The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu

Posted on January 09, 2013 by

We had a conversation on Twitter with a fan of The Rangers this evening (though he was terribly upset at the use of the term for some reason). It was sparked by Charles Green’s latest piece of box-office wizardry, in which he gave an interview – watchable for just 99p on the club’s website – professing his fury at the Ibrox side’s apparent exclusion from league reconstruction talks and vowing to remove Rangers International Football Club PLC from Scottish football at the first available opportunity.

And on the face of it, Green has a legitimate complaint. Rule 19 (above) of the SFL Constitution expressly notes that Associate Members such as TRFC are entitled to “attend and speak at” any meeting of the League, though not to vote, and according to Green his club have in fact been completely ignored in the discussions. But beyond that, it’s extremely hard to actually work out what his beef is.

Celebrated mainstream-media bampot and Airdrie fan Jim Traynor had already unleashed a truly epic hurling of toys from pram over the reconstruction plans on the same website, howling furiously about “sporting integrity” and issuing menacing threats (“From now on be very careful when talking or writing about this club”), though without ever actually explaining what it was the club didn’t like about the new plans.

A day later it became apparent that the problem (or one of them, at any rate) was that the proposal would render this year’s SFL 3 campaign pointless, since no teams would be promoted from the division. And it’s a reasonable enough objection, though something of a moot point to the 80% of teams who wouldn’t have been promoted anyway. But what difference does it actually make to The Rangers, or anyone else?

There are two issues that arise from the complaint. One is that you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg or two. If the league is to be reconstructed – and everyone seems to want that, though we still haven’t really figured out why – then it has to happen SOME season, and in that season it’s unavoidable that relegation, promotion and championships will get screwed around with a bit.

The second, though, is even more abstract. To see why, let’s look at the positions The Rangers would find themselves in should they finish top of SFL 3 this year (as seems highly likely), both under the current set-up and the possible new arrangements.

– Playing in the third tier of the Scottish game (SFL 2)
– 22 teams above them in two divisions
– achieve two from three promotion spots (2+1) to reach top division

– Playing in the third tier of the Scottish game (“National League”)
– 24 teams above them in two divisions
achieve two from eight promotion spots (4+4) to reach top division

To be honest, that seems a pretty good trade to us. 24 opponents instead of 22 is no big deal when you’ve got five extra promotion spots to play for. And in The Rangers’ case in particular, you’d think they’d welcome half a season of no-pressure matches to bed in their very young and inexperienced squad. So why all the outrage?

As for being ignored, the 12-12-18 plan is an SPL one, not an SFL one, so it’s no surprise that an SFL 3 club hasn’t been invited to share its opinions – especially when its owner has vowed that his club will never play in the SPL while he’s in charge and that he’s not interested in their plans:

“It’s really difficult for me to take seriously the SPL re-structure. They threw us out of the league and are now pursuing title stripping, and for us to sit down and think that after all that has come to fruition that I will say ‘OK, everything’s forgotten’, you’re in cloud cuckoo land. I don’t forgive and forget. While I’m chief executive, Rangers will not play in the Scottish Premier League.”

And though it does seem a bit harsh if TRFC hasn’t been invited to SFL discussions, (a) it’s hard to see how it matters when they don’t have a vote anyway, and (b) it’s not as if Green can’t make his views heard. His latest blast was headline news in every paper and broadcast station in the country, so it’s not like he’s being denied a voice.

The Ibrox club has been threatening to leave Scottish football since Moses McNeil was a lad, and is still doing so now. So why is it so enraged that Scottish football doesn’t want to hear its views on how the game should be run in a country The Rangers are just marking time in until they can leave?

Print Friendly

    31 to “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu”

    1. Tearlach says:

      And Terry Butcher decides that being manager of Inverness, the seccond placed club in in Scotland, rather than moving to a bottom placed English championship club, confounds the whole central belt sports media, who were all predicting that he would be gone faster than you could say “Scottish football is crap without Rangers”. 

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Yeah, definite kudos to the big fella for that.

    3. muttley79 says:

      I think Terry Butcher, for a former Rangers captain, is a very decent guy.  I think he likes living up in Inverness, and has not had much success down in England (as a manager at least).

    4. ianbrotherhood says:

      Would anyone have predicted, fifteen or even ten years ago, that big Terry would become one of the best-liked characters in Scottish football? He’s well on the way to becoming Scotland’s answer to Jackie Charlton. (Wonder how he’ll vote in the referendum?! He’d be a bit of a coup for the Yes camp, eh?)

    5. Seasick Dave says:

      Fantastic news to hear that Big Tel is going to be staying.

      We need more like him. 

    6. Bruce says:

      The idea of The Rangers leaving makes me want to support the proposals.

