intellectual response to our basic survival instincts.

‘By embarking on what Becker refers to as an ‘immortality project’, in which a person creates or becomes part of something which they feel will last forever, the person feels they too have become part of something eternal; something that will never die, compared to their physical body that will die one day’. When this ‘immortality project’ is threatened it leads inevitably to fear, depression, loss of identity and sense of purpose.

In that case, the initial reaction of the fans to the imminent demise of Rangers was entirely predictable and understandable. “No way, this can’t happen to us, we are the people”. However, as soon as the full realisation of their club’s inexorable slide into liquidation began to sink in, came the expected anger. But towards whom should their righteous wrath be directed?

“Who did this to us, who are these people?” they cried. “Not I”, said Sir Murray of the Mint, “for I was duped”, “Nor I”, said President Ogilvie, “for it was never my role”. “Nor I”, said Mr Smith, “for I never knew nothing or nothing”. “Not us”, squealed the media monkeys in unison, “for that’s what we were told”, “Nor us”, said the SPL “it was nothing to do with us”.

“Who then?, we demand to know who these people are”, howled the horrified hordes. “T’was the Whyte knight”, they all concurred, “he alone caused this calamity”. “And the bampots”, sneered the slimy slug. “And the taxman”, puffed the pundits. “And the unseen hand of Mr Lawwell”, whispered the bilious bears from the safety of their den.

There were even those who tried to warn them, not least Hugh Adam, Phil Mac and RTC but they didn’t want to know. Even when their very own Messrs Green and Traynor spelt out, in no uncertain terms, that liquidation meant the death of their club, still they chose wilful ignorance. The MSM, with access to the same information, encouraged them to keep their heads firmly ensconced, ostrich stylee, on the banks of that ironically blue and white river in Egypt. Which just goes to show ‘you can lead a lamb to knowledge but you can’t make it think’

The point though is that the Rangers fans have heard the truth and once you have heard something you cannot unhear it. Even if you reject it, even if you deny it, it gnaws away at the back of your mind, infecting your subconscious.

Almost a year ago, I posted the following on TSFM. in which I postulated that the SFA were too frightened to say anything which might imply that The Rangers were a new club.

Looking back at that post, I am amazed at how little the landscape has changed.

A year on and it has become apparent that the corporate cancer that destroyed Rangers has continued to metastasize in its new host. Charlotte’s revelations may have shown us that the rabbit hole goes much deeper than we first suspected. However, in my humble opinion, the information provided has only succeeded in ‘poisoning the well’ and deflecting attention from the main culprits in this disaster. Layer upon layer of complexity has been added to an already opaque story and the majority of her utterances appear designed to engage the more enquiring minds on this forum and consume their excess mental energy.

I know that some people are bored with this ‘debate’ but, to my mind, the single most important step for the redemption of Scottish football is the fan’s acceptance that The Rangers, who currently ply their trade in the SPFL First Division, are a new club. Once they have accepted that then everything else that they perceive has happened to them will begin to make sense. They will see that rather than everyone having a fly kick at them when they were down, most were actually trying to help them. It will also dawn on them that the very people who have been telling them that there is an anti-Rangers conspiracy against them are actually the same ones who are screwing them over.

Rangers were not relegated to div 3, The Rangers applied as a new club and were granted entry into the bottom tier of Scottish football. They are not banned from European competition, merely ineligible as a new club without the requisite financial ‘history’. Any reference to ‘rulings’ from ECA, ASA, the BBC Trust and any internal or so-called ‘independent’ enquiries are completely irrelevant, as none of these bodies are the final arbiter in this case. Scots Law is clear that there is no distinction between club and company after incorporation, when the company dies the club dies with it. That is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact.

Sooner or later The Rangers fans are going to realise this fact and when they do, there will be hell to pay. Until they do, their new club can never become truly cleansed. Only then can they move on and only then can they join together with fans of other clubs to root out the real cancer at the heart of Scottish football.  That’s why the MSM and the SFA are still petrified to say anything. In the meantime the real creators of this disaster are sneakily positioning themselves further and further away from the scene of the crime.

I am sure the majority of us would happily accept a new Rangers, cleansed of its financial, emotional and supremacist baggage. A club that all decent Rangers fans could support without feeling any guilt about Rangers downfall or that they were being taken for mugs. The prospect of a new dawn in Scottish football, where sporting integrity took primacy and clubs lived within their means was very real. However, as usual the SFA couldn’t miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

The truth is that Scottish football is in the state it is in, not because Rangers died but because those with the power and mandate to effect the prognosis sat back and did nothing. I am sure that they believe that ‘time heals all wounds’ and that the longer this injustice is allowed to stand the more likely it will be accepted by the man in the street. No doubt the authorities feel it is in the national interest to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’. However I cannot accept this. I believe that it is vital that we are able to face up to reality so we can move on for the benefit of all football supporters.

