Twisted Words and Twisted Minds

Last updated : 02 December 2002 By Grandmaster Suck

Ricksen's words woefully twisted
Ricksen's words woefully twisted

A new entrant in the 'Hall of Shame' that is twisting words within articles emerged on Sunday 1st December 2002. Step forward Stephen Fraser.

In his interview with Fernando Ricksen, Ricksen went into detail about how he has been forced to deal with abusive and bigoted telephone calls and that even his son-in-law has been forced to deal with them.

Sickening really ­ a big 'welcome to Scotland' for this Dutch family, only to be harassed by the jolly antics of the East End's finest Plastic Paddies.

He also speaks about the religious divide within the city and within the football clubs. Now no-one for a minute is going to dispute that Rangers have a proud Protestant history (not an anti-Catholic history as some people will try to make you believe) and neither will we dispute Celtic have a Catholic history.

However when Fernando tells us that 'if you¹re really a Catholic and you feel too much about it, you don¹t come to Rangers. You stay away. You¹d better go to the other side [Celtic] or there will be a lot of problems for you.'

In other words, if you're really a devout Catholic then Rangers is not the place for you. Not because of Rangers, but because it may well pose problems ­ from people of your own religion.

However Mr Fraser decides to shirk his responsibility to the reader of examining this by. you guessed it. By blaming Rangers.

He tells us 'Rangers have failed to throw off their reputation for being anti-Catholic, despite ditching their policy of not signing Catholic players 13 years ago². What 'policy' he means exactly is up for debate (there was not one), however all he has done is take the easy route out to get his story front page. We have become an easy target for the media ­ largely because of the club's inability to deal with such nonsense.

Of course, there's the now required comment from the Catholic Church on Fernando's comments (maybe just as well Fernando was not talking about the Tangerine jersey). They tell us 'It is deplorable, indeed shameful that Glasgow is perhaps the only city in Europe in which a professional footballer is required to deny his faith in order to achieve sporting success.'

And (for once) I agree with those sentiments 100%, just not in the way which they¹ve been made.

Both comments tell us that Rangers FC have the problem. Not for one minute am I going to suggest that we don¹t have problems ­ by God we do.

However for years we were told that only if we signed a Catholic then everything would be ok. What happened? We were slated for Maurice Johnston 'not being Catholic enough' by Gerry McNee. We were slated for him 'being the wrong players at the wrong time' by Ernie Walker. Ever get the feeling you cannot win?

Since then we've signed numerous Catholic players (and made a good few captain), and to be honest I couldn't tell you the religion of most of the players today ­ nor do I care.

However it's obvious that signing Catholic players at Ibrox is still a problem for some people. The sad fact of the matter is that (thankfully) it is NOT a problem for our support as we will support the players through thick and thin irrespective of background.

What is clear, and has been woefully twisted by Stephen Fraser, is that Fernando Ricksen feels that some 'others' in Scotland have a real problem with Catholics signing for Rangers.

Who exactly do we mean? I guess you only have to see the treatment of Maurice Johnston and Neil McCann, and their families from members of their own religion to answer that one (remember Mo Johnston will not return to live on these shores for fear of his life).

Remember what we were told up until 1989 'if we signed a Catholic then everything would be ok'.

Stephen Fraser, everything would of course be ok until we did it ­ and all you¹ve done is twist the words to weasel out of that potential pitfall.

Shameful, but why should we expect any different?


The East Enclosure Dutchman