Let’s talk a little about truth, unpalatable truth, the kind that sticks in your throat. It’s very easy to understand why people don’t like to hear that stuff, and would rather believe even the most ludicrous nonsense in its place. Some will even let themselves be blatantly conned by obvious lies if it keeps them from hearing what they don’t want to.
There’s a story like that about the late, great, Warren Zevon, rock and roll wild man and genuine genius and whose personal life was a disaster of epic proportions.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day let me share it with you.
He once got a groupie pregnant after she had followed him to various venues and cities and he sent his personal assistant to “deal with the problem.” The guy in question didn’t mess about, and instead of offering her money or a bunch of false promises to have an abortion, he tried to be straight with her.
Zevon, he said, was in a relationship that he wasn’t going to exit for her. Zevon had no money, so there was not going to be any rock and roll lifestyle for her, even in the best case scenario. (This was literally true; Zevon’s music is acclaimed by critics and fellow artists, but he was never a major, mainstream success in the way he deserved.) Zevon already had kids, and he barely saw them and when he did he didn’t really bother with them that much.
And she didn’t believe a word of it. The personal assistant went back to Zevon and said she was still determined to have the baby, and believed a glorious future lay ahead of them. Zevon interceded at that point, met her in a bar, told her what she wanted to hear about seeing a way forward for them as a couple, but that it would be impossible for him to pursue his career and take her on the road if they were carting around a kid.
She agreed, had the abortion, and … well, I’m sure you can guess.
How many times have you seen that dynamic at work at Ibrox?
Those of us who’ve tried to tell them the truth have been shot down in flames. They prefer the glib assurances of liars. They prefer comforting words and empty promises.
A comforting lie is more palatable to people than a truth they don’t want to hear, and for the past eight years Sevco fans have clung to two of those lies, and done themselves as much damage as Zevon’s groupie.
The first is the Survival Lie, and the consequences of that for them are going to be felt for as long as they believe in it.
As I said in an earlier article, it is this belief that they are “Rangers” that is hurting them.
It fuels their arrogance and egotism, and with it their expectations to unrealistic heights.
The club is drunk on this nonsense, and it will continue to hurt them.
The other lie might be even more dangerous; it’s the belief that Craig Whyte was directly responsible for running their club into the wall.
It is demonstrably ridiculous.
The man who set them on that course was David Murray and his reckless spending, and he was aided and abetted by the likes of Walter Smith, Ally McCoist and those like Dave King who stood back and let him amass gigantic debts and a wage bill that was unsustainable.
Here’s the unpalatable truth; Rangers was heading for the rocks, and that’s why Murray wanted out. He didn’t want his hands on the wheel when it happened, and if Whyte used Murray then there’s a good argument for saying Murray used him as well.
Nobody was duped here. Both men knew what the other was up to, and it suited both their agendas.
Sevco is making every single mistake that Rangers did.
They are overspending in the pursuit of short term success. It is a doomed strategy, exacerbated by the lunacy in the stands, the directors box and in the dugout wherein they are ever focussed on Celtic Park and simply assume that other clubs will roll over for them. Look how that’s turning out.
It is eight years to the day that Craig Whyte stood on the steps outside Ibrox and gave the fans the news they had dreaded, and which they had long denied. What have the supporters who troop to that ground every second week learned?
Nothing at all.
They can still be swayed and seduced by talk about how special they are, and they are still all too easily distracted.
Sevco fans have never wanted to acknowledge that the demise of their former club was set in motion years before the actual event. It is too scary a thought for them to process, because it might start them asking hard questions about the here and now.
And they will never do that; they’d rather have comforting lies.
This is how football clubs die. It killed the last one at that ground, and the same processes are eating away at the NewCo.
The last Ibrox administration was inevitable, whether Whyte had rolled up or not.
So is the next one.
It’s just a matter of when.