Scottish football is at a crossroads right now, I think we all feel it. Rampant corruption has become so mainstream that many of our fellow supporters have began to accept this as the norm. However, it just doesn’t sit right with me and I suspect that many regular contributors and readers of this blog feel likewise.

We have quite lost our way and we live in a society which spends vast amounts of money paying people like Jack Irvine to ensure that we stay lost. The mainstream media treat us like little imbeciles and demand that we conform to their assumed ‘professional superiority’. The PR machine plays up to our stereotypes and feeds our fantasies while the poorest people pay to swallow their poisonous propaganda and relentless trivia.

So what can we do ? Clearly, battering out a few blog posts and strongly worded letters to the various authorities involved has been rewarded by the square root of FA.

How can we make this an opportunity for growth rather than contributing to the destruction of Scottish football ? It is not good enough to tear down a system unless we have a better system to replace it. However, I believe that it is not the system itself which is broken. It is that those charged with administering the system are hopelessly corrupted, hugely conflicted and unable to apply their rules without fear or favour.

By their incapacity and inaction (wilful or otherwise) the SFA have facilitated a motley crew of various spivs, chancers and con-artists to glean the last few meagre pickings from the bones of the emaciated loyal supporters of this new club purporting to be the once mighty Rangers. They have permitted these ne’er-do-wells to collectively appropriate many tens of millions of pounds from the Rangers fans, the creditors and the public purse. They have already allowed this corporate malignancy to spread to a new host, ‘The Rangers’, and the absence of ‘moral hazard’ makes it more likely that the disease will continue to spread.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “‘Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Someone else once said, “The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.”

I sense that we are all beginning to get tired of this. It is time to stand together, all football fans, face the facts and direct our anger against the officers of the SFA who have allowed this sham to develop into a catastrophe.

I have no doubt that my humble opinions expressed here will raise the ire of many deluded souls. However, I am comfortable in the knowledge that the only people who get mad at you for speaking the truth are those that are living a lie.

RIP Big Man.


Posted by on September 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


Poor George

I feel kinda sorry for the guy. Here, at last, is a ‘Real Rangers’ man prepared to put his head above the parapet and his money where his mouth is. You have to respect that, they’ve been few and far between during this debacle. It’s just a crying shame that he is over 18 months too late.

So, George, for the avoidance of doubt. Rangers FC, that club which you once so revered, is currently being liquidated leaving many, many creditors and the common taxpayer with debts amounting to tens of millions of pounds. To all intents and purposes your club is dead. The only way the administrators could recoup any of these debts was by selling the remaining assets (Ibrox , Murray Park, a car park and some Players Registrations) to the highest bidder.

Sevco Something or Other Ltd, fronted by a notorious shyster, Charles Green, may or may not have purchased most of these assets (including the right to use the Rangers logo) for a mere £5.5M. He then changed the name of his new company to ‘The Rangers Football Club Ltd’ in order, in my humble opinion, to fool potential customers into believing that they were still the same club founded in 1873.

This deliberate illusion was so successful that 30 odd thousand deluded souls like yourself spent their hard earned cash (incidentally, raising almost 50% more than the original purchase price) to buy Season Tickets to watch a third rate team in the Scottish 3rd Division prancing about in Royal Blue shirts pretending that they were still the old Rangers that used to ‘dominate’ Scottish Football.

Unfortunately, for you, a supplicant mainstream media were, and still are, happy to play along with this fantasy. They were more than happy to spout their uneducated and wilfully ignorant views on Liquidation to the ‘loyal’ followers of the once mighty Rangers while shouting down detractors from this nonsense (usually with the disclaimer that ‘it’s all about opinions’).

Worse still, these poor excuses for journalists continued to perpetuate this resurrection fantasy while this new club set up a holding company, Rangers International Football Club, for the remaining assets which they subsequently floated on the stock exchange. This cunning ruse raised an additional £20M (or roughly 4 more new Rangerses) which RIFC appear to have spent in only eight short months. I hope you didn’t fall for the old ’70p per share’ routine?

But here’s the rub. All these guys have ever cared about is money. They could not give a flying fig for the club, the fans, the history, the traditions or even the football, except in so far as they can use these to extract more money to fill their fat coffers. None of them, not a single one, who has been or continues to be involved in this shenanigans has ever contracted ‘Ransgeritis’, I’ll personally guarantee it. Spivs are immune to that kind of ailment, that’s a football fan’s disease although I guess you probably realise that by now.

