Tuesday, 3 July 2012

D-Day for Sevco Rangers or The End of Scottish Football

                                                     The End of the Old Firm?

In the next two days the fate of what was once the most successful domestic club in the world will be decided. Tomorrow the SPL clubs should, having stated their intentions already, refuse to grant The Rangers Football Club, a place in the Scottish Premier League. While today 30 SFL clubs will come together to agree on whether they will be accepted in to the First Division Or the Third.

The talking, the debate, the headlines seem to have been never ending, but now it's time for the main event, When the fate of Scottish football may be decided.

Being a Celtic fan, I was not one of these fans who wanted Rangers to be destroyed, I look forward to the Old Firm games as do all Celtic and Rangers fans. I did however expect to see them face strict punishment and accept it as the guilty party. The transfer ban imposed by the SFA might not have been legal, but it allowed a way for Rangers to be punished while still leaving the door open for them to play a full part in the SPL. Rather than accept these average punishments, Rangers, or rather the new promised messiah, Charles Green took them to the Scottish courts.

There has been a decided stench in the air since Rangers went into administration. For every one Rangers fan you meet, who feels they have done wrong and deserve to be punished ten more will tell you it's all one big conspiracy against their lovable rogue of a team. From Mark Hateley's attempts to belittle Celtics title win, Sandy Jardine calling players who refused to sign for the new Sevco, cowards. These very players by the way were the ones who took a 75% pay cut to keep Ibrox staff in a job.

The smartest man in all this sham seems to be Charles Green. When faced with the prospect of buying the club for £11 million and then paying back creditors. He came out the day before the creditors hearing and stated he had 30 transfer targets and wanted Rino Gattuso on £12,000 a week. Then he had the temerity to walk into the creditors meeting and offer 9p in the pound, no wonder they said no.

The result of this being he was able to liquidate Rangers Football Club and buy its assets for £5.5 million. Considering Ibrox and Albion Car Park alone were listed as having a value of £121 million it's quite a shrewd piece of business. The kind that only someone lacking any emotion or empathy would make. It's hardly surprising he's threatening court action over the players refusing to agree to new contracts as it just cost him somewhat close to £25 million.
What are Charles Green's real intentions?

So now the Scottish club has to make a major decision, Send Rangers into Division 3 and face a financial meltdown in the game, or allow them into the First division, be seen as morally repugnant and lacking any thread of sporting integrity. Well actually it doesn't have to be either.

Say Rangers are voted down to the Third Division, clubs who are more successful will see their attendances rise. There is a possibility of losing the Sky deal, something which rings fear into ever SPL chairman. Would this be such a bad thing?

The first Old Firm game of last season at Ibrox, ticket prices were £45 for everyone, no concessions, just one set price. That means a family of 4 living in Dundee would pay

£180 for 4 tickets,
£30 for petrol
£10 for programmes x2
£ 20 on food/drinks

That's £230 for on game of football, 90 minutes, or go to the pub to watch it on Sky.

If there was no Sky deal, there would be no random games at obscure hours to fit around the EPL. There would be Saturday 3pm matches. If the power men of Scottish football really want to save the game, then lower ticket prices, become more family friendly, more involved in local communities, focus on youth players, get all the basics right again, and then try to move forward in an affordable way.

Most fans who have been demanding Rangers to be sent to the bottom of the leagues have been accused by the media of not understanding the consequences, of killing the game. These fans aren't just some idiots who just walked in from a 10 year wilderness retreat, they are ready for change, they want change and they want to see justice be done.

There is an acceptance in Scotland that we will no longer see the days of world class players such as Laudrup and Larsson., we realise that we may have to walk into the wilderness, but this does not have to be the end or a bad thing. As Henry David Thoreau once said;

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveller that does the howling.”

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