Only since they needed to chicken out of a vote it seems.
Whether a chairman of a club or an office-bearer in any organisation the responsibilities include a duty of leadership - an ability to say the unpalatable even when it is unpopular with your grassroots, the responsibility to look beyond a knee-jerk reaction.
Have many of the chairman of Scottish football clubs who have been spouting their mouths off in public over how they were going to vote regarding a newco entering the SPL done so motivated with the genuine best long-term interests of their own club and Scottish football as whole or are they simply terrified by threats and hatred. Have they bottled it?
Some of them undoubtedly have. I can understand the fear - I can even get the idea of someone who genuinely says the rules have been broken, Rangers fans should have been more careful of who got their club and the club has to carry the can for the misdemeanors of the directors. But in many cases that is not what has been said.
What is in fact happening is that directors are pandering to the wildest and most vile elements of their supporters - the idea that an extra 1,000 Aberdeen fans will suddenly flood back to Pittodrie and buy season tickets to make up for the gate, TV and hospitality revenue demoting Rangers is both preposterous in the sense that it will happen, and preposterous in the sense that what sort of "fan" supports his or her team not on the basis of what their favourites do on the pitch but on the basis of another team not playing?! You couldn't make it up!
The Chairman of Scottish football club know they are voting to put their own clubs on the verge of extinction - take out the revenue Rangers bring (and ignore the lies you may comfort yourself with) and there are huge gaps in budgets and they won't be easily replaced.
I heard a rep from an Aberdeen fan group on radio the other week talking about "only" needing another 1,000 season ticket holders to replace Sky and Rangers money. All it required was the Pittodrie board to 'be inventive about marketing.' Do tell us how you get on.
This sort of tripe is the meat and drink of the public bar - not the boardroom. We now have clubs for the first time in their histories offering the fans a vote on the newco decision. When do you think they will next offer their fans a vote?
If Chairman want to put Rangers down then do for so your own reasons, explain them and be men about it - don't hide behind the fear engendered by the mob mentality of the lunatic fringe in your own supports.
'Terror,' observed Angus Crow, 'is a great force.'
Indeed, terror could drive men to cross oceans or, in other cases, be silent. Crow remained unaware of Moriarty's next move simply because a number of men - some in Her Majesty's service - were prepared to remain blind, deaf and dumb; some because of money, but most out of terror.
From "Moriarty" by John Gardner.