However, these are only ‘so-called’ businessmen doing exactly what ‘so-called’ businessmen have always done, generating profit for themselves and their shareholders. What they chose to do with these profits is entirely up to them. It’s their profit, it’s their assets, it’s their company and it’s their club, end of.

So here’s what I would do. Instead of wasting your time calling your brothers to arms to challenge the spivs at Ibrox. Hoping to spur their consciences or attempting to force them to change their wicked ways. Why not go down to the SFA HQ and demand the immediate resignation of Campbell Ogilvie, Il Presidente of the SFA. While you’re at it, you’d be as well getting shot of Stewart Regan, Vincent Lunny and all the other wastes of space who have sat on their fat behinds watching the old Rangers die at the hands of these corporate money-monsters.

Even now they are turning the other way while a virtual conveyor-belt of spivs takes it in turns to chew on the mangled carcass of what once was a mighty Scottish institution, while the old Rangers fans are fed a steady diet of lies, half-truths and platitudes.

These guys are supposed to represent the ‘governing body’ of Scottish football. They were supposed to stop this kind of thing from happening. They were supposed to be there to stop our beautiful game being corrupted by rampant corporatism. All they had to do was apply the rules ‘without fear or favour’ and this would never have happened. But they didn’t.

As a result of a simple failure of leadership and an unwillingness to apply the rules, which is, in the end, the only reason for their existence, the SFA have accelerated the runaway decline of the entire game in this country, perhaps beyond repair.

The SFA have made a charade out of a mockery out of the sham that is The Rangers debacle. They’ve let the Rangers fans down badly, they have let their beloved club die and they have given its illegitimate offspring free rein to continue to screw the loyal supporters for every last shekel. It’s an absolute disgrace George and I am not surprised that you are angry. I just wish you could direct your anger towards a more positive end.

Scottish football needs a new governing body.

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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


Was Charlotte spinning a web or Vicasting a spell ?

The intricacies of the newly emerged evidence of linkages between some of the key players in the downfall of Rangers being drip-fed to TSFM by CharlotteFakes over the last week are captivating. However, at this late stage, it is probably akin to counting the bars on your prison cell i.e. it certainly passes the time and helps you understand where you are, but does nothing to get you out of situation you find yourself in.

There can no longer be any doubt that this entire farrago has been long-planned and is now being orchestrated (or more appropriately crisis managed) by a small number of corrupt individuals in the corridors of power at Ibrox and Hampden HQ. The blatant attempts to cover up the actions and consequences of the liquidation of Rangers is being facilitated by an assemblage of spineless and conflicted pundits in the Scottish media who have the cheek to call themselves journalists.

As has been demonstrated time and time again by posters on sites like this, a great deal of hard and circumstantial evidence surrounding Rangers’ demise exists out there for anyone who cares to look for it. In my view, all the publically available information and surreptitious recordings that we have had access to so far, point to clear confirmation of a conspiracy to commit a crime(s).

In any normal society, the various characters involved would be earnestly investigated and quickly brought to justice for any wrongdoing. However this is clearly not a normal society and what should have been the role of the various investigative bodies (SFA, SPL, UEFA, HMRC, Police Scotland) appears to have been left to us internet bampots.

The  problem we have had so far in exerting fan power is probably one of misdirection. We need to realise just how little influence we have on the ‘private’ companies represented by the SPL and SFL or even the sponsors and advertisers of the game. Sure we can threaten to withhold our season ticket money, cancel our Sky contracts or stop drinking specific brands of beer/cider, however this can only work as part of a much larger lobby.

Our real power resides in our ability to influence our politicians, especially in deciding how our taxpayers money is spent. As such, I believe that our primary focus should be on bringing the SFA to account for their gross mismanagement of Scottish football over the past few decades.

This body is core funded by the public purse to the tune of many millions of pounds per year to oversee the growth and development of what is our National sport and a huge part of Scottish culture. I contend that the SFA, as currently constituted, is a failed institution. Furthermore I believe that, unless those at the helm of the SFA are removed, and quickly, the professional game in this country will continue its slow, lingering death.

Just look at what has become of our game under their ‘vigilant’ guardianship. Our National team has not been to a major tournament since 1998 and currently languishes at number 78 on the FIFA rankings, well below those great footballing nations of Haiti, Togo and the Cape Verde Islands (no disrespect intended to the great people of these nations).

One of our two biggest clubs has been liquidated, another has gone into administration and a couple of others are fast approaching the edge of the fiscal cliff.

