Have you ever sat in a golf or bowling club and browsed the ‘Champions’ or ‘Competitions’ boards? Occasionally, you will see the cryptic legend, “No Contest”, intriguingly inserted against a particular year or event.
Often you will find that if you enquire as to the circumstances that led to the gap in the historical record, there turns out to be some story of an unsavoury nature surrounding the championship or event in question. Sometimes members may be reluctant even to discuss the situation at all, such can be the sensitivity surrounding the matter. Better to just brush it under the carpet and move on.
Which brings me nicely to the constantly evolving Rangers-in-administration labyrinth (assuming they actually are in administration, that is, when the dust settles on the latest bizarre twist to the saga) – as unsavoury a tale of alleged misdemeanour as you’ll come across in a treasury of corporate tax years.
On pondering the possible implications of any potential stripping of titles and trophies that may, or may not, arise as a result of the various inquiries either in process or yet to come, I find myself wondering whether “beneficiary” clubs, including Celtic, would have their histories genuinely enhanced by the awarding of honours by default. If, indeed, such was the outcome, that is.
I have my doubts.
In the event that the allegations are eventually upheld, the alleged offences are proven and forfeiture of ill-gotten gains is deemed the appropriate sanction, maybe the best thing would be to just let the guilty stew in self-inflicted ignominy.
Don’t re-allocate anything. Simply declare the whole parcel of divestiture, “No Contest”, leaving yawning gaps in the record books of Scottish football, the history of which would have to be be re-written retrospectively to record for posterity the shame of a tainted era and of the perpetrators who visited that shame upon the nation.
No hiding place … no cover-up … no whitewash. Don’t even bother lifting the corner of the carpet – just leave the sweeping brushes in the Hampden broom cupboard!