Last week, James Bisgrove gave a rabble rousing, arrogant interview in which he laid out his “plans” for his new role as Ibrox CEO. I wrote about it. There wasn’t much to it except a little of flibberjabber and hot air. But one part of it stood out; his assertion that his club wants to play a prominent role in the running of the game. What a joke that is.
Stephen McGowan, who was formerly the pet of Peter Lawwell, published a piece over the weekend which “welcomed” the Ibrox club’s “return” to the centre of power. But on what basis? Talent? Ideas? No, because they are the second biggest club in the country. They will not be there on merit, but by right. The same applies to Celtic.
The rest of Scottish football must be tired of this. The Ibrox club represents a clear and present danger to the commercial viability of the sport here. They have waged constant war on the governing bodies for years. Now they want to be considered leaders, operating at the very heart of the operation? This is almost too ridiculous for words.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first; they have been at the heart of the operation at every step in their efforts to destabilise the game. But other clubs already know what they are about and treat them with disdain and even contempt. They’ve had the seats around the table but have never had influence. It’s influence they now want.
And it’s influence which many in the media think that they should have.
Well, Celtic and the other clubs should pull the rug from under their feet, and in doing so we must show our own leadership by making a sacrifice for the greater good. It is high time that this ridiculous and corrupt cosy wee arrangement where one of the two clubs is guaranteed a seat at the top table every year came finally to an end.
If Celtic has good ideas, if its directors and officials are trusted and respected, we have nothing to fear from ending that arrangement. If it’s decided on merit, then why should we have concerns that we might not have what it takes to sit around that table on that basis? If it’s not decided on merit then the game here has allowed a bad joke to go on too long.
Nobody realistically believes that Stewart Robertson should have been sitting on SFA or SPFL boards these last couple of years, or that he would have been elected to them by his peers. The only reason he was is this dodgy arrangement where the two clubs take turns in swapping positions … I have never understood why the other clubs allow it.
The media seems to have no issue with any of this, as McGowan’s piece shows. They would just prefer that the Ibrox club was more respected, and more respectable.
But even if they weren’t a club run by a lunatic ideology there’s no actual evidence that they have a single good idea or an even an original one.
The presumption that they must is nearly universal though, although I have no idea why. When you look at the state they’ve made of their own club and its mounting litigations you wonder how anyone can believe that this would be in anyone’s interests.
Can you even imagine these people at the heart of TV contract negotiations? Can you even imagine the executives at Sky or BT or anywhere else actually believing that they would act in good faith or could be trusted not to look for some loophole?
Scottish football has been bent to the wills and whims of two clubs for too long. It was bad enough when it was Rangers, but to give this dire organisation any sort of responsibility is simply asking for trouble, and they’ve already given us plenty of it.
It’s time this farce came to an end. It’s a disgusting set-up and one that allows others to get away with running things on the basis of an old pal’s act. The whole structure of our game needs rebooting, and turned into a genuine meritocracy. Free seats, guaranteed places around the top tables, are no way to get us there.