This morning, the press was full of stories about Neil Doncaster. We’ll get to the interview itself later on, but one of the most important takeaways from the piece was that he confirmed one of the darker stories which have swirled about on the Sky deal.
That was the story about how their club essentially tried to extort the SPFL.
Outside of match fixing, it is hard to think of something with a more negative impact on the sport than a club which is determined to win a pissing contest with the governing bodies no matter what the cost is. Those words are crucial. No matter what the cost is.
Even if that cost is paid by every other club in the league, who clearly Ibrox considers mere collateral damage. The Chinese say that those who seek revenge should dig two graves. Ibrox doesn’t care if there end up being twelve, and even if the clubs themselves were content to live in denial about what that means, this is now a matter of public record.
For the sake humiliating Doncaster and a handful of grubby notes, Ibrox was willing to risk torching not only a commercial sponsorship but the most important commercial sponsorship in the game, and all the bullshit from over there about how this was a principled stand against a bad deal has been exposed for the sham most of us knew it was from the start.
I say most of us, because this morning Keith Jackson was still clinging to the view that the Ibrox club were in the right here and that it’s Doncaster’s job to placate them, which he has shown no sign whatsoever that he is minded to do.
Jackson is either such an Ibrox sycophant that he can’t wrap his brain around the idea that they might be the ones acting spitefully here, or he’s the stupidest person in the room and will be literally the last to recognise this for what it is.
That’s a luxury the leaders of the clubs can no longer afford though.
It is clear that the SPFL is at war with Ibrox. That could not be more obvious, and the thing about Doncaster is that he’s finally cottoned onto the fact that this is not a hungry wolf that you can feed in the hope it goes away; this is a rabid animal which is intent on doing you harm. He cannot yield an inch cause if he does he’s finished.
What the other clubs must finally be awake to is that Ibrox will not stop, and that their directors are perfectly willing to scorch the earth to get their pound of flesh. That means no club is safe as long as they are on the rampage.
Stopping them will require unity and growing some balls. Whether someone steps up to say it remains to be seen, but it has to happen now and everyone has to know it.