Nothing about how Gary Harkins has spent the last 24 hours surprises me even a bit.
When he made his “little joke” at the weekend there were three things that were inevitable right away; instead of reporting it straight, the media spun it as the player stirring the soup. The social media outcry from The Most Offended Peepil In The World was next. And third, it got so bad the player had to backtrack and offer his headline making apology.
It was George Orwell who said “in times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
We live in those times, times when a guy simply stating a fact can become a headline news story because, in these circumstances, the facts themselves are being routinely denied by a media that pretends not to know this.
Gary Harkins has never played against the club currently operating out of Ibrox.
That’s not a controversial declaration; it’s a simple statement of fact.
They are a NewCo, and there was a time when every newspaper and every Sevco fan group and supporters rep acknowledged that.
No-one can tell us by what monumental change in circumstances they came to believe what they now profess to; that they somehow survived … but the fiction has now hardened into some alternative reality in which they live day to day.
I am sick of watching people ostracised over this, and I myself get email after email and message after message because I call them Sevco.
That’s their name! What else am I supposed to call them?
What else was Gary Harkins to do, but be honest?
Journalists who’ve tried it have been censured by their own bosses. Players who’ve said it are subjected to the full hate of the Goon Squad. We put up with all this because of a media that won’t stand with these people and write what so many of us (everyone in the country) knows to be true.
Harkins will now be the target of the hate mob, and that only happens because the press and the governing bodies allow this lie – and that’s what it is; an outright lie – to persist, in the face of all logic and evidence.
Gary’s comments come at a time when Sevco is ever more determined to maintain the “same club” fiction, because season ticket renewals will be coming up again soon and if they’ve managed to reach the top flight their commercial department will be breaking its back to try and build some kind of Old Firm rivalry with Celtic.
This is the last thing we want, and we didn’t want it even when Rangers was still around.
One day this edifice is going to crumble, because it’s unsustainable and it’s dangerous to Scottish football.
The notion that football clubs have some kind of ethereal existence and can’t die encourages bad behaviour, debt dumping and other offences … and that’s not something the sport can afford to have on the record.
Gary Harkins should have stuck to his guns.
This isn’t a joke.
This is serious stuff, and the more people who tell the truth here the better, and the sooner Scottish football can put aside this charade.