    7. robbie says:

      Im sure Mars would accept Green,s Rangers.

    8. robbie says:

      Is Sky sports available on Mars?

    9. Rabb says:

      Brilliant news for ICT fans.

      Big Tel was a fabulous assett to his country. He was a natural leader on the park as well as a great player. Respect to the big man 🙂

    10. Jen says:

      I wish The Rangers would leave Scottish football.  Every utterance from them gets blasted out of the MSM like a tornado warning.

    11. robbie says:

      Wis Big Tell not a conductor at Ibrox in his younger day,s?
      How people change .
      Good on him.

    12. douglas clark says:

      Where are The Rangers going to go? The English and Welsh ( ra ra Swansea ) don’t seem to want anything to do with them. Which is kind of understandable. They are stuck with us and heck, we are stuck with them.

      Off topic, I am dead impressed with what Butcher has done at Inverness. That is quite remarkable. If we didn’t have an even better manager – Jackie Mac – then I’d be dead jealous.


    13. Luigi says:

      Well Mr NewCo, if the Martian League won’t take you, perhaps Uranus will. You’re half way up there already.

    14. Dal Riata says:

      Charles Green, eh! What is the matter with that guy? His every utterance makes his club disliked just that little bit more. Is he being deliberately loudmouthed, aggressive and offensive? Well, possibly If so, then one would have to ask, why?. Is it ignorance of the football ‘culture’ in Scotland? Possibly, though not very likely. Is it to try to show to the fans that he really is ‘one of them’? Again, possibly. Whether his  actions are done aforethought or not, he does himself, and especially his club no favours at all.

      For Christ sake, you’d think after all Green’s club has been through that some humility would be the order of the day! If he thought before speaking, acted with some remorse and, perhaps, released a statement like the following:
      ‘As Rangers FC, a lot of mistakes were made and for that, to our fans, sponsors, loss-incurring businesses, all other interested parties and everyone involved with Scottish football in general we are truly sorry. We have accepted our punishment from the Scottish football authorities, and we will do our utmost to revive the club, beginning our journey from the Scottish Third Division. Thank you to all who have continued to follow the team through these difficult times.’
      Now, what a difference that could make! At least it would show some contrition for the club’s previous actions, whether really heartfelt or not. People might then say, ‘Okay, they’ve admitted their mistakes and accepted their punishment. Let’s all move on.’

      But no. All we hear is the pathetic, paranoid shite, week after week; ‘Everyone ganged up against us so we won’t send any supporters to any games against ‘them’, ‘We’ll never play in the SPL again after what ‘they’ did to us’, blah, blah, etc. When you hear the latest line about ‘We’ll leave Scottish football’ you can almost hear it in the air, ‘Go on then, do it! Good riddance! And don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out!’  Charles Green is a grown man. It’s time he acted like one.

      I’m loath to make this connection, but you only have to look across the water to see some of their supporters over there and their ‘demands’ having being in a position of dominance and control over their society and the way (The) Rangers  representatives continue to rage against the dying of the light having been in a similar position in Scotland football-wise. 

    15. Doug Daniel says:

      Dear The Rangers

      Please stop the idle threats and just leave Scottish football.

      Yours hopefully,

      Everyone Else in Scotland

    16. douglas clark says:

      Dear Doug Daniel,
      But, but, there is no-one else that would welcome them with the open hearted, lets bygones be bygones, it’s all in the past, attitude that out chums in the SPL and SFA * appear to be willing to extend to them.

      Does anyone know whether England would take them or not? It seems to me a tad unlikely to me. Did the ugly sisters not try this already? And get a huge knock back?

      * I am letting the SFL off the hook right now. This is subject to review.

    17. robbie says:

      The British govt are rumored to have offered The Rangers a fee to move to NI.

    18. Boorach says:

      I have it in good authority that ‘Rockall’ is looking for a team/perennial championship side and national team!

    19. Westie7 says:

      Where did the “International” bit come?
      Dinnae think they’ll be gaun abroad anytime soon! 

    20. Kenny Campbell says:

      I know Butcher from some motivational stuff he used to do for employees in the company I worked in , in the 90’s. At that time he was very settled in Scotland and loved the lifestyle up here. Its no surprise he didn’t want to move. He was a really nice guy, very down to earth and always had great stories to tell.
      Does he live in Inverness now? He was pretty settled in Bridge of Allan when I knew him.

    21. Meanwhile, we have ignored the real (Rangers) news and given you the true story of Darling’s visit to Inverness (when he should have been in Westminster – again).

