When There’s No Room Left In Hell…


I still haven’t seen a single reason to justify the proposition that a re-branded, papered-over-the-cracks version of the liquidated Rangers Football Club should be allowed to enter the senior leagues at any level at all. There is no basis for making an assumption that Sevco Scotland FC should be granted the privilege of entering SFL Division 3.

While the attitude of most supporters around Scotland is that SFL3 is the very highest level at which Sevco FC should be permitted to make its debut  in senior football, those Rangers supporters who are prepared to “take their medicine” and start from the bottom are mostly conceding the point for all the wrong reasons.

Despite massive evidence to the contrary, there is a large, vocal constituency of Rangers supporters who still maintain that their thieving, corrupt, fraudulent club put something worthwhile into Scottish football and society. Their motive for plying their trade outwith the SPL is merely to “punish” the clubs who did not back down in the face of their threats.  Anyone who doubts this only had to spend five minutes watching the cringeworthy spectacle of John Brown addressing the growling rabble outside the main doors at Ibrox last week.  It was like watching Harry Enfield’s William Ulsterman character being impersonated by Rab C Nesbitt on the set of Dawn Of The Dead.   When there’s no room left in the SPL, the dead will walk the streets, up to their knees in Fenian blood and bellowing, “No surrender!”

No progress will have been made if these peepul are admitted to the Scottish senior league with a chip on their shoulder and the delusion that they have been hard done by.   There is no future for professional football in Scotland unless the people running the game stop obstructing the process of fully investigating every facet of the Ibrox scandal and exposing the culpability of the guilty parties.  Clearly, that requires the replacement of the present leaders who are themselves hopelessly conflicted.  Until they go, or are forced to go, the attempted whitewash will continue.  No lessons will be learned if the myth persists that Scottish football can only prosper if it drinks from the poisoned well of the “We Are The People” mentality with its attendant sense of entitlement, its cavalier disregard for justice and its vengeful overtones of malice towards any who call it to account.  Letting the Bully Boys off the hook at this stage will accomplish nothing other than resetting the counter on a time-bomb.

“But what about the decent Rangers supporters?”  This question is regurgitated regularly.
“They are the ones who will suffer the most.”
Really?
Let’s start by trying to identify those decent Rangers supporters, on the assumption that there have been some.  I must presume that, over the years and decades, they have had the decency not to add their voices to the choruses of hatred against the Catholic religion and the Irish people at every single game Rangers have played.

They will have had the decency to miss no opportunity to remind their fellow supporters on forums, in public and in private that the offences committed by Rangers during the Moonbeams era are indefensible and that expulsion from Scottish football would be fully deserved.  They will have recognised these crimes for what they are, expressed their personal disappointment for having unwittingly supported such rank corruption and dissociated themselves from anything that is remotely similar to the organisation which has brought disgrace upon itself and all of its followers.  They will have realised that years of gloating about Rangers’ dominance and arrogantly boasting about their unchallengeable superiority were founded upon a worthless con trick.

In particular, they will have recognised that the Ibrox culture, which they once happily bought into, depended upon the exploitation of the character weakness whereby too many people are all too ready to claim a vicarious share of glory which belongs to others.  Although this trait – known as BIRGing – is a universal human trait, it becomes unhealthy when it is taken to such an extreme that self-awareness is seriously impaired.   So by now the decent fans will have looked into their hearts and discovered that it made no difference to them at that time whether the rewards were claimed by fair means or foul.  But now that they are wiser, they will have accepted that their loyalties were misplaced, their judgement was poor and that it is better to live without associating themselves with any potential reincarnation of a brand name which has now become a byword for corruption and shame.

