Trust those at Ibrox to inject some craziness into the week we come up against them. Tonight their chairman has resigned. This gives a major win to the lunatic fringe amongst their fan-base and will undoubtedly help them sell season tickets.
And that’s especially true when you consider who has taken over.
If you thought that this meant the adults stepping into the room, I would suggest that the opposite is true. In fact, one of the more sensible people has just walked out of the room and left the club in the hands of one of the paranoid conspiracy nuts.
John Bennett is not an unknown. Indeed, he has gone out of his way to advertise exactly who he is and what he stands for. Even if you don’t believe some of the more lurid stories about him – and there are a few of them out there – he’s not exactly a consensus candidate, not as far as the rest of Scottish football is concerned.
Because he made headlines back in 2021 when he said that the club still had scores to settle on and off the pitch. And what has happened since then? The cinch debacle and an attempt to pull down the entire SPFL board of directors. A much more aggressive media policy, which last season was dramatically changed to charge outlets for attending.
Worst of all, within weeks of making that statement their club withdrew Celtic’s ticket allocation for Ibrox at the last minute, and prompted a crisis which bubbled over last month when we refused to accept tickets for the same ground.
The Park’s have not exactly been models of diplomacy and reaching out, but it is hard to imagine any other club in the country being run by a guy whose entire philosophy is bent on their getting revenge for things that didn’t even happen.
Because, of course, there never was a “relegation” at Ibrox, there never was a grand sweeping conspiracy by other clubs to kick Rangers when they were down.
It’s as if these people have repeated the lies to themselves so often that they actually believe them … and I think that’s somehow more worrying than if they were just cynical bastards saying what they thought the fans wanted to hear.
I don’t get that impression from this guy.
He really does come across like someone who swallowed the sweepings off the Follow Follow basement floor. He sounds like one of the crazy people. If he wasn’t the architect of some of the lunacy we’ve seen out of that club in the past two years then he was certainly not standing in the way of it. In fact, he made himself its public face.
So I very much doubt that this is good news in terms of restabilising the relationship. As I wrote this morning, it’s in a worse state than it has been in years and we did not just see a change at the top which is going to make that any better.
Celtic must be hugely disturbed by what just happened across the city, and not for footballing reasons. It’s in our interests for that club to be run by stable, rational, business-minded people who will act in some respects for the greater good of the game.
That does not appear to be the direction of travel tonight.
There must be serious disquiet at Parkhead – and at Hampden – over this news.
Friendlier relations are probably not in our immediate future.