Strong Rangers

There’s a recurring myth which needs to be addressed, viz, the myth that Scottish football needs a “strong” Rangers.

Let us see first of all how this “strong” Rangers has worked in practice.

For the best part of the last quarter of a century, Rangers’ “strength” and apparent success lay in their ability and determination to outspend every other team in Scotland.
They fully played their part in contributing to the collapse of the Bank of Scotland in order to finance transfers and wages for players which no other Scottish team could even countenance.

Using tens of millions of pounds from a bank which would ultimately collapse and pass on its debts to every man, woman and child in the nation, “Strong” Rangers signed prominent internationalists from England, Holland, Denmark, France, Scotland and elsewhere to fill every place in their starting eleven.

After SDM took control of the club, Strong Rangers went on to win 16 titles. Five of these went to the last game of the season – strongly, I’m sure – even though Rangers, uniquely, were allowed to use fortunes of the doomed bank’s zombie assets to boost their “strength”.

And despite the media propaganda that tells us otherwise, Strong Rangers’ recent title successes were still claimed by the most expensively assembled squad in the country, underwritten by tax-payers who have been saddled with the tab for the reckless practices of the failed banks.

Question One: How many titles might Strong Aberdeen, Strong Dundee United, Strong Hibs or even Strong Partick Thistle win if a tax-payer owned bank now decided to give one of those clubs a credit line that would allow them to outspend their nearest challengers by a ratio of “ten pounds for every fiver”?

Strong Rangers, not content with having used everyone else’s money to buy their nine-in-a-row (which was obviously a Good Thing for Scottish football) then apparently decided that having to waste money paying the income tax of their expensively assembled international mercenaries was too much of a handicap to their future ambitions. So they strongly rejected this practice and availed themselves of more tens of millions of pounds which the rest of their competitors were too honest (“weak”) to steal from the nation.

Question Two: How many titles might Strong Aberdeen, Strong Dundee United, Strong Hibs or even Strong Partick Thistle win if any one of them was allowed to compete for the signings of top players without the inconvenience of having to give millions of pounds to the taxman each time they offered a contract to their potential employees?

If Scottish football needs this kind of “Strong” club, let’s be absolutely honest about it in unequivocal terms.
Let the government propose the formation of a new club for the good of Scottish football.
Its name doesn’t matter much but let’s not actually call it Strong State Supported Football Club For The Good Of Scottish Football.
Let it simply be called Babylon Establishment FC.
For the good of Scottish football, Babylon Establishment FC must have a line of credit with the nationalised bank of its choice.
The credit limit must be raised if Babylon Establishment FC struggle to dominate the Scottish league.
For the good of Scottish football, Babylon FC will not have to pay taxes on the wages which it offers to its players. Otherwise those players might choose to sign for another club.
For the good of Scottish football, there must also be some kind of constitutional arrangement in place which guarantees that Babylon FC will always play in the top division of the Scottish league, even if other clubs have to go to the wall as a consequence.
And for the good of Scottish football, the press must clear all of their copy about Babylon FC with the government before it is published.

The alternative is unthinkable; it might herald a return to the dark days when Weak Rangers languished in mid-table while Dundee Utd, Aberdeen, Hearts and Celtic were competing for the championship title. Clearly, that was a Bad Thing for Scottish football.

Who would want a return to the misery of watching Scottish clubs horsing Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Hamburg, Sporting Lisbon and others out of European tournaments, year after year. That was self-evidently a Bad Thing for Scottish football.

And heaven forbid that Scottish international teams might ever again go head to head with the likes of Brazil, Germany and Holland in the World Cup Finals or the Euro championships.

So let’s not accept the false paradigm of the need for a Strong Rangers. If there is to be a debate on the principle, let’s be clear and honest about the terms and parameters which pertain.

Let there simply be a Babylon Establishment FC which is exactly what it says it is on the tin instead of straining to maintain the pretence that Strong Rangers was anything other than Babylon FC by another name.

Posted on May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 70 Comments.

  1. Excellent read. Sums it up really.

  2. Good read mate. Unfortunately Scotland’s Shame FC will still be strongly competing for years to come thanks to the cowards in the strong SPL/SFA who will strongly punish them for their decades of thieving and cheating by strongly doing hee-haw whilst the strong lickspittles of the strong Scotch meeja will strongly lap up any remaining scraps of mutton from their once over groaning succulent lamb tables. If this was anywhere else half of the strong characters who ran strong Bigot FC would be strongly behind bars.

