One of the highlights of the weekend for me was Steven Gerrard walking blindly into a minefield when he commented on the ongoing situation involving Manchester City, who have already been banned from Europe and now face domestic league sanctions over their violations of the Financial Fair Play statutes.
Gerrard either doesn’t know or doesn’t care what his club’s policy is on this; I have a feeling he’d have found out earlier today when Traynor got to him.
This is bad for him on so many levels; first, any decision by the EPL to strip titles from City will reopen the debate here in Scotland over whether Rangers should have lost a slew of them for their own sins. And if the manager at Sevco is on record as supporting such sanctions so that he finally gets his hands on a winner’s medal, how can he be against our own cause?
At the very least we’re going to be able to paint him a stone hypocrite; in the best case scenario we will have an advocate for our own case that we never expected. Everyone at Ibrox must have been aghast when he answered the question about this as he did … he’s opened a can of worms here that they had hoped was closed and sealed for all time.
Gerrard is not the sharpest tool in the box, everyone knows this, but can he really have sat there and been utterly oblivious as to how his comments would seem to those inside and outside his club? The game here is still, in many ways, paralysed by the failure to strip titles from DeadCo
. It is one of the most dishonest and corrupt decisions we’ve ever had here.
And on top of that, there are issues over how the current Ibrox club is meeting UEFA’s strict FFP criteria at the moment.
The eight-year-old club has never once turned a profit in that time, and still needs a multi-million-pound chunk of change to get through this campaign … quite how they currently qualify is an absolute mystery, and something the European governing body ought to be paying close attention to.
If Gerrard is on the record as supporting sanctions, and very stiff sanctions, in these cases then that, too, runs counter to his club’s best interests.
Once again, the spotlight is going to be turned on the SFA as well. If the English league opens a full investigation into City, then how is the governing body up here going to continue arguing against the introduction of FFP here?
The need for it is obvious, and in particular as almost every club in this league now voluntarily follows the basic tenants of it.
The English attitude to this stuff shames us.
The Premier League has had FFP regulations for years and the lower leagues had implemented it before that. Here in Scotland one of the two clubs which the world thought of as “too big to fail” fell spectacularly and was obliterated by debts not ten years ago and there has been nothing … the chance for reform was right there and it was completely blown, and even now, when it is readily apparent that without it one club will continue to defy financial gravity in pursuit of success, the game doesn’t want it.
But now that Gerrard appears to support it you never know.
Everything else that comes out of his mouth is hailed as visionary and brilliant, so why not this too?
Whether his bosses at Ibrox are pleased about his intervention is another matter entirely of course.