There are no prizes for guessing what the story of the week so far has been; the news, yesterday, that the SFA has given Ibrox the nod to sue the SPFL.
This might be one of the most shocking developments we’ve seen in this game in recent years. The SFA is supposed to follow UEFA’s regulations on this stuff; they should never be sanctioning a court-case between a club and a football body. It is absolutely astonishing.
This decision allows the Ibrox club to attempt to claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in “compensation” – that money will come directly from other clubs. And for what? A manufactured controversy which ends in them demanding legal fees and an apology? If the SPFL offers them either then heads should roll, but I have no expectation that any will.
I blame the clubs as much as anything else for this fiasco.
These so-called governors of our game serve at the pleasure of the chairmen and they’ve all sat back and allowed the Ibrox club to run roughshod over the regulations and those whose job it is to enforce them. If Ibrox has a case, then somebody should have lost their job over that; that demonstrates a complete lack of accountability. If Ibrox doesn’t have a case (and their case is a joke) then why were they permitted to behave in this fashion?
Right from the outset we said that they should be sanctioned and their automatic seats at the SPFL and the SFA stripped from them for threatening the commercial stability of the game. The governing bodies instead granted them an opt-out on the deal, a decision which recklessly threatens every future commercial contract the SPFL signs.
Still that wasn’t enough for them.
Now they want more. They will always want more, and this is like feeding a hungry wolf. One day, when you run out of scraps and the skinny little thing which you first felt sorry for has grown into a hulking monster three guess what it’s going to eat?
The funny part of this – amazing that we can find something to laugh about in the midst of what is genuinely a crisis moment for us – is that it comes as Ibrox’s mainstream media mouthpieces rush to tell us what a great job the current Ibrox board is doing in restructuring their club and repairing relations with the rest of the game.
It is incredible that anyone could have believed such obvious rot when the guy at the helm is the one who was talking, not that long ago, about the settling of scores. This is his first major act of public engagement with the rest of Scottish football and it is an attempt to humiliate the SPFL and take money from the pockets of every other club in the league … with the sanction of Ian Maxwell and the organisation which is supposed to look out for the game as a whole.
It doesn’t bode well for the future, does it? It proves that no matter what might have changed at the top of the house over there that they still have lunatics running the asylum. You only need to look at the other major piece of engagement in the last month to see what they are about; James Bisgrove, cutting off any prospect of a settlement in the dispute with Celtic by assuring his fan reps that they had no intention of offering us more tickets.
How are we supposed to take them seriously when they talk about wanting to fix this situation? They might be telling us one thing and telling their own fans something else entirely; how are we to believe them either way? This is the level at which they’ve chosen to operate, and so all talk that they want rapprochement with the rest of Scottish football should be taken not with a grain of salt but with all the stuff in Utah.
This is appeasement. Appeasement does not lead to everyone living in mutual respect.
This is not “peace in our time” as our clownish hacks were led to surmise.
Churchill knew it. Let me paraphrase him.
“We have sustained a defeat without a war… (but) do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year … (we) had the choice between war and shame. (Ian Maxwell) has chosen shame – he’ll get war later.”
This Ibrox board is in no