We need to see this one through

Last updated : 25 May 2016 By THE GOVANHILL GUB


So how was it for you?  The Statement I mean!  We've had a month of Sundays, we've had 6-1 Sundays, we've had Helicopter Sundays, hell, what with the weather being nice I'll even throw in some Ice-cream Sundaes, but 22nd May, 2016 will now forever be remembered as The Statement Sunday.

Tell you what, that statement has been a lifetime in coming. Was it worth the wait? Well, given how the political landscape has changed so dramatically and given the negligence that will forever be David Murray's real and lasting legacy to the club then I'd say not a chance. However if it is a mission statement and a signal of our intent from this day forward then I'll take it.

The delightful thing about that statement was that it showed the board had taken their time over the previous 24 hours, measured fully what had transpired, and picked their targets with precision. It was wonderful to see some of the usual suspects getting it in the neck for a change but as I see it there can be no turning back. It has to be full steam ahead from now on.

Predictably we've seen the rags do what they do best. The Record described the statement as 'scatter-gun' and The Sun...well nobody does downmarket quite like them and they described it as 'a tirade'.

Elsewhere, the SFA have told us they will set up an independent body to look into the 'events' on Saturday. At time of writing we don't know who is on it, we don't know what the timeframe will be; the cynic in me is saying they are playing for time and will want this to die down. The club must make sure the three-way shame of The SFA, Hibs and Plod is kept to the fore for as long as it takes. The statement on Sunday has me confident it will be.

So in the aftermath of Saturday what have we to make of the most high profile pair of politicians in Scotland? Being a fair and decent minded cove, I'll try and give Sturgeon the benefit of the doubt, and imagine that at the time of her tweet on Saturday evening she didn't know or hadn't been made aware of what had really taken place at full time. (It's a crock of bovine scatology I know, but let's play along with the lie they would like to think we're daft enough to believe.)

I'll even swallow the line that her hubby is a Hibs fan and she only tweeted cos she was happy for her beau. But as time moved on and news slowly emerged that Rangers players and staff had been assaulted, why did she not feel the need to distance herself from - or follow up - her previous tweet? What I'm not prepared to accept is that in this day and age she wasn't being constantly updated as to the seriousness of the situation. Surely as First Minister she should have came out and condemned the violence? I mean unequivocally as opposed to being a reply to Rangers' statement? if a touchline stushie between two managers in 2011 could prompt a summit, surely Saturday's riot needed more?

If Nicola and her pals can try and make a case - no matter how feeble - for her behaviour on Saturday, then what excuse does Salmond have? The whole of Scotland knew come Sunday that a number of Rangers staff had been assaulted by hordes of marauding hooligans on Saturday, yet the ex First Minister still thought it was acceptable to give a huge thumbs up to the 'carnival atmosphere' in Auld Reekie. Basically, what the SNP has done since Saturday is to excuse the attacks on Rangers players and have given a clear indication that assaults of Rangers players and staff is acceptable. It is but another example of the ongoing dehumanisation of our club and support.

Elsewhere Police Scotland astounded us all with their assertion that their response to the carnage wreaked by Hibs fans was ''nothing short of remarkable.'' It truly is breathtaking the arrogance and contempt in equal measures on display here.

Their incompetence and ineptitude is there for all to see and has been broadcast all over the world. Of course maybe if Scotland's finest had been more intent on doing their job instead of trying to capture Rangers fans on film singing naughty songs some semblance of order might have been restored.

There's an image taken from the Rangers end as the havoc ensues that sums up Police Scotland and their professionalism to perfection. Whilst the goading and provocation of the Rangers support is happening behind them our our boys in blue ignore it all and instead are intent on filming the Rangers support. That's what Keystone Cops (Alba Division) are all about and to its shame our club has allowed our support to be singled out. It is to be hoped those days are over when the truth of police incompetence is finally laid bare. In the meantime I wonder what stunts will  be pulled to try to cover up their gross negligence. It wouldn't surprise me if they have already tried to confiscate relevant and pertinent footage that shows up their ineptitude.

Of course there was another response from Plod that was even more remarkable. And that was the time between arresting a thug who had assaulted Rangers captain, Lee Wallace, and allowing him out a few hours later. Police Scotland. You couldn't make this mob up, and sadly for us I haven't.

The response from Hibs, their chairman and players is all you would expect - nothing. Petrie's interview as the scenes were unfolding should have been enough to have seen him sacked, but this is Scotland and standards of decency simply do not apply. In any other country he would have been made to stand down after that interview on Saturday. But that's 'sporting integrity' for you folks. Then there's the players flaunting Hibs casuals t-shirts on their victory parade on Sunday. Not that I'd have it any other way but you can be sure if Rangers players were waving ICF t-shirts (for example) questions would be asked. But of course if it doesn't concern Rangers then questions of morality and implied celebration of violence are not on the agenda.

However, I did love the story of one of their number who delightfully was caught on camera not only invading the park but making a bee-line for our goalkeeper. At time of writing his various jobs hang in the balance. As usual he's playing the victim card.

Of course our thoughts are with the players and staff and their families who had to look on in horror at what was unfolding. Naturally you'd have expected the Players Union to come out all guns blazing on their behalf? Well you can think again.

Truly, what are we to make of the following; ''Safety in the workplace is of paramount importance and it is forgotten that footballers' workplace is the field of play, where they perform assuming like every other worker that the environment is safe. On Saturday this was not the case and it is completely unacceptable that the safety of our members was compromised.'' Well, let's hold it right there Mr Wishart, the safety of some of your members was not compromised, it was violated. Rangers players were assaulted. Now why couldn't this union official just tell it how it happened? We were then hit with; ''the Hibernian players were denied the opportunity to celebrate a momentous occasion for their club with their supporters whilst Rangers players were unable to collect their medals and acknowledge their supporters after a long season.''

And why were they not able to collect their medals Mr Wishart? Incredibly and inexplicably at no time did Wishart or the Players Union address the most serious and salient issue: the assaults made on Rangers players. I tell you, if the Rangers players are looking at these chancers to be their friends in their hour of need then they're in trouble.

As for the garbage that is being trotted out about the understandable excitement, enthusiasm and 'exuberance' shown by Hibs fans, I read somewhere that it took one of their number just 14 seconds from invading the park to walloping Jason Holt. So bang goes that theory. They were on that park to do damage and they were helped along the way by Police Scotland's incompetence.

So, in just 72 hours and counting we've seen how anti-Rangers factions throughout Scotland have circled the wagons, spouted revisionist codswallop and basically turned reality on its head to justify their hate for our club and support. It is imperative the Rangers board see this one through to the bitter end and ensure that heads will roll as a consequence of Saturday's disgrace. 'Sporting integrity' I believe they call it. For the first time in my life I have the utmost confidence they will.


 PS, The Rangers board found it 'incomprehensible' on Sunday that neither Hibs or the SFA had enquired as to the welfare of the stricken Rangers players? Well this is now Wednesday and we've still to read of their thoughts on the attacks on our staff so it must be abundantly clear now what they really think. No one at Ibrox can say they haven't been warned.