Let’s talk about change. Change means different things to different people, and a change that’s good for some might not be for others. Change can come suddenly, or it can come slowly. But the nature of it means that everyone knows it when they see it. One day you wake up and realise the world’s a different place and all the old certainties are gone.
Few expect great things from Ian Maxwell of the SFA. I wrote a lengthy piece on him the other day and it went down well; it seemed to cover the important topics, but actually most people do not believe that much will come of it. But I think they are wrong in a fundamentally important way, and it’s this; any reform of the Association will be bad for Sevco.
Sevco are Scotland’s most conservative club. They have never wanted real change, because once the system was run by them and after that it protected them. Neither of those things will ever be true again once that organisation makes some fundamental changes and it doesn’t really matter whether we get every sweeping reform we wanted or if there are just a handful of them. Any kind of change will break the pattern we’ve come accustomed to.
No Ibrox club will ever again be able to escape true scrutiny. No Ibrox club will ever again get special treatment because nobody believes they are special. They may well get some of their point men into senior positions but they will be watched carefully and it is inconceivable that we will ever again have a situation where the President of the Association and the CEO were from the same club and able to pursue agendas on their behalf.
Maxwell represents change of some sort. He is most definitely a reform CEO and he does have the support of our club and so I have to believe that real changes are coming, but in fact all it would take to effect a transformation in our game would be for every club to receive the same treatment regardless of its size or status or ego.
Had the game been run on that basis before now we would never have gotten into such a despicable state as we did in 2012. Once you cut away that last part of the Ibrox life support system that club is in a perilous place and then, to quote Bob Dylan, “a hard rain is gonna fall.”
Nobody at Ibrox wanted Stewart Regan to go. Let’s be clear on that. They might have made demands on that guy and even stared a whispering campaign against him earlier in the season and briefed the press that they were unhappy, but they never actually took a single concrete step towards that goal and there’s a good reason why they didn’t; they knew he and his little cohort, including Petrie, were the last friends they had, the last people willing to risk their own careers to maintain the fiction that we have a game run for the benefit of all the clubs.
Regan is gone and Petrie is under scrutiny and he may yet be deprived of the job he once coveted and looked likely to take without a fight. He may be elected unopposed – the most corrupt set of rules ever invented might guarantee it – but will not be without opposition. And any one of the changes I outlined the other day would cast light where it has never shone before … and that, I do believe, will be all to the good.
On the pitch, Sevco is a pale shadow of Rangers … but it’s off the field that the true damage may well have been done. 2012 was a disgrace and what followed it was even worse but it may well prove to be important in that it was the last disgrace. Those responsible for it pulled their little stunt … they will never be able to try it again without knowing – and paying – the cost.
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