The Last Drink In The Last Chance Saloon


It is roughly seventeen months since this project started. Despite all of the revelations from this blog, and from other ‘new media’ outlets, little has changed in the world of Scottish football. This might seem a strange claim given that the largest football club in the country has become insolvent and now sits on corporate death-row awaiting its execution. However, the major institutions that feed on the blood of Scottish football fans: the SFA; the SPL; and the newspapers- appear to have learned little from events in this time.

They still believe that the people who pay their wages are imbeciles. They still dish out fatuous lies and peddle disinformation as if Sir David Murray was still in his heyday. The hysterical exaggerations and tales of impending financial doom should be transparent to the businessmen who fill most of the Chairman roles at Scottish football clubs. Anyone with even a few minutes of business experience will see through the lies of the Scottish football establishment. These scare stories are not the issue. It is the dangling of long requested changes in the structure of the Scottish game that will present clubs from both the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League with a dilemma.

From their public statements, it is clear that the driving forces behind this attempt at league-rigging are SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan and SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster. Despite being paid to promote the Scottish game, they have spent recent weeks trying to convince advertisers and TV companies that their product is worthless without someone representing Rangers’ legacy playing in the SFL1 next season. It is as if Sevco Ltd was a panacea and that this new club will be guaranteed promotion to the SPL within a single season.

Let us be in no doubt. Scottish football faces a period of turmoil and some financial belt-tightening regardless of what happens in any of the upcoming votes. (If Servco Ltd are forced to start in SFL3, the nattering nabobs of the mainstream Scottish sports press will doubtless blame every player transfer and setback on ‘internet bampots’ and shortsighted fans of so-called ‘diddy teams’). The Scottish game became unsustainable and unhealthily unbalanced towards just two clubs. In an era when it is easy to watch the best football from every country all week long, we need to extract the cancers that have been devouring our game for over twenty years rather than battling to preserve them. Among the assorted symptoms of the illness facing our game are:

  • Scottish football has failed to develop a single stand-out talent since the early 1980s
  • Scottish football has been spending more than it takes in for far too long
  • Scottish football has fallen far behind global standards in the quality of entertainment it offers

Scottish football had become dull and uninteresting for all but the fans of the two clubs that could entertain thoughts of ever winning the league.

There is a now a golden opportunity for creative minds to remake the game. Instead, we have intellectual pygmies telling us that everything in Scottish football is fantastic and must be saved at all costs. What is worth saving? Declining attendances? A terrible set of TV contracts that do not realise the full value of the Scottish game? A national team that cannot qualify for any international competitions? We have a game that is viewed with universal contempt for both its lack of technical quality and the lopsidedness of its top division. This is where our game finds itself almost three decades after the “Souness Revolution” started at Rangers. The false economies started by David Holmes, and placed on steroids by David Murray, eventually devastated all around it. Rangers embodied the ideas that financial might made right and reckless spending was the key to success. Their demise should be a cautionary tale to others to get their house in order. Instead, the Scottish football establishment wants to send the signal that if you are going to fail, make sure you do it on a spectacular scale: we will make everyone else carry you if it goes wrong.

Mr. Doncaster trained as a lawyer and has an MBA. If Scottish football was a case study at a business school, anyone submitting a paper that recommended crushing the last remnants of fairness in the game to prop up a failed old-order would not get a passing mark. Doncaster in particular is failing. (Funny that Messers Doncaster & Regan find it so easy to predict the effects of Sevco Ltd playing in SFL3, but could not use these same skills to anticipate Rangers’ implosion. Even when the aforementioned ‘internet bampots’ had warned years earlier of a crisis brewing at Ibrox, the men with the crystal ball today were unable to see something that was so obvious). When the dust settles on this disaster one way or another, one can only hope that Doncaster and Regan have absented themselves. It is clear that they lack the imaginations required to improve our game. Our hopes for restoring the thrill of Scottish football now rests on the men who run the clubs in the SPL and the SFL. We must hope that they have the backbone to stand-up to being bullied and the foresight to realise that all that is being dangled by Regan & Doncaster can be obtained anyway- without sacrificing the game and without the hired hands for whom this all appears to be just a job.