      “Cold-blooded separatist protester ruins Darling’s potentially adequate Naw-ratory ”

    22. Wallace says:

      That share certificate does raise some questions..
      “Rangers International owners of The Rangers Football Club founded in 1872”
      Could Rangers International sell The Rangers and buy Dundee United instead ? Leaving angry bears with shares in their nemesis ?
      How can The Rangers be founded in 1872 ? I thought it was just a few months ago that they were founded ? If there was any financial regulation would this not be illegal ? A moot point I know with no regulation in the UK.

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “How can The Rangers be founded in 1872?”

      They can’t and weren’t, of course.

    24. Kenny Campbell says:

      What i find amazing is such animosity to an alleged brand new club…

    25. Luigi says:

      I don’t like the way they now call themselves THE Rangers. It’s an insult to the companies of QPR, Berwick, Cove and Aragorn. Bloody cheek.

    26. Exiled... says:

      Let’s face it – the newly proposed set up is a mess. Much though I hate the split system and its built-in inequities, if they are intent on keeping it because A) a 10-team division is too small and B) the top flight teams don’t want to expand drastically and share the wealth, it seems to me that they have still overlooked the most obvious and simple solution to a 42-team question, which is three divisions of 14. That can be operated in one of two ways. Either teams playing each other three times meaning 39 games per season (yes, there are significant inequities with that format, but nothing that hasn’t occurred before) or my preferred option of teams playing each other home and away (26 games) then splitting into a top half and bottom half, each of seven clubs for further home and away fixtures (12 more games, giving a 38 total). That of course would mean one team would sit idle each match day, but so late in the season would that opportunity of a week off really be a bad thing?

      As for Rangers, they’ll effectively be no worse off and no better off by the proposed changes that they’re complaining about, although I do feel sorry for the young lads who have worked hard to overcome a difficult start and build up a commanding lead in SFL3 only to have it rendered meaningless. However, the “us against the world” mentality that Green/Traynor will engender amongst supporters will ensure another season of 45,000+ home crowds next time. Indeed, the real losers may be those clubs amongst the other seventeen who vote in favour of this new system, as its entirely predictable that the various Rangers supporters organisations may call for a boycott of those grounds next term, denying those clubs a substantial payday (I’m informed that Queen’s Park for example earned around 4 years worth of gate money in a single afternoon from Rangers recent Hampden visit).

    27. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “it seems to me that they have still overlooked the most obvious and simple solution to a 42-team question, which is three divisions of 14. That can be operated in one of two ways. Either teams playing each other three times meaning 39 games per season (yes, there are significant inequities with that format, but nothing that hasn’t occurred before) or my preferred option of teams playing each other home and away (26 games) then splitting into a top half and bottom half, each of seven clubs for further home and away fixtures (12 more games, giving a 38 total).”

      But… the whole thing fans moan about with a 10- or 12-team league is the “boredom” of playing the same teams four times a year. If you’re still doing that with most of the league, and only getting two “new” teams in, what’s the point of the change?

    28. Exiled... says:

      Well Rev, it’s at least a smalll step in the right direction, giving each team initially 13 opponents instead of the current 11, and 6 opponents instead of 5 post-split. And it makes an even bigger difference to SFL clubs, who now get 13 opponents instead of 9. Wasn’t it Henry McLeish who said in 2011 (I think) that it was “cloud cuckooland” to believe that the SPL could financially support more than a maximum of 14 clubs?

    29. Chic McGregor says:

      Playing home and aways in the final third(approx.) of the season against teams you played home and away against in the first two thirds gives an indication of progress, or lack of, that a single home and single away game cannot really do.
      Splits also ensure better matches in terms of closeness of ability and more meaningful results at the end of the season.
      I am well aware of the argument that a large division with matches where ‘big’ teams can afford the risk of trying out young players against lower teams represents a very desireable opportunity for those young players and indeed an ultimate benefit to Scottish football as a whole.  However I wonder if, with a bit of imagination, a similar effect might be achieved in a smaller tighter division.
      For example, say it was made a law that each club were required to play an under 21 player on say 6 (?) different matches throughout the season.  It could also be stipulated that at least two different players be used. 
      OK managers wouldn’t like it, but everyone would be in the same boat and it would just be another managerial challenge and part of the contest.
      I think, in conjuntion with some imagination being shown by the media the desired youth development outcome could be additionally supported and even add a significant amount of interest to the game as well.
      For example, say they had a ‘Wonderkid Watch’ section in their coverage where young player’s, their prospects and performances are discussed and fans could give their 2p by nominating candidates for the required selection by phone-in or email. That section might prove a media winner as well.

    30. Chic McGregor says:

      P.S.  the law would have to be 6 X 90 minutes of play rather than 6 appearances to prevent managers circumventing by substitution.  i.e. they could still substitute a player but only the number of minutes played would count towards the requirement.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top