In Warren Zevon’s most biting and brilliant song, the narrator has gotten himself into big bother and writes to his father for help.
“Send lawyers, guns and money,” he demands. “Get me out of this!”
It is a sentiment the Ibrox fans are completely familiar with.
By the end of the song Zevon’s narrator has admitted to being a “a desperate man” for whom “the shit has hit the fan.”
The Sevconuts understand that sentiment too.
“Send lawyers, guns and money!”
It’s the story of Ibrox since at least 2011. The guns are metaphorical but the analogy works; whenever they fall on stony ground that club resorts to intimidation and bullying. It rarely works. The lawyers at Ibrox have been busier than those who represent Big Oil. As for the money? If it’s not coming from the fans themselves then where are they getting it?
They don’t know.
But they are desperate.
This has been one Hell of a few weeks for them.
Just over a fortnight ago they were bouncing with the news that Rodgers had left Celtic for Leicester.
They believed the door was open for them, just a crack maybe, but open. They were ready to put aside their doubts. By Tuesday night at full time the truth of their predicament was staring them in the face, too great to deny. The following day, Ashley defeated them in court and the noose, which was already around the club’s neck, began to tighten.
The media has begun to turn the heat up under Gerrard; Phil suggested that this might be coming, as a means to force him out of his expensive four-year deal.
The club is unable to pay him off if it decides he has to be moved on, and doing a Warburton and “resigning” him via Sky Sports News will simply not wash, because, as Phil has pointed out, Gerrard has his own media contacts, which far outstrip those of the club.
He would easily find plenty of outlets willing to air his side of the story.
The seriousness of their plight really can’t be overstated.
With Ashley having won the latest court case the club may be facing a multi-million pound fine.
Whatever the financial consequences are in the short term, over the long haul they are certain to be banned from selling merchandise again for an extended period, as the Sports Direct supremo tightens his grip. With a major loan outstanding to Close Brothers, they need that cash more than ever.
Their squad has been found out this year, as it was always going to be.
Not only is it filled with dreck, but some of it is expensive dreck, and well paid.
Will Defoe be there next season? A year older and slower, perhaps. Will Davis? What a waste of money he’s looked. Celtic will add quality in the summer, frankly because we have to or questions will be asked of all at the club because the money to do it is there and everybody knows that it is.
Their club will be forced to respond … but with what? To tackle Ashley, they’ll need the lawyers and they don’t come cheap. Doubtless the media will supply the guns and slam the Sports Direct head as a bad man, blithely ignoring the fact that he is not the breaker of contracts here. The money is going to be much harder to come by, as the cupboard is just about bare.
In spite of that obvious truth, Gerrard has actually gone in front of the press today and said he expects “marquee players” in the summer; he actually used that expression. Marquee players. If someone inside the club told him those players could be delivered, then that person flat out lied to him. Where are they getting the cash for marquee signings? You’re talking millions upon millions there, many more millions than they can afford.
But this is the real question; can they afford not to push out the boat?
The clock is ticking. There’s not much time left for them to put together a team that can stop our relentless march towards the ten. Already they are like Zevon’s desperate man, pleading for help on the brink of total ruination.
The screaming for lawyers, guns and money are only going to get louder.
In having King as chairman of the board the lawyers are only going to get more intimately familiar with every aspect of the Ibrox operation. The guns will be blasted loudly at all comers; the BBC is next up, with a Vanguard Scum protest slated for tomorrow morning. If you haven’t heard about that before now it’s been doing the rounds on their forums for a while. The true face of the Sevco support will never be more clearly seen; snarling, ugly, vicious.
But the real issue is the money, of course. And if their club is to sell any season tickets at all in years to come they need to find an answer to the question of stopping Celtic by that point. As difficult as the financial equation is, they do need to find a way of solving the dilemma because forward momentum of some kind has to be demonstrated.
Do not underestimate the enormity of the risk they took before this season kicked off, nor that which they took in January when they believed they could see an opportunity to snatch the title. The signings might not have been as impressive to us as they looked to the gleeful hordes at Ibrox and their foolish media allies, but they were not cheap, they were not low-risk.
Their club is obsessed with small matters.
Today they are arguing over a yellow card – and a Scottish Cup ban – for a player who might not be at Ibrox when the next tie comes about. It is a nonsense, designed to pander to that part of their fan base that is quite simply barking mad. There is no logic to it otherwise. They are picking a fight with the SFA for no reason whatsoever.
And a club that does that is not going to remain sane when all around them their fans are clamouring to embrace insanity. This is who they are.
Lawyers, guns and money. Nothing will help them. The lawyers can’t win games, their intimidation has not stopped our steady march towards eight … and no matter what money they scrounge up, we can spend more. If we get to ten that club will implode.
What trouble they are in. The shit has hit the fan.
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