Their ‘Unfit and Improper Person’ test and lack of ‘due diligence’ has facilitated assorted conmen and charlatans running roughshod over the rules of our game, unhindered by such old-fashioned notions as ethics or sporting integrity.

They set up and administered a player registration system which spectacularly failed to spot a huge number of ‘illegitimate’ applications, despite the President of the SFA (Mr Ogilvie), as an ex-Rangers employee and EBT recipient,  being aware of the existence of these undeclared payments and the accompanying side letters.

They subsequently sent their Head of registration (Mr Bryson) to the Lord Nimmo Smith enquiry to explain that, once a player’s registration had been accepted, it was irrevocable, even if it was later found to have been ineligible . This single action, rendered the entire taxpayer-funded enquiry toothless and left LNS unable to administer appropriate justice, even though guilt had been established.

The Scottish football product has been continually downplayed by these same authorities, even in the midst of negotiations with advertisers, sponsors and the TV companies.  The country’s football finances have been allowed to decay to such an extent that we have become a virtually bankrupt backwater of world football. Meanwhile, our neighbouring English Leagues have risen to global prominence with multi-billions of pounds generated annually in advertising and TV deals,

It is time to rise. Time for ALL fans of the game to come together and take the power back from those inept or conflicted individuals who have presided over this unmitigated disaster for Scottish football and who, it appears, would see the whole edifice of our National sport crumble rather than face up to their own failures.

In my humble opinion, we should all lobby our local MPs and MSPs (individually and collectively) and demand that they withhold further funding from the SFA until this shambles has been sorted out once and for all. Let the Scottish Government know that it is in their interest that this divisive situation is resolved before the country starts the debate on probably the most contentious issue in recent history.

Furthermore, I suggest that we write to our own clubs to demand that they raise a no confidence motion against the SFA President and CEO. I don’t know if there are any better administrators in the world of Scottish football but I am sure as hell that there can’t be any worse.

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


A Total Lack of Leadership

Okay, I admit to some initial glee and more than a touch of schadenfraude when the brown smelly stuff began to hit the big swirly thing down the Copland Road. Sadly, however, that feeling has long since given way to one of gobsmacking disbelief at what I was watching unfold in front of my eyes.

While I was trying my level best to understand how ‘the authorities’ had managed to allow the situation to get to that stage, my attention was continuously being diverted towards the ongoing shenanigans in sunny Govan which was swiftly turning into a psychedelic freak show befitting of a 1960’s acid trip. From the sorry tale of Mr Custard the Bluenose Clown and the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund through to Brave Bomber Brown’s valedictorian speech on the steps of Ibrox (oh how I laughed!).

However, this whole Rangers/Sevco saga has now, quite literally, gone ‘beyond a joke’. In fact, it’s just not funny anymore.

Anyone who follows my blog or has read my posts on RTC or TSFM will know how totally disillusioned I am with the ongoing pretence of any ‘governance’ of the game in Scotland.

The recent restructure debacle where the SPL were set against the SFL and the big clubs set against the wee clubs to argue over a clearly unworkable and ill-considered solution to the ‘apparent issues’ in the game has shown us exactly what we are up against in this regard.

Henry MacLeish described the SPL club’s inability to come to any agreement or compromise as “a simple lack of trust”.  While that sentiment is certainly evident in today’s game, this distrust is only a symptom of the corporate malaise which has infected Scottish football these past two decades. As I see it, the real reason that this dis-ease has been allowed to run rampant through our game is down to a ‘total lack of leadership’.

However, there are some other dynamics at play which I believe need to be recognised before we can truly move on from this shambles to a place we all want to be. Where analysis of the football on the park takes precedence over the machinations of the boardroom. Where rules are followed, sanctions implemented and where institutional bias and corporate press coverage no longer has influence on results.

First, we have to remember that Scotland is in the middle of a historical political debate, where an understanding of the ‘division of citizenry’ is key to the electioneering strategy of all of the political parties. Football fans represent a powerful demographic. Realise this, if every fan who attended a football match on a Saturday voted on a Thursday, the turnout would be the highest the country had ever seen.

There is no doubt that the influence of the Rangers’ historical affinity with ‘The Union’ and Celtic’s presumed affinity with the ‘unions’ will be well appreciated by the major parties’ chief whips and spin doctors. Let’s face it, no political party wants to be associated in any way with the demise of Rangers FC. At the same time EUFA and FIFA have a predilection toward the self-governance of National Associations, while the MSM are no more than mouthpieces for corporate sponsors and advertisers. As a result, all potential ‘higher authorities’ simultaneously averted their gaze from the evolving Rangers car crash like a flock of flamingos in a mating dance.

