I wasn’t at the Celtic Fan forum thing the other day, as I don’t get invited to those.
The people who choose the guest list are almost certainly right from the point of view of wanting them to take place without overt hostility, because if the reports from this one are accurate I could not – I would not – have willingly stayed in that room to be insulted without painting the walls red.
And that’s what those in that room got at one stage; insulted.
First, I want to offer my sincere thanks to whoever it was at that meeting who brought up Brian Wilson’s disgraceful comments on the Rangers situation in 2012.
Whoever that was made the feelings of a lot of us clear and made sure the message was received.
But the answer that individual got took the piss out of every person who was in that room, and had I been present I would have pointed that out very vocally and then left.
Because I have issues when people talk down to me like I’m an idiot.
I certainly won’t let anyone lie to my face.
I commend everyone who was able to sit through that; it takes a stronger stomach than mine.
The more you get familiar with the way the internal structures of our club work the more you have to block up your nose against the stink of it.
The more you encounter the thinking at the top of our house the more you want to reach for the sick bag and retch up your guts.
Nobody has to point out that those running the club treat us with contempt; Wilson’s article proved that. The hiring of Bernard Higgins proves that. They pay lip service to the idea of listening but in fact I know that the directors and those in their immediate circle think we are just mugs.
Those who were “offended” by the article got an apology.
The article itself has since been amended, doubtless because Wilson realises he’s kicked the hornet’s nest, but the “clarification” which was offered at the meeting is somehow even more obscenely offensive, in and of itself.
Michael Nicholson, the stand-in CEO who’s spent the last two months hiding from the media and the support as a whole, said Wilson’s comments were “factually correct.”
Forgive me for putting it like this, but that’s un-factual bullshit.
There was no “demotion.”
To suggest otherwise is to lie.
The assertion that Nicholson made that their “club was in administration when it played its first game” is such a complete distortion of the truth that if that’s his understanding of it he’s not fit to hold the smallest job in the corporate structure of Celtic far less the biggest one, because he’s thick.
The entity called Rangers was not in administration but in the midst of liquidation proceedings.
The entity calling itself Rangers, owned by Sevco Scotland Limited, was an entirely separate organisation making its first professional appearance in the game.
That was the issue on which the clubs voted.
For God’s sake, Rangers had a vote on whether to allow Sevco into the SPL.
Both “clubs” were signatories to the Five Way Agreement.
“At today’s general meeting, SPL clubs voted overwhelmingly to reject the application from Rangers newco to join the SPL,” The Guardian wrote at the time. It is right there, as clear as it can be. To join the SPL.
How can you call for a vote to join an organisation you’re already part of?
If they had been “relegated” why would the rest of the clubs have even had to vote on that, if it was what was written down in the rules?
“SPL chairmen met at Hampden to vote on the new club’s application to replace the old Rangers in the top flight,” wrote the national broadcaster.
“BBC Scotland has learned that 10 of the 12 clubs were in opposition, with Kilmarnock abstaining and Rangers voting in favour.”
The liquidation of the OldCo was a formality.
It was in process.
It hadn’t reached the formal end of the line, but by the time of Sevco’s first game it was no longer trading and waiting to be struck off.
It was not operating a football club of any description by then.
I cannot say this enough times; there was, and there is, nothing whatsoever in the regulations which would have allowed the rest of the clubs to “demote” Rangers.
There was nothing in the rules which would have let their club be kicked out of the league simply for being in debt.
Administration carries a fixed points penalty; what would be the point in that if any club that went into administration could be automatically relegated instead?
To claim, as Nicholson has here, that this is what happened is to say that Scottish football broke its own rules in the most egregious possible manner and shafted one of its member clubs.
If that had actually happened the legal battle would have brought the game to a standstill.
We’re talking about forcing a club already in financial peril to accept a draconian punishment the likes of which has never been handed out in the history of the game before. They would have resisted it to the last breath.
If they were “relegated”, furthermore, when did that happen? By what mechanism? Who voted on it? What was the specific date on which that happened? It would have been one of the most sensational developments in the history of the sport; how come nobody seems to remember it?
And if it went down that way, why did the people who presumably did it then fight tooth and nail to reverse their own decision?
Because the SFA and the SPL, as well as the SFL, all took unprecedented steps to see that this action, which some of them must have sanctioned and wanted, was as soft a landing as possible? This has to be the worst alleged case of buyers remorse in history, does it not?
What happened to Rangers’ Scottish Cup seeding? Being “demoted” wouldn’t have eradicated that, that comes from the previous season’s league position.
You know I could go on and on and on here, but what would be the point?
All this is in the public domain, as far as I’m concerned there’s no “debate” on this any more than there is on the Flat Earth Hypothesis.
I mean, how does a guy from a legal background ignore all that to come out with this garbage?
There is a reason why this blog has always separated the two different strands of this into the Survival Lie and the Victim Lie … and the word “lie” is very deliberately used as well. Others call it a “myth”, but I’ve always thought that was fundamentally wrong because as a word it suggests that this is a mere misunderstanding of events and that’s not the case at all.
The “misunderstanding” exists because people are wilfully pushing an untrue version of those events; they are, in essence, lying through their teeth.
If you subscribe to the Survival Lie you automatically give succour to the Victim Lie, and that is what Michael Nicholson, who our board evidently believes is a fit and proper candidate to be the next CEO, did in front of our fan assembly.
It’s not simply that he pushed the nonsense that Rangers survived the grave; the darker lie is the second one, that what happened to them was that Scottish football wilfully threw them under the bus.
That it punished them more harshly than the rulebook allowed, that it acted corruptly against them.
If he doesn’t understand why that’s a dangerous and damaging lie to have out there then he’s too damned dumb to be in the job that he currently holds.
And if he is aware of that and he was given the line and trotted it out anyway,. and then sat in front of those same people and he spouted what he knew to be bullshit, to their faces, and then moved on to the next thing on the agenda … well where’s the trust in that relationship?
To me, it taints every other word that came out of his mouth.
I’ve already said today that I do not believe that we’ve done work behind the scenes on refereeing reform – the evidence was staring us in the face again at the weekend – and I won’t now be in the least bit surprised if Ibrox fans are allowed in our ground come January.
If they’re willing to push disinformation and lies at their own supporters on the biggest and most toxic issue in the sport – and it will remain so as long as the lie is being told – then I ‘d ask you how we can trust a single word they say on anything else?