An Early Christmas From The SFA

141874387At last. At long last. The SFA finally shows some spine, and agrees to stick to its own rules. I never thought they’d have the guts. Blocking Ashley from getting any more Sevco shares is as unexpected as it is welcome, for what it means for our game.

What a dilemma this creates for the owners of Sevco. The AGM decision not to approve a further allocation of shares to outside parties now looks like what it is; a disastrous call by men trying to protect their own positions, and to Hell with how it affects the club.

Could they have found outside investment? Probably not. We’ll never know. But today’s decision was unanimous, and that means no finger pointing at Peter Lawwell will be given credibility. I still expect some people to try, but it’s effectively a non-starter.

All that’s happened here today is that the governing body has followed its own set of regulations, so it seems unusual to be applauding them for it, but I’m going to anyway. They’ve refused to give in to bullying and appeals to emotion. This decision had to put Scottish football first, and for once they’ve done just that.

This isn’t over yet. The name of Dave King could yet resurface, but as he owns no shares at the present time it’s difficult to see how he could achieve anything concrete. He is also yet to put his hand in his own pocket to the tune of 1p, so if their fans are looking for him to suddenly re-appear I think they’ll have a long wait.

And they simply don’t have the time for that.

King’s name will inevitably be mentioned anyway, but for the first time ever I am optimistic that if the day ever comes when he’s doing more than talking that the SFA will refuse to entertain the notion that he should be allowed to sit on their board of directors.

Not only was he on the previous board – which itself disqualifies him – but the ink isn’t even dry yet on his criminal convictions for tax evasion and fraud, with rumours of more trouble coming down the pipe.

He is certainly not a “fit and proper person.”

Who at Ibrox is at the moment? The fans made their distaste for the current board very clear the other day, and already some of them – the more sensible amongst them – are praising the SFA for knocking back the Ashley move … but it doesn’t leave them anywhere else to go.

Ashley is now in an unusual position. The SFA clearly believes he’s already way too powerful at Ibrox, and there are hearings coming up to discipline he and the club for his current level of involvement. They appear to be finally getting tough, but there are moves this guy could yet make, if he’s so inclined.

But is he?

After all, why would he bother? He can now accomplish all of his goals very simply, by laying out the terms on which he is willing to give the club the loans it needs to see it through next year. If the club goes to the wall prior to that he will hold all the cards as the main debtor. On top of the deals he already has in place for the merchandise, he’s in a very sweet position.

The club is almost out of options. The AGM was a disaster and the preening arrogance of David Somers, whilst amusing and entertaining to outsiders, was clearly a watershed moment for many of their fans. He has alienated almost all of them now.

The Easdale’s, despite having done what Dave King is yet to – putting their own money in, taking risks with their own cash – are just as hated, seen by many as relics of the Charles Green era, guys who lack the funds and the ambition to take the club forward.

They don’t feel any more inclination than Somers towards making new friends, as their decision to send their lawyers against one of the fan representatives shows all too clearly.

A lot of the board at Ibrox are sick fed up of their own supporters. Almost all the supporters are now utterly disillusioned with them, and see them as the enemy within.

The word “chaos” doesn’t even come close to describing the scene there. This is a club at war with itself, at exactly the moment it needs to be pulling together.

Years of arrogance and short-sightedness have led up to this.

The club is now in free-fall on and off the pitch, and there’s little prospect of a soft landing.

All the chickens are coming home to roost, from their failure to build relationships with other teams to their horrendous miscalculation that their absence in the top flight would send other sides spinning into crisis. Indeed, the gleeful way in which they talked about this prospect, about “never forgetting”, their deliberate baiting of clubs like Dundee Utd … well, it strips away sympathy fast.

Even their insistence on clinging to the Survival Myth is a weight around their necks, guaranteeing that if they do enter administration the penalty will be a hammer blow 25 points which will obliterate their chances of getting promotion even through a play-off spot.

This is a club reaping a whirlwind of its own making, and it was not simply caused by spivs and sharks but it was the all-too inevitable consequence of their blind refusal to understand that everything changed on 14 February 2012.

As I’ve said before, whether you believe the club survived liquidation (a barmy idea) or not, the Rangers we all grew up with certainly died in the period after Craig Whyte’s St Valentine’s Day massacre.

The hubris that led to that particular downfall – and their failure even to comprehend that Whyte had his hands on the wheel but didn’t crash the car – was the one piece of baggage they simply could not afford to carry over from one incarnation to the next … and it was the first thing they brought with them.

At the second the Five Way Agreement was signed, based on the First Lie, that Sevco was Rangers and Rangers was Sevco, they infused in the DNA of the brand new club the terrible virus responsible for killing the old one. The event that should have taught them humility became a brand new breeding ground for the arrogance instead. How did that happen? It no longer matters. Those decisions set them down the present path, and they are stuck on it.

Today the SFA stopped behaving like the Ibrox club was the only one in the land. It’s an early Christmas present the fans of other clubs probably didn’t expect, and whilst this embrace of the rules is somewhat overdue, it is no less welcome because of how long its taken.

For those in charge at Ibrox now – I was going to say in control, but that term somehow no longer seems applicable to this disaster-in-progress – are now faced with nothing but bad options on all sides.

Dreadful decisions – including the one to let Ally McCoist head off to the garden to sit on his expanding rear end sucking up the better part of three quarters of a million quid – have become conflated with the whims of a support that never learns and a media which doesn’t get it to create the greatest calamity in the history of Scottish football.

