A Parcel o' Rogues?
So wrote Robert Burns as he reflected on Scotland's union with England in
his poem 'A Parcel o' Rogues.' Can anybody think of a more apt way to
begin an article that reflects on Rangers' recent union with Celtic by
signing a joint sponsorship deal?
Burns' opinions on the 1707 Union may be suggested to be inaccurate as the
partnership between Scotland and England benefited both parties in what
basically was a natural coming together but no good at all can or will come
of the recent pact that Rangers have freely entered into and will surely
In these days where Rangers' scandalous monetary problems are documented and
highlighted on a daily basis, it might seem rather strange that the news
that six million pounds from Carling entering into the Ibrox coffers is not
greeted with universal, unanimous acclaim. Now while the money is welcome
and no gripes can be expressed about the company handing the money over,
what should be of concern to Rangers supporters everywhere is the scenario
that Rangers have yet again entered into a joint sponsorship deal with
The quotes attributed to resident Rangers fan-hater Martin Bain should get
the alarm bells ringing immediately; his assertion that 'The Old Firm as a
brand has a uniqueness' - is nothing but a disgrace. Just who does he think
he is to suggest Rangers are somehow on as low a level as Celtic are? Quite
clearly the guy dislikes the club that employs him and any spurious claim by
him or his apologists that he is a Rangers fan will surely be laughed out of
hand by anybody who DOES care for Rangers.
Rangers, by jumping into bed with our enemies, are heading down a very
dangerous path, and one where there will not be a pot of gold at the end of,
but instead, tears, disappointment and thousands of completely disillusioned
Rangers supporters. It wasn't that long ago that Celtic couldn't find a
sponsor for themselves yet now Rangers seem to think as a name in world
football, we can't attract any inward investment unless Celtic are somehow
Whatever happened to ambition?
Whatever happened to vision?
Hell, whatever happened to honour and integrity?
To associate Rangers with Celtic as a marketing ploy is an act of treason.
That is not a hyperbolic statement: that is a statement of fact. Celtic are
the enemies of anybody who truly appreciates the game of football and are an
affront to any decent minded human being. Do we REALLY want to be
associated and bracketed with a Club that has a history as reprehensible as
theirs? Do we REALLY want Rangers to be looking upon them as some sort of
ally? This is one Bear - who most definitely is not alone - who wants
absolutely nothing to do with them in any manner.
The present running off the park at Ibrox just now is a nightmare; the
future just does not bear thinking about unless change is forced upon those
currently there. What's next if things are allowed to go on as they are?
Remember how the idea of a joint shop at Glasgow airport was proposed? How
long before that stupidity resurfaces? How long before videos are released
in a joint venture of Rangers v Celtic games from the past?
Just how difficult is it for Rangers to realise that we simply do not need -
or want - Celtic anywhere near our operations? Wherever we've lead in the
past, they've followed, much in the way that slimy politicians try to pass
off ideas by decent people as their own. We were up and running for sixteen
years before they appeared on the scene. Ibrox Park was the magnificent
sporting arena it is for going on twenty years before they followed suit
with their ham-fisted, council-bigotry aided cheapskate apology for a
stadium that was thrown up overnight. We led the way in top class
non-Scottish imports. Celtic, like the bit of poo you can't scrape off the
bottom of your shoe, followed us again. Sadly, though, my Brethren in Blue,
these instances all happened at a time when there were Rangers-minded
people at Ibrox running the operations. How depressing it is to think of
those that are there just now.
What Rangers should be doing is investigating ways the culture, ethos, and
indeed name of the Club can be promoted where there is potential for gain
and expanding out on our own – NOT taking a cheap and cowardly way out by
signing a pact with the devil. Why isn't the potentially massive fan base
in places like Germany, The Netherlands or Denmark explored? Why don't
Rangers use the Italian players to drum up interest in the Club in their
homeland? It wouldn't take a great deal to produce a video or documentary
in German, for example, highlighting, the contribution players like Albertz
and Klos have made to our team and offered to the German football supporting
Now I don't know if that's a totally ridiculous suggestion as I'm not a
businessman and am pulling ideas from the sky here but I do know that a
business cannot wait for income to automatically start rolling it; it has
to sell itself to an audience in order to generate profit. Rangers, just
now, because of some perceived vision of 'The Old Firm' having a unique
place in the world of football are not only selling the entire spectrum of
Rangers short, by forging links with Celtic, they are selling their soul.
Are the present board at Ibrox of the opinion that a Club with the prestige,
history and culture of Rangers FC aren't a viable option to attract a
sponsor on their own? Are they saying we will only be able to draw income
if Celtic are part of the picture? If they are it shows their distinct lack
of feeling they have for the Club. Rangers - as has been said before - are
a unique institution in the world of sport and anybody with any semblance of
foresight would seize the opportunity that the name of Rangers brings to
forge ahead without Celtic hanging yet again on our coat tails.
As it is, the current board have shown an incredible lack of initiative and
have taken the easy, lazy way out and it is shameful: shameful to the men
of the past who HAD the vision and ambition to take Rangers to the very
How can we be expected to be taken seriously by the REAL big Clubs in
football if we appear incapable of going anywhere without Celtic being part
of the equation? If we want to dine at the big boys' table then we have to
show we are worthy of a place there and that means showing our ambition and
vision is on a par with theirs. What we have done instead is shown the
world our board of directors are bereft of any imagination whatsoever and
Bain and co are pissing in the wind if they think a joint sponsorship deal
is any indication that we will at one point be invited to leave the Scottish
set up and join a bigger league. And anyway, does anybody really trust
anybody connected with Celtic FC not to tear up any contract that may exist
between us and them when it suits them?
I'll leave you with a quote from a recent Follow, Follow that emphasises
just how naïve it is of Rangers to be cavorting with the enemy. Martin Bain
is said to be angry that he was not consulted by Celtic as they launched
another one of their laughable anti-sectarian policies. 'Did you really
think you could trust them?' he was allegedly asked. That says it all -
and says even more about him that he hasn't learned and has - along with the
other directors at Ibrox - voluntarily entered into a deal that sells the
soul of Rangers Football Club.
A parcel o' rogues indeed.
Yours in The Cause,
Ayrshire Billy Boy.
(Quote is from Weekend Times, Saturday 4th January 2003.)