    • Cheers, JJ. There’s certainly a lot of resistance in many offices and boardrooms to the radical idea of doing the right thing. But I do believe the power of the ordinary football supporters may for once be sufficiently powerful and focused. to leave the decision makers no choice in the matter. I have never known such a widespread strength of feeling about a matter of honour to have been sustained for so long in Scottish football.

  3. Sums it up nicely.

  4. Brilliant!

  5. TheBlackKnight TBK

    Henry, brilliantly chilling!

    Need to get this out to those other fans groups, not just Celtic/ Aberdeen/ Dundee Utd / Hibernian/ Partick Thistle etc, but also the other clubs, St Mirren/ QoS/ Raith Rovers of that era that probably have lost out to this “Strong Rangers”. All for the good of Scottish Football of course 😉

    • Thank you, TBK.
      I find it encouraging that supporters of all clubs are showing signs that they can put differences to one side for a while to unite in opposition to the hideous proposals to whitewash over an entire generation of grievous abuses suffered by every club in the land at the hands of Rangers*.

  6. lorenzo wordsmith

    I think everyone knows what’s going on down by the rivers of Babylon (found myself singing along) go further and deeper and darker than can be written at this time, very readable piece mate .
    Congrats on great work, every one I’ve read so far, nailed.
    With every passing day, It’s still unclear how deep and how many are involved In the Infestation but with remarkable works from yourself, Phil, RTC, Paul,and many others, slowly the veil is being lifted.
    Bravo Sir.

  7. Great piece henry. All football fans need to stand together now to oust the beaks at hampden and give the game back to the supporters

  8. StAndrewsBhoy

    Great article, it’s been something I haven’t been able to get to grip with myself, if these teams like Killie hadn’t been forced to chase the cheats then they wouldn’t be in the horrendous financial position they are. Wider than this, how many fans of these crippled clubs that are willing to roll over to keep the status quo and continue to live off the scraps have actually questioned the financial management of their clubs custodians. I personally would be appalled if there was no option but to vote them back in becausey club had been so badly run. I really believe that this is an opportunity to clan the whole game up and maybe in a few years have a properly competitive and financially sound product, that healthy competition will surely bring fans back through the turnstiles to allow them to support a team they are truly proud of.

  9. Nice work HC.

    No coincidence that our last appearance in national finals was France 98-almost 10 years adter the rise of the original ‘Babylon FC’.
    10 years of foreign imports (expensive or 2nd rate); 10 years of keeping up with the Jones’; 10 years of minimal investment in youth and club infrasructure.
    Yes, we need a ‘strong Rangers’ right enuf!

  10. Brilliant. Exactly the type of writing required to get non-Rangers supporting fans REALLY thinking about the predicament Scottish football is in & continues to face. It’s not a dilemma – the answer is simple – we need to do the right thing & the punishment should fit the crime. IF I was a Rangers supporter I would want my team cleansed & dealt with in such a way that we could move on with a clear concious – accepting that a punishment SHOULD mean a punishment not a nominal slap on the wrist.

  11. Scott McIntyre

    In view of Rangers’ cheating, and the resulting boost in Scotland’s European co-efficient that will allow Celtic access to later stages of the Champions League this year without the usual series of qualifiers, do to think Celtic should ask for a re-calculation? This would seem the honourable thing to do as otherwise Celtic are accepting the fruit from the poisoned tree to the detriment of other European teams. Or do you think they should just benefit from all this cheating that’s been going on? If they do, (as they undoubtedly will) do you think this places them on a morally higher ground than Rangers?

    On the subject of fairness in imposing sanctions, what penalties were imposed on Celtic when it was discovered that two of their youth team coaches were paedophiles – one ending up in prison for sexual assault? Oh wait, I think I know the answer to this one – nothing happened because it wasn’t the actions of the Club, just two men employed by the Club. I am not a supporter of Rangers or Celtic or any SPL team for that matter, but it does seem that their having been no actual crime committed, a lot of people want to punish Rangers for the actions of one or two employees – David Murray and Craig White are not ‘owners’ of the Club, they are/were majority shareholders but employees nonetheless.

    I know I’d rather see buggery of yoing boys go punished than a Club that spends to much in an effort to boost the profile of Scottish football, from which other teams next season will benefit.

    • Did you miss the bit about the other Scottish teams doing well in Europe when you were poor. If YOUR team had not bought players you could not afford and dragged Scottish football to financial meltdown, our co-efficient might be extremely healthy now. I say YOUR team as the rest of your post reeks of the lowest attempt at point scoring that your fans always resort too.

    • Leave poor Scott alone, he’s obviously quite deluded.

      Celtic have to play two rounds of qualifiers, starting July 31st/August1st.

      And the rest is as factually inaccurate. And also quite disturbing.

