2+2=4. That’s Why UEFA’s “150 Years” Award To Ibrox Does Not Matter At All.

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Let’s talk today about Orwellian truth, and the greatest truth that he ever espoused; that “freedom is the freedom to say that 2 plus 2 is four, and if that is granted all else follows.”

He wrote that at a time when the facts when under constant attack, in a manner summed up best by Herman Goering when he said of Hitler, “If the Führer wants it, two and two makes five.”

We live in strange times, times when a serial liar squats in Downing Street even as the majority of his backbench MP’s want him gone. As Peter Oborne brilliantly put it, “He has never needed a noble justification for lying. He lies habitually, with impunity, and without conscience.”

When the Prime Minister is such a character, it’s little wonder that standards of public discourse are in sharp decline, and that the media is not trusted either.

Last week, someone sent me a news report about UEFA “honouring” the Ibrox club on their “150th Anniversary.” This, I was told, was the proof that the continuity of the club is a fact, and that there is no longer any debate over what happened in 2012.

It was a nice effort to rewrite history. But it didn’t move the needle for me one millimetre. See, I have the advantage of having been alive in 2012 and possessed of a good memory. I have the additional advantages of a background in political activism and holding a degree in media and communications. So I know a whitewashing when I see it.

Above all, I recognise the basic principles according to Winston Smith, Orwell’s great protagonist, the hero of 1984, who spoke those words that I opened the piece with. He also said that “sanity is not statistical”: in other words, even if every other person in the world believes that 2 plus 2 makes 5 the truth doesn’t change nor the result of that equation. You are not insane for continuing to believe in reality. If others insist on denying that, they have the problem.

Many times, people have tried to convince me that black is white and that the sky is not blue and that 2 plus 2 make 5 over the course of the last ten years. Whether it’s journalists wanting to try and defend their own gutless stance on this or if it’s SFA officials trying to explain it away or Ibrox fans clinging desperately to their fiction, I’ve never wavered once.

As far as I’m concerned there is no more debate over the fate of Rangers than there is over the existence of gravity. The Flat Earthers can continue to push their nonsense, but it will forever remain exactly that. I don’t care if I’m in a minority of one (and I’m not because most people deal perfectly well with reality); Rangers went out of business in 2012.

To me, the truth of it is self-evident when you look at how the Survival Lie supports itself. For years now I’ve been at great pains to point out that this game doesn’t just live with one colossal untruth but two of them; the other is called the Victim Lie.

To me, the Victim Lie is the more important of the two. To truly understand the Survival Lie you must acknowledge the one that grew out of it, because it’s in understanding that and calling it what it is that you see clearly the great flaw at the centre of the issue.

Let’s strip it right down to the fundamentals.

They claim that their club survived the events of that summer.

Yet the evidence which is arrayed against that view is mind-boggling, and it has nothing to do with stuff in the papers or the obituaries or the comments of ex-Rangers players. Look at the bigger picture.

There was, for a while, a phantom Club 12 in Scottish football. There was the SFA license issue. There was the European football requirement for three years of accounts before they were eligible to compete in continental competitions. There was the loss of the Scottish Cup seeding. There is the little acknowledged fact that Rangers voted on whether to allow the NewCo into the Premier League. Both versions of the club signed the Five Way Agreement.

Every single bit of that evidence leads to only one conclusion; that the club called Rangers went out of business and a new one started life in the bottom tier.

So how do its adherents account for their survival? If they didn’t die, then how does any of that other evidence make a blind bit of sense? Why were they denied entry to the league in which they already had membership? How did they lose the SFA license which they already held, or the Scottish Cup seeding that was theirs by right?

In order to make the pieces all fit, the Survival Lie had to be supported by another; the Victim Lie, which states that all of that happened as the result of a colossal and far-reaching conspiracy, which sought to shatter their club and even kill it … but from which they somehow clawed their way to survival and started to climb through the divisions.

This is the theory. This is what underpins the idea of their continued existence. The Great Anti-Rangers Conspiracy … what this blog calls the great Unseen Hand.

Not only is that theory manifestly preposterous, but it is highly dangerous. It has led to an increasingly militant, aggressive, paranoid Ibrox support … and it has become so pervasive that it seems to me that some of the directors at Ibrox actually believe in it themselves, and act accordingly in their dealings with the governing bodies and everyone else.

I know why the SFA endorses it; they think they have to. Because for too long this game has been framed around a rivalry between two clubs, and everyone involved lacks the imagination to break that cycle and forge something anew. They are also scared shitless of a backlash from the Ibrox support, as evidenced in Regan’s “civil unrest” remarks.

UEFA follows the lead of the domestic governing bodies.

That’s a fact. They will recognise whatever the SFA does. They don’t see it as their business to interfere, although they have made it clear, in the Traverso letter, that they do consider the Ibrox club a new sporting entity.

That they are capable of talking out of both sides of their mouth on this issue should hardly come as a surprise to a living soul; UEFA is one of the most fundamentally corrupt institutions on the planet, and if that’s the Ibrox support’s final fig-leaf then more fool them.

