Armageddon Time Is Here

Last updated : 19 February 2013 By Mark Dingwall


Last year we saw the anti-Rangers lynch mob in full flow.  Scottish football didn’t need Rangers - we had to be punished for Craig Whyte’s sins and hang the consequences for the rest of Scottish football.  But hey, Rangers being down and out would actually be good for the game.


The lies they told themselves went something like this - suddenly clubs have 12 more points to genuinely compete for, Celtic will cut their wage bill and hence more clubs have more points and more competition and the fans will lap it up.


Any notion that Rangers fans, or indeed the club, were victims of David Murray, the bank or Craig Whyte were swept aside.   The media establishment went into a full 180 degree reverse - in the past it was argued that, for example, Dundee, Livingston or Airdrie fans did not deserve their clubs being harmed due to the behaviour of directors - but that was not the treatment Rangers fans could expect in the hate-filled feeding frenzy.


And what have we got?  Initially crowds held up but now some of them are laughable and the chickens are coming home to roost.


Hearts on the verge of collapse, Motherwell directors screaming about fans not buying promised tickets and getting a loan from their Trust, Dunfermline staring into the abyss, Killie pondering how to escape their debts.  Everything’s just champion.


How credible is it that within months of Rangers going to the 3rd Division the entire game in Scotland needs to be re-organised?  Wasn’t this supposed to be Nirvana?  Yet now we see the terrible vista of the unseemly haste with which any old reconstruction will do having to be implemented in time for next season.  Not a planned move to a new Jerusalem but a scramble to get it in place for August 2013.


The gentlemen of the SPL are so desperate to move to 12-12-18 that they are now offering a £350,000 bribe to 12 SFL clubs to break ranks - that will be the participation money for taking part in SFL2 or whatever it will be called.


Has anyone actually bothered to ask where this extra £4.2m a year is coming from?  Have Doncaster and pals found a bag of swag in the back of the broom cupboard?  Hell no!  It’s in the Sky contract.  A contract that not even the SPL Board has seen - only Doncaster and a select few know the content.  Repeated enquiries by the SFL to have sight of it have been met with excuses about the insurmountable problems of taking a copy 20 yards down a Hampden corridor from the SPL offices to the SFL offices.  What are they trying to hide?


In my view the 12-12 proposal is a ruse - it gives the appearance of something new and an alternative to 10-10 and hence a fig leaf over the embarrassment of this cobbled together over-elaborate fiasco.  


Man up and just admit it’s a crisis.  


What should Rangers do?  Nothing.  Let others take the blame - and there will be blame.  I’m delighted to hear Charles Green isn’t going to participate in the discussions - to do so would be to dignify them.


The 12-12-18 proposal will fail - either it won’t fly or it will crash land within two seasons and we’ll be back to redesigning a pyramid system which works. How you expect clubs coming from a part-time 18 team league to progress and survive in an SPL 2 composed of full-time clubs suddenly spending another £350,000 a season is beyond me.  Likewise the sustainability of finding an extra £4million in sweeteners on an ongoing basis will raise more than my eyebrows.


Our directors should continue steady as she goes.  Fans will be content to play through the leagues - each season strengthens the SFL clubs and weakens the SPL witch-hunters.  In the long-run it strengthens our position for when we return to the top flight.