The biggest mistake that Sevco made this week was not putting their Managing Director on furlough. Judge Lionel Persey branded Stewart Robertson a “Rangers Mouthpiece” in the High Court last July. The reputation of the club would have been better served by asking their overworked groundsmen to represent them at the SPFL, Board of Management meeting.
The back of the fag packet resolutions that made their embarrassing way backwards and forwards between Ibrox and Hampden will only serve to exacerbate the anguish of the Sevco support and spread a contagion of confusion throughout the Scottish game.
Sevco’s failure to grasp the delicacy of the situation was baffling. As the Prime Minister fought for his life in Intensive Care, Scottish football was drawn into a cringworthy display of half baked self interest.
While the Scottish public self isolated in their homes. The vulnerable worried about their futures. Employees and employers anxiously contemplated their livelihoods. Health workers and members of the Armed Forces fought to save lives. Shop workers, transport workers and police officers kept services going.
Disparate groups have come together. Conflicts dropped. Wrangling over Brexit was put on the long finger. Britain has united in an impressive, almost war-like sense of purpose.
Every commentator of the Scottish game has known for weeks that Celtic are Champions in waiting. Pundits, journalists, bloggers even coaches and players all know the destination of the title. Their comments are saved for posterity.
Football like every industry is in a state of flux. Every club and their staff face an uncertain future. Few businesses can cope for long with no money coming in. This is a matter of life or death for many clubs.
Aleksander Ceferin UEFA President, has now conceded that this season is unlikely to be played to a finish.”However if it could not be played it would be necessary to announce the results in some way.” Belgian Virologist and advisor to the Belgian FA, Marc Van Ranst told the Belgian Times on Easter Sunday…
“UEFA asked me if their CEO could contact me…I am going to tell him it’s time to stop the competitions.”
Van Ranst also rejects closed door games due to complications with Social Distancing and couldn’t give any indication when competitive football should restart.
Against this backdrop a proposal was put before Scottish clubs. It would have brought a measure of certainty to the game and released much needed funds to cash starved clubs.
Sacrifices would have to be made. Relegation for some before it was mathematically certain and the early completion of the season.
Celtic would lose out on their historic Quadruple Treble and the chance to win Nine in a Row in front of their support. The title will probably be awarded to Celtic on a points per game basis. That’s not what the club wanted. This was a necessary sacrifice given the unfolding crisis. Pundits with a self-confessed Sevco bias have already signaled their belief that an asterisk should be placed before such a title.
Celtic had much to lose by a yes vote. Prudence, careful budgeting and impressive onfield performances, put Celtic in the position of not needing emergency cash. Celtic’s decision making was based on the difficult reality we find ourselves in.
Celtic’s league and financial position isn’t a fluke. It’s the product of careful governance.
For Sevco, it would have guaranteed second place and desperately needed funds. Their posturing wasn’t just cynically unpatriotic it’s also short sighted.
The reality is that we face a number of weeks of lockdown. Past pandemics have shown a tendency toward second and third waves. We are in uncharted waters, anxiety levels are on a high and nobody really knows what the next few weeks will bring.
The World Health Organisation expects that clusters of infection will breakout after the relaxation of isolation. This could see areas of the country isolated while testing, tracing and isolation processes are conducted.
Not an ideal background to finish a league programme.
Football needed clarity not the chaotic thinking that bedevils Sevco. The Board at Ibrox thrive on chaos. It’s necessary to distract their support from the their limitations and broken promises.
This was the opportunity for Sevco to step up and display leadership and maturity. They failed miserably and have misled their own supporters badly.
Sevco’s statement on the 8th of April arrogantly concluded with an unsettling tone, “In the meantime we expect clubs to support our member’s resolution.”
The days of expectancy and calling the shots are over. They are the epitome of a bully. Sevco’s scheme was to secure funding and avoid the ignominy of 9 in a Row. Kicking the can down the road would have bought time to sell tickets and manipulate a scenario where the season would be voided.
Having failed to coerce Scottish football to support their bailout scam, the latest defamatory statement, undermines the credibility of the game and potentially risks Sevco’s membership in the SPFL.
Failure on the field and at executive level at Ibrox are the culprits, not a well intentioned rescue package to safeguard Scottish football. It’s Sevco’s fault their second not the SPFL Executive.
The antics of their predecessor and the endless ongoing litigation involving Sevco has undermined the integrity of the game. The reputations of decent professionals has also been damaged, attempting to clean up the mess at Ibrox.
With the benefit of hindsight it’s possible that a few senior executives may well privately concede that things should have been done differently with regard to Rangers and Sevco.
The decision makers at Ibrox have learned nothing. Broken contracts, broken promises, legal disputes and court rooms are are the way of life for the recidivists the Blue Room.
They are are the architects of their own downfall.
This is another ugly chapter in the short ignominious life of Sevco.
Their timing is impeccable.
*As an aside…
The first title won by Rangers was in 1889/90 Dumbarton and Rangers finished joint top on 29 points.
Dumbarton had a superior goal difference of 7.
A playoff was held at Cathkin and finished 2-2.
The title was awarded jointly to both clubs.
Surely that’s an Asterisk? *****
(Celtic were docked 4 points for fielding ineligible players and finished third by 8 points).
The above is by The Gombeen Man. Should you fancy typing something up for dissection yourself the email as usual is email@example.com