Posted on Monday, 28th May 2012 by Justshatered
In one of my last posts I talked about my love of films.
Another classic, although not in black and white, is ‘The Sting’. It is a story about a group of con men who come together to run a ‘long con’ over a few weeks against a ‘mark’ or target. Within this film each segment is introduced by a card with legends like;
The Hook – where the mark is given a reason to want to get even with the lead con man who is masquerading as a bookmaker.
The Tale – where the mark is given information from a second con man, known as the inside man, on how he can bring down the lead con man.
The Setup – a derelict room is turned into a make believe functioning Bookmakers where the mark is taken and made to believe he is in the real thing.
The Sting – where the mark is conned out of placing a massive bet on a horse which loses.
It is a brief summary of an incredible film that has lots of other plot twists and turns. It is also helped by the fact that Paul Newman and Robert Redford are outstanding in the lead roles with assistance from Robert Shaw.
I now firmly believe that we are watching the footballing equivalent of ‘The Sting’ unfold before our very eyes. The Scottish footballing public are the collective mark. The Tale is that, without Rangers, the entire edifice of Scottish football will collapse.
The Setup is where the rules, seemingly for all, are changed ad hoc or just simply ignored.
The Sting where we are all led down the garden path into a new club forming and allowed straight into the top flight of Scottish football. The two contracts investigation is stalled until the new club is safely in the SPL then allowed to run its course against a company that no longer exists and against who no sanctions can be applied.
I’ve suspected for some time that Duff and Phelps were the inside men but we are truly spoilt for choice with regards to who is the ‘lead con’. Is it David Murray, Craig Whyte, Neil Doncaster or Stewart Regan?
The last two gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, instead of governing our national sport have allowed their individual organisations to be stalled first by Craig Whyte and secondly Duff and Phelps. How the SPL can ask for documentation from a member club regarding registrations and still be waiting six weeks later is at least an embarrassment, perhaps negligence or at the worse end of the spectrum a connivance in a process to allow the said club to finish the league without being thrown out for corruption and thus facilitating the new club to be formed.
To me it is inconceivable that the SPL and the SFA, who lets not forget operate out of the same building, have never had an informal discussion at the water tank or café.
When the curtain is drawn aside by a TV documentary which shows the very evidence that SPL has been waiting six weeks to receive and no comment is made the following day then questions should be asked.
Now obviously these questions will not be asked from any of our MSM who all seem to have gone on holiday to Mars at the same time. Neither will they be asked by the politicians who were so quick to jump on the ‘Rangers must be saved’ bandwagon.
All you really need to have is a healthy cynicism or an enquiring mind to see what the plan has been all along. Duff and Phelps were brought in knowing that this club was finished. This would have become clear after only a few days when they would have found out that everything from catering to merchandising had already been sold off for years to come.
To get the club through to the end of the season they had an immediate choice. Cancel season tickets and force the loyal fans to pay again to watch the remaining home games or publicly blackmail the players into taking huge pay cuts. The pay cuts were a no brainer because the players are not going to be there next season anyway and why would you want to alienate the loyal fans who are going to be your main source of income for the next three years.
When this decision was made and the players forced to take a public hosing then the first part of the plan was in place and they could make it through to the end of the season financially. They did not count on the two contracts issue and having to stall the SPL on their investigation.
Luckily Neil Doncaster is in charge! Listening to him talk you wonder if this man knows if it is New York or New Year. I mean how much does he really have to do in his job?
He still seems incapable of going to SKY/ESPN and asking them how much they will pay to show a league without Rangers.
If he cannot do this instead of spreading scare stories then he should resign.
He is also incapable of putting time limits to anything regarding the ongoing investigation. As soon as the allegations were made a letter should have went to Rangers, and a public statement made, laying out a timeframe for documentation to be received, another independent board convened, and a hearing date set. Then, if Rangers failed to meet this deadline, then more serious charges of obstruction and bringing the game into disrepute should have been threatened.
This should all have been done in a month but because this did not suit his obvious agenda then the investigation was allowed to drift like the Marie Celeste.
Meanwhile across the Hampden corridor Stewart Reagan, who is actually responsible for the governance of our sport, sits and fiddles while Rome burns. What exactly he is fiddling with is anybody’s guess. The SPL is a money making organisation but the SFA is the moral arbitrator of our sport. For him to sit there and do nothing as this issue escalates into a crisis that threatens even the national team is inconceivable.
For there to be no public announcements regarding the SFA’s own rules of player registration let alone a licence to play football is actually quite scary.
The Sting is well and truly on, but I tell you now, there are large swathes of the Scottish footballing public who will not be conned.
For fans of any other club who manage to read this and who have not renewed season tickets, like me, under protest at what is being proposed. Hold firm. If we all focus on the thing that unites us, shout it with one voice, and enough of us do it, then we will win and make a long term difference for the ultimate good of our game.
It is our game and we want our ball back.