    • walter knew so did souness

    • Scum bag and more fiction

    • get the cops to this weirdo’s door pronto!

    • Dennis Docherty

      Torbett was not an employee of Celtic nor was he a youth team coach. Celtic did not gain automatic entry but had 2 qualifiers. Do you honestly think that Rangers failure to beat Malmo helped Scottish co-efficient?

    • Scary that this half wit actually believes his disturbing nonsense that is staining an excellent blog by Henry.

      Torbet was a coach at Celtic Boys Club NOT an employee of the football club – the rest is made up drivel by revisionist whataboutery institutionalist nut jobs that hold back both our country and our football.

      • It’s typical of the feeble Sevconian mindset and it’s why they crashed and burned in the first place.
        Trying deflection and whataboutery, dishing out abuse and intimidation, seeking confrontation – anything except discussing the issue at hand – it’s all that they are capable of and it’s why they are irredeemable.

    • Wow , dragging the molestation of kids into a football blog . You are a moron . I’ve only witnessed three sets of supporters do this , RFC 1872 , Sevco and hearts . So if you are a RFC/sevco fan you should be out buying hankies for your forthcoming liquidation . If your a jambo , you’ve got a selective memory . A player sent to Lithuania for tryin it on with 12yr old lassies on the internet and an ex-manager who was also under scrutiny for similar behaviours .
      Try footballing matters on a football blog and you might not sound like such a buffoon

  12. Good read, But have feeling we are being ignored.! i can see this going on for another 10 years if we dont sort it now?

  13. What a load of crap. Rangers were only worried about outspending their rivals, Celtic, and no-one else, since no-one else posed a threat. I’d like to think any supporter of a ‘smaller’ club with sense can see that a Rangers (and celtic) have the ability to far outspend other clubs in scottish football due to fan power alone.

  14. I posted on Pieandbovril in the big orc admin thread something similar a few weeks ago, also taking into account the various moneys they’ve been propped up with over the last 15 years, and posited that another SPL team, Aberdeen, be given £30m+ per season from extra-football sources.

    It would be interesting to see how ‘not-quite-so-strong-Renegers’ would challenge such a brother in funding.

    I wonder if such a team could count on the non-funding benefits that Renegers have had over the years though?

  15. Brilliantly put. The sooner the chairmen realise just how many disgusted fans will stay away if the huns are allowed to stay in the SPL, the better. I wish someone would take the bull by the horns and organise the fans into one body (not one that has representatives that are too cosy with their respective boards), and tell them where to shove it. Our chairman says he has a legal obligation to do the best thing for the club. Does that mean obeying a bank that are willing to support a corrupt regime by insisting they are voted in? Surely that’s an unethical standpoint and could be legally challenged? Man up FFS and VOTE NO.

  16. Scott McIntyre

    Firstly,MY team, Alloa Athletic (yes not everyone supports one or other of the OF) have never troubled Europe apart from some players giving their lives in the war. Who knows maybe Paul Hartley will write us a good song.
    Secondly, deluded? Ask Alan Brazil and John McClusky.
    BTW Just because I don’t agree with the Celtic minded posts on here, doesn’t mean I’m a Hun. There’s more to Scottish football than the old firm, but sadly, the rest of the world doesn’t agree, hence why, like the Banks had to be saved or ordinary folk as well as the undeserving rich would have lost their life savings, Rangers will be saved by the SPL because football is not life and death, not even a sport atvthe highest level it’s a business and like it or not the OF are a double act that produces a strong revenue via their travelling support and TV. Ask me, R and C are as bad as each other. Remember the Parkhead biscuit tin and manipulated attendance figures? Who paid the tax on that?

    • Not sure at all of the point of your link, but yes, clearly your points are those from a deluded mind.

      -Torbett was not an employee of Celtic at the time of Alan Brazil etc.
      -Celtic have to qualify for the CL.
      -it remains to be seen whether a crime has been committed re Renegers, although I suspect that removing PAYE and not forwarding it to HMRC may well be a crime
      -Murray and Whyte were indeed, by distinction of having an overwhelming majority of shares, the de facto owners of RFC.

    • Also, head down to your local police station and, if you feel that a crime has been committed re biscuit tin/tax fraud, feel free to report it.

  17. Scott McIntyre

    Renegers – I see what you did there are are. No, it’s probably a little late to report biscuit-tin-gate. And probably not too good for my health either considering the close allegiance certain Celtic fans have with terrorist organisations.

    • get the cops to this weirdo’s door pronto ! you’re a bampot !
      the fact you bring up these seriously hideous thoughts that are nothing to do with football explains a lot about people like you mcintyre ! crawl away and stay there .

