There are times when I can’t decide whether the Children of Sevconia are the luckiest people alive or the unluckiest. About them being the thickest, there is little doubt.
Back in the sands of time, the Met started looking into dodgy transfer deals as part of The Stevens Inquiry. One of the deals they were looking into was Rangers mammoth £8.2 million sale of Jean Alain Boumsong to Newcastle.
That was one of the dodgiest deals ever done by a Scottish club.
The Newcastle manager at the time was none other than Graeme Souness.
It was one of the transfers which Stevens wasn’t able to certify had been all above board and legit. Souness was later found to have been paid an EBT by the Ibrox club, although he was no longer employed there when they gave it to him.
Here’s the irony; nobody found evidence of wrong-doing in that instance, but the Met raided Ibrox as part of the investigation.
In the process, they found all the records relating to Rangers’ tax scam, which they turned over to HRMC and which was to play such a prominent part in everything that followed.
So like I said, I don’t know if they are lucky over there or desperately unlucky.
Today we’ve heard about how four of their players have been caught up in a police raid which saw ten fixed penalty notices handed out for breaching government health regulations. Amidst all the white noise and the demands for action, one thing bothers me.
Are they the unluckiest club on the planet or is this something else?
This is the second such time that it’s players have been caught in the same compromising position, and despite the last two players being effectively banished (temporarily) from the environs of Ibrox, four more of them have repeated the same offence.
What the media should be interested in is this; how many incidents involving that club have there been where the police didn’t drop in and which are known about inside Ibrox’s walls?
After all, I wrote the lengthy article asking whether they had imported certain “fitness” theories from Liverpool, and that story only collapses if you ignore the breakdown of the Anfield club’s campaign, just as the article which inspired my own predicted. What do those of us capable of research and thinking logically and methodically know anyway?
In the opening episode of the brilliant Netflix show Ozark, a drug lord’s fixer addresses a room full of scared people and presents them with a dilemma from his past.
He wants to find out if there’s anyone in the room capable of cold, brutal analysis, even under the kind of pressure he’s putting them under. But he also wants to make a point, which in a matter of minutes he will have done in the most savage manner.
He tells them a story about how his father owned a grocery store and one day caught one of his most valued workers stealing money from the cash register. She begs him for one more chance. She pleads that it was a one-off, that her child needed medicine, she professes her gratitude to him and his family and vows that she has been loyal and will be in future.
“What should my father do?” the fixer, Del Rio, asks the hushed gathering?
One by one, they answer his query with a variation on the same reply; she’s worked for the family for years, she’s given faithful service, she has proved her trust time and again and should get a reprieve.
In the context of what’s going on in that room they are jointly making her case and their own. Del Rio finally turns to the last man in the room, Marty Byrd, the numbers genius who the show centres on. He dismisses the question as a ploy.
It’s later on, the following day, amidst turmoil and mayhem, that Del Rio asks him again, and this time Byrd does answer him, and in the process saves his own life.
“What should my father do, Marty?” he enquires.
“Fire her,” Byrd says. Del Rio asks why. “It’s not the first time she stole from him.”
“So what was it?” Del Rio asks, slyly.
“It was the first time he caught her,” Byrd answers.
If anyone thinks this is the only the second time that players from that club have taken a wee walk on the wild side during this crisis I suggest they think that through for a moment.
If we’re to believe that lightning has struck them twice we have to ask; what are the odds on that?
Are they just unlucky, or is this a case of someone standing on a golf course during a thunderstorm and sticking a nine iron up like a transmitter tower?
Our media really is a joke.
Those of us who keep our ears open know there were more players from the club at the “house party” last time around, just as we know that this isn’t the only time folk from Ibrox have been seen where they shouldn’t be during the health crisis.
They have much enjoyed sitting on the side-lines and laughing at Celtic during this, but the way the rules are written encourages clubs to handle things “in house” without informing the authorities lest entire tracts of the first team squad have to self-isolate, which might have put winning runs and even the title bid itself in jeopardy.
They are the only club to willingly send players onto a pitch without having the results of tests available to them.
Do you think they care who they endanger?
These aren’t the only times their players have done this stuff … just the only times they’ve been “caught” in a way which creates a fuss and causes a stir and which they can’t dodge the bullet on.
There have been others. Of that there is no doubt.
Theirs is a club that just doesn’t care.