Planning blight

Over thirty years ago I was told that a bad plan was  better than no plan.

That was true then and it is still in the “not wrong” category.

It would appear that the people at the SPL top table don’t have a plan for an Undead Rangers.

That’s bad.

When the SPL was set up over a decade ago no one involved in this sporting cartel thought that they would have to face this scenario one day.

The idea that the Ibrox club formed in 1872 would die by liquidation was bizarre.

Subsequently the notion that they would have to admit a new club using the body parts and clothing of the dead club into their league was just crazy.

However, that day is almost upon us.

Yesterday was the day to make a decision on what to do about Nosferatu FC, but when the guys from Duff & Phelps asked for an adjournment they were pushing an open door.

SPL chief Neil Doncaster has tried to pass off the NewCo route as a perfectly normal way to “shed debt” and move on.

Yet creditors will be left with next to nothing.

The amount of money being offered by the preferred bidder Biller Miller for a CVA doesn’t pass muster.

Yet the mainstream media are rather muted in this aspect of the Rangers circus.

If this car crash was happening on Kerrydale Street then I would wager that the opinion formers on planet fitba would be screaming about the unpaid bills of the ambulance service and small family firms facing insolvency.

The media would make the moral case and they would be right to do so.

Of course this is different because it is the Rangers.

Sandy Jardine was entirely correct that the Ibrox club is a special case.

The reason that the SPL guys adopted the rabbit staring at headlights stance yesterday is that two cultures, two dispensations, are clashing.

Rangers as the special case are  from the days of Jim Farry and, even further back, from when the SFA wanted Celtic to take down the tricolour.

As the Irish community gathered around the new football club in the east end of Glasgow the Rangers became the great white hope of racists in Scotland who wanted to keep the Fenians in their place.

Sporting rivalry became a metaphor for the struggles of an immigrant community trying to establish itself within a hostile milieu.

The club in the east end was open to all, but it was and remains a vivid expression of Irishness in Scotland.

Celtic, like the community that gave birth to it was socially excluded from the start.

That was the old paradigm.

Now the people in power in Edinburgh state that the new Scotland will be different.

That there will be one nation made up of many cultures.

The people who run the national game  say that there is a new dispensation based on fairness and transparency.

We are currently in a situation where some of the actors in this drama are in the past and others are in the future.

People appear terminally confused by the new order.

Paradigm shifts are like this.

Social progress is not linear nor is it pre-determined.

The people who run Scottish football could decide that their sport will remain an artefact of the old Scotland.

That was a country where Paddy knew his place partly by seeing that the club at Edmiston drive was above the law both on and off the field of play.

Ibrox was Caledonia’s Loftus Versfeld, a sporting reminder of a highly unequal society based on ethnicity.

The elevated status of the Rangers mirrored the unfairness of a society based on discrimination towards Irish Catholics.

There is a sense of outrage among the Ibrox mob, partly authorised by club icons like McCoist and Jardine, that the Rangers are finally being asked to explain themselves.

When Sandy joined the Rangers that Scotland was a very different place and so were the power structures of the game.

When McCoist was the club’s star player that paradigm was still in place.

Under Sir David Murray the club behaved like Lehman Brothers with goalposts.

At Ibrox those structures were made highly mobile in order to gain any financial advantage.

There is a sense of exasperation among those who marched to Hampden that there has to be consequences for their club’s actions.

The bears rage that HMRC officials in England and UEFA bureaucrats in Switzerland just don’t get it.

This is the Rangers!

These outsiders just don’t see why the club is a special case.

The other 11 SPL clubs know what has to be done.

However some of them just don’t want the backlash from the Ibrox rabble.

The hit to their bottom line from an SPL sans the Rangers is overstated.

As I have written before this is a decision between the mob and money versus morality.

The most honest thing to do in all of this would be to come clean and say any club operating the Rangers franchise can do what they want.

Rules, like taxes, are for little people after all.

If this isn’t to be a grace and favour ruling for the establishment club then the moral hazard of this debt amnesty for the Ibrox franchise is quite clear.

Will the Tynecastle franchise be the next to NewCo their creditors?

Once this has been agreed for one SPL club then the debt abandonment genie will be out of the bottle.

There are no good outcomes for the other 11 SPL clubs in this situation.

They are faced with the reality that the Rangers behaved appallingly and not just under Craig Whyte.

Moreover, the imminent liquidation of the club will stiff hundreds of creditors.

Now the prospective owners of a Rangers NewCo expect to waltz back into the SPL as if nothing has happened simply because it is based at Ibrox.

That is an even more pressing reason why the guys who met at Hampden yesterday should come up with a plan.

Even one that isn’t very good.

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