Secondly, when cool heads and carefully reasoned debate and analysis over issues as big and potentially divisive as these was required, it clearly suited the SFA and their cohort to play up the potential for ‘civil unrest’ should they not be allowed to ignore their own rules and shoehorn an unqualified ‘replica’ club straight into the top leagues to act as though nothing had happened.

It may well have appeared to be ‘a good idea at the time’ but, as recent history has shown, it actually turned out to be the worst of all the potential solutions.

The simplest and most obvious answer to the crisis facing Scottish football had been right in front of their faces all along. Hidden in plain sight. It wasn’t even complicated  or technical, in fact it was the ‘only’ solution available to them under the rules and it could have stopped this charade in its tracks once and for all. They could simply have said, “The old Rangers is dead but Scottish football needs a NEW Rangers”.

As long as the SFA had recognised the serious wrongdoing that had occurred within the boardroom of Rangers FC, I believe that the majority of football fans would have accepted a New Rangers being given a ‘puddy up’ to SFL3 . Simply stating the facts would also have brought much-needed ‘closure’ to the many decent fans who had been lifelong supporters of the old club and who’s emotions had been put through the mill in the previous year. It would also have provided those same fans with the opportunity to access the information necessary to allow them to decide how they would move forward.

With a bit of leadership, these real fans could easily have banded together to buy the assets from D&P (particularly Ibrox and the Rangers brand) that they held so dear to them. They could have examined new and sustainable business models, perhaps even considering a fan ownership model. As it is they have now contributed more than double what ‘Sevco Something or Other’ paid for the old clubs assets in the first place. Most of which has probably gone straight into the offshore bank accounts of people who do not have their best interests at heart.

Sure, they would have been forced to acknowledge their status as a new club, however acceptance of the truth would have been the first step towards reconciliation and would have helped the real fans to move on and make a fresh start. Without doubt there would have been enough supporters of this New Rangers to safely pay and play its way through the leagues in jig time and they could have kept their supposed ‘dignity’ while ridding themselves of some of their toxic ‘history’. If only someone had displayed a bit of leadership.

Instead what we got was the fraud that is ‘The Rangers’, the ethereal ‘club’ and the ‘Then, Now and Forever’ fantasy of Messrs Dingwall and Graham, growing animosity and antagonism amongst fans, distrust of and between the clubs and the authorities, the confusion over ownership of the assets, the disappeared IPO money and a kaleidoscopic conveyor belt of ‘colourful’ corporate characters including the Blue Knights, Google-eye Whyte, Del-boy Green and any other amount of infected, infested, conflicted and convicted individuals waiting their turn to feast on Rangers cadaver.

So let’s cut to the chase. Rangers as we knew them are dead. They cannot be ‘cleansed’ and there can be no ‘fresh starts’. The sooner everyone comes to terms with that fact , the better. This new club plying their wares in the lower divisions of the SFL is an aberration and no more than a shadow of a once venerated sporting organisation. The Walter and Ally resurrection roadshow is a busted flush and they need to be careful that they don’t turn into the Laurel and Hardy of this tragi-comedy.

However the SFA is still very much alive and continues to preside over this unmitigated disaster for Scottish football. These so-called leaders have facilitated the wanton destruction of what was once a proud Scottish Institution and, at the same time, they have allowed a never ending parade of corporate chancers the autonomy to continue to skim the hard earned cash from the loyal supporters of the old club. They have let those fans down, they have let all football fans down.

This travesty has now gone far beyond the abilities and remit of the SFA and it’s time for those ‘higher authorities’ to step in. Regardless of their motivation, Campbell Ogilvie and Stewart Regan have stood back impotently and watched as a parade of two bit hustlers and ten bob tycoons pecked at the mangled carcass of this once mighty club while running roughshod over the rules and denigrating any notion of sporting integrity. They have turned our game into a farce and made a mockery out of a sham. It is an absolute disgrace and I, for one, am sick and tired of it.

Scottish football is in compete disarray and change is certainly required. However, what is the point in debating the relative merits of league reconstruction, when the agenda is being driven by the same few individuals that allowed the game to get into the sorry state it is now ? It’s time to either clear out or disband the SFA and form a new football authority. One where sporting integrity takes primacy over corporate considerations and where rules and reconstruction could be implemented without fear or favour. That is the one thing which has the potential bring the much needed leadership and vision back to our game. It would be a game changer.

Albert Einstein said, “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.”

In my humble opinion, Scottish football doesn’t need ‘The Rangers’, Scottish football needs a new Governing Body.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

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