The Scotsman published a piece today which was factually incorrect and pushed the Survival Lie but nevertheless managed to give a halfway decent overview of how bad things are over in La La Land at the moment. I found it interesting.
Let’s talk first about what’s wrong with the article.
It confuses Sevco with Rangers.
Discussing the events of 2011-12, the piece makes the following assertion; “The years in between, of course, saw the club go bankrupt. They were nevertheless still playing football. They were still competing in all competitions, if in a slightly diminished capacity at first.”
Now, we’d all accept that a club that went bankrupt – a club that entered liquidation – could not still have been playing football … this is one of the stupider attempts to gloss over that fact that I’ve seen in a long time. Alan Pattullo should know better than to write such outrageous tripe.
Yet, for all that, I do like the central point of the piece.
And the piece is simply saying that because the 2020 League Cup will not be played until 2021 – effectively putting the League Cup Final closer to where it was before they moved it to the first half of the season – that it is now guaranteed that Ibrox fans will suffer a drought lasting ten years without a major honour. Ten years, folks.
That has to hurt. That has to hurt badly.
I spent my teenage years watching Rangers win things. The longest period I ever saw us go without a major trophy was six years, between Joe Miller’s Scottish Cup winning goal against the Ibrox side in 1988 and Pierre’s goal against Airdrie 1995.
The idea of a decade … it’s too horrible to contemplate, but this is Ibrox’s reality now with no end in sight.
Pattullo gives them way too much benefit of the doubt in that piece. Read, for example, his comments on the team that contested the 2012 Ramsdens Cup.
“No one can be too surprised that messrs Alexander, McCulloch, Bocanegra, Wallace, Goian, Broadfoot, Hutton, Macleod, McKay, Black and Little – the team that faced Brechin City– did not go on to win anything other than the Third Division championship.”
Well how about this? They didn’t even win the Ramsdens Cup itself that year and he is surely kidding to suggest that this was beyond them. Queen of the South knocked them out on penalties at the Quarter Final stage in a result which was greeted a seismic shock.
As much as he might want to play down the respective “talents” of that particular team, Sevco had the second biggest wage bill in the country at the time.
Indeed, they’ve had the second biggest wage bill in Scotland all the way through the Banter Years, when their trophy haul is the solitary Challenge Cup from Warburton’s first year and their lower league titles. It is a pathetic return for so much sustained spending.
Furthermore, there was not a year during the spell between 2012 and the present day when at least one journalist did not tip them to win a major cup. Indeed, I remember one hack whose name escapes me – and it should be a mercy to him that it does – who took them to win both domestic trophies and the Championship in the year 2014-15, when McCoist was still there, after they’d brought Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller back to Ibrox that summer.
Remember how that campaign went?
McCoist was gone by December, Kenny McDowall lasted until March and Stuart McCall completed the embarrassment by losing heavily to Motherwell in the play-offs. What a triumph for Dave King, who’s board appointed him interim manager just six days after they “swept to power” in what Phil calls the Off Licence Putsch.
It was the same year King said that he was there to make sure we never reached ten.
The one thing Pattullo gets right is when he points out that Sevco’s misery is all the more acute when you consider that apart from Celtic there have been eight clubs who have won major honours in the same spell. We might have dominated the last four years, but before that the trophies were being spread around quite freely … but not one ended up at Ibrox.
Obviously, I can’t get fully behind any article that mistakes Rangers and Sevco for the same club but the idea that Ibrox is now guaranteed to undergo a trophy drought lasting a decade is somehow delicious. Sevco, themselves, will get there soon enough but for fans who have been trudging to that ground of theirs year on year in that time, with every campaign starting with high expectations, it must be sobering to realise that for ten years it will be for naught.
For the rest of us, these are glorious days. And they aren’t even nearly over yet. With Sevco going the same way as the Ibrox club before them, we might not see an end to this in our lifetimes and that’s a thought that should be keeping their supporters up at night.
They don’t believe it though.
But then, they didn’t believe the liquidation of Rangers was going to happen either.
Their jolts with reality tend to hit hard.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.