The SFA have gone too far with sanctions against Rangers

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COMMENT

 

I went to bed on the evening of April 23rd fairly astonished; not because Microsoft Word had crashed spectacularly losing me some work, or because yet another Sallies meal had been underwhelming in the extreme. No, I went to bed perplexed at what the Scottish Football Association perceive as being a fair punishment for what has gone on at Rangers Football Club in recent months.

We all knew there would be a fine, but by not allowing player registration for 12 months is frankly superfluous and unnecessary. I would like to remind the powers at be, Peter Lawell’s highly incorruptible and impartial former colleague from Coors, Stewart Reagan, that the people they should be going after are Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte for carving up such a scandalous deal for Rangers this time last year.

To punish the footballing side of things for the financial misdemeanours of two shysters like Murray and Whyte is useless and side stepping one of the underlying issues in this saga, that the SFA were showcasing the utmost incompetence in protecting a member club. This is not to divert from Craig Whyte not adhering to PAYE or other financial strictures, but if the SFA had investigated him properly, checked his background and made sure he was a “fit and proper person” to run the biggest team in the land, then their beloved two bob fiefdom would not have been “brought into disrepute”.

The SFA are culpable in this, make no question. If they really want to make an example, go after Craig Whyte with every bit of vim, vigour and vivacity which you have sought to show up Rangers and you might get somewhere.

The short term aspects of this farce could be the potential torpedoing of any takeover bids for Rangers. Rangers should withdraw from the Scottish Cup, not allow any Rangers player at any level to represent Scotland, boycott away grounds, ignore joint sponsorship with the SFA, refuse TV deals and perhaps even offer the facilities at Auchenhowie or Ibrox Stadium to any team playing a Scottish club or the national team in European competition or international qualifiers.

If the SFA want a dirty war, then Rangers have to use the Khruschev analogy of squeezing the SFA by the balls, and the SFA’s dangly bits are suspiciously close to their coffers.

This article will inevitably rouse such responses as “aye, but ra hunz pyoor cheated n that wur thur taxes n that, shut thum down n take thur titles n that, mon eh selik”. I am not saying that those at fault in this deserve not to be punished, but go after those who instigated EBTs, did not pay PAYE or VAT and lied about their wealth.

I’ll give you a hint where you can find them; I walked past the office of one in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square on Friday and I had a drink in the same bar at the same Edinburgh hotel where the other one was spotted skulking around a few hours before. Also, for what it’s worth, last time I checked complex tax arrangements don’t make any difference to how a team performs on the field; given that Celtic won the vast majority of league titles while the EBTs were in place and Rangers were rotten for most of the last decade, it fails to stack up. In my humble opinion, of course.

I’m about to raise a mind-set more associated with Rangers’ erstwhile Glaswegian bedfellows, that of paranoia. Rangers do not do paranoia; this is an arrogant club, with an arrogant support with a sense of their position in life. Any club which runs out to “Simply the best” and uses the slogan “We are the people” does not have an inferiority or persecution complex, but in this instance, something is clearly rotten in the state of Hampden.

The journalist Darryl King, not afraid to stick the boot into Rangers over the years, said on Radio Clyde that there are people out there who hate Rangers for everything they stand for and want them finished. That is obvious. This is not a fair fight, this is an ideological campaign which has been waged for some years by errant journalists and biased figures in the game to finish the biggest club in the land. Well, when Scotland’s “Premier” League plunges to the depths of the Welsh, then the zealots out there will be reaping a dreadful sow.

7 COMMENTS

  1. There are so many things wrong with this article that I don’t know where to start but I suppose the root of the matter is that the writer comes across in this article not only as horribly biased,ill-informed,deluded and deliberately insulting but most of all as a complete and utter chump. Blog are opinion pieces I agree but no newspaper should sanction the ramblings of an utter fanny.

  2. Dear Mr McQuillan,

    As if your bizarre “Scottish Football Oscars” article featuring a nauseating description of Ally McCoist as ‘Man of the hour” was not bad enough, you have further embarrassed yourself with another ridiculous attempt at sports journalism with one-sided and rather insane comment. It is because of people like you that I have my champagne on ice for the minute Rangers Football Club cease to exist. As Gordon Smith Impartial Tan-Fan said, “There are so many things wrong with this article that I don’t know where to start.”

    To begin with I must congratulate you on saying something accurate, “by not allowing player registration for 12 months is frankly superfluous and unnecessary.” There was never any chance Rangers would be able to register a player in the next 12 months, there is no money for Rangers to buy or pay the wages of new players and quite frankly would any footballer in the world even want to be drawn into that mess.

