A Bridge Too Far

Perhaps there is something we as Rangers supporters can find universal agreement on – a shared hope that the most recent bout of boardroom musical chairs will result in a period of stability at our club, free from the culture of leaks which has angered so many of us.

I sat firmly on the fence over the boardroom changes as I did not feel I had enough information on the various issues to allow me to express support for one person or faction.

It was clear however, from the numerous online forum threads which I followed, that many bears did pledge their allegiance. Two topics seemed to reign over all others in the discussion stakes – that Walter must stay on the board and that Charles Green should return from ‘exile’.

What was of particular interest to me were some of the schools of thought which gave rise to these strong expressions of support. The pro-Green supporters almost unanimously cited Green’s combative style as necessary for the defence of our club. And whilst there were various reasons the pro Walter camp put forward, the most obvious being the trust the Rangers support had in him, one other one in particular caught my eye – which the esteem in which Walter was held within the Scottish game would be essential in any future bridge building with the SFA.

It’s perhaps worthy of looking at these two schools of thought further. Let’s start with Green and the belief that he will defend our club to the hilt. Is that assertion justified ? Before the pro Green supporters remind me that he said this or he said that – I’m not judging him on what he said but what he actually did. Big difference.

Our club has  been subjected to three instances of legal process in the course of this whole debacle. On every occasion our club has been vindicated by those processes. At this point it’s perhaps worthy reminding ourselves of some of the injustices wrought upon our club by the SFA.

1. Our right to a presumption of innocence until proven guilty has been totally trampled over.

2. Despite being neither tried not convicted, the SFA, by a mechanism and system no-one appears to be privy to, declared us guilty of the allegations being levelled against us.

3. In declaring that guilt the SFA then drew up a list of punitive measures to be placed upon our club

4. Contained within those punitive measures was the stripping of trophies and titles which the club had won. Such a punishment is far more excessive to the clubs involved in the Italian match fixing scandal, who of course had found guilty of match fixing.

5. The granting of Rangers licence involved a process of extortion and blackmail which saw A previously declared unlawful transfer embargo imposed and The withholding of prize monies which were due to Rangers.

It’s been several years since I had occasion to open a law book (thankfully) but I think most of us would agree there is enough in 1-5 above which would have had law firms drooling at the mouth. Yet despite all this we still languish in the lowest tiers of Scottish football, and no-one inside our club, Charles Green included, appears to have the stomach to pursue this. For a club which appears to be continually on the back foot wouldn’t it be refreshing if a solicitor’s letter arrived on Stewart Regan’s desk informing him that the circumstances and treatment of Rangers FC were now being subject to legal examination ?

And of course Charles Green recruited that Rottweiler of the press and media – James Traynor who promptly warned the press to be very careful what you write and say about this club. To date that Rottweiler has yet to bite anyone, despite the ample opportunities which have presented themselves. An article so recent, that it is not even a chip wrapper, told how poor Pierre was cheated by Rangers by our use of EBT’s. What a pity someone at the Daily Record didn’t flag up the fact that Pierre was not at Celtic when Rangers were operating EBT’s and furthermore a tax tribunal had found Rangers not guilty of tax evasion in respect of their use.

For this Bear actions speak louder than words when it comes to the defence of this club.

Which brings us on to Walter. Now I’ve no doubt he probably has the tact, diplomacy and knowledge of the Scottish game to build bridges with the SFA.

But bridge building should not be on the agenda until the points 1-5 aforementioned, are addressed.

And by “addressed” I mean that there should be no attempts at bridge building until this football club and it’s support receive a full and very public apology for the injustices wrought upon it by the SFA, as well as the removal from their positions, of all those responsible for such injustice.

Not only should that be our default position – it should be non-negotiable.