Today as everyone’s aware, a quite deplorable, disgusting, article has appeared in The Daily Record, which goes much further than any article in a mainstream newspaper has gone before in ascribing motives to the Internet Bampots.
The writer, an online blogger who the paper lists as a “freelance journalist”, has plumbed the depths.
The paper, already a discredited gutter rag in the eyes of thousands of Scottish football fans, has stooped to a brand new, and terrible, low.
You know, I’ve been accused of many things since I started blogging on the issues facing Scottish football. I am willing to accept almost all of them as a matter of course; being up my own arse, being an attention seeker, being a semi-literate goon and a rabble rouser … all matters of opinion and they go with the territory.
But there are two things I’ll never stand for, and I’ve got no compunctions about threatening legal action over them, and even taking it if that becomes necessary.
One is being called a liar.
I may occasionally get the facts wrong, but that’s what “right of reply” is for and I’ve extended it to anyone who wants to set the record straight.
Apart from amending articles beyond count, I’ve taken my medicine when things I’ve said, such as that Scott Allan would never sign for Celtic, have blown up in my face and been proven wrong.
Being proven wrong is one thing, but I get angry about accusations that I’ve tried to deceive or mislead people.
Over and above being personally piqued, I take this stuff too seriously to knowingly allow untruths in the articles.
That kind of thing discredits all the work being done across the blogosphere and there are already too many people out there engaged in it.
It’s what allows the media to paint us all as a shameless mob who can violate “the rules” with impunity.
The other thing I object to, and won’t tolerate, is being called a bigot.
It’s absolutely and unequivocally untrue.
The allegation is libellous.
Today The Daily Record has gone out of its way to print an article that libels every single one of us, and I don’t like it and I won’t accept it.
I’ll be writing to the IPCC at the very least.
I consider that article inflammatory and rancid almost beyond belief.
The writer has tried to turn a matter that goes to the heart of football governance in this country into something provoked by religious hatred and that is as grisly an example of the idiocy of a twisted mind as I have ever had the misfortune to read.
That it was published at all is a retrograde step that shames an entire industry at a time when some people are trying to have a serious discussion on the future of the game. That publication owes every fan in Scottish football an apology for that disgraceful piece of Sevco propaganda.
Because that’s what it was; the latest in a line of articles that seeks to excuse industrial scale cheating and ludicrously equates our efforts to get to the bottom of it with witch-hunts and McCarthyism.
I mean, honest to God … do you think these people even understand what it is they are talking about?
I’ll be blunt; when I think about this series of events I equate it with an historical scandal; Watergate.
Over on Fields, I’m currently in the middle of a mammoth series of articles about how we got here, and although those articles are headlined “How Rangers Almost Destroyed Scottish Football” the main focus behind the pieces are to uncover the role of officialdom in this thing. (You can read the first two parts at the links below.)
Because, you see, the simple truth is that on a personal level I really don’t give a damn what happens to Rangers tainted titles, and I never really have. They can keep them or lose them, but the official record won’t be the final word on this.
The history books can record them or not, because as one excellent piece on Hail Hail Media said this morning they will forever have an asterix beside them come what may.
I don’t agree with everything in that article, but on that end point I get it, completely.
We all know what actually happened here, and with articles and books and blogs without end letting the world know too the “historical record” will always have a counterpoint … the truth.
But whilst I have no emotional investment in seeing those titles stricken from the record, I am offended all the same.
Because to leave them there means that Scottish football is corrupt to its very core, and that is what drives many of us on.
This ceased, long ago, to be a “Rangers issue” if, in fact, it ever really was.
I’m a huge fan of cool television shows, and I have recommended loads of them to family and friends. I’ve sold a few of them on The Walking Dead over the last couple of years by telling them to forget the zombie angle; the dead themselves are incidental.
The story is about a group of people who survive an apocalyptic event, and how they interact with each other and the world in the lawless, dangerous aftermath.
That’s how I feel about Rangers role in all this; the club itself is incidental to the real issue here.
Do I think another club would have been treated differently? Of course I do, but that only enhances the need for us to get to the bottom of this.
What that club did was abysmal. Any other club would have been punished for it, severely, and possibly even fatally.
The real issue is that they weren’t.
But that isn’t Rangers’ fault.
Had our governing bodies been honest and put sporting integrity at the forefront of their actions this whole thing would have been resolved in 2012.
An entire construct of lies and deceptions was erected instead, foremost amongst them the Survival Myth – that Rangers and Sevco are the same club – and the Victim Myth – that it was Rangers/Sevco who were most harshly treated here.
