There’s a moment in The Simpson’s Movie where the residents of Springfield have been nagged to clean up their town, and they are all down at the lake fishing out the rubbish, when Fat Tony and his gang come along with something wrapped in a sheet, tied in ropes.
It looks suspicious.
They’re going to throw it into the water, but Chief Wiggum spots them and tells them they’re no longer allowed to throw their stuff in there.
“Fine,” Fat Tony says, “I will put my yard trimmings in a car compacter.”
As they are dragging it away, one of Wiggum’s policemen offers a thought. “Uh, chief, I think there was a dead body in there …”
Wiggum replies, “I thought that too, until he said yard trimmings. You gotta learn to listen, Lou.”
Why did I think of Sevco Rangers fans watching that?
I’ll tell you why in a moment. For now let’s just ponder on the following; Celtic marched into the next round of the Champions League this week. Sevco fans were just marching. Again. Protesting. Again. Moaning. Again. In the meantime, their glorious leaders are putting in place plans to have a “fans board”, basically a talking shop, a distraction, whilst their club is stripped like a car for spare parts.
I understand the need Sevco fans feel for an off-field distraction. Their pre-season tour of Canada and America has been somewhat chaotic and shambolic, scraping narrow wins over third and fourth tier teams and actually losing to one of them. In the meantime, Celtic is striding forward confidently onto the European stage, with Poland up next.
I ask you though, is planning a march on Celtic Park for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games anything other than a lunatic’s fantasy? The ceremony itself went off without a hitch so I am assuming the Wail of Blue or the Blue Wail or whatever the Hell they were calling it was an unqualified non-event. I’ve also been reading, with high levels of amusement, a lot of ranting on the opening ceremony itself, with some people determined to see anti-Rangers bias or the promotion of Celticness everywhere they look.
Susan Boyle: Tim halfwit. Only reason she was there.
Rod Stewart. Crap Tim singer. The chance to play on the pitch at Celtic Park … Only reason he turned up.
James McAvoy. Annoying Tim actor who slagged Mason’s and cops in Filth and was there to promote more refugees coming here.
Gordon Matheson. Tim who ended his speech with an IRA slogan. (I swear, this is what they are saying).
Alex Salmond. Wants to break up the union. Enough said.
Green and white fireworks. WTF?
And on and on and on it goes. It is sad and pathetic, like those who threw paint over the statues of the game’s mascot. Where is their pride in their city and their country? Hate really is their default position, isn’t it?
What’s is the traditional nickname for Glasgow? The Dear Green Place, right? So when our fans sing Glasgow’s Green and White they aren’t kidding. My advice to the haters? Suck it up and live with it.
I’ve written at length on the reasons why the “Victim Myth” is a load of nonsense. The idea of Sevco fans marching on Celtic Park in protest was clearly the brainchild of demented people completely lacking any connection with reality at all. The truth of what happened to Rangers is so self-evident Chief Wiggum himself would have spotted it a mile away.
Listen to the way some of them talk about it. They are about as convincing – and their case about as strong – as Fat Tony and his yard trimmings.
There was no secret about what Craig Whyte was, any more than there was any secret about what Charles Green was all about. All those guys had to do were mouth slogans about enemies outside the club and they were allowed to do whatever they wanted inside it.
We all know what was inside Fat Tony’s sheet, because it was shaped like a body and had feet sticking out the other end, and more than that, we know what Fat Tony is all about. He’s the guy who was selling rats milk to kids in an earlier episode, and he was the guy who tried to have Mayor Quimby assassinated. Myself and some other guys have just published Issue 1 of our true crime magazine Goodfellas & Faces, and Fat Tony is the kind of guy we would consider putting on our cover!
Neither Whyte not Green made any more pretense about what they were than Fat Tony does about his own business activities.
Craig Whyte had a string of failed businesses behind him, as well as court cases and a rep for dodgy dealing. It wasn’t a secret. But their fans convinced themselves, somehow, that he was what the Daily Record said he was … a man with “off the radar wealth.” When we were telling them it was actually more like “under the radar wealth” we were sneered at and called fools. We were told our criticism was based on fear … and how we laughed.
Charles Green made even less effort to disguise his intentions. He explicitly told the fans about having “big Yorkshire hands for grabbing money.” His own string of failed businesses, his time at Sheffield United, the people he brought into the club, his habit of talking overblown guff or simply making it up as he went along, his casual racism, his lack of any nuance or sign of scruples, even the words of John Brown … all of it was forgotten the minute he claimed “Rangersitus” and said the decision not to let them into the top flight was “motivated by bigotry.”
