Just read a BBC Sport piece from the other day, in which Scottish football luminary and ardent St Mirren fanatic, Chick Young, muses on the deepening morass that is the Rangers “crisis” and the inevitability, in his opinion, of any post-liquidation Newco’s re-admission to the SPL.
Setting aside the rights or wrongs of that particular debate, which is for another day, I was stunned by the glib way in which wee Chico’s curious sub-plot sought to equate the current maelstrom that is engulfing Ibrox, with the demise of the late-lamented Third Lanark back in 1967. Now, someone please correct me if I’m wrong here; but apart from the seeming rampant megalomania and “control-freakery” of the respective chairmen who instigated and orchestrated those two clubs’ financial downfalls, I fail to see the parallel Chick seeks to draw.
I don’t recall any allegations of blatant tax evasion on an industrial scale by Third Lanark. Neither, to the best of my knowledge, were the Hi Hi guilty of withholding much-needed funds owed to their companion league clubs. Nor am I aware of any insinuations that Third Lanark conducted a remuneration and contract regime designed to gain an unfair competitive edge by recruiting and improperly registering players they could not legitimately afford – thereby totally undermining the integrity of not only every game those players appeared in but also that of every competition they contested over the period. That, allegedly, being a period of anything up to a decade-and-a -half.
Come off it, Chick!
Mind you, maybe the wee man’s just getting confused by the way the above transgressions are currently being airbrushed out of the picture – it’s just a little financial problem, after all.
Talking about pictures, the BBC picture editor chose to illustrate the article in question with a photograph of the split second that ended Beram Kayal’s season, depriving Celtic, long-term, of the services of one of their most influential players at a critical point in the titanic struggle to respectively extend, or terminate Rangers’ recent stranglehold on the SPL title.
It is an illuminating photograph. In that instant, so potentially devastating to Celtic’s championship prospects, Lee McCulloch’s eyes and extended leg appear to be laser-locked, not on the disappearing ball but on Kayal’s grounded right foot. Now, I know pictures can be misleading; and I do not seek in any way to imply the Rangers player intended any deliberate injury to his midfield counterpart; but the grisly image somehow contrives to depict the single-minded ruthlessness with which Rangers have pursued success at any cost over the past twenty years or so.
On a lighter note, I couldn’t suppress a smile at Chick’s final paragraph, which propositioned the apparently undesirable prospect of the Rangers hordes simply evaporating from our sport. Now, I have several good friends who are perfectly commendable and acceptable Rangers supporters; and I bear them and their legitimate football affiliations and aspirations no ill-will whatsoever – quite the contrary; but if he’s referring to that “small minority” who shame and embarrass club and country by their indefensible antics at home and abroad, I’d have to say they’d be no great loss.
And his concluding reference to a much-loved classic television astronomy series left me thinking Chick may just be tuned to the moon.