    However you then go on to make outlandish statement after outlandish statement first by declaring, “Peter Lawell’s highly incorruptible and impartial former colleague from Coors, Stewart Reagan.” I have yet to see any evidence that Lawell and Reagan have worked together but good job at hinting at conspiracy, despite later contradicting yourself stating, “Rangers do not do paranoia,” while forgetting one of the SFA “powers that be” is in fact former Rangers Director Campbell Ogilvie.

    Your next insult directed at the SFA is particularly amusing, “To punish the footballing side of things for the financial misdemeanours of two shysters like Murray and Whyte is useless and side stepping one of the underlying issues in this saga, that the SFA were showcasing the utmost incompetence in protecting a member club.” Unbeknown to you Andrew, there are more than one club that should be protected by the SFA. Several clubs have not been paid money due by Rangers this season; some are owed ticket money while others are due transfer fees. By preventing Rangers from registering players it assures no team will be financially ripped off as others are now. Additionally, of course the footballing side should be punished for financial misdemeanours as they benefitted from them. You fail to grasp that under the stewardship of Murray and Whyte they were the club, the club has done wrong so the club is punished.

    And now for my favourite line, “If the SFA do manage to strangle at birth anything that might save the club, then it is only fair that Rangers and their support make war on Hampden on a par with what happened after the 1980 Scottish Cup Final when Archie MacPherson concluded that not even the SAS could sort things out.” Andrew McQuillan, have you heard of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012? What you have done in this instance is condone violence. To be fair, your club’s manager and ‘man of the hour’ also played this card when asking for the names of those who dished out the punishment to Rangers being made public. Since then Strathclyde Police have had to offer protection to these people as they have been threatened along with senior SFA officials. Let’s not take these threats lightly as we all witnessed what happened to Neil Lennon, Paul McBride, Trisha Godman and others last year.

    I didn’t think you could better the previous quote but you quite nearly did and wonderfully summarised why Rangers have become so poorly managed and why they deserve to be punished, “this is an arrogant club, with an arrogant support with a sense of their position in life. Any club which runs out to “Simply the best” and uses the slogan “We are the people” does not have an inferiority or persecution complex, but in this instance, something is clearly rotten in the state of Hampden.” Rangers quite evidently do not have an inferiority complex; they quite clearly have a superiority complex. Their mantra of “We are the people” shows they believe the rest of Scottish football should bow down to them, forget how they have cheated Scottish football for years and should help them now times are tough. Their “arrogant support” believed that Craig Whyte was a “billionaire” with “off the radar wealth” equipped with a £25million “warchest” for Ally and the troops. Their “arrogant support” didn’t believe the criminal past of Craig Whyte, they boycotted the BBC and Daily Record for revealing his dodgy dealings. Their “arrogant support” believes they shouldn’t be correctly punished and should go out on the attack, remember Manchester 2008, because they didn’t get their own way.

    Mr McQuillan, congratulations on fulfilling all the characteristics of the deluded, short-sighted Rangers fan. “Simply the Best” “We are the people” but also remember you’re “Rangers ‘til July!”

  3. DO you want to know why this article might will inevitably rouse such responses as “aye, but ra hunz pyoor cheated n that wur thur taxes n that, shut thum down n take thur titles n that, mon eh selik”
    O master of eloquence, you article might rouse such dumb-witted, in your opinion, responses because it is a dumb-witted and ill-thought out sensationalist article.

  4. It cannot be right for RFC to continue to spend money in the transfer market (be that on transfer fees, wages, agents fees or signing on fees) whilst heavily indebted to other football clubs, companies and the taxman to a tune of £130 million+.
    How on earth are creditors supposed to agree a CVA when the club are spending their due money? Perhaps RFC and their fans want to pick the punishment themselves…,

  5. Having spent the last half hour reading a variety of your sport articles, I am dumbfounded as to how the Saint can continue to publish such one sided journalism. To propose that Rangers should withdraw from the Scottish Cup and not allow its players to represent Scotland is frankly ridiculous and only goes to show the absolute drivel you are continuing to come out with. This could have been forgiven as the ramblings of a delusional and bias rangers fan hurting at the impending death of his club. However, I then read your article “The beginning of the end” pertaining to the recent El Clasico and how it signals the end of Barcelona as the force they are now. Ridiculous. To base such a outlandish statement on one match only goes to show your lack of football knowledge, especially considering the match was one which Barcelona dominated in almost its entirety. To call Barcelona’s style of play predictable is farcical, as is to claim only the derbys are big games. You say Messi goes missing in the big games due to his recent El Clasico form, overlooking the fact that Barcelona have played in 2 Champions league finals in the last 3 years. Messi won man of the match in both 2009 and 2011 capping both performances off with a goal. To date, Messi has scored 13 and assisted 10 against real madrid. That makes him accountable for 23 goals in 19 games. In comparison Ronaldo has scored 6 with no assists in 16 games. In short your statements are flawed, your views are bias and your writing position with the saint has to be put under serious question.

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