“Yeah, I thought so as well, until he said Rangersitus and accused the SPL of being haters. You really have to learn to listen …” was the answer we got back from them. The fools. The poor deluded fools.
If Craig Whyte really did destroy Rangers (and I dispute that, and always have) he was only able to do it because their fans weren’t paying attention. There was no lack of information out there about the kind of man he was, and I no longer think they were just too dumb to see it.
This was not Chief Wiggum ignorance, born of stupidity.
It was willful ignorance, born of something much darker. They didn’t like the messengers so they shot down the message. They hated the idea that we might be right, so they closed their ears and their eyes and they let Rangers drift into oblivion.
I write about this so much because I am endlessly fascinated by it. I cannot fathom how it happened, or why they let it happen and I can’t shake the idea that they made a conscious choice to hate us more than they loved their own club, because otherwise they would have had plenty of time to act, although I’m at something of a loss to work out quite what they could have done.
Their club is drifting towards another dark place and you can see that clearly if you have even the most basic understanding of maths. There isn’t enough money in the kitty to see them through the season, and with the support bitterly divided, with some of them determined to oust the current board, there seems little chance of a successful share issue saving them.
They are spiraling down to The Second Death … and they are living in denial.
A host of well-informed people are telling them they are in trouble, but they would rather believe that what’s in the bag is yard trimmings than confront the possibility that it might contain a corpse. It does contain a corpse, that of their old club. The next body bag is already being prepared for the one they are following right now.
In the meantime, some of them are marching on Celtic Park and threatening legal action against HMRC for daring to try and collect taxes.
You know, they once got a lot of mileage out of the notion that our supporters were paranoid. Indeed, paranoia has long been labelled “the Irish disease”, although in answer to that I’d say that historically the Irish have had a lot to be paranoid about.
Are Sevco Rangers fans comfortable with that label, and those connotations? I think they must be, because they are certainly the paranoid ones now.
In their wee world, the Unseen Fenian Hand is ever busy. If it’s not organising state aid to Celtic, in a conspiracy involving the three Westminster parties, the SNP, the Greater Glasgow Health Board, the EU Competition Commissioner and the executives at the Co-Operative Bank it is holding the strings in a separate scheme to bring down their club. This wide-ranging scenario involves Lloyds Bank, HMRC, the BBC, the SPL and the SFA. Apparently, even the decision to give Celtic Park the opening ceremony in the Commonwealth Games (and for all we know, the decision to award those games to Glasgow itself) forms part of this multi-thread scam, so you can throw their Executive Committee into the mix, so Prince Edward is implicated too, and by extension surely his mother? HMRC is, of course, her own government agency …
We know this is absolutely barking, of course, but I’ve always wanted to pose a question to those who actually believe in it, and I’ll put it to them now:
If all this is true, if the Unseen Fenian Hand really is influencing all these institutions, based on a hatred of Rangers and/or a love of Celtic … do you really think you stand a chance of getting the “justice” you crave? If we really are this powerful, surely the sensible thing to do is … live with it, and don’t do anything that further pisses us off.
You are a fly, irritating a lion. All you are is a provincial Scottish football club that’s trying to claw its way into the top flight whereas we sit at the centre of all power. Don’t you think you’re spectacularly over-matched here? Why not just accept that and stop picking fights you can’t possibly win? How many more lessons do you need in just who’s in charge?
In The Simpson’s Movie, there’s another funny moment, shortly after Fat Tony drags his bundle of yard trimmings up the hill. The lake has been cleaned out, and a barrier of concrete K-Rails has been erected all around it to stop trash being dumped in the water. This only goes up to neck height, but Mayor Quimby, relying on the habit some people have of mistaking the appearance of action with actual deeds, has nevertheless decided to provide a demonstration of how well this barrier works.
With a row in suits in attendance, he asks Cletus, the village idiot, to throw something in the lake. Cletus, holding a dead animal, walks up and into the K-Rail. He tries again, with the same result, bumping against the concrete. He turns and holds out his hands.
“I can’t,” he says. “I simply can’t.”
Quimby turns to the suits and they all nod their approval, and tell him how well it works.
I trust I don’t have to labour the point or how it fits into the notion of a “fan’s board” at Sevco Rangers.
One suspects Cletus might well be the smartest guy in the room.
(This website needs your support to keep going. You can help us, if you like what we do, by making a donation, at the top or the bottom of your screen, depending on the smart gadget you’re using. Alternatively, if you like to read, you should check out the new magazine, Goodfellas & Faces, available in e-reader form on Kindle, or in a sexier, magazine format, at Magzter and at Magcloud.)