If fairness fails and Sevco Ltd is able to field a team in the SFL1 next season, it is for each fan to make an individual decision on whether it is worth returning to watch a game played with loaded dice. For those who do decide to go back (I am still undecided), something will still be missing in the game. An unfillable void will have opened. The men who will vote on this decision have to realise that they are not just voting on short-term revenues. They are going to irreparably alter the Scottish game whatever happens. Money will ebb and flow in football in proportion to the excitement and quality of the competition. If fans believe that there is no competition because a winner is preordained, money will leave and it will stay gone.

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Poll:

Trying something new. Bear with me if this turns out to be a bridge too far for my technical skills.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications are for one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

7,916 Responses to The Last Drink In The Last Chance Saloon

  1. longtimelurker says:

    Thanks goodness the blog is back in town:-)

    Just thinking about that shambles yesterday in Brechin and far as I can see what we are currently witnessing is a re-run of 1960.

    For those of you of the younger generation of Scottish football supporters, i.e. 40 years of age and younger then you’ll have read about the ‘hvns’ rampaging through the towns and cities of the UK. but probably have no idea of what the likes of Ian Archer were really writing about back then, well no you can see it in front of your eyes in your own living rooms.

    The litany of shame included places such as Newcastle (where the word was actually coined first by and English journalist), Birmingham, Coventry, West Bromwich and Barcelona amongst other places in Scotland and Ireland culminating in the riot at the Scottish cup final in 1980 when a defeat to Celtic in the final knocked them out of Europe that year.

    They had been wound up the whole week before that game by the media here in Scotland about them finishing fourth in the league and the prospect of them not being in Europe for the first time in years and then all hell broke loose with the final whistle with scenes I’m sure you are all familiar with as those scenes are replayed every so often on TV.

    That final brought about huge changes in the game with the banning of alcohol at all Scottish games since.

    I’ve no time for Regan and Doncaster but whichever one of them it was who warned of ‘social unrest’ has been shown to have been on the money and we are really only seeing the beginning of this shite.

    The main reason that they (hvns) haven’t been running amok in recent years like they did back in the sixties and seventies is simply down to all seated stadia and the fact that for the last twenty years they’ve have a constant diet of European football.

    Both of these ‘distractions’ are now out of the way and things are only going to get worse with these ‘peeple’.

    God help us.

  2. tigertim says:

    What a change around from Old Rangers to New Rangers
    Old Rangers players had two contracts, only one registered with the SFA
    New Rangers players have one contract, none registered with the SFA.

  3. canadianindie says:

    The Regan threat of ‘social unrest’ was the spectre of what would happen if they ceased to exist … this is the spectre of what happens when they are allowed to exist in their current form!

  4. longtimelurker says:

    Lifted from KDS.

    Ewan Murray in Guardian …

    Smoke bombs and torrential rain welcome Rangers on return at Brechin
    The fallen giants of Scottish football started their new journey with a victory over Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup

