AS I ALWAYS DO when matters regarding Rangers' finances or management turn-up, I turned to the blog run by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. The bold Phil, from his Donegal lair, has often been in the vanguard when it comes to matters Rangers, sadly, just occasionally, his hatred of the Ibrox clubs gets in the way and his otherwise fine blog slumps to base whitabootery. The current stair-heid rammy over further punishment and the possible stripping of titles is one such occasion.
Phil Mac Giolla Bhain - not a happy chappie
Today, “Phil Four Names”, as Ra Peepul have dubbed him, is in a state of high dudgeon – calling for the immediate sacking of Stewart Regan, the under-fire Chief Executive of the SFA. Unfortunately, shooting the messenger (Regan) will not either clarify or clear-up a situation which has been a total fuck-up from start to finish – not that it is anywhere near finished.
What Phil is forgetting is the Scottish Football Association is just that – an association of like-minded, in some cases affiliated individual clubs, leagues and organisations. Regan is paid his big bucks to administer the association – he runs the secretariat – football's civil service if you like. The real power rests with the member clubs, the leagues and the associations, who delegate members to attend the big set-piece meetings.
The day-to-day business of the SFA is indeed overseen by Stewart Regan, the paid officials with management guidance from – the main SFA Board, and, in the case of those matters pertinent to Rangers and the whole Rangers fuck-up – the Professional Game Board. As I pointed-out in my last post: Peter Lawwell is a member of both the main SFA Board and the Professional Game Board. So, he is heavily-involved in all decisions pertinent to the on-going case of “Old” and “New” Rangers.
Peter Lawwell - objects to decisions he was party to
The decisions of the Board and the Professional Game Board are subject to challenge and discussion at the quarterly SFA Council meetings, while, if they can get the support of another nine clubs, Celtic could demand a General Meeting of the SFA, at which to raise their concerns. This, as far as I know, has not yet happened.
Stewart Regan was on TV tonight, making it clear, the ONLY club to have requested further action is Celtic. It seems a case of - “They're awe oot o' step but oor Timmy”.
As I said in my last post – Peter Lawwell, a member of the SFA's main Board and the SFA's Professional Game Board, is objecting to a decision agreed by these two bodies. If he is that bothered, he should resign his membership and fight his corner by galvanising the support of the other clubs and affiliated bodies. To NOT do this is to be guilty of gross hypocrisy.
Of course, myriad mistakes were made over this whole business, by everyone from Sir David Murray on. The whole Rangers saga – the Big Tax Case, the Wee Tax Case, the administration and subsequent liquidation, the attempted deal to keep Rangers in the top-flight, the subsequent demotion to the bottom league, the whole Craig Whyte saga, the Charlie Green saga, the way “a glib and shameless liar” and convicted criminal in South Africa can be an acceptable person to be Chairman of Rangers, the fitness to play in Europe – all of these things and the way they were handled, both individually and collectively, were hardly the SFA's greatest moments.
The Acceptable "Glib and Shameless Liar"
And the SFA has a long history of getting things wrong. In my lifetime we have the curious case of the 1950 World Cup Finals, and the decision to only go as Home International Champions, even then, when offered a late “wild card” entry, the SFA turned it down. There was the curious decision in 1954: “World Cup Finals – Switzerland, skiing and cold – order winter-weight shirts”, which left the Scotland players sweating in 75 degree temperatures. In 1954, Scotland took 13 players to Switzerland, and only one goalkeeper; that was crazy. Four years later, in Sweden, while every other country took 16 or 18 players, the SFA decided to take all 22 allowed players – five of whom never got out of the stand. Then, they asked two of these players – Tommy Docherty and Archie Robertson, to spy on the unknowns from Paraguay – then ignored their report.
Bobby Evans and George Young - the SFA have been getting it wrong since before they were playing for the national side
Of course, having been badly burned by a breakdown in relations between them and manager Andy Beattie in 1954, the SFA selectors did not nominate an alternate manager in Sweden, after Matt Busby was ruled-out by the Munich Air Crash.
The mistakes, oversights and boobs have continued ever since.
And it is because of that long and distinguished history of turning Murphy's Law into what I recently dubbed MacSporran's Corollary that has convinced me – this whole saga will be buried, very deep down indeed. Still, it will enable Celtic to continue to play the victim card for another few years.
Win, win, for the most put-upon and maligned – in their eyes – club in the world.
That's the difference between the Bigot Brothers. Rangers proudly say: “Nobody likes us – we don't care.” - and mean it. Celtic just want to be loved, they honestly believe they are special and should be loved, and cannot understand why they are not.