When I heard that Chris Graham had been appointed to the Sevco Rangers board, I almost bust a gut laughing. I heard it via email, a guy who simply posted a long line of LOL’s … and although I read the statement straight from the Stock Exchange I was convinced I was being had somehow.
This appointment was staggering in its crassness and stupidity. It does nothing to build relationships with other clubs, as Paul Murray claims he wants to. It appoints to the board a guy who actually made an “enemies list” including journalists, managers, prominent fans and even directors.
Furthermore, it opened wide divides across the Sevco support, as well as putting the club in the position of having to defend some pretty indefensible behaviour.
It took a mere 48 hours to unravel. Wow.
It should never have happened in the first place. It’s either a stunning failure of due diligence – and it makes you wonder; if they can get the small stuff like this wrong, what in God’s name are they missing in more important areas? – or it’s a two finger salute to a whole lot of people. There’s nothing quite like building bridges the Sevco way.
Either way, if I were a moderate Sevco fan I’d be worried about what this portends for the future.
Chris Graham has a long history of offensive tweets. That, in itself, is his own business and it’s the club’s business. If they want to appoint a guy like this to the board, a guy who alienates even sections of their own support, then fair play to them … but their public image, already shattered, will continue to reek as a result of it.
It’s equally clear that King is appealing to the lunatic fringe. Pictures of the guests in the directors box the other night show a parade of familiar names including notorious thug and bigot David Leggat, the disgraced former journalist and blogger.
King’s decision to favour the guys who’s boycott saw the club need to run into the willing embrace of Mike Ashley is a futher divisive move, and favouring the Rangers Trust over Rangers First is a political statement hinting at King’s disdain (already on the record) for fan ownership .. in contravention of what he told many of the supporters during his campaign.
But this current scandal takes the cake. It is a PR catastrophe.
There cannot be another football club in Britain where an under-fire director gets online statements of support – including an editorial – from the BNP and the EDL. That’s what we’re talking about here, that’s where we are on the embarrassment scale.
That’s how far from the mainstream they’ve strayed.
Frankly, his position is untenable, and it’s only a matter of time before he goes. If he cares about the club as much as he claims to he will hand in his brown brogues and his blazer and walk before this gets ugly, and it will get ugly because there’s a hell of a lot more stuff floating about out there and it’s not only Celtic fans who might want to embarrass him.
It’s bad enough when there’s damaging stuff in the hands of your opponents.
It’s worse, far worse, when it’s in the hands of your rivals for influence.
He can’t survive this, and he has to know it.
Furthermore, his own opinions on what should happen to directors who screw up in this way are pretty damning on their own.
When Charles Green referred to Imran Ahmed as his “little Paki friend” it was but one avenue down which Chris Graham decided to attack him in a long and detailed attack on The Rangers Standard.
Those who are defending Graham today on the issue of context would do well to consider that he accused Green of using “racist language” but not actually being a racist. He accepted the context in which the comments were made.
Nevertheless, he said, and quite rightly “Whether he is or not is irrelevant. Nobody associated with Rangers should be using that type of language.” I couldn’t agree more. Nobody associated with Scottish football should.
Graham then went on to suggest what might await Green should he not be a big boy and accept responsibility for his remarks.
“If a director of one of Europe’s elite clubs had made such a comment it is my firm belief they would have been sacked or forced to resign. Should Rangers be any different?”
Once again, there are few people out there who would disagree with that. Graham is a guy who, on occasion, has talked a whole lot of sense, and that statement was but one such instance.
Is it wrong for Scottish football observers to expect that he practices what he’s preaching?
Furthermore, isn’t there a legitimate case to say those remarks bring Scottish football into disrepute and should be the subject of an SFA investigation? Are they really going to tell us that a guy who holds those kind of views – as well as myriad others, relating to rival clubs and even officials at those clubs, including a board member of the SFA – is a “fit and proper person”?
I’m afraid the issues arising from this appointment don’t stop and start with one tweet.
What it says about Graham as a person, I neither know nor care.
What it says about the people who appointed him might be very important for us all.
This was a bomb just waiting to go off. The speed surprises me, but not the actual fact of it.
Sevco continues to entertain in ways that are had to believe.
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