None of it answers a single question about how the club could have survived the grave without the existence of the grand conspiracy that almost put them there. But what do we know about the Ibrox mind-set, above all other things? Their propensity for drama. Their love of a good courtroom. Their thirst for the cut and thrust of battle.

Say the conspiracy existed and say the goal of it was to kill the club. By what mechanism could any of those actions have been justified?

There were no grounds whatsoever for expelling Rangers from the top flight, far less removing their SFA membership and forcing them to start at the bottom. The cost to the club, in purely financial terms, was not in the millions but the tens of millions in lost revenues, broadcasting, advertising and sponsorship, European income and the player sales which would have been possible had the conspiracy not allowed most of them to leave for free.

So why didn’t they fight? Why didn’t they take the whole thing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport?

Green threatened to hold up the kick-off to the season over a single provision in the Five Way Agreement … why would he, or anyone else involved with Rangers, have permitted the annihilation of the club’s commercial potential and standing when there were numerous legal avenues which could have been pursued instead?

Let’s take it further; why haven’t they pursued compensation claims and court proceedings against the governing bodies since? Their argument is that the game acted corruptly.

The Victim Lie can bring you to no other conclusion. So why hasn’t this board, of Real Rangers Men, acted to seek redress? Wouldn’t it have been the first thing King did?

Nobody loves a scrap in a courtroom more than him, so why hasn’t the issue been taken forward?

These Peepul treat us like mugs when they play this card.

Their club died, and not only do they know it but they know they did nothing to save it, which is to their eternal disgrace.

No wonder they want to deny reality … but not matter how much they do I want to remind them that we know the truth, and as long two plus two makes four we’ll continue telling it.

Think you know your CVA’s from your EBT’s? Take the Ibrox liquidation quiz below!

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The Ibrox crisis started to get real when the bank who had been keeping Rangers afloat started to sweat at the height of the financial crisis. Who were Rangers’ and Murray’s bankers before being taken over?

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  • Phelim grehan says:

    Brilliant article totally on the button ?????

  • Frankie says:

    Great James everyone knows with a bit of a brain that there is no 150 years it’s about time that lot fanned away the mist.

    • Scouse bhoy says:

      There wiil be civil unrest . That statement should have led to the head man losing his job but the gutless media never took him to task for it.

  • Tam says:

    Thanks… I have said for many years now that the European football authorities ask the local FAs are they happy about a situation if they say yes. it’s accepted. In this case the SFA/SPFL as long as no European rules are broken. Also FIFA referees are put forward by the local FAs

    • Auldheid says:

      I have argued there is a good argument that the same club acceptance by SFA directly conflicts with Art12 UEFA FFP which is designed to protect the integrity of UEFA competition.

      Significantly the continuity case has its origins in the 5WA but when Phil McGiolla Bhian asked UEFA if a conflict existed they reply was they had not seen the 5WA! They showed no appetite to pursue with SFA.

  • Jim says:

    Brilliant James
    Never let them forget HH

  • Chris says:

    Brilliant article James.
    Everything you say is unarguable, just stating facts.
    I think it’s 3 years accounts that are required for the Scottish leagues and 3 years membership of domestic league before being allowed into European competition.
    I’m sure it was Auldheid that mentioned it before.

    • Auldheid says:

      Yup. Drives me nuts because it is so crucial.

      I refer to Aricle 12 of UEFA FFP which gave Andre Traverso Head of Club Licensing in June 2016 the authority to state Newco were ineligible to apply for a licence until they had been members of SFA for three years and describe Rangers in 2016 as a NEW club/ company which was totally accurate.

      The Rangers Football Club Ltd (the club) and Rangers International Football Club (the operating company) hence club/company terminology were both created in 2012 hence the accurate description of NEW by Traverso.

  • Peterbrady says:

    True I have been trying to sell a zombie a time travelling machine for 10 yeaes but they would rather exist in there time warp now we have the scum bringing auld reekie to a standstill and krankie and her minions allow this

  • Auldheid says:

    In spite of my repeated efforts at correction on Twitter and elsewhere over the years the UEFA requiremnt is not for three years accounts, it is for three years MEMBERSHIP of the SFA as set out in Article 12 of UEFA FFP.

    This is crucial in the case against 150 years as same club. The SFA membership of old Rangers to UEFA ended in 2012. The SFA membership of the old club successor to UEFA began in 2012.

    A clean break of SFA membersip meaning the current club playing at Ibrox has only existed in UEFA’s eyes since 2012.

    I am not being pedantic as the greatest counter to the continuity myth is that Rangers now have only existed under UEFA regs since 2012 because of the membership break, not because of not having 3 years accounts. How could they as a new club?

    The SFA

    • Chris says:

      I have to laugh at how you so many sevco fans challenge you, Auldheid, but the facts you provide just sends them scampering away.

  • Incorporation says:

    Any continuity statement from SPFL/SFA/UEFA is simply that – a statement which does not, in any way, overrule UK company law.

  • Seosaimh says:

    Fantastic article James

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