    Ally McCoist stood on Brechin City’s pitch, in torrential rain, offering a pre-extra-time pep talk to his players. As the Rangers fans chanted “If you hate [the Scottish FA’s chief executive] Stewart Regan,” his equivalent at Ibrox, Charles Green, joined in the applause. Welcome to the opening chapter of Rangers’ strange new world.
    The colours of the Rangers FC are the same, their supporters chant identical songs and McCoist could name six full internationals in his starting XI at Glebe Park. But this match marked the start of a new journey, one triggered by Rangers’ fall into administration and subsequent liquidation. Four years on from an appearance in the Uefa Cup final, Rangers needed the extra-time interventions of Lee McCulloch to win a Ramsdens Cup tie 2-1 against Brechin, of Scotland’s Second Division.
    The Rangers following at least appear energised by their team’s new-found lower league status. The vociferous travelling contingent made up the vast majority of a 4,123 attendance, with the gridlocked scene around Brechin set to become commonplace when Rangers start their Division Three campaign.
    Smoke bombs were thrown on to the pitch, with one punter even thinking it a smart idea to climb a floodlight pylon midway through the first half. The novelty may wear off, but it hasn’t yet and, owing to what they perceive as unfair treatment from football’s governing bodies, Rangers’ fans couldn’t care what the rest of the world thinks of them.
    On the field, it was to the credit of Brechin and an indictment of Rangers’ unprepared state that there never appeared any kind of gulf between the teams. Andrew Little handed the visitors an early lead, cancelled out by Andy Jackson, before McCulloch’s winning header. “Considering we didn’t know 48 hours before this game if we were going to play, I’ve got to be pleased,” said McCoist.
    Of annoyance to the remainder of Scottish football has been the lack of contrition shown from within Ibrox regarding Rangers’ well-documented failings.
    There seems little prospect of that changing. In a stance which can be described as somewhere between shameless and arrogant, Rangers’ new directors chose Glebe Park as the venue to gloat about the relative financial strength the club has compared with the rest of the Scottish game.
    “We’re ready with a strong balance sheet and a squad that can play at almost any level,” insisted the chairman, Malcolm Murray. Green said: “We’ve not got the debt that any of these clubs have. And, on the last day of the season, I would really enjoy some clever financial analyst looking at the balance sheets and debt-to-equity ratio of every club in Scotland.”
    Which may be a valid exercise, but the unpalatable truth is that Rangers, unlike those other businesses, used liquidation to shed tens of millions of pounds worth of their own debt.
    In advance of a season in the bottom tier, Rangers have made moves to sign players who no other Scottish club apart from Celtic could afford. A year-long transfer embargo begins for Rangers on 1 September; their trading moves only accentuate the theory the club will somehow be parachuted back into the top flight at the earliest opportunity.
    “I think we have to be careful what we say about that,” said Murray on the prospect of league reconstruction. “I hope that’s not the case. But there’s got to be a reasonable probability, I would say. We will be back at the highest level and I don’t think it will be as long as many cynics say.”
    Yet for all their preaching, Murray and Green cannot quite manage to sing from the same hymn sheet. Rangers’ public relations stance is that their fresh corporate status does not break the history of the football club.
    Murray stuck to that party line. “This is a continuation, in my view, not a new beginning because there has been no end,” said the chairman. Green chose a different tack when the issue of liquidation to drop debt was highlighted. He said: “I wasn’t party to the previous club. For my part, I came in after the club had already been sold.”
    Mixed messages have been commonplace in this Rangers tale. Nobody seems willing to focus on football quite yet.

  5. Brenda says:

    Same old same old keevins the prophet of doom😦 when oh when is this old duffer going to be given the bullet!!!!!

  6. Lord Wobbly says:

    new blog ——–>

  7. New blog up

  8. Goosy says:

    Resolution for the new season
    Never to listen to SSB or read any posts referring to their drivel

  9. john clarke says:

    longtimelurker says:
    30/07/2012 at 7:15 pm
    —-
    “…..The litany of shame included places such as Newcastle (where the word was actually coined first by and English journalist), Birmingham, Coventry, West Bromwich and Barcelona amongst other places in Scotland and Ireland culminating in the riot at the Scottish cup final in 1980 when a defeat to Celtic in the final knocked them out of Europe that year. …”
    —-
    Dear lord, episodes as fresh in my memory as if they occurred last season!

    And , even more depressing than the fact that I’m 32 years older, is the fact ,as evidenced yesterday, that there is no sign that having to support a third division team has chastened that ‘tiny minority’ of their travelling support.

    Too much to expect, i suppose, when they are led by rabble-rousers like CG and fat Sally.

    Unquestionably, the SFA- in whose power it lay not to admit into Scottish football the new team that those ‘fans’ now support- have disgraced themselves, sullied Scottish football, and insulted and abused the majority of football supporters.

    As said before, I pish upon them, forsooth.

