Last month I did a piece on how Stephen O’Donnell’s fantastic book Tangled Up In Blue was so close to the knuckle, and did such a job of challenging the long held media narrative on what happened at Rangers, that mainstream media sites refused to review it.
The book is an astonishing read, not only charting the downfall of Rangers but actually taking you step by step through the sordid history of what was, at times, a loathsome institution, and I do not say that lightly.
No neutral could fail to be astounded, and appalled, by the role they played in Scottish society; it is not the positive one many would have you believe.
It was the late Ian Archer who once said they were “an occasional embarrassment and a permanent disgrace.”
Few ever recount the words he said next, but they were even more damning and deserving of mention.
“This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”
Few could read Stephen’s incredible book, brilliantly written and researched, and not wonder if the great journalist had a point. Because the book is filled to the brim with stories about the shame and disgrace that club has heaped on football and society in Scotland as a whole.
It is no wonder that our journalistic class did not want to review it.
The book does not pull its punches, not even in the opening lines.
“This is not a fairy story,” is how he chooses to begin. “Of the four teenagers who founded Rangers Football Club … one was drowned, another declared insane, yet another was an accused fraudster, a bigamist and a ‘certified imbecile’ who lived out his days in a poorhouse, while the fourth was comparatively lucky – he died a lonely old man.”
Right there Stephen lays out his intentions; to give an honest accounting, without fear or favour.
To peel off the lid of the whole can of worms and dig around in there for meat.
There is plenty of it, believe me.
This article will go over some of the most astonishing revelations from the book … and it doesn’t even scratch the surface.