    • Ok Scott you’ve made your point. You don’t like Celtic and don’t care for Scottish football. Pity your team died but it’s not our fault. Look closer to home.

    • Away and throw a pale ah pish aboot yersel yah screwball……Alloa??? They wont miss you anyway

  18. dodge, deflect.

    As far as I’m aware, there are no limitations re tax avoidance/evasion. And you can ask to report it anonymously, or simply hand a note in.

  19. An excellent piece here. No chance of the Scottish media writing as frankly and succinctly as this.

  20. I am also from Alloa and believe me, there are (i’ll not say thousands lol) hundreds of huns fans who go under the pretence of being “ALLOA” fans and you Mr McIntyre, sum up mine and many Celtic fans from Alloa thoughts on you precisely. As the learned fellow has said, if you think there has been tax evasion or tax fraud at Celtic park in the past please feel free to report it at the big police station next to pepes pub. Time doesn’t come into it as its not called the long arm of the law for nothing. As for your suggestions about Torbett, again, you are wrong. As the good fellow has also stated, he wasn’t employed by Celtic at the time but if you really want to find out about kiddie fiddling, ask Richard Gough or google “Kincora Boys Home”. You sure are a hun in sheeps clothing and as a hun heres a wee tune for you, haha haha hahahahahaha.

    • I think the Gough and Kincora part falls within the realm of tit-for-tat and should be left at the door.

      But yes, there really is only one set of fans who are apologists for Whyte and Murray’s antics whilst also dredging up absolutely non-related issues in order to deflect from those at hand.

      And in my experience, they tend not to be Alloa fans.

      • I really dont think it should be left at the door. For years now, when the huns are stuck in a corner and dont have any answers for their cheating or fans running amok or their sectarian chanting or whatever wrong they do, they come out shouting about one guy who was jailed for paedophilia that wasn’t even working for Celtic at the time. I personally find that disgusting and sick and so do the huns fans who chant this, thats why they chant it. I also find being tarred with that brush more degrading and digusting than being called a fenian so and so or a taig or any bigoted sectarian bile they care to use. I think its a bigger crime than anything sectarian they use and should also be outlawed. Until it is, i will retort in kind with anything they throw at me.

  21. Scott McIntyre

    Sorry John D, I supprt my local team and don’t give a toss for celtic or rangers. What I dislike is hypocrisy.

  22. Scott McIntyre

    It’s ironic that the number of comments on here are from celtic supporters, no doubt like Mr Carlson, who love to bang on about other teams getting stronger if there’s no rangers. I’ll tell you how to make other clubs stronger. Support your local team and stop jumping on the Celtic/Rangers supporter’s bus. It’s a free country, I know, but Scottish football wont get any stronger until local fans support their local teams. Sadly that is why rangers will be saved even though they’ve broken the rules and Celtic would be saved too if it had been them (some of us are old enough to remember where Celtic were headed before the bunnet arrived). The arrogance of the OF fans really irks. Why do OF fans always assume that everyone who supports a provincial side, really also has a BIG team? If we could be sure of a non-financial and footballing deficit in Scotland I’d like the poisonous OF and their PIRA and UDA terrorist loving supporters to p*** off over to Eire and Ulster, respectively.

    • The arrogance of the OF fans really irks. Why do OF fans always assume that everyone who supports a provincial side, really also has a BIG team? If we could be sure of a non-financial and footballing deficit in Scotland I’d like the poisonous OF and their PIRA and UDA terrorist loving supporters to p*** off over to Eire and Ulster, respectively.’

      ^^Lesson in irony from a f*ckwit. Class.

      Also, if you recall where Celtic were headed before the bunnet took over, you’ll also recall that nobody was calling for Celtic to be saved. Although, given your previous on here, it’s also to be understood that your memory will more than likely consist of personal interventions from John Major, Superman and the Avengers Assemble team.

    • Ok Scott, you’ve made your point, you don’t like Celtic and don’t care for Scottish football.
      Why the anger? What have Celtic done to offend you?

  23. Matt McAllister

    Let’s not forget, they also allowed their players to offer a wage cut to save the club even though there was no chance of this occurring (effectively taking money from them)

    They diverted money from a charity match to also go to the failing club, the most morally indefensible part of all this.

    They chanted songs about how they wanted to kill me (as a catholic)

    And the financial mess trickled down through all of Scottish football as each division in a smaller way had to keep up with the ‘going rate’ for players, even as a supporter of a smaller club, Stirling Albion, I’ve felt this.

  24. Another Zombie Troll

    Wrong bank you fud it was the Royal Bank of Scotland that nearly collapsed so straight away your argument is flawed. You should get your facts right before making these fantasy statements.

