Clubs In Distress

Last updated : 26 June 2012 By Mark Dingwall

I'm a sporting romantic - I love the stories of clubs formed in Victorian times and the stories behind them - whether football, rugby or whatever.  There's a sadness when the effort of volunteers and committee men are for nought and a club closes or merges - as a kid I remember the derelict Barclay Curle bowling club on Crow Road when the new Glasgow High School is now and wondering why it failed.


LIkewise I've joined supporters appeals and trusts of various organisations over the years just to give them a few bob - not my club but perhaps a fiver or tenner from a few of us might help to preserve sport in an area - I joined the Albion Trust as a way of donating when Stirling Albion where in danger a few years ago, I hope the Bradford Bulls survive.


I attended the Partick Thistle creditors meeting back in 1998 and stuck in a few bob to Save The Jags - happy memories of trips to Firhill and mates who are Jags fans mean I have a soft spot for them even if Thistle fans absolutely hate being Glasgow's cuddly toy!


The internet age came along and in that time as well as Stirling Albion the plight of Livingston, Motherwell and then Dundee hit the headlines.   Did FollowFollow.Com save them?  No, but we gave them links to fundraising auctions where there was a Rangers connection and advertised their quiz and sportsman's nights.  It's what decent football fans do - they have their club, we have ours.  And losing even one senior club (full-time or part-time) is really bad news for the game in Scotland.  (Apart from Timmy obviously!)


Do I feel sorry for myself that fans of other clubs want to put the boot into us?  Not really, it's what you expect.  But it's a little sad that clubs who simply do not have rivalries with Rangers have fans falling over themselves calling for us to be hung drawn and quartered.  My view on the Dundee debacle was the same as my view of the Rangers plight - why are the fans punished for the actions of the directors and the incompetence of the regulatory bodies?


In their daft frenzy to put the boot into Rangers fans of many clubs are forgetting their own histories.   My inclination has always been to assist the fans of any club that is damaged by the actions of it's owners.  Always to go with what happens on the field of play in determining where a club plays. 


The game done changed.   From now on - and for the next 50 years I reckon - Rangers fans will determine their view on the survival of any club by the behaviour of their chairman and directors during the Craig Whyte era.  


We never thought this would happen to us - do we now care if it happens to anyone else?   I would like to think so but some fans and chairmen are signing the death warrants of their own clubs - they just haven't realised it yet.