You’ll probably have heard by now about Stuart McCall’s fascinating re-writing of history today and his assertion that Sevco “saved a lot of smaller clubs” from financial catastrophe when “punishment” saw them put in the bottom tier of Scottish football.
McCall needs educating on so many fronts if he actually believes that, not that he does. I’ve heard dozens of people make the same point and if I’m being honest I’m not sure that a single one of them actually means it. Deep down, they all know what actually happened.
Sevco’s “journey” through the ranks has so many myths and outright falsehoods attached to it that it annoys you to consider them all the way through. But the one that is the most insidious and dangerous is this notion that it was done as some kind of punishment.
Let’s be blunt; they deserved to be punished. Ten years of cheating, the act of going through many a season trading whilst insolvent, the nature of what Whyte was getting up to … there were multiple very good, very valid, reasons for disciplining them.
But none of that happened.
The disciplinary procedures which were later opened against Sevco were grossly unfair; that club had nothing whatsoever to do with any of the sins of Rangers. Rangers itself could have been punished in historical terms – by title stripping amongst other things – but they never actually were. Sevco got what amounted to a clean slate, save for a couple of minor fines.
Aside from that, what happened to them was perfectly fair and valid; they started at the bottom, where all new clubs start.
How many of those clubs referred to them as New Rangers or something similar before a vote was taken? Go back and look at the official statements; nearly all of them did.
There was, once, some acceptance of what really happened here … and that persisted until the day Charles Green stood on the turf before their first match and birthed the Victim Lie. His claim to have “purchased the history” – which some still think proves they survived but actually offers us the clearest defining proof that they didn’t; what was the point of purchasing something for an entity which already claimed to own it? – put it on steroids.
This rewriting of history is constant, and as I said a week ago it is insulting to the people who were left holding IOU’s that were, in effect, worthless pieces of paper when Rangers crashed. That people like McCall think it would have been somehow acceptable to allow Sevco to carry on in their place, when the trail of destruction they left behind was so vast, so enormous, is indicative of the kind of thinking that has kept Scottish football in the dark ages.
He also said that Sevco fans “saved” a bunch of lower league clubs and that Motherwell lost £250,000 because there was no Rangers in the league; this is typical garbage. First, those clubs were used to living within their means and survived just fine before Sevco graced them with their presence and they’ve been surviving since.
The idea that Motherwell lost money is risible. They made up for it in enhanced payments due to their increased league position and from the benefits of playing in Europe. It is shocking to see the reticence of clubs when it comes to pushing for financial fair play these days; can it really be that they are willing to accept two – in some cases one – Sevco gate per season in exchange for a clean game and the chance to play European football themselves?
I know McCall isn’t alone in believing this stuff; I know some of the directors believe this garbage too. I know many of them would have voted for Sevco’s inclusion in the top flight without the “interference” – all of it unwanted – of their supporters in the debate. For all the events of 2012 are frowned upon and critiqued by a shameless media and by clowns like McCall, it remains a wonderful period, when fans found their voices and used them.
I understand why some people might not have liked that; this really is a game that has been run and controlled and influenced by an elite few who thought of the paying customers as little more than mugs, who would swallow anything. They were wrong.