ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Rangers FC
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Posted by Douglas Cameron on 08/13/2012

This week I will not be writing about:
- Mike Ashley or any other billionaire’s investment;
- Rangers having paid their Scottish football debts in full;
- The ever clearer links between Celtic and Harper MacLeod, the lawyers investigating Rangers over dual contracts;
- Black being called up for Scotland;
- The woeful European efforts of the SPL sides (with the notable exception of Celtic, well done Bhoys)
- The predictable “sell out Saturday” damp squib;
- What happened to the original SPL trophy over the summer;
- Charles Green’s linguistic lessons;
- What the real attendance was against East Fife; or
- Neil Lennon being exposed in a court of law as a shameless hypocrite in regards to paying income tax.

Instead I will be writing about football, or more accurately third division football.

It still seems incredible that it came to this… only in Scotland. The weekend’s draw was unquestionably a disappointment but perhaps it will bring the necessary reality check in terms of where we are playing and the standard of football we are going to be watching. In the run up to the game the excitement amongst the Rangers support was tangible. It felt like an eternity since Rangers last kicked a ball in a meaningful league match. If we are being precise it was before administration on the 14th of February and a ten point deduction ended our title challenge. This week 11 players, wearing blue shirts with RFC on their chests took the field. As the euphoric atmosphere at Ibrox midweek testifies to, win, lose or draw that is not something we should ever take for granted again.

In the last few years the Old Firm has been reduced to a dark humoured pantomime with Scottish football generally on a seemingly irreversible downward spiral. Our clubs are all vulnerable to the attentions of EPL sides without even the reward of decent transfer fees. Ask yourself if you really think Stephen Fletcher is now four times the player that left Hibs?

There is for me a feeling of relief at the sense of detachment and downscaling of expectations as we set off on our lower league grand tour. Our enjoyment of football has been distilled to its purest form with Rangers fans simply happy to have a team to watch. In the last few decades football has evolved and has been warped by the importance of money. Bosman, the EPL and the Champions League have all taken their toll on large clubs in small countries. A glass ceiling has been created regarding realistic aspirations for our club in Europe with the consequence being a renewed intensity to the domestic rivalry between the Old Firm (something which has to my mind sadly become increasingly bitter following the departure of the thoroughly decent Gordon Strachan).

Well this season our achievements and the football we play will not be benchmarked against our cross city rivals and I for one am delighted with this break. You be Celtic and we’ll be Rangers.

This season opens up new possibilities instead of the same old SPL gruel and so far it would appear the fans are embracing it. Before this weekend’s disappointment we had sold 25,000 season tickets and I’m going to make a bold prediction here that sales will ultimately surpass last year’s 37,000. We have all heard tales of fans who are swapping their annual European away trip this year for a wee weekend up in Highlands. Instead of an Old Firm match to stomp all over the season of goodwill to all men we have the chance to go to Hampden this festive period to play Queens Park. This not only brings the chance to once more play the Original Glasgow Derby but, with the prospect of a 50,000 allocation, there is the possibility, if we were so motivated, to set the record for the largest ever away support. This season we will see young players given their chance and journeymen pros, for whom simply playing for Rangers is a career high not a stepping stone to the EPL or a last pay day before retirement. Tantalisingly there is the prospect too of becoming the only third division side ever to win either of the major cup competitions and ultimately there is the potential for an unsurpassable record of winning all four leagues consecutively. Getting carried away? Why not, doesn’t every football fan at the dawn of a new season?

Prior to Saturday those in the stands and on the pitch had responded in the manner we all hoped for. Those in the board room have certainly made an encouraging start but they will know they must be judged on the balance sheet they produce not bluster, broadsides and bravado.

Despite the draw at Peterhead we have the makings of a decent side but it will take time for players who are strangers to gel. Equally it looks like there are clearly still individuals who want to be elsewhere. The one area of the park where players have no excuses for unfamiliarity is in defence. The departure of the likes of Bocanegra, Goian and Edu is sadly looking like a necessity. If we can make a few more transfers in the next couple of weeks I think we will have a good balance of experienced SPL standard players and youngsters. I do not doubt for a moment that we will win the league and very possibly challenge for cups. Equally Peterhead rammed home the passion we will face and made it crystal clear we will not go undefeated. At some point there will be an upset and one club will enjoy a famous victory. The prospect doesn’t worry me and the reality won’t bother me. Such moments of drama and joy are the life blood of football.

