When I started On Fields of Green I thought we’d be able to get past the situation at Rangers and its various incarnations. I really did.
I knew it wouldn’t happen at once, of course. There were too many unresolved issues at the time.
We had the EBT case to come, and the Big Tax Case verdict, but I really did think we’d be able to move on and talk about the game and the other matters surrounding it.
I was wrong.
Who knew Charles “Chuckles” Green would come along and give us more material than a single website could ever have dealt with?
Today, Green is resigning. This appears to confirm everything we heard about, talked about, and wrote about in the numerous other articles we’ve written for this site. We warned Rangers fans not to trust this guy last year, when the share issue was mooted. We wrote that there were links between Green and Craig Whyte. We believed the SFA had not done its due diligence to a standard which could give us, and them, the confidence to grant Rangers Newco a license, and we predicted that another calamity at the heart of Ibrox would plunge our game back into crisis.
So it has all proved. Today is a tragedy for the Rangers supporters who wanted to believe and, in good faith, backed their club. We told you it was a mistake, but it was a mistake some of you made because you love your football team. That is easy to understand, and the sympathy we feel we feel for you and those like you, even as we condemn those who could have done the digging for you, and fought your corner better, and chose to be consumed by hate and bought into Green because he seemed to be “fighting your corner.”
In truth, he was making enemies you couldn’t afford to have, he was dragging the reputation of your club into the gutter and he was making it a laughing stock around the world. His bizarre statements had gotten to the point where even I was tiring of writing about them, and with every crazy assertion, and the media coverage he received, some of it bordering on hero worship and fanboy fawning, he only grew more bombastic. It was a matter of time before his ego, and his belief that he could do and say anything he liked, became a major issue, and one which got him, and your club, into serious, serious trouble. And it did.
I never believed the Charles Green era at Ibrox was destined to last, any more than I thought the Craig Whyte era would. Neither man gave off the impression of being concerned with the long-term, and neither man inspired confidence that he could go the distance. When the press finally does some real digging on Green – inevitable, one would think, considering what has happened and what is about to happen – I am certain you will understand much more about why we were so convinced, so early, that his man was leading Rangers to disaster.
His stepping down as CEO will send the share price into free-fall. That he and the Rangers board knows this full-well is a clear indicator of how serious things are behind the scenes. The damage which will be done to the club by his resignation is minor compared to the damage that’s already been inflicted on it … the details of which will begin to emerge more fully over the next week or two. That much seems certain. The problems will not follow him out the door.
A year ago, with the club facing liquidation, with their entry to SFL 3 still in front of them, with the playing squad still largely intact, a lot of supporters, largely ignorant of the calamities still to come, believed the club was out of the woods and the worst was over. It hadn’t even started yet. This year, Rangers fans cannot afford to sigh with relief as Green departs. This is not the end of a damaging and dangerous episode, but the beginning of one.
On Fields of Green will take a more in-depth look at Green’s time at Ibrox soon, but for now we say farewell to one of the most controversial figures in the history of the game. He has undoubtedly been damaging to the reputation, and prospects, of Scottish football, but he has damaged the club he took over far more.
The summer months might be nearly upon us … but if you’ll let me paraphrase a well known TV show for a moment, over at Ibrox “Winter is Coming.”
Batten down the hatches. It’s going to be a long, cold, dark time for Rangers fans.