    Then again shouldn’t expect anything less from a person like you spewing your hatred, blah, blah, blah, WATP, rant, rant, rant

  25. Sherbowalamama

    Excellent Henry, I enjoyed that. Just wish some MSM hack had the balls to print similar points.

  26. TheBlackFlappyGoose

    I’m a Zombie troll with nothing reasonable to contribute to any discussion.😊

  27. Execellent stuff may I suggest sending copies to the Footballing Authorities to help them gain clarity. Lol

  28. valentinesclown

    Babylon FC perfect name.
    For Scotlands shame.

  29. Splfansunited

  30. Summed up perfectly. I sometimes wonder whether the professional adults who spout the ‘we need a strong Rangers’ statement actually understand what it is they are saying. Favoritism, bias, preferential treatment, where does any of this fit in to sport? What they are saying is that Rangers are above the rules if the rules hinder that Club.
    What gets me is the insistence that Rangers have a special standing in the game, a bigger role, an integral part to play, yet none will point out that if this is true, Rangers should be even more ashamed of themselves and people should be more disgusted by their behaviour and risks they have taken.

    • Thanks, ES.
      Yes, I’m quite certain that they know what they’re doing. It’s a racket, they’re in on it and none of them has the moral fibre to oppose it. That’s understandable to a degree in some cases where the consequences of going against the orthodox policy would quite simply be unemployment. In other cases, there’s no such excuse – they’re more than happy to peddle this wretched propaganda because it’s totally in harmony with their own prejudices and wishes.
      You’re also spot on with the observation that Rangers, who have always chosen to depict themselves as leaders in the game, ought to be punished far more harshly than anyone else for falling so far below the standards which they always pretended to uphold.

  31. Henry – I found your blog from Phil’s retweet and I’m really glad I did. Your article is well written and insightful and absolutely true. I hope it has been read by the people at the SFA and SPL and they will get to know the true feelings of Scottish football lovers outside of the Rangers ‘family’. Thank you.

    • Thanks for that, Ed.
      The blog article itself was first published last May! It took on a new lease of life today because the myth of the need for Strong Rangers has started to get another airing.
      I’m quite sure that if the SFA or SPL were ever going to read it, they’d have done so by now. But even if they knew it off by heart, word for word, I have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that they would deviate by one millimetre from the perverse course which they’re determined to follow.
      In my view, only concerted, united pressure from supporters of all honourable football clubs will force through the correct course of action. We saw that during ST renewal time last close-season and I have no doubt that it’s going to necessary again this year.

  32. Great read Henry,

    The most annoying aspect of this whole debacle,in my humble opinion, is the rfc fans insistance that they have done nothing wrong and are the victims in all of this! As you have clearly pointed out in your article above, this is a complete and utter fallacy! I doubt there will be any sort of punishment served anytime soon and I, unfortunately, have no faith in the power of fans banding together to ensure justice is served. I have watched this omnishambles unfold from Melbourne in complete disbelief and I really am beginning to think that football in Scotland is dead. The powers that be are so resolute in their thinking that rfc needs to be successful that all other considerations are secondary. Why have I never read, heard or been told that a strong ‘challenger’ to cfc is what is required? Why is it always rfc? If Aberdeen were beating us to the title every year, I can guarantee you it would not take long to view them as our main rivals.

    As a side note, I have been hoodwinked into becoming an AFL fan (it really is very enjoyable and I love it now) so have been avidly following the current scandal around the Essendon AFL club and other Australian sports teams, and the coverage on national tv, radio, newspapers has been absolutely first class! Open, honest, searching, questioning, I’d almost forgot journalism could be a force for good! Very depressing in comparison to my homeland 😦

    Anyway, keep up the good work mate! We need good bloggers like you telling it how it is!



  33. Just read this old article as I was directed to the website by another topic. The presumption is money buys success in football. Certainly a false presumption.

    • Totally, which is why neither Chelsea nor Man City have managed to win anything of note with the oodles of cash they’ve spent.

      Oh wait…

  34. very well put

  35. Absolutely bang on Henry. Regans ears must be burning, and so they should be. Although they do say shite doesn’t burn. It’s time Scottish clubs took Regan, Doncaster and Ogilvie to task over their efforts and comments to keep Sevco from going down the pan. Their comments are an affront to the Scottish clubs who strive to run their clubs within their limits. A stronger Rangers? Better for Scottish football? I don’t thinks. Once again Henry a nice piece. KTF

  36. Thats how it is just as you have put it……a mirage of smoke&mirrors..By God when its laid out in front of you it sure makes the pit of your stomach turn…..Cheers Henry

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