A Line In The Sand

Last updated : 22 July 2012 By LITTLE BOY BLUE

How refreshing it was to hear Ally McCoist speak out about the endless desire to stick the boot into Rangers.  Less than a week before the start of the new season, our club is being blackmailed into accepting unreasonable and unlawful sanctions, otherwise the SFA will continue to withhold our membership, effectively putting the most successful club in the country out of the game.


And with the Daylate Retard having an 'exclusive' look at the SPL's and SFA's plans to strip Rangers of league titles and cups, it is disappointing that Super Ally is the lone voice in opposition.  Where are Alex McLeish and Walter Smith, former Scotland managers who are now being told their successes at Ibrox were achieved by cheating by the self-same association they served so well? 


There appears to be no end in sight to this bloodlust to do damage to Rangers.  A ten point penalty, exclusion from Europe, a fine, an unlawful signing embargo, kicked out of the SPL, relegated all the way to Division Three, the departure of our top players, the threat of being stripped of titles and now they are coming after our ability to earn some money via TV rights of our SFL games.


Throughout the past few months, 'sporting integrity' has been the buzz phrase but where is the integrity in the SPL trying to muscle in on the SFL's TV rights?  The top flight's corrupt cabal is in grave danger of falling apart, hard cash is in short supply, four or five clubs are staring administration in the face, the SPL can't meet their contractual obligations to the SFL, and TV cash - or the lack of it! - is at the root of the problem.


Of course, they were warned time after time about the likelihood of financial meltdown but they just couldn't stop themselves.  Led by the lowest common denominator among their fans, the internet guerillas (or should that be gorillas?) wanted Rangers booted out of the league, they hated our club more than they loved their own, and now their bitterness and hatred is coming back to bite their arses big-time.


The SFL has acted honourably throughout this entire sorry saga and I'll be very disappointed if David Longmuir does not tell the SPL where to go with their demand for a slice of the TV dosh.  That Regan and the SFA appear to be going along with Doncaster's despicible attempt at blackmail serves to underline the corruption this pair of jokers are inflicting upon Scottish football.


Both the SPL and the SFL are essentially independent bodies working under the jurisdiction of the SFA.  That one should conspire against the other with the full connivance of the governing body is well out of order.  But of course sound business practice and fairness have long since been kicked into touch by bogus drivel called 'sporting integrity'. 


It has been said over and over again on this board and by any number of contributors that our enemies won't stop until they have driven our club out of existence.  That is where they are going and, each time we back off and concede ground, we move one step closer to oblivion.  While we keep running, they'll keep chasing and, when they see Malcolm Murray and Charles Green going cap in hand to Hampden to plead with the SFA to grant our membership, it gives them further encouragement.


If the SFA continue to hold a gun to our head, there has to be a case for taking the decision out of their hands, their behaviour throughout the past few months compromises any notion of fairness, the Court of Arbitration for Sport or UEFA really should step in to protect the good name of the game.  Both Regan and Doncaster have been guilty of bringing the game into disrepute but unfortunately, with nobody speaking up for Rangers for so long, things have dragged on and on and we now have less than a week to find a solution.


With no games to focus the fans' attention, our club was always going to be at its most vulnerable during the close- season.  In that respect Duff & Phelps played a blinder in dragging out the 'preferred bidder' process and, aided and abetted by the 'this is not the time for protest' appeal, the Rangers have been battered from pillar to post throughout the summer.


Somebody somewhere has to draw a line in the sand, it ends right here and now, there can be no more concessions.


Accepting the drop into the Third Division should have been enough for any fair-minded observer and we could then have started to plan for the season ahead.  But Scottish football is 2012 is anything but a fair-minded environment.  The delay in granting our licence, an inexplicable desire to uphold the unlawful ban on new signings, more speculation surrounding the dual contracts smokescreen, the nonsensical edict that we should accept all further sanctions without appeal, it is a witch-hunt of unacceptable proportions...yet nobody at Rangers seems to be inclined to fight the good fight. 


Of course, after more than a decade of bending over to be well and truly shafted by all and sundry, we've let the Rangers-haters feel fireproof.  David Murray and Martin Bain only ever felt the need to respond when things got personal.  The man who had the cheek to call himself the Custodian and his well-tanned lackey let our club, its traditions and its fans be vilified both at home and abroad, it has been open season on Rangers for years and putting a stop to it all will be no easy task.


Radical action is required and the suggestion that we withdraw our application for SFA membership, accept a year's suspension and watch Scottish football self-destruct has some merit.  How would we survive?  Well, players could be loaned out, the Ibrox facilities could be utilised for rock concerts, I'd like to think our Legends could fill the place on maybe ten or twelve occasions, there would surely be a concerted move to a fan ownership model during a year in the wilderness. 


Would the threat be enough to bring the SFA to their senses or would they be daft enough to call our bluff?  Sadly, at this late stage, time is not on our side.  Once more, lack of a respected figurehead within the club has allowed things to be drawn out and Regan, Doncaster et al will feel the balance of power has drifted back in their favour.


I can only hope that the SFL stand firm in the dispute over their £2,000,000 entitlement and their TV rights, going all the way to UEFA if the SFA and SPL maintain their bullyboy approach.  The presence of Rangers makes their product so much more attractive and the cash generated can only be good for those clubs operating on a shoestring in the lower leagues.  Any cash crisis in the SPL is not of the SFL's making.


No matter what happens to Rangers, I genuinely believe the SPL is beyond redemption.  Sky will pull the plug, several clubs will go to the wall and the move towards league reconstruction will gather considerable momentum.  But the damage has been done, it will take years for Scottish football to recover anything resembling respectability but the days of everyone pulling in the same direction for the greater good of the game may well be gone for ever.


How can anyone trust the legislators who presided over a hate-filled death wish which chased so much money out of Scottish football?  Where is the integrity of the chairmen who brought their own clubs to their knees just to satisfy their fans' hatred of Rangers? 


Our club is far from blameless here but the dodgy dealings of Murray and Whyte are yesterday's news.  It is surely time to say 'enough is enough', we have to move on.  Are the small-minds of the SFA and SPL willing to move forward or will they keep coming back for another kick at the Rangers?


And the biggest question of all: Will they keep getting away with it?