Do you remember the days when the custodians of Ibrox prided themselves on being dignified?
They were so into the image that Murray once made the ludicrous statement that they were “Scotland’s second biggest institution after the church.”
Such preening was a sign of how seriously this club took itself, and how it saw its place in the world.
They thought they were something special, and they acted that way. They conducted their affairs with an aloof arrogance that could be infuriating, but you could not deny that it conveyed a certain gravitas. As a consequence, the world took them seriously too.
What can you say after the last few months?
The club has no self respect anymore. Its directors conduct their affairs in the most ghastly, gutter fashion. Its fans don’t take the high road, calling out the board as wreckers in a civilised way. They act like mindless cretins, booing, jeering, fighting with one another and opposition supporters and even their official spokesmen talk about “making people understand what Rangers means” like third-rate gangsters.
The club is surrounded by chaos, and into the chaos the clowns come swanning.
Take their recent AGM, which was held in a rent-it-for-the-weekend gazebo that looked like it came from a DIY store.
As if the way it looked wasn’t enough, they kept it far enough away from the shareholders that you could have got a high school marching band in the gap, to perform The Billy Boys before the show started.
Not many companies have to think about the logistics of digging a moat before they hold a meeting … but Sevco are not just any company.
The behaviour of the chairman, in front of what was already a hostile crowd, was like watching an end-of-the-pier comedian from the 80’s appearing in front of a women’s liberation group and letting loose a string of sexist jokes regardless, ignoring the heckling and simply doing it the way he always had.
It was admirable in a sense, but it also made you want to bury your face in your hands so you didn’t have to watch anymore.
Everything that happens at Ibrox right now is slightly off kilter, and it’s been that way for a while now.
But yesterday and today have taken the cake, with Dave King defending transparency and fiscal probity, the return of Charles Green and his bedside interview, followed by the public war of words between the Easdale’s and Paul Murray, which has well and truly taken Sevco’s dirty sheets and hung them up for the world to see.
All the parties involved seem impervious to the way the rest of the world views them right now, and even if they suddenly attained self awareness you get the distinct impression that they wouldn’t be particularly bothered.
This is a civil war, and a civil war is the dirtiest kind of war, where any lofty ideals are swiftly dropped into the gutter and all the parties involved sink into a swamp of settling old debts and grudges, where every petty jealousy leads to bloodletting.
This club is nothing but a three ring circus.
A lot of Sevco fans have accused their counterparts in the Celtic support of being “obsessed.”
You hear them say things like “it’s all about the Rangers”, as if the attention of the world is something in which they should have inordinate pride.
Yesterday we watched a former owner – one who was lauded, and hailed as a saviour, on the back of creating enemies they couldn’t afford – delivering a delusional rant from a hospital bed, adding another element to the unreality of a truly bizarre state of affairs.
The attention the world pays to Sevco is no longer the respectful kind doled out to a club which once saw it as an entitlement.
It is the rapt fascination of a crowd at a freak show, and this particularly variant on that ancient entertainment has it all.
Since time immemorial people have been laying down their silver coins to watch as the Bear Lady and the Incredible Shrinking Boy are ushered onto the stage, and at every crash site or accident black spot you can see a bunch of folks who’s eyes track the bloodtrails.
It’s human nature. It’s ugly, and awful, but it doesn’t make Sevco special.
The freak show always draws a crowd, and this one is more … freakish … than any we’ve seen in these parts for a long, long time.
The days of dignity are over. The circus goes on.
Tickets, as ever, come with free ice cream and jelly.