Isn’t it amazing?
The media is finally on board the “let’s sack Stewart Regan” bus.
All it took was a 3-0 defeat at Wembley and the collapse of another international campaign.
Good reason? Not in this lifetime.
For starters, I don’t remember him being out on the park, posted missing for the crucial headers. He didn’t pick the side, organise the defence, or choose the tactics. He isn’t responsible for the horrible fact that Scotland has not produced a world class player in over 30 years. Look at other sides; almost all of them have one player of stand-out quality, a guy who could step into any club team in the world and produce magic.
Where is our next Dalglish coming from?
But that’s not Stewart Regan’s fault, and nor is he responsible for the calamity that Strachan’s tenure is fast turning into. He chose the best guy available, the guy the fans wanted and who the media clamoured for. He made what appeared, on paper, to be an excellent decision.
I won’t hold it against him that it hasn’t worked out.
I was one of the folk calling for the appointment.
The media makes me laugh at times.
They would have us all forget that they supported Gordon’s appointment. They would erase from the history books the other times when they agreed with every word that came out of Regan’s mouth and which they are now beating him with mercilessly.
The Daily Record, in one of its moments of peak irony, has an article they are calling The Trial Of Stewart Regan, and one of the things they hold up as “evidence” of his unfitness for the job was “his handling of the Rangers situation.”
And what aspects of it do they have a problem with?
The “social unrest” and Armageddon comments.
They compare his behaviour in talking down the commercial viability of the game to that of Gerald Ratner, the jewellery magnate who I mentioned here just last week.
But that’s a comparison the bloggers were making four years ago.
I wrote those exact words myself at the time.
The trouble is, the media disagreed with us and supported Regan to the hilt, on all his darkest assertions.
I’ll go you one better; Keith Jackson and other hacks, in ignorance of the evidence to the contrary, were actually arguing – as late as last year – that Armageddon did actually happen, that Scottish football had been reduced to a wasteland, to a commercial dead zone.
They were, in effect, arguing that they, and Regan, had got it spot on.
Their attitude at the time was identical to his.
It was The Record itself which said Sky was furious about the stance of the clubs and was ready to pull the plug on the TV deal.
These people think we’re absolutely thick.
The media ought to have been with us from the start, when we argued at the time that Regan and Doncaster had talked our game into the toilet. What our sport needed then was real leadership and those men didn’t provide it.
But the media was so content to defend the status quo and a club that had cheated not just Scottish football but the taxpayer for years that they would even have sacrificed the integrity of the sport to get a result that kept something calling itself Rangers in the top flight.
They have no business trying to lecture the very people they were in full agreement with on the notion that this affair was mishandled.
The Record is misrepresenting them instead, and lying about what its own position was at the time.
The press has never taken Scottish football governance seriously unless it impacted on what was happening on the pitch, where it’s the least of our problems. With all respect to the Tartan Army guys, who I love, we’ve got bigger issues than the national team’s failure to qualify for the umpteenth time.
Regan’s tenure has been a disastrous one; he will go down in history as one of the worst CEO’s the national game has ever seen.
But I repeat; that has very little do with what happened on the park.
Regan has presided over a train-wreck administration that has failed to scrutinise the bona fides of the last three chairmen at Ibrox, with appalling consequences.
He has led a regulatory board that gave Rangers a European license when they didn’t qualify for one.
They helped set up a sham “inquiry” on EBT’s and dual contracts who’s primary function wasn’t to get justice or find answers but to limit the damage to the SFA’s own President, whatever that required.
They’ve failed to respond to fan inquiries and acted like a tin pot dictatorship when called to account.
I believe, with good supporting evidence, that not only did Stewart Regan know the broad outlines of what Craig Whyte was up to but actually lent him support, advice and encouragement.
This man isn’t fit for office and he hasn’t been for at least four years.
Had the media written truthfully and factually at the time instead of supporting his most dangerous, damaging assertions and statements then the clubs would have had no choice but to run him out of town on a rail, and we might not be in a position today where many of us look to the horizon and expect to see another blinding flash of light from the direction of Sevco.
Regan’s biggest failure, even greater than all the rest combined, has been in not bomb-proofing the game for that scenario.
When it hits it is going to be epochal.
I don’t know if the credibility of our national sport will ever recover from it.
The SFA’s responsibility for the catastrophe that hit Rangers was limited but in the aftermath Regan should have led the way in putting in place reforms that would have made such a thing impossible in the future. He didn’t bother and the media didn’t push him to. That was left to us, to the fans, who’ve been ignored – even sneered at – at every stage of the proceedings, from Resolution 12 to the suggestion of implementing financial fair play.
When Sevco is wiped out by the next explosion Regan and his board will hold a share of the blame with guys like King and Green before him.
This time the SFA will own the outcome as surely as those who ran this Ibrox club into the ground, because it will have happened on Regan’s watch at a time when reforms should have been hardcoded into the system to prevent it.
The failures at grass-roots level are dreadful, of course they are.
The lack of imagination he’s shown – and the way the McLeish report was utterly ignored – is scandalous.
But I never expected blue-sky thinking from this guy in the first place; he’s a bog-standard administrator, a second rate mind, nothing more. But to fail at the most basic functions, at the administration level itself … that’s simply indefensible. That’s beyond belief.
The media’s decision to start clamouring for his head is long overdue, and I support the idea with no reluctance whatsoever.
But that doesn’t mean I am on their side of this; they are spineless guttersnipes who are trying to disavow their own part in this unfolding shambles and I’m damned if I’m going to let them get away with that without comment.
Regan deserves to be fired.
If the media had any influence in this – and that’s the joke; they don’t and they know they don’t – this would be the day he packed up his pencils. But they are late to the party, as per usual. The bloggers have been demanding the same for four years now and I’d be surprised if we were a step closer to it today than we were then.
This guy has no shame whatsoever, and to be honest if I was in his position, reading that stuff today, faced with the hypocrisy in the press rooms I don’t think I’d resign either, even if deep down I knew I was drowning in the job.
I would resist just to spite them, because they have no right to make such demands.
They have no right to claim any moral high ground.
But this guy is useless.
He’s a busted flush, and any good he brought to our game was long ago washed away in the tsunami of corrupt decision making that would have seen Sevco start life in the SPL and which led to the Five Way Agreement and Lord Nimmo Smith and a host of other infractions, omissions, fudges, obfuscations and dodgy deals.
It says everything about his time in charge that if you wanted to sum Regan’s tenure up in an image that you could do worse than to use a picture of Dave King, sitting smugly in the director’s box at Ibrox. A ground once owned by a club liquidated, on Regan’s watch, after non-payment of VAT and which is in due in the Supreme Court of appeals after being found guilty in the EBT case … now run by a man, approved by Regan and his board, who was convicted on over 80 counts of tax fraud.
You couldn’t make it up, but you don’t have to.
This is Stewart Regan’s SFA.
Oh he deserves to be fired, alright.
But not for anything that’s happened on the park.