There’s a real punch to the guts of Rangers fans, and it’s not just the diabolical record our team set as the worst-ever side to darken the Champions League.
No, it’s even worse than that – it’s that our Europa League final opponents, Eintracht Frankfurt, and of course eventual winners of the competition, have, by the flick of Aaron Ramsey’s boot, condemned Rangers to purgatory while themselves strolling into the KO stage of the UCL.
By the mere flick of the Welsh international’s boot, by Kent’s miss, by Goldson’s horrible defending, by a litany of crimes, Rangers missed out on not just the UEL trophy, but the Promised Land of glory and open doors that gifted the winners.
Frankfurt got the riches, they got the UEFA Super Cup Final, they got the trophy itself: but even better, they got a guaranteed slot in pot one of the UCL, plus the financial rewards for that.
Now they sit pretty, comfortably through to the KO stage after a solid group campaign losing just two and winning three, and look forward to what comes next. They are also fifth in the Bundesliga now comfortably in range of the top four. They also shelled out £27M in the summer on new recruits, while bringing in double that in sales.
What we are saying is the sliding door of that UEL final shows Rangers what could have been. Where we could be now had fortune favoured us. Had we been the ones to be given the gilded prizes on offer – as we said before kick off in Seville, winning was everything, and it would give us unspeakable glory, riches and opportunity.
It’s Eintracht who got it all, the earth, while Rangers sunk into oblivion. We sold our best two players, signed mostly pap, and got absolutely destroyed in the UCL to new levels never before seen in that competition.
Are we jealous? We’re sad, is what it is – what difference it could and would have made to our club had we been in Eintracht’s position, where we could have gone with that.
As it is, Europe-wise we’re now a joke, gone from the coveted glory and respect we had 6 months ago to the ignominy we now are.
Eintracht were the better team on the night, and they earned their glory – it’s hard to begrudge them it. But at the same time it could have been ours.
Those sliding doors.