Will Scottish Football and Rangers Ever Move On?

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Has a football club ever had to
suffer the ignominy of what Rangers FC has in the past few years? Hanging over
its neck like a threatening noose for years was HMRC’s BTC, which amounted to a
(false) multimillion pound tax bill the club was unable to pay. The foreboding
of losing this case had remained around Ibrox like a putrid stench, one which
no amount of Air Wick could eliminate, and it reached a crescendo when former
owner Craig Whyte took over and forced the club into administration.
In the past 13 months Rangers
have gone through the mill, and back, and into the mill again, then back, then
a few more times for good measure.
The bitter, distasteful and
frankly unforgiveable irony is that all of it was in vain. The club won the
BTC, and the Dual Contract payment case. Lord Glennie also ruled in favour of
the club regarding the SFA’s transfer ban, a sanction for being in
administration.
The team lost all its best
players, European participation for 3 years, and the right to compete against
the ‘best’ the country has to offer, by way of being demoted to the third
division.
All for absolutely nothing. A
technicality. A legal tax scheme. An illegal transfer embargo. All of this has
been 100% cleared and fully exonerated. Rangers’ only ‘crime’ was to fail to
fully declare the extra payments to the SPL – yes, careless, but literally the
equivalent of legally using a great deal of cash most others do not have while
failing to provide transparency as to why/how.
The money was not dirty, it was
not illegal, it was simply greater than the majority of SPL clubs. It has been
well documented that during this period not only was Celtic’s wage bill
actually greater than Rangers’, but
the number of titles the Parkhead club greater too! So while Rangers had a
significant amount of cash, and had not declared all payments from it, it did not give any kind of sporting advantage
on the pitch against the club’s old rivals.
Enough is quite simply enough.
Languishing in the third
division, no carrot of European football to look forward to, and in the market
only for sub-standard players who would be useful at the level the club plays
at, Rangers have clearly been punished enough. I will renege on pointing out
the punishment is for crimes which never took place, and focus on the fact that
the club, with dignity, is serving its time with grace.
Stunning attendances at Ibrox far
outweighing the majority of British clubs, a good CEO in Charles Green who says
it exactly as it is, an honourable and legendary manager in Ally McCoist who has
been through the very darkest days with the rest of us, and a team 23 points
clear.
It is absolutely time for the
heckling, the barracking, the sanctions, the punishment, the trials, the
hearings; all of it: it is time for all of this nonsense to cease once and for
all.
Can the rest of Scottish football
possibly just leave this wounded and victimised animal alone now? Can the ‘no
to newco’ and ‘sevco’ nonsense cease for the blatant reason that the previous
company nor the new one have ever done anything significantly wrong.
If Scottish football cannot get
over itself and quit the torrent of ongoing drivel it relentlessly pursues
against Rangers, Scottish football does not deserve to survive.
Scottish football got it wrong.
Will it ever admit it and move
on?