Everyone connected with Rangers knows the challenge before us. We know it will take at least five years for the club to fully recover and even then I suspect while the wounds may heal the scars will remain. As we start life in the lower divisions never before can I remember our support being so energised and so enraptured with their club. Rangers fans are far from a harmonious bunch at the best of times. It is probably unrealistic to expect that to change. Fans need to behave and more than anything we need to try and unite behind the team. From teenager to pensioner, from Trust to Assembly, from Giffnock to Easter House and from the Broomloan front to the Club Deck, we need to be as one.

A great many people thought they were working towards Rangers’ demise and, credit where it is due, they came bloody close. Instead they have produced a fan base, and by extension a club, with a renewed drive and sense of self. Every Ranger now has a far greater appreciation of our history and the future we alone will now shape.

As Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto probably never said after the attack on Pearl Harbour “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”

p.s. I understand that the ESPN blogs in their current form will shortly come to an end. This therefore seems an appropriate point for me to sign off given I have spent very little time writing about football and far too much about business and asset deals etc. I will quite happily spend this season watching my team. I'd therefore like to thank all those who have taken an interest. I've received a fair amount of abuse which was never published. What surprised me (being new to writing) was how little this bothered me. What also surprised me was how much I appreciated the encouragement and the words of support (especially from rival fans) through the turbulent last year or so.

Thanks again and I genuinely hope you enjoy following your team whoever they may be.

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Posted by paul on 08/13/2012

If I was ESPN I would remove some of the intro to this article, unless you want to receive a couple of solicitors letters of course...

Posted by robert sands on 08/13/2012

A lot of blah blah blah about a team that doesnt exist, rangers are no more, you are the mighty sevco

Posted by Anonymous on 08/13/2012

NEW DAWN, NEW DAY, NEW CLUB, same old arrogant tosh.

Posted by Tam the Bam on 08/13/2012

What dribble your team is dead!
You have still to get your full whack of punishment, you are a new club when it suits you but we will see about this loyal support 37000 season tickets same old moonbeams pish.
As for this support why don't you all put your money where your mouth is instead of that not one Scottish Ranger would part with their hard earned to save the now DEAD Glasgow Rangers fact! Roll on the English Mr Green Moonbeam he will be gone by Christmas from The Rangers Football Club! As for your glass ceiling what about your glass house you numptie look what happens when you throw stones, it all ends in shattered pieces! You seem to forget that it was Sir Minty Moonbeams who started the downward spiral of Scottish Football and as for your Admiral IsorokuYamamoto quote nearly right should read "terrible hatred" which Mr Green & Super Sally are tapping into to get to the 37000 season tickets!

Posted by john on 08/13/2012

I have never laughed so much at an article in my life. Rangers have sold under 10,000 season tickets. When are you guys going to wake up to the thieves who have owned you for years. And as for looking forward to the Highland trips and the derby against Queen's PArk at the New Year do you honestly belive that anyone believes that you actually feel this. Get real. It is August, wait until November. Funny how Celtic winning the league quickly is bad for the SPL and will see crowds dwindle but Rangers winning the Third Division by Christmas is actually box office. What a clown.

Posted by Douglas Cameron on 08/13/2012

Calm down lads you'll do yourself an injury. Like i said you be Celtic and we'll be Rangers.

If you can't be the wrong side of optimistic about the new season after the last 6 months we've had then there ain't much joy to be had from football. That is what it is for me, a source of enjoyment. Maybe it means something else to others though.

Posted by Jordan Williamson. on 08/13/2012

Gotta laugh at the commenting. If we are dead why are they still obsessing about Rangers. You dopes make your judgements to suit your own agenda. No one is interested in septic winning the league. Pick up a paper,it's all about us. No one cares about you. you couldn't even fill your stadium on flag day. Half you Internet celts don't even go to the games,stop obsessing about Rangers and get a job. Sell oot Saturday was a roaring success bwahahaha. Kinda like the sporting integrity march that produced 14 protesters. Fail Fail

Posted by Wee Arthur Peepul on 08/13/2012

I feel the need to challenge 2 inaccuracies in the blog.

The team cuurently plying their trade in SFL3 are not 'Rangers' but 'The Rangers' (don't want anyone to be able to recover those astronomical debts, do we?)

And also the increasing bitter rivalry between Celtic and the now defunct Rangers has much more to do with the insane ravings of 'Fat Le Guen' Ally McCoist than the coherent and well reasoned observations of Neil Lennon.