I know a few people who qualify as “decent Rangers fans”.  They have proved that they are decent by removing the incompatible “Rangers fan” appendix from their identity and have thus reclaimed their honour.  Fair play to them.  For years, many quietly and patiently hoped that the unacceptable, embarrassing elements of their club would eventually wither away of their own accord and leave the destiny of the club in the trust of people who can behave like honest citizens, enjoy genuine sporting competition and take the rough with the smooth.  Most have  already realised that this was always a forlorn hope.  They are currently being joined by the remnant who are now hopelessly outnumbered by the defiant mobs of dinosaurs.    Neither the former Rangers FC nor the embryonic Sevco Scotland FC can make any claim on the loyalty or support of the “decent Rangers fan” now.

Meanwhile, although widespread disgust has been expressed for the oleaginous Neil Doncaster‘s corrupt proposals to sacrifice Scottish football for the sake of pretending that Rangers still exist, the tactic has succeeded in at least one respect.  It has, for the moment, shifted the grounds of the debate so that a true perspective of the fundamental issue has temporarily moved out of focus.  Doncaster’s ludicrous position is so extreme that he could give away almost all of the ground he is claiming for ZombieHuns and still present himself as a moderate, reasonable negotiator by accepting the compromise which admits the Rangers Tribute Band FC into the ranks of senior professional football, albeit at the bottom of the pile.

There is a danger of replacing an outrageous outcome with an intolerable one in the mistaken belief that it is the best that can be achieved.  It is nowhere near to the best that can be achieved.  The very least that Scottish football supporters should be prepared to accept now is that the formal expulsion of Rangers FC is placed on the record; that Neil Doncaster, Stewart Regan and Campbell Ogilvie should each face a vote of No Confidence (which should be carried unanimously); and that no new club purporting to be a re-manifestation of Rangers FC should be allowed to participate in organised Scottish football until investigations by the police, tax authorities and any other law enforcement agencies are brought to a conclusion, their reports are published and their files are closed.

We now stand at a crossroads.  This is an unprecedented opportunity not only to decide upon the future direction of Scottish football but also to make clear what kind of society we wish to live in.  Do we want to stand against bullying and intimidation or shall we just sell out to the first bid for our souls?  Does this country need corporate  fraud, corruption, cheating and dishonesty or do we have enough backbone to do strike against it when we get the chance?  If we are inclined towards the latter option in each case then we have no choice but to resist every attempt to allow Sevco FC to crowbar its way into the Scottish League through its identification with the decaying corpse of Rangers FC.  The rules clearly state that Sevco FC, being unable to produce audited accounts for the last three years, is not even eligible for admission to the SFL.  That concludes that matter; its application can be rejected forthwith.

At this moment, when we have an unprecedented opportunity to build a fair, sustainable structure for our game, the very last thing that we need is to give our blessing to the creation of a new focus for the unrepentant followers of a discredited ideology to continue their anti-sporting behaviour.  There are other clubs who are far more worthy of the senior league slot which has become vacant through the total self-destruction of a poisonous entity that had, in any case, already long outlived its usefulness.  Let’s get on with the business of selecting one of them without further delay.

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Posted on June 30, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Bill McCreath

    Absolutely and completely 100% spot on. We have moved past letting them in to SFL3, the only option now is as you outline above.

  2. What they actually represent in society is too often lost. The monstrous bigotry, racism and hatred is sickening.I agree wholeheartedly with your précis. My home town is hosting 10,000 marchers next week filled with anti-catholic bile. Golf clubs, shops and roads are closed and trade in these austere times badly affected.I sincerely hope it rains heavily to wash away the reservoirs of urine and vomit left behind. This is another conduit of hatred for these morons which badly needs addressing. How many marches does Scotland have to put up with, and Police, in remembrance of a battle fought over three hundred years ago in a different country. Long,long way to go Henry but let’s start with the systematic deconstruction of their works team.

  3. Junior football or lower should be their staring point , Rangers no longer exist ,only a park named ibrox, a blight on decent Scottish clubs and supporters

  4. superb article. says what we are thinking. A great and honest perspective

    • Thanks. I’m mildly surprised that this angle has been successfully suppressed for the most part. I am certain that it is the feeling of a very large number of people.

