Our former owner and Knight of the Realm is sitting in his castle counting other people's money. Our current owner has snuck back into Scotland and is sipping champagne whilst contemplating the potential return on his £1 "investment" in Rangers. The blazers are doing what blazers always do, nothing until it is too late. The hack-erati are busy scribbling with their crayons and our rivals continue praying to the Gods of Jelly and Ice Cream that today will be the day... All the while Rangers fans, the only people who ever truly had the club's interests at heart, are left climbing the walls.
Q - When is a deadline not a deadline?
A - When it is set by Duff & Phelps.
Q - When is a "crime" not punished by the existing rule book?
A - When the jury are compromised by self interest and are actively, openly and shamelessly re-writing the rule book they are supposed to be applying.
Q - When is "liquidation" not the end?
A - When it is a business and assets deal saving the football club with only the old limited company ceasing to exist.
Amidst the fog of administration many, myself included, have been left wondering why this process seems to be taking so long. Well quite simply it had to. The bad news has clearly been drip fed. It had come to this. We had to reach the point the public, the press, the football authorities and even some of the bidders begin to accept that a business and assets deal is required. Even now the Blue Knights are publicly stating they believe they can achieve a CVA when all informed commentary struggles to understand why. Perhaps they know best. I for one would love to be proven wrong. (As I write this the difficulty in getting Whyte to transfer his shares is being touted as the reason the Blue Knights have been delayed as being named as the preferred bidder. What a surprise)
At the weekend Ally McCoist outlined his belief that Rangers face next season being largely reliant on youth players. The performance of McCabe on Saturday yet again illustrated why this may be no bad thing. I would hope there would be one or two experienced pros with the club at heart who have made their money down south prepared to tough it out. McCulloch is a much underrated footballer and someone whose experience could be vital in nursing the youngsters through next season. Perhaps it is fanciful but I would also welcome a return for the likes of Barry Ferguson who benefited form EBTs. I think a contribution from players like that to the restoration of the club would be apt. You've made your money over the years Barry so step up and prove your "love" for the club and play for a nominal fee.
For McCoist the top six would be the aim with the absolute maximum that could be achieved fourth place. I think he may be optimistic if a business and assets deal is done and we have a 10 point penalty for two seasons and are only permitted 25% of SPL revenue for three seasons. Since we can't play in Europe for the next three seasons you can question how much this actually punishes Rangers. We certainly won't win the league with a diminished squad and a 10 point penalty. The interesting question would be what happens in the third season? At that time there is no points deduction and you would be looking to at least win a return to Europe. Is that though realistic with the players we would have?
The alternative punishment proposed by most non-Rangers fans would be Rangers playing in the SFL3 next season. (95% plus were quoted as favouring this in an online survey) If Rangers were to win consecutive promotions then is it unrealistic to think we could gain European entry as a First Division club by winning the Scottish Cup? Back in the SPL and back in Europe after three years?
In many respects it could be beneficial to players currently 18/19 to be part of a squad working through the divisions playing week in week out rather than stepping straight into a side in the SPL burdened by unrealistic expectations. The question is whether the support would be carried along? Some argue that the Rangers support are too used to success. Guilty as charged. Success is hardly something to regret. Right now though the description best suited to the Rangers support is angry. I for one am struggling to reconcile the financial vandalism and very probably criminal misconduct of our former directors with what we as supporters are going through. I am struggling to accept lectures on "sporting integrity" at a time the entire football world is hoping that Barca and Real Madrid will contest the Champions League final despite having a debt of 1.2 billion euros. I am struggling with the prospect of playing in a league we cannot win simply because it suits the other members. I am struggling most of all with the prospect of doing so only to have it thrown back in our face by way of accusations we got off lightly or were saved by the phantom "establishment".
The more i think about it the more I think that we should announce our intention to resign from the SPL with effect from the last day of this season. We will go through whatever restructuring of the corporate company is required to save the club. We also announce our intention to apply for membership of SFL3 with effect from the first day of next season. The football implications of a business and assets deal are the only impediment I see to pushing ahead with this option. Perhaps rather than fear the punishment we should embrace it. In the eyes of the rest of Scottish football we would accept our punishment. Any calls for further punishments would rightly be dismissed as vindictive. For Rangers' support there is the prospect of delivering a financial blow to those currently preaching "sporting integrity" while really just seeking to protect their own bottom line. As a pure act of defiance I would imagine Ibrox would regularly have 30,000 provided realistically priced. With a reduced wage structure the club would be able to rebuild properly off the park while giving itself the full benefit of the talent being produced on it. As an aside perhaps Derek Adams would be a better choice for such a football rebuilding job based on youth than Ally McCoist? I really fear that if still in the SPL the demand to remain competitive would stifle attempts to live within our means.
Perhaps I am simply brooding too much on the realities of the proposition commercial interests trump "sporting integrity". Anyone for a tour of Japan? Perhaps we would be better off embarking on a tour of Scotland's lower divisions reconnecting with the realities of football in Scotland. Perhaps we really would be better spreading the commercial benefits Rangers produce beyond the SPL clubs. Perhaps SFL3 really would be a more enjoyable experience than competing in an SPL we could not win, for less than our fair share of revenues and all to the betterment of Celtic plc and SKY/ESPN. Perhaps it is time we reminded everyone of the age old truism you should be careful what you wish for. Perhaps Rangers really would be better off waving goodbye. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.