Sevco fans hate almost everyone in the mainstream media.
I don’t disagree with them on that, but I think their hatred is based on the daftest premise imaginable; they appear to believe the media is biased against them. In fact, I would stipulate that the media goes out of its way to defend their club and its leadership to a degree that is almost unbelievable.
They should hate them for that because when the club is lying to them – as it frequently does – it more often than not uses its stooges in the media to do it. The media has been feeding them a bunch of bull for years now, and one of the unhealthiest parts of that diet is this idea that they “are Rangers” and therefore “must be challenging Celtic.”
It is lunacy. These people are damaging the club with this constant comparison, and with trying to square the circle. It’s impossible. Even if Sevco and Rangers were the same club, the financial underpinning of it was David Murray’s relationship with the Bank of Scotland. The moment that came to an end they were on a slippery slope.
2012 changed everything. Forever. The administration and liquidation of Rangers was a Year Zero moment for them; it astounds me that more of them have yet to grasp that simple fact. The longer they resist it, the longer they try to maintain the fiction, the more it’s going to hurt; it really is as simple as that. They can continue to believe in fantasy football solutions to their problems or they can deal with them here in the real world.
Eventually, they will have to.
They’re simply putting it off, pain and all, and there will be pain anyway only much, much more of it and the shattering of a lot of illusions in between.
One of the guys their fans hate the most is big Chris Sutton; it was would be strange if this wasn’t the case. He played for us, he scored goals against them and he loved every second of it. He has a legit claim to being a modern Celtic legend. I loved him in the Hoops.
I also like him as a journalist.
He is a mouthy, opinionated self-promoting sod, but you know what? It’s part of his charm.
He’s also independent, beholden to no-one and doesn’t respect the hacks at all.
He is one of the only people in the profession which Derek Johnstone has debased to call him out on that, and to basically categorise him as a nothing but an empty suit and a mouthpiece for the club. Sevco fans can’t think someone like Johnstone is serving their interests; he was a cheerleader for Whyte, for Green and others long after it was fashionable. He is an idiot.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to point stuff out to you; Sevco fans should thank Sutton for stuff like this, he tells them more truth than any of their so-called pals in the press. He gives it to them straight, and he was equally forthright in his opinions about Ronny Deila and the Celtic’s board’s lack of ambition in recent years. He is not afraid of offending people, and that gives him the freedom to go where the media normally won’t.
I respect that enormously, even when I disagree with him.
Today he’s delivering some home truths to their club and they would do well to listen instead of ignoring it and ascribing a negative motive to it. There is no support on this island so in need of being forced to face hard facts. There is no support which so wraps itself in the cerements of a past that isn’t coming back. They do believe they will bring in a top coach, with a big name, on a huge salary and that he will have a transfer warchest.
Their club has pushed this fantasy and the media has encouraged it; hacks like Johnstone take it as almost an article of faith that this is what the summer holds. It isn’t. They are in for the disappointment of all time. They are going to be shocked.
Sutton is telling them to stop daydreaming and start accepting the world as it is, not clinging to the way they want it to be. If they listen to him they will be well prepared for the bad news when it comes, the realisation that their club is not a big draw, that even if it was it’s not got the money to take advantage of that fact. That the new boss, when he comes in, will be a strict second-rater, absolutely lacking that “wow factor” they were promised.
Hey, Celtic fans have experience of this. They laughed at us when we experienced the whiplash of thinking someone big was coming to manage us in 1996 only for Wim Jansen to be unveiled. He won us a title; we got lucky, as it happens. When Jo Venglos was unveiled the following year the troops were ready to revolt. Those were more imaginative appointments – and much better ones –than the media acknowledged then or now, but they weren’t box office.
Ronny’s appointment shocked some. Neil Lennon getting the gig still shocks me, because after Martin and Gordon Strachan I thought we had more balls and ambition than to do something like that. Peter Lawwell is very lucky it didn’t end in disaster.
In those four cases, we had no excuses. We possessed the ability and the money to go out and get in someone with more of a name, though that doesn’t necessarily translate into someone better; for all Brendan took some flak in England for his time at Liverpool, he wanted to play the game the correct way and his overall approach to it convinced me he was the outstanding candidate from the day Ronny announced that he was leaving. I never had the slightest doubt that Brendan’s appointment would be a game-changer, even if the speed of the transformation has astounded me like most other people. I thought then, and now, that he’s an A List boss.
Sevco is miles from being able to attract one of those guys, and I would dispute that the likes of Pardew are in that category anyway. De Boer might be. He was a huge success at Ajax, but that’s a club that has produced world beating teams in its history and has flirted with greatness on and off at intervals ever since; he had a majorly talented team there and added value to it with big money transfer deals. Is he a top boss? Time will tell, he has the tools for it and could go on to a majorly good career. A stint at Ibrox would risk derailing it completely, which is just one of the many reasons why I think his agent was simply being polite the other day.
De Boer wouldn’t touch that job with a sixty foot pole.
Sutton is right to highlight these things, but the reaction of their fans has been predictably vile and hate-filled.
They simply do not want to hear this stuff at all, from anybody, and Sutton most of all. But as Brendan did yesterday, big Chris is simply saying stuff they already know, deep down. They are denying reality and on some level they know they are.
I’m going to leave you with Sutton’s own words, because he has summed it up so well I feel anything I added to them would fall short.
“Rangers are not going to appoint a big-name manager and anyone who thinks they can or will needs to get their head out of the clouds and bring some realism to the daft party going on inside their brain.”
And so say all of us.