  5. Good afternoon, Henry. Another superbly written analysis. Anything but total expulsion or starting off at the bottom tier will feed their fans’ sense of supremacy and entitlement. I’m not one for government interference but there is an opportunity here for supporters of every other club to lobby Alex Salmond about corruption in this country. If UEFA or FIFA kick us out because of government interference then so be it. The integrity and future direction of this country is more important than a game of football which is bent for one team and one group of supporters. These supporters, who are not only living in the 17th century, would also relish, in the form of provincial teams disappearing, a modern day highland clearance. I’d like to see them out of our game for at least one or two seasons, if only to give them a cooling-off period when, hopefully, or miraculously, they’d realise the world keeps spinning without their bigotry and hatred.

    • Thanks,op.
      I may be wrong but I don’t think UEFA and FIFA have any objection to government interference in football when it’s in the form of cracking down on corruption or enforcing issues of the law which go beyond the playing of the game. The Taylor report, for instance, led to government interference in the safety standards required of football stadiums and that had far-reaching consequences for every club in the land.
      In many countries, magistrates are elected officials. Technically, that brings law enforcement itself into the realms of politics and government.
      German and Italian law enforcement departments have been particularly keen to investigate corruption in professional football and they have consistently brought transgressors to account. That is to their credit. I believe that football in Britain is actually far more corrupt than in most countries but our rozzers have, until recently, been far less determined to address themselves to the problem.

      I agree that a suspension for the Ibrox club is entirely appropriate. In the short term, I would propose that the vacant space in the 3rd Division is filled by a Celtic reserve team which is ineligible for promotion. This stop-gap measure would allow the election of the 42nd team to be given the attention and consideration which it deserves before the start of season 2013-14, It would complete the fixture calendar for the other third division clubs and it would probably provide a reasonable boost to the attendance figures for the SFL.

  6. Excellent article Henry. When the SFL rules were drawn up, they were drawn up to prevent this very thing happening. These rules (e.g providing three years of financial accounts before even being considered for a place in the SFL) were not put in there JUST to make the SFL LOOK professional. They were drawn up to prevent corruption. They were drawn up to ensure a standard of sporting and financial integrity which underpins our Scottish game at the highest level. There has never been a reason to question these rules at any time in the history of the Scottish game . . .until now. Now, when one football team representing the old dead rangers emerges as the Great Pretenders f.c (Sevco) and DEMAND…yes DEMAND… that Scottish football treat them with a different set of rules than the rest of the Scottish clubs . . .what do our ‘great’ leaders in authority do? Do they tell them where to go in no uncertain terms? Do they point out the rules and remind them of their catalogue of criminalities over past decades? Do they set the agenda for the rest of Scottish football and recommend throwing the book at them as an example to other clubs who may consider doing the same thing? NO! They bend over backwards. Genuflect towards them and threaten anyone who stands in the way of their continued corruption by ripping up the rule book to suit them. And we as Scottish football supporters are to just sit back and allow the game that our fathers and forefathers built up, lived for, breathed for and supported through generations of hardships and personal commitments, just to have it smashed up by these gangsters who care not a damn for Scottish football outside of their corridors of power. Who the hell do they think they are? Who the hell do they think we are as supporters? Do they seriously think that we will just allow this footballing fascism to permeate through our game like passive spectators to a side show? Well here’s one that will not stand by and let them destroy what is still left of the beautiful game in Scotland. I will protest in the strongest way possible. They have declared war on Scottish football supporters and they have started something that they cannot be allowed to win.

  7. The chairman of Raith Rovers basically implied heads should roll at the top for this on BBC Sportsound. I would love to see someone like Spartans put themselves forward for Div 3 as it will blow apart the final chapter of the great fix that is being attempted.

    As a Dundee man I hope that our Board has the courage to state what Raith Rovers have done as have Cyde, today.

    Lenin said that it isnt enough to have a revolutionary group or indeed a revolution. You need the people at the top to realise that things have changed, that their world and their form of rule is over. Then the real revolution begins. So lets go!

