Would it really still have hurt if they hadn’t held that press conference? Probably.
As much? Absolutely not.
That’s the thing about football fans, we love to believe that the players are just like us, bleeding the colours of our club and holding the history dear to their hearts.
Unfortunately it seems, players of that ilk are rare.
I would have said we had one in Steven Naismith, and would have ferociously went toe to toe with anyone who said otherwise. That’s why today hurts like knife to the heart.
No one would have blamed you for going Steven, nobody. There is definitely an argument there for not expecting you to line up against the likes of Stranraer or Montrose, not someone of your undoubted skill and flourishing potential. The fans understand that.
But it was a bitter pill to swallow watching that press conference from afar as you consistently refered to your emotional connection to Rangers as the “old co”. A Rangers man surely cannot be that oblivious to the enemies firepower Steven, that slapped the fans in the face more than missing your footballing contributions ever will.
Was it completely out of the question for you to let the contract transfer over and put in a transfer request? This would not only see to your footballing ambitions being fulfilled but also ensure the club received a fee for one of it’s star players in this time of great adversity that we face.
If only it would have played out like that Steven, you would have gone with the blessing of everyone connected to Rangers. You would have been cheered in future games against the Rangers at every touch of the ball from legions of fans who adored you. That’s Rangers Steven. Not an oldco, not a newco – just Rangers.
Going by your recent statement – perhaps you would argue no, that why should you allow yourself to fund this “newco” that you so obviously oppose? After all, the Rangers you loved died – you have no loyalty to the current form of Rangers Football Club anymore.
It hurt more than everything in the past 18 months combined, to hear you say the things you said. I remember falling to my knees as Nacho Novo’s penalty hit the back of the net against Fiorentina, when I fell to my knees yesterday as I watched that press conference – the raw emotion could not have been any more different, my heart was broken.
You were one of us Steven, you were one of us.
You could have been a legend and still left, but instead here we are. Enjoy your signing on bonus at Everton, I have a feeling that one day you’ll regret this.
I hope the remaining players who have decided to leave do so with their head held high, with honesty and integrity and treat the fans with the respect they deserve.
Although we stand here on the brink, our faith – it cannot sway.
I swore I’d be a Ranger – until my dying day.
And when my team needs me most, these words shall not be hollow.
For now brothers, the time has come – for us to follow follow.
So let the lowlife have their fun, but hold your head up high.
For while the Gers are in our hearts our club will never die.