As others have said before me, what happened to Rangers were not punishments. They were consequences. The consequences of administration and then liquidation.
There was no “demotion” or relegation.
There was no conspiracy to kick them out of the league structure.
Rangers was obliterated.
A new club was formed.
That club started at the bottom of the league structure like all new clubs do.
Most rational people have no difficulty understanding that. The newspapers were united in that view at the time, whatever they might say right now.
But rules were bent, and even broken, by the SFA and the SPL in order to facilitate the NewCo’s path into football.
When those bodies tried to force this club into the top flight that was rightly resisted.
When they tried to shoehorn it into the second tier that, too, was fought.
Ten years of cheating over EBT’s was allowed to go virtually unpunished, save for a small fine ridiculously levied on the NewCo, who had nothing to do with it, and which is still unpaid.
It was those running the game who committed the graver offences here, by ignoring blatant malfeasance, and then by allowing men like Whyte, like Green, like King to play a prominent role at one of our clubs in the first place.
Neil Doncaster should have been gone three years ago.
Stewart Regan should never have been allowed to keep his job after talk of “social unrest” and Armageddon.
These two men virtually destroyed Scottish football as a commercially viable endeavour with their summer of threats and talking down of the sport.
Campbell Ogilvie, implicated in things so serious he must regret that he was never able to get on the greasy pole at FIFA, was allowed to stay in post far beyond the point where an honourable man with the good of the game at heart would have walked away from it all.
I get sick of saying this; these are the issues that really matter here.
It’s Scottish football’s governance, or lack thereof, that is the real scandal.
This fight is with the governing bodies, who had a duty to treat Rangers like any other club and have consistently failed to do so.
This is Watergate, transposed to our national sport.
When you look what happened to Nixon, the Watergate burglary itself is incidental.
It was the catalyst, but the bigger scandal came later.
Nixon wasn’t brought down by that crime.
He had no knowledge of it and played no part in it. But because those involved were working for him, and had committed other crimes with his knowledge and connivance, he orchestrated a monumental cover-up from the Oval Office itself.
The cover-up is what ended his career and sent over 100 members of his administration to jail.
I understand why Sevco’s media toadies want to blow smoke here.
The natural consequence of a wholly impartial inquiry would be to tear up the record books and strip from Rangers those titles and trophies that were won by financial doping and a tax scam.
Everything they’ve written in the last week has been a smokescreen, from acid-trip Alice in Wonderland talk of clubs having to pay retroactive win bonuses to their players if titles are stripped (quite how this works the writer never bothered to explain) to Richard Gough’s absolutely bonkers hypothetical guff about “what if Henrik Larsson had had an EBT?” to this disgraceful and bitter piece today … and in every single one of them what emerges most is the complete lack of an opposing argument that addresses any of the real issues.
Thus is the weakness of their position revealed.
They claim not to know the difference between what goes on at clubs like Manchester City and what the club we called Rangers got away with for decades.
“Isn’t it financial doping?” they ask, and they know the answer is yes, but that’s not the point.
The real answer is simple enough. The tax-payer ultimately paid for Rangers’ successes, via the eventual nationalisation of the bank that initially funded them and then with the multi-million pound scam that last week wound up with a guilty verdict in a tax court.
Then there are the with-held contracts and the years of deception that followed.
There’s the stuff that was with-held from Lord Nimmo Smith and his inquiry.
And this goes on and on and on, through Murray, to Whyte, into Green and now to King.
That makes this a scandal beyond football’s borders, but football itself can’t be seen to condone, or allow, that sort of behaviour, or the sport becomes an ungovernable joke, reduced to something not unlike professional wrestling; fake, pre-determined, where anything goes.
That’s why, to use a favoured expression of theirs, there’ll be no “walking away”; there’ll be no “moving on”; there’ll be no “putting it behind us.”
And for damned sure, there’ll be no sitting around the campfire, drinking a wee toast to peace on Earth and goodwill towards men with the kind of people who would make such an “offer” under threat, via slanderous nonsense, who’ve called me a bigot, who talk the talk but without humility, without regret and without an apology or even an acknowledgement of guilt of any kind.
In short, Moody, you and the paper can ram it where the sun don’t shine.
(For anyone interested in this whole sordid affair, check out the following two pieces over on On Fields of Green, and share them far and wide, the better that others can understand the full scale of this outrageous scandal and who was involved in it.