    • Morton’s chairman has claimed that two non-league clubs “have lodged applications for the potential vacancy in the SFL”.

      That could create an interesting legal situation if the SFL try to co-opt a newco who do not have three years of accounts to provide over the heads of clubs who comply fully with the entrance requirements.

  8. The Bulgarian Tim

    Good stuff HC keep telling it like it is.

  9. Where were the exceptions for Gretna or wee Third Lanark and others when they run out of cash. the Scottish game has lost integrity if so called leaders tell decent players and clubs they are too wee to count , I look at football as my second sport and feel my wee team fae Glegas’s east end pain when we are runners up to “cash loaded” winners,.
    The same pain I feel when my teams and drivers in F1 lose and drop in the rankings no one feather beds the rules for them
    same should apply to that glasgow team in ” that???? colour of strip,what colour did mcoist play in,Forgotten already

  10. Pensionerbhoy

    Clear, succinct and true. You express what is in the hearts and minds of most genuinely ‘decent’ Scottish football supporters. It feels like a mouthwash after a garlicy meal. ‘Mint’ as they say (awful pun). My faith in Scotland, not just Scottish football, has been resuscitated by the combination of your diagnosis and the recent comments and opinions of club chairs and in particular those of Turnbull Hutton of Raith Rovers. It is interesting that the fresh conflict instigated by the signing of ex-Rangers’ players by English clubs may have brought about possible input from F.I.F.A., strangely called in by the S.F.A., one presumes to show how incompetent they really are by expressing an inability to understand simple employment legislation. Is it at all feasible that any other organisation needs to have recourse to an international body for an interpretation of a common local legal situation? Methinks, the vampires at Hampden may have put the silver bullet in the very gun that is about to shoot them. Can they also have placed a crucifix in the doorway to complicity in corrupt activities that will allow free passage for these international power brokers to investigate further than the imbecilic Scottish authorities intended. If they do, then hell mend those at the receiving end of their decisions.

    H H

  11. The very least that should happen is suspension from membership of any professional footballing organisation until all of the outstanding investigations into non-payment of taxes, fielding of inelligible players, and issues of corporate governance are concluded by the relevant authorities, such as the police and HMRC, and appropriate sanctions applied. The failure of footballing authorities in Scotland to address the issues in these terms is leading people to believe that they are in some way colluding with the club that needs to be investigated, you might even be forgiven for thinking that those bodies that should be applying sanctions are being run by people who have the interests of the club requiring investigation at heart rather than the overall integrity of the sport that they are supposed to govern,

  12. Henry you got me worried now !!! Are you in my head ?………..no no no ………..we all think like you ………..except …………… ….THEM !!!!

  13. Hello Henry, I do watch this from afar and it is a disgusting site to behold but to those of us who were brought up on the sprawling housing estates in the East End of Glasgow can empathise with all the words you write. Before all of this broke, largely by people outside of Scotland I thought I was rid of the cancer of sectarianism, as a boy I was victim of their abuse sometimes it was subtle, “what school do you go to” no job for you then, I remember I had a paper round in Garthamlock but when a couple of my customers saw me get of a bus with my Celtic scarfe, the next week they cancelled my order! I left Glasgow many decades ago. All this corruption is of no surprise to me, I remember many years ago, being abroad serving in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy I read an article from a Scottish newspaper stating how Celtic were the infirm of the old firm and how Rangers success was down to frugal Scottish presbyterian bussiness sense and that through their superior bussiness acumen they almost had a licence to print money, well the truth is out and their self perceived superiority is in the gutter for all to see and yet still there is no contrition in them and I am afraid it never will be. We have a superiorty over these people and our superiority is in our justice, in our openess in our culture of fair play. It is this honest endeavor that has brought us our success, we are a club, a family that people all over the world want to associate with, embrace, get to know. I was in a small restaurant in France not so long ago, I wore a t-shirt with CELTIC written on the front and an unknown person within the place told the waiter to provide us with a free bottle of wine. We are wanted we are respected, we are the extended CELTIC family and we know who we are. God Bless, keep up the good work. HH

