If you want to know what lessons the Ibrox fan-base has drawn from the administration and liquidation of their former club you only need to look at the tidal wave of nonsense being circulated by their fan-reps as they talk to slavish hacks today.
One Ibrox fan-rep has suggested that HMRC’s “agenda against Rangers” was at the root of all this.
Part of the problem is that these people have been spoon-fed this narrative by idiot hacks and by people inside the walls of Ibrox, but how anyone could actually believe it is another question.
Are they just thick? Are they too trusting of authority?
I remember during the 2012 administration process when the media was telling these Peepul that HMRC would want to do a deal and accept a CVA which would “at least get them something”; this lie was repeated over and over and over again.
Some of our bloggers actually published, in full, what the policy of HMRC is in a situation involving deliberate non-payment and it could not be clearer; they insist on full restitution and in the event that a company or organisation cannot meet that repayment they would rather have the corpse than pennies in the pound.
The function of doing that is deterrence.
They would not be able to get money out of anyone if they allowed people to deliberately withhold their due and then negotiated for pennies in the pound. It is still incredible to me that anyone can believe that their stand was other than a sensible policy; that the Ibrox fan reps still think it was a conspiracy is mind-boggling.
They are also listening too much to Paul Murray, suddenly re-invented as some kind of seer; he was on the Ibrox board that got them into so much trouble that the bank put its own point man on there to make sure it got its money back.
This is the guy who, like Alastair Johnson, suggested that the bank simply write off the club’s debts along with those of Murray International; these aren’t by any stretch credible people who should be listened to.
These Peepul cling to their mad ideas about what actually happened here, living in total denial about the situation they were in. They have never fully grasped the truth of it, and they never will.
One of the nonsensical claims I hear over and over again was that the club was being well run and on a sustainable basis when Whyte took over; this is a complete misrepresentation of where they were at that time.
Some years of Champions League money had allowed them to pay down the level of debt; this is true.
But that was at the insistence of the bank and their representative on the board. Smith was forever squealing about not having cash for players and there were members of the board who were more than willing to endorse his lunacy.
Dave King and Paul Murray were amongst them.
But remove sugar-daddy ownership and the tolerance of a bank willing to allow anything; what happened to that club?
In the first year they went without Champions League football they were already in trouble.
When they were knocked out of Europe entirely the roof fell in.
The anger of their fans is directed at Whyte because he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, fund losses out of his own pocket … that’s all they know over there, running up losses for someone to pay the bill.
It’s all they know until this day, and it’s this utter refusal of theirs to deal with that reality, which is brilliantly represented by their fan representatives, which toxifies their current club and dooms it to a similar fate aas the last one.
For the Ibrox fan reps, directors are not there to run the company, they are there to fund it.
But that’s not the traditional role of the board.
The idea of running things prudently, and on a self-sustaining basis never dawns on them for one second.
They don’t get it.
Ten years of Monopoly money and equity confetti and they actually think their club is on a sound financial footing.
Their fan reps praise the current board for “stabilising” their NewCo by pissing £100 million against the wall in a decade, the very insanity that saw the old one in the state it was in.
They are addicts now.
This is in their bloodstream.
The idea of living any other way is utterly alien for them.
Which is why history is repeating itself.