And it isn’t over. Not by a long, long way.

This year has been tumultuous.

Why do I get the feeling next year will be even more interesting?

Have a Merry Christmas brothers and sisters.

(This site depends on you. You can help us out by making a donation at the PayPal link at the top or the bottom of your page, depending on which device you are using. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart friends, and have a Merry Xmas.)

James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

14 thoughts on “An Early Christmas From The SFA

  • 24 December, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    merry christmas to you and yours James aint life grand ha ha

  • 24 December, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Brilliant again mate keep up the good work hail-hail.

  • 24 December, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    They should really go for a January admin to allow their administrators to shift players in the window. I would not be at all surprised to hear them report that they have failed to pay December’s wages. To put it off means more borrowing to get to a Summer admin. To what end? Now is the time.

  • 24 December, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Great writing again James. I’m not sure the SFA has done anything other than taken side in the great charade. The wagons are circling for one last battle and some of the supporters and old guard are hoping King is the cavalry

  • 24 December, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    On the 12th Day of Christmas Mike Ashley sent to me:

    12 Loyalist Drummers Fuming
    11 Flautists Fluting
    10 In A Row For Celtic
    9 Celtic Ladies Dancing
    8 Spivs A-Milking
    7 Titanic-Ibrox Sinking
    6 Tabloids Lying
    5 Stars Imploding
    4 Turds A-Crawling
    3 Kings A-LYING
    2 Many Bigots
    AND . . .An End To Their Family Tree!

    M.E.R.R.Y. C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E

  • 24 December, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Great article as usual, James.

    Indeed It looks like the fat lady is clearing her throat for one last chorus of Penny Arcade.

    Administration for Sevco looks as inevitable as Gail Sheridan’s miniature booze supply,from the airlines, getting tanned (see what I did there?)again in the future…..Leopards changing spots is a rare occurrence even in Pollok.Buwwy Davies as manager and Tam Sheridan as his assistant ……hahaha…….how funny that would be.

    Sevco changing their hubristic spots is even less likely…Rangers then,Sevco now,Dead Forever.

  • 24 December, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Another of their Shareholders coming out of the AGM said we are or were the ESTABLISMENT,this is where the problem lies,the WATP,always thinking they are better than you and I,oh how they are hurting,long May it continue,does not make me a bad person…………….James have a happy Christmas,and a happy and healthy 2015.

  • 24 December, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    It certainly looks bleak for sevco, no sympathy.

    Insolvency is an iceberg this rat infested ship cannot dodge.

    Am I right in thinking that admin would release them from paying Sally his £750,000 ?

    Have a champion Xmas James and keep it


  • 24 December, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Excellent James,but the cowardly SFA. have still to commit themselves regarding the status of the club playing out of Ibrox,This was a big opportunity to do so and again the corrupt mob (probably scared mob) have hidden behind old rules that gives the impression they are doing their job according to the ‘rule book’ what a load of pish! from these reprobates who govern football here in this little backdrop country!

  • 25 December, 2014 at 1:29 am

    and the peepil will still be talking about being back where they belong. When will they understand that they are where they belong – in the gutter.
    Never really celebrated when rangers died as I always thought the SFA / SPL would find a way to save them, but when sevco die, it’ll be bucketloads of jelly & ice cream washed down with glasses of champagne.

  • 25 December, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Merry Xmas James and keep up the good fight against the corrupt bassas at Ibrokes and Hampdump…..and the freeloaders at Paradise to be honest…..Someone has to tell it as it is and you do it so well…..

    Some of our fellow Hoopy internet Bampots would prefer to ignore it all and cream themselves about facing whatever incarnation of Sevco which turns up on 1st February…….not for me…..No Thank You.

    Some of them are more concerned about Midnight Mass and Holy Communion on football blogs than actual fitba itself…….Celtic FC … to all…..Not just for people who like to point score about what vigil or service they go to…..Do you think the Pope is even aware of the existence of Celtic FC or Sevco ?..No ……me neither.

    Keep it real mate…..You do it so well.

  • 25 December, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    You’ve a brilliant way with words James, thanks. I can’t wait for the day this hilarious comedy show ends but there’s a part of me wants a slow ending because i’m loving this so much… Y.N.W.A.

  • 26 December, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Brilliantly put James keep up the good work
    However I suspect the SFA decision more about protecting Sevco as much as they can when between a rock and a hard place and further rule bending still lies ahead
    Celtic got out of a mess by hard graft and humility
    I don’t remember anyone saying Scottish football needs a strong Celtic when we were on our knees
    We were ridiculed endlessly by the MSM and by a club who were spending tax payers money to win 9 in a row
    The same MSM are doing everything to spread sympathy for Sevco, ridicule is well and truly off their agenda in this scenario
    Celtic did not rely on the wishful thinking that comes from a self indulgent and entitled supremacist ideology
    There was never going to be the quick fix they and the Scottish MSM, SFA etc all hoped and actually expected would just ‘happen cos we are the peepul’
    The sooner they all accept a long struggle ahead is needed they will start to reduce their chances of not becoming completely obliterated but as you have said they are stuck in this mentality and I suspect this doomsday scenario is already being discussed by the powers that be
    Will keep enjoying the entertainment for some time I think while they all try to unravel the mess they created for themselves

  • 27 December, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Watching Celtic and our race to the bottom, to meet Sevco is awful, James.

    Worst Celtic side since 1978…..easily.

    I wish the happy clappers in our midst would open their eyes.

    David Low was right…….League of Ireland standard soon at this rate……..

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