  14. Interesting listening back to the BBC programme today on international clearance on transfers.

    verbatim:

    “We’ve had some further updates on that. We understand the the SFA would possibly reject the international clearance because both the new club and the old club, Rangers, have to both sign it. Rangers won’t sign it so it then becomes a dispute which the SFA would then hand over to FIFA. That’s when FIFA would get involved and it’s understood that they will probably seek a temporary transfer registration form the world’s football governing body. It’s a dispute between the new Rangers and the old Rangers. Again, it’s just thoroughly confusing. We need clarity and clarity is something that we just acannot get on this story because it’s two clubs involved. One doesn’t exist, one does exist, almost, and where do you go with it?”

    Let there be no further consideration of the notion then that the same club will continue and let the transfer documentation for each of the players be all the proof positive that anyone should ever need.

    • Hilariously, I’ve heard that there appears to be a glitch in the transfer of Kyle Lafferty to – of all clubs – F.C. Sion!
      Lafferty’s agent certainly seems to have some real stinkers in his contact book.

  15. Paul Cochrane

    How can any club in future expect to follow any rule if this goes through?

  16. This audited accounts thing Is puzzling me, surely as a newco, Sevco5088 can’t produce 3 years accounts, this goes for any new company, is it right that the sfa can impose this rule if sevco5088 met all other criteria. Is the rule to discourage fly by nights. Of course accepting admission in this manner would cement the fact that they cannot claim Rangers F.C. History which Green does not seem keen on despite the d fact it would give him a whole room worth of silver to sell to these decent Rangers fans you alluded to

  17. Hear Hear.

  18. TheBlackKnight TBK

    Chapeau Henry C! Brilliant thought provoking piece that cuts to the heart of this nonsense we are seeing played out.

    Perhaps all of these current moves and suggested rule changes just expose how far the authorities are willing to go.

    No crimes will be ever bad enough to expel a team like Rangers (or it’s reanimated corpse)

  19. One of the most concise reports on the farcical situation we all find ourselves in.
    Sevco5088 should not be allowed anywgere near our game. They do not reach the rules set out. They cannot prove their financial well being and run the real risk that they will kill off Scottish football (we may already be there!).
    The toxic RFC(IA) will soon be no more. Dead. Let them stay dead.
    Scottish football and Scotish society will be in a much better place.

  20. Jacobite
    First time for me reading your comments Henry. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have written in this piece. When this debacle commenced on Valentine’s day past, my first thought was – time for Celtic to leave. This may seem odd given that it wasn’t Celtic entering administration. Surely I should have been euphoric seeing that abomination of a football club in such a mess. However,I could not help feeling that no stone would be left unturned to rehabilitate this shameful institution. After all, who or what else was going to perform the role of keeping ‘fenians’ in their place?
    In any normal, decent society Sevco should have to wait for 3 years before having an application to join SFL 3 heard. If this was any other club this is the mantra we would be hearing. As it is the establishment club the rules don’t apply.
    I really hope those ambitious Junior clubs keen to enter SFL3 have their Judicial review applications ready. I suspect the SFA knows this – hence their desperation to re-configure the league structure rather than risk legal action as a result of SEVCO being parachuted into SFL3.
    The vision of a highland club coming out on top in the face of the triumphalist arrogance of these lowland bigots is just too tantalising to imagine.
    Time for ‘clearances’ once again, only this time these actions will have merit and justification.