I for one am glad the Old Firm is finally dead, and wish the Sevconians all the best for the coming season.

Posted by cardiffbhoy on 08/13/2012


You appear to be taking on the Charles Green mantle of "not talking" about a number of things inaccurately, using instead sly digs and innuendo. His excuse is he needs to sell season tickets to numpties like you. I'm not sure what ESPN's excuse is in allowing an obvious idiot such as yourself to represent your "club".

Enjoy watching your new team. Setting records that no-one else wants, as you have done historically.

1st team to collect their trophy in a broom cupboard, or was it toilet ?, due to rioting fans.

1st team to be banned from defending their European trophy.

1st team to see their rivals come back to Glasgow with the European Cup.

A weekend in the highlands as opposed to a week away destroying foreign cities, at least the people of Manchester and Barcelona will be relieved.

Posted by Vincent on 08/13/2012

I am wondering if the post by 'Jordan Williamson' is as one would expect a 'spoof' or if it is in fact suppossed to be serious. Whilst Servco watched by 4,000 souls were snatching a last minute equalizer against the mighty Peterhead, a Celtic second string was taking on the might of a full Real Madrid in front of a audience ot 10's of thousands in Phillidelphia and a worlwide audience of 10's of millions. Yet in Jordan's imagination it's 'all about' the artisans formerly known as Rangers. I was going to say you need to broaden you reading from the 'Rangers News' till I remembered that like the team from the bogot dome it no longer exists. Wake up and smell the coffee you numptie! European Champions League here we come, still I expect in jordan's world that competetion will be overshadowed by proceeding in the Blue Ribbon of sporting events the Ramsdens Cup. How the mighty have fallen! Pass me the tissues. Hail Hail!

Posted by matt the rant on 08/13/2012

To be honest, who cares & who cares what happens to THE rangers.. the new-co will do themselves proud in the third div for the next couple of years..
Queens park derby game, cant wait..
Ally on his trips around the 3rd div, if Peterhead is anything to go by then i just cant get enough..

Posted by neil on 08/13/2012

Oh dear.

Even if you do sell 37000 season tickets, that rakes in around £10M. How much does it cost to run this new club per season?

Heres a wee clue - Ally "ahm no walking away - ahv nae where tae go" McCoist takes home over a million per year.

Posted by josh k on 08/13/2012

was hysterical with laughter after reading jordan williamson's comment,what a naive stupid hun,i think you will find that apart from the hun(sun) and daily rangers every fan in scotland hates sevco with a passion,hahaha we will be playing cl football and there was 57000 on flag day=a full stadium,enjoy d3 while we are the playing the big guns of europe while making 30 million in the process(that includes the sale of ki sung yeung) p.s hail hail GLASGOWS GREEN AND WHITE

Posted by HoudiniBhoy on 08/13/2012

The disappointing thing about this article is that whilst you had many good points to make to littered it with the bitterness of the type of Rangers fan that we could all do without. Attacking Neil Lennon at the start then half way through when the "decent Gordon Strachan left". If so many of you find Lennon unpalatable why go on and on about it? Why not trying to ignore him and see how that pans out?

Rangers are where they are through sheer arrogance the constant battlecries of "We are the people" have filtered out in the knowledge that you are just like everyone else and have to play by the rules. So much of your focus is what the SPL and SFA have done to you. Are you so bereft of sense that you are unable to realise that had they not done so SPL fans would have left in numbers AND FIFA would have kicked the Scotland out of international football at EVERY level? We would be in a worse state now had RFC been in the SPL. Bear in mind too, the custodians of your club did this, not us.

Posted by walsa on 08/13/2012

*****54 and counting we are RANGERS then now and FOREVER.

Posted by Brian John Kent on 08/13/2012

Quelle Surprise - Celtic fans commenting on a Rangers blog yet again. Why don't you support your own team for a change!

Posted by Jamie on 08/13/2012

seriously, the celtic fans who comment on this blog are pathetic. its a rangers blogs, of course its going to be biased towards them. Why don't you just focus on getting crushed in the champs and we'll focus on winning the ramsden cup and we can all pretend that scottish football isn't a complete joke to everyone outside of scotland.