  10. Alec says:

    Apologies if posted before but a really good gesture by Ross County toward Motherwell. Well done!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19048415

  11. Jim says:

    I’m still struggling to get my head around Mr Green’s statement that his/their enemies (a word he used before) are guilty of big0try.

    I come from a small town on the East Coast. Perhaps I had a sheltered life but I was not aware of any big0try in society until I was in my late teens and encountered Rangers fans visiting our ground.

    With this and his participation in fan-led demonstrations of antipathy towards the SFA surely Mr Green must have sorely tested the fit and proper criteria.

    Taken with the reported obnoxious behaviour of Sevco fans at Brechin yesterday I believe that the SFA/SFL needs to nip all of this in the bud before we are back where we started.

    The Observer yesterday carried a feature on great closing lines of books. The ending of The Great Gatsby struck me as being most apposite :

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    Let’s turn back the tide of this incoherent bile that plagues Scottish football.

    A year out through suspension or alternatively being made to sit out the season whilst sorting out the mess and putting together a credible business plan would go along way to bringing that about.

    / Red Lichtie

  12. Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:

    oes anyone know if CG completed his purchase today?.

  13. joe mccormack says:

    Charles Green is a very dangerous man.

    He’s in a corner and will do or say anything which he thinks will get supporters to buy ST’s and buy into the imminent share issue.

    Without the fans investing his plans for a quick buck are scuppered.

    When will their fans realise that Green is asking them to bale him and his investors out? What about Hughie’s £20m of investment he had lined up…more porkies?

  14. selfassessor says:

    Test

  15. Thereek says:

    Trimm Trab says:
    30/07/2012 at 7:06 pm
    30 0 i
    Rate This
    Thereek says:
    30/07/2012 at 6:51 pm
    ————————–
    As a Dons fan that cannot make it im sure those Dons fans attending would prefer a welcome the fixture deserves – maybe something to do with relations with sheep or such like? Scottish football needs rivalry to not just survive but to prosper. Lets get together when needs be but once its football time your weegies from the slums

    I see theres a “steering group” meeting in London to talk to the SPLs media partners. Either that or they fancied taking in the Olympics – its hard to tell with the SPL. Interesting that Sky have a slot for SPL football from 12 on SS2 and the Celtic v Aberdeen match has been moved to 12:45pm. Thankfully Doncaster has Lawell, Fraser and Cameron there so if they mess it up its a joint effort
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Fit like

    Of course rivalry is key but I think at this initial stage of the new era a very minor nod in the direction of what we have in common isn’t a bad thing. I confess that a good friend is a sheep- s…..r and he’s told me the extra seats for Dons fans are because of a poor home take-up but I’d want the same welcome extended to any visiting fans. I’m personally happy that it’s the Dons who’re coming to town.

    By the way – as we say in Weegie-land – you’ve nae chance on Saturday.

    ps – Peter’s there today because we don’t trust anyone else though your man Fraser is, I believe, a welcome addition.

  16. BELLAMY1 says:

    Jim says:
    30/07/2012 at 9:15 pm
    13 0 i
    Rate This

    I’m still struggling to get my head around Mr Green’s statement that his/their enemies (a word he used before) are guilty of big0try.

    I come from a small town on the East Coast. Perhaps I had a sheltered life but I was not aware of any big0try in society until I was in my late teens and encountered Rangers fans visiting our ground.

    With this and his participation in fan-led demonstrations of antipathy towards the SFA surely Mr Green must have sorely tested the fit and proper criteria.

    Taken with the reported obnoxious behaviour of Sevco fans at Brechin yesterday I believe that the SFA/SFL needs to nip all of this in the bud before we are back where we started.

    The Observer yesterday carried a feature on great closing lines of books. The ending of The Great Gatsby struck me as being most apposite :

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    Let’s turn back the tide of this incoherent bile that plagues Scottish football.

    A year out through suspension or alternatively being made to sit out the season whilst sorting out the mess and putting together a credible business plan would go along way to bringing that about.

    / Red Lichtie

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    Let’s turn back the tide of this incoherent bile that plagues Scottish Society.

    Fixed that for you mate – Wish I couldn’t!

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