  21. How does the vacuum of sporting integrity sit in light of the forthcoming commonwealth games ❓

    What depth umbra is cast upon the City of Glasgow and Scotland by the liars, cheats and thieves who, planned orchestrated and colluded in the current cesspit of corruption ❓

    We demand to know (McCoist 2012) and will not let it go ❗

  22. Henry, A wonderful article with which I wholly agree. I will make sure all of my friends read it.

  23. great article…but what still amazes me is the silence coming from the other ugly sister?? Celtic must be feeling a bit un easy that scottish clubs are now standing up for themselves,, for a clean and fair scottish game the SPL,and SFL needs totally re structured so with Sevco 5088 losing their grip fast the other teams may well turn their sights on the ticand demand a proper share of the lolly 11

  24. I find your hatred of Rangers fans quite disturbing. I’m a celtic fan by the way.

    • So was Maurice Johnston.

      • I don’t see how being disturbed by your insistence that there is no such thing as a “decent” Rangers fan equates to a betrayal of Celtic (which is what I assume you’re alluding to with your reference to Johnston)?

        As it is, I have at least as many Rangers-supporting friends, colleagues and family as I do Celtic supporters. Neither group of fans in my experience has a monopoly on “decency”, fair-mindedness or, for that matter, bigotry. To suggest otherwise is utterly ridiculous and symptomatic of a type of prejudice which, if the shoe were on the other foot, I assume you would, with justification, detest.

        • Put at its simplest – there is nothing decent about supporting a thoroughly corrupt institution, especially one which shamelessly issues threats against those who oppose corruption.

          People who are otherwise decent may still have a blindspot on that principle. That is their tragedy. I do not hate them personally, despite your allegation, but I totally detest what they continue to support. There is a huge difference between the two. And I certainly reserve the right to be very wary of anyone who still professes loyalty to an utterly discredited brand. On the other hand, I know some decent people who supported Rangers until relatively recently. Now that they can see corruption and criminality which they could scarcely have believed was even possible, far less routine practice, at Ibrox, they have renounced their support. I have complete respect for such people.

          Personally, I could not care less whether the culprits are Rangers, Hearts, Celtic or anybody else; that is why it makes no difference to me that you profess to be a Celtic supporter. What matters here are the facts of the case, not the allegiance of the party who presents them.

          The facts are that a football club – which happens to have been Rangers FC – has already been proved to have brought the game into disrepute on charges which are scandalous enough in themselves and yet pale into insignificance in comparison to what has still to emerge. Had that been my club, I would want nothing to so with it in the future.

          • For most football fans the business side of a club is quite separable from the football side. No one supports a football team simply because the corporate management team are effective businessmen and honest upright citizens, for most those guys are largely invisible (until something goes tits up!). Now, of course, how the management run the business impacts upon performances on the pitch, and hence if the business practices are illegal or immoral then the club deserves and should expect punishment. For the record, imo, in Rangers’ case that should be starting in Div 3 with repayment of all footballing debts, and if double contracts proven, titles rescinded. But I certainly wouldn’t see that as any reason to stop supporting a team. If it were my team, I’d still be proud of the players and the team, but furious with the board (which, lest we forget, is no longer in charge at Newco).

            As for the bullying and self-righteousness of some Rangers fans and staff in recent weeks/months, yes it’s nauseating. And counter-productive – they’ve merely hardened other scottish fans’ and clubs’ opinions against them. It’s a symptom of the arrogance of those used to getting their own way. On the other hand, I would point out that the boycotts threatened by various celtic supporter groups if clubs don’t vote the for the “moral” decision on Newco’s SPL application are also seen as bullying by many, even if you think it’s for all the right reasons.

            And I merely pointed out that I was a Celtic fan because, based on my reply, many would erroneously assume I was otherwise. Unfortunately dissent from the party line on big bad Newco is tantamount to treason in many peoples’ eyes.

  25. I left Scotland to bring up a family free from the sectarian bile that the Orange lodge calling itself Rangers represents.
    This is the greatest and only chance to cast the name of Rangers to the history books.
    They should not be punished. They should simply be given the natural consequences of their perfidy as outlined above.
    Leave the 1690 crowd behind and embrace a sectarian free 2012-13

  26. They were the people.

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