Sometimes “vile” just doesn’t cut it

Many years ago as a young Marine on leave, I had ventured over to Ibrox to visit the club shop for some mementos to adorn my bed space. No matter where I was serving in the world there was a little corner which was forever Rangers.  For the younger Bears amongst us, there was a time the club shop was not so much a mega store but a glorified broom cupboard with barely enough space to swing a cat. The sole staff member was serving a guy about ages with myself, who I immediately recognised as Ian Redford. After Ian had left the shop the female member of staff apologised for the previous customer taking so long “That guy took ages “ she said. I informed her who “that guy” was and she looked suitably embarrassed.

Yesterday, along with 42,000 other Bears, we paid our respects to Ian Redford as our club observed a minute’s silence in respect of his passing. Bears of today paying appropriate respect to a club servant of yesteryear.

Elsewhere in Glasgow however, BBC Scotland with it’s cabal of Rangers hating individuals and no doubt well rehearsed guests, were plotting their latest flouting of the BBC Trust ruling regarding Rangers. I’m sure there was much back slapping, mutual praise and schoolboy giggles following the latest BBC Scotland assertion that “Rangers are dead”.

Of course the theft of evidence in the Rangers Tax Case, nor an EU preliminary investigation into alleged state aid involving Celtic Football Club and Glasgow Council raises not a murmur of journalistic curiosity, after all, “Rangers baiting” requires far less effort – especially when it is broadcast from a platform paid for by the public.

Sometimes “vile” just isn’t descriptive enough.

When the Rangers Tax Case Blog won the Orwellian Award it was cited as “Bringing you the story that Scottish journalists seem unable to do”

Thats the funny thing about history – it seems to have a habit of repeating itself.

Freedom of Information is truly an enlightening thing.

Bank Error in your favour – collect £200

“Like many within Scottish football, including supporters and other observers, we are surprised by the parallel conclusion that no competitive advantage was gained from these arrangements. “
(Celtic FC Statement)

You curse you’re luck. The dice were kind to you and you landed fair square on Park Lane having rolled the required eight, courtesy of a double 4. However at £350 this property is more than you can afford at present. Your next throw sees you roll an eleven where you safely pass go and collect £200 from the bank. You’re opponent meantime rolls a 7 and also lands on Park Lane. You can see from his finances across the table he is unable at present to afford  the much coveted property.

But to your abject horror he pulls out a Community Chest Card – Glasgow City Council/Celtic FC – and acquires Park Lane for the knock-down price of £175. Furthermore as he passes Go he collects a favourable £600 as opposed to your £200, courtesy again of his “exclusive deal” with Co-op Bank.

“Competitive Advantage” ? “Sporting Integrity” ? “Financial Doping” ? “State Aid” ?

I await the social, and moral outrage that Celtic FC, courtesy of their exclusive and extremely favourable banking arrangements, have robbed small firms of credit facilities and overdraft extensions. I await Graham “Selective Amnesia” Spiers tweeting that he is quite comfortable that such arrangements were a form of “cheating” All it needs is for Donald Findlay to be appointed  head of the SPFL Investigation into Celtic FC and their financial and land dealings. Whats that term…”what goes around comes around”

Of course, should any type of investigation be directed at Celtic it will cause a considerable conflict of interest for one member of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Board – Brian Quinn, former Celtic Chairman.

At least there will be a plethora of advice readily available for Mr Quinn with regard to dealing with potential conflicts of interest. His old friend, and Celtic Board member Eric Riley was a director at the SPL and the SFA for 10 and 13 years respectively. Furthermore Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell currently sits on the SFA’s Professional Game Board.

Did someone really say “Rangers are the establishment club” ?

Conservative MP Mark Garnier is not going to allow this to go away, as he smells blood. So too do a number of Tories.  It has been suggested that the revelations surrounding the Co-op Bank will reach right up to the higher echelons of the Labour Party nationally.

Of course its perhaps purely co-incidence that the former Lennox Castle Hospital , with its 48 acres of prime real estate, was sold for £493,000 to Celtic Football Club, thus allowing the Scottish Minister to delegate responsibility for it’s sale to the CEO of Glasgow Greater Health Board, as it fell below the £500,000 benchmark.
Which leaves me 2 questions.

(1) Was the sale of Lennoxtown Castle offered or advertised in the public domain ?

(2)  Does Neil Doncaster have Lord Nimmo Smith on Speed Dial ?

The answer is blowing in the wind

“I wish for you all, each of you, to have your own motive for indignation. This is precious. When something outrages you as I was outraged by Nazism, then people become militant, strong, and involved.” (Stephane Hessel)

Much has been made of the comments at the Celtic AGM, particularly the jibes by an SFA board member, who, in his dual role, also officiates over certain matters at Celtic FC. If such comments were seen as an attempt to play to the gallery, Chairman Ian Bankier’s comment that there was “a tremendous romance attached to the club” were perhaps an attempt to detract from a far greater romantic screenplay which is developing over the other side of the city.

For this developing screenplay has all the ingredients to be a box office sell out, and in fact, already has sold out time and time again. Furthermore its ability to capture the imagination and attention of those beyond these shores shows no sign of abating. It can neither be stopped nor controlled because it’s driving force, the Rangers support, will forever be beyond the reach and control of even multi-roled individuals with alarming, and questionable influence. Its a loyalty which cannot be bought, is not and will not be offered for sale, no matter the offer on the table.

It has the twists of trickery, the depravity of deceit, the unedifying behaviour of the unscrupulous. Unbridled hatred is there for all to see as well Machiavellian plots which would do The Prince justice. Intransigence, incompetence and intent to injure, to destroy an institution are laid bare before all. These factors should set the scene for what would be an overwhelming victory, an annihilation, an extermination.

That no such victory was forthcoming is testament to the screenplay’s heroes. Normal men and women whose love for their football club laid to waste the plotters and their schemes. She may have been kicked countless times when she was down, but time and time again the blue legions would pick her up and brace themselves for the next onslaught. Rangers may have been down, battered and bruised, but most certainly not out. And so the march onwards continues. Relentless.

When people speak of the romance of Scottish football they think of the institution which would not die – because her fans would not let it be so. They filled stadiums, broke world records, were the cause of games being postponed. You want romance Mr Bankier ? Look no further than Ibrox.

Forget “defiance” or even vengeance. The bad news for all the cowards who swung the boot whilst we were down is that it is something much worse than either defiance or vengeance.

Righteous Indignation.

It will pursue the plotters, the schemers, and the incompetent. The level of hatred and lack of mercy displayed by many, I can assure you, will be duly reciprocated. And then some. Agencies and individuals cannot hide forever behind anonymity, excuses of “whistleblowing” and “sporting integrity”.

In the near future a criminal enquiry will reach it’s conclusion and the long arm of the law will finally get to grips with some of the plotters. The time for Government Agencies hiding behind the excuse of “ongoing criminal enquiries” will be over. If some of them think that Police Scotland are the extent of their worries, then they would be well advised to think again. The failings are already within the public domain and no amount of retrospective action will remedy them.

All we are really waiting for is to see the extent and the scope of the Police Scotland enquiry. We will be reviewing such an enquiry through eyes filled with righteous indignation – and only the full extent of the application of the law will satisfy.

Rangers are indeed coming, on a tidal wind of righteous indignation, perhaps many in Scotland would do well to brace themselves.