Posted by ohthesepticrshite on 08/13/2012

lol at all you septic lovers still obsessed with the most succesfull team in the world even when we are not in the same league, you hate rangers more than you like your own club as why would any normal person read blogs about a rival team bunch of saddos

Posted by Billy on 08/13/2012

Is there a Celtic Internet Club who troll the internet looking for Rangers related websites to add a comment, I don't see why Celtic Supporters would want to go to a Rangers website

Posted by JOHNLAUGHLIN on 08/13/2012


Posted by robg58 on 08/13/2012

I never ever thought I would see the day when Lennon's name was in the same sentence as coherent and well reasoned unless of course they were being used out of context.

Posted by Andy's dads Andy on 08/13/2012

These comments are priceless, thought the whole debacle I've been constantly astounded by the number of Celtic fans all over phone ins, blogs etc wanting to talk Rangers, they're more concerned with the whole thing than we are!

As the blogger says, you be Celtic and we'll be Rangers although not many of our East end neighbours seem to be able to let go of their venomous hatred that easily!

One final point as an aside, as we're now constantly reminded by all those learned individuals out there who obviously have a superior knowledge of the legal workings of insolvency and corporate restructuring than I do and coincidently all seem to support Celtic that we are now Sevco, a new company and club, an entirely new entity with no history or past, how come we're still huns/animals etc?

Just asking bhoys, we're either still Rangers and you hate us or we're not in which case kindly f**k off and annoy somebody else, you can't have it both ways!

Posted by DublinBhoy on 08/13/2012

"The ever clearer links between Celtic and Harper MacLeod, the lawyers investigating Rangers over dual contracts"

What do you mean 'ever clearer' - they were never hidden in the fist place. There's no confict of interest, according to the Law Society and under ESPN's name you seem to be implying some kind of wrongdoing on either Celtic or Harper MacLeod's part.

Spit it out.

Posted by Andy on 08/13/2012

This whole you you be Celtic and we'll be Rangers is nice enough, but in reality we should all be Scottish. Both Celtic and Rangers have an amazing chance over the next 4-5 years to get their act together and "save" Scottish football. Without this rivalry that forces the clubs to spend every penny on foriegn players both clubs have a chance to create a lasting plan that will produce more quality domestic players. Screw winning the Champions League the group stages will do fine. Just fix Scottish football for us. Make Scotland poud not just a one or the other side of Glasgow.

Posted by Douglas Cameron on 08/14/2012

Celtic fans seem continually upset by the fact Rangers still exist. They also seem upset at my initial comments. Firstly regarding Neil Lennon I do not think someone who has been actively investing in schemes to avoid tax has any right to comment on others who do likewise. That anyone would disagree amazes me.

As regards Harper Macleod, as all manner of professional advisors will tell you, when they consider taking on a job the question is not simply whether a conflict of interest exists it is also whether one can be perceived by others to exist. It is a reputational issue. I think HM and the SPL have made a mistake because employing them means Rangers fans will never accept the findings of any investigation involving them. That makes it still harder for Scottish football to move on.

If you rewind to the start of this year Rangers fans called me all sorts for saying admin was inevitable. This got worse when I said a business and assets deal with the liquidation of oldco was the means by which the club should be saved (neither half of the Old Firm liked that in truth). Now I have Celtic fans upset because they don't like the views I am expressing. The Internet offers us access to a lot of news and opinions we would never otherwise have known about. The Rangers story and the role of the Internet illustrates this perfectly. Sadly in my experience though instead of broadening people's reading and allowing them to consider opposing views it has polarised them. There is nothing wrong with Celtic fans reading or commenting on a Rangers blog but for goodness sakes if you do try to understand not everyone views events the same way you do. And do try to understand that if you go on a Rangers site don't cry mock offence if pro Rangers views are occasionally expressed in a robust manner. Many of the comments on here during my time blogging are symptomatic of a far greater failing. That more than anything sums up my experience of writing this blog.

Posted by eil on 08/14/2012

For all.those who are hard of understanding, the reason most fans of the champions (12 in a row and counting) are commenting is because the blogger mentions Celtic and it thus appears on newsnow celtic link.

Not rocket science sevcoers

Posted by duccablue on 08/14/2012

Great blog matey, hope to see you back soon.

Posted by Abhay on 08/22/2012

Hey douglas
I am from India and i love your club since the time i visited your club as a child
i feel disturbed to see my club going in administration.
Nyways, just wishing that two season down the line, just as Juventus did, we revive the old firm and prove to the Celtic (Internet) FC that who is the real champion
And yes Fans of Rangers will never leave this club alone because one this is for sure we exist in real world

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