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It’s Now Clear This Ibrox Club Is In Dire Straits. Celtic Must Stick The Hose In Their Mouth.

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My first major article on the madness across the city was written for E-Tims in 2009, when I was writing under the pen-name Che Timvara. I will always be grateful to their team for giving me that opportunity. The most important article I wrote for them, and maybe the most important I have written or will ever write, was called The End Of Rangers?

It was a speculation on whether the winds of the global economic crisis which were buffering banks and other organisations which had long since considered themselves untouchable would, via pressure on David Murray, lead to the collapse of his football club. It was obvious even then that spending more than you earned put you in peril and with financial institutions crashing around them a Scottish football club was not likely to survive if they overextended.

None of us knew about EBT’s, not then, but we knew about the ruthlessness of Murray and what he had been fully prepared to see happen to us in 1997. To illustrate his intent, I turned to a famous statement from the McDonald’s chain’s founder, Ray Croc, who once said of his competitors “if they were drowning I’d stick a hosepipe in their mouth.”

And that’s what Murray would have happily seen happen to us. His visceral loathing of Fergus was because McCann not only saved us but put us on the road to being a bigger club than his. He knew it. He feared it. He hated it. EBT’s were his response to the threat posed by Fergus’ successors and the arrival of Martin O’Neill. We pushed them to that suicidal strategy.

Last week, I wrote about the fall of the Soviet Union and how that was precipitated by Ronald Reagan’s national security apparatus and their public statements on the Stars Wars defence policy, which the Soviets tried to match or best at tremendous cost. Cost they couldn’t afford. Their economy crashed in the effort.

We did that to Murray and his club … and then, in 2012 when the NewCo was down we failed to finish the job. We couldn’t have killed Rangers, and we couldn’t prevent a club from using that name from crawling up from the muck, but we were in control of the agenda and we could have determined the means by which they made the climb.

Domestic FFP would have ended the threat for a generation of us. We failed utterly – Lawwell failed utterly – to do it. I worry that he will squander the next chance too.

And that chance is coming. The AGM today at Ibrox made it clear that they are a board with every little idea of how to dig their way out of the hole they are in. Not a massive financial hole in the way Murray was threatened, but a funding gap that threatens to reduce them to a pale shadow of what we’re building right now at Celtic Park.

They don’t have a plan for catching us, and if we keep on going all they are going to see is Celtic vanishing into the distance. At that point, if we’re ruthless enough, we can wait until they’re drowning and stick the hose in their mouth.

We won’t kill them. The SFA will never permit that, and the other clubs will never permit it. But we can strike a blow that sends them reeling back a decade in their development cycle. We can slam them to the matt and inflict real pain on them.

No-one who looked at their AGM today can be in the slightest doubt that they are a club which does not know the way forward. If The Mooch is anything less than a phenomenal, Ange style success then he’s done for and the blow of being made to start again, from scratch, won’t be finally but it will paralyse that club for years and in that lies our opportunity.

Are we ready to take it? Do we have the guts to take it? More importantly, do we have the balls to virtually destroy our only domestic rival and risk what that means? Are we self confident enough to then push forward to become a genuine European club again? Because in many ways this domestic obsession is all that’s holding us back.

End the ever-war between us and their pitiful incarnation and we can truly, at last, be all we can be on that bigger stage. If we’ve got the ambition for it, and that only time will tell.

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17 comments

  • Johnny Green says:

    I agree, stamp on their throats, go for their jugular and give them no mercy. We are here to push Celtic to the best that they can be, but if we can help eliminate them on our upward trajectory, then I am all for it. We never have needed they bitter, festering fukkers,

  • John Copeland says:

    Celtic are a Global football club whose ,honesty , decency and remarkable fans are admired and respected everywhere imaginable on earth ! The Rangers are a provincial clumpany who cheated the sport on an industrial scale because of same city jealousy . They find themselves In 2022 ,with a working turnover well over £50 million ,yet require an overdraft facility of £23million from their deputy chairman to continue playing . Celtic have millions of £s in the bank ,with the overall financial and business plans as strong as a mountain Cathedral . It is now time to put light year distance between ourselves and their further dishonest working practices …. We have to adopt a perfect concentration killer instinct …. NOW ….

  • Tam Rae says:

    James is that why they brought P L back to make sure sevco survive.

  • Paul says:

    You forget that celtic has a habit of f#cking things up when everything is going well. Peter Lawwell is to blame for a lot of it and just as things are going well , he has to get in on the action. Just hope he stays away from the football department this time

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    If we’re in a position tae dae it, will lawwell and Co allow it tae happen ? Or will they let them aff the hook again ??

  • Denis Harley says:

    Cannot argue with these sentiments. The apparent timidity of the club & PL’s insistence of helping keep them alive to protect the bogus ‘old firm’ brand must now be seen as useless, ridiculous & of no value to our club; a besmirchment on our fans of yesteryear and the abuse they suffered via bigotry and treatment as second-class citizens.
    I’m shocked at the arrogance & entitlement of PL to return as Chairman but, more so, the contempt DD has shown, (and his intent to show it), for the supporters of our club.

  • Bottle Green says:

    Is it just coincidence that the Sevco are in big trouble and suddenly Mr Lawwell is back in the hot seat!
    I think not.

  • Tommy says:

    Tory Peter will come to thier rescue

  • Brian says:

    Stick the hose in their mouth you say!! Just like we did last time. With lawwell in there and his love of the blue pound you can forget that.

  • Fun time frankie says:

    Not a chance In he’ll of this happening James and here’s why EBT,S won them league’s and cups by cheating why did celtic not have these removed from their history because of the bun lover that is LIEWELL. The SFA walking all over us and helping the bun scum at every turn when you know how was on the sfa board yes its him again LIEWELL. and the reason there not dead and buried right now the 5 way agreement to keep this scum alive and guess who’s there again yes its him LIEWELL. then lying at the AGM to the celtic support that he knew nothing about the 5 way agreement yes It’s GOD again sorry I meant LIEWELL. And now low and behold who’s riding into town on his big white horse with his Orange sash on to save his beloved sevco the snake himself LIEWELL.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      Seems to me, he values the ibrox club as far too much of a fat cash-cow tae put them ‘too far’ down. Personally can see us back down the road of, the money spent on strengthenin, even if its well within our budget, wont be near what we CAN afford. As a result our European campaign(s) will suffer. Before lawwell left last time, we saw time and again, the failure tae strengthen for Europe properly. His ‘ambitions,’ along with desmond’s for the clubs success, seem tae stall beyond domestic honours. Never know, in about a year or 2 we might even see lennon back in some capacity eh!! Widnae surprise me one bit.

  • mark b says:

    We had them down for a decade already and couldn’t do anything in Europe. Why would a new decade of dominance be different?

  • Bob (original) says:

    “ambition”

    The transfer windows under Ange – and this one coming in January – have been very encouraging. As a club, we are improving our squad from a position of strength.

    We have all witnessed previous regimes failing to invest from a position of strength.

    The CEO and the incoming “non-exec” Chairman might have a serious difference of opinion right there… 🙁

  • Stewart Toner says:

    %100 true,we had the chance to step on their throat and we choose not to do it,get it done this time

  • Martin says:

    Absolutely we should be obliterating them out of existence here. But let’s not forget when Rangers died, if Lawwell had his way Sevco would have been parachuted straight into the premiership. Only the integrity of others prevented that. We must make sure Lawwell is as far away from decision making as possible at the club and keep it that way.

    He was, and remains, welded to the idea of the “old firm Inc.” and would certainly be interested in joint negotiations on a move to any big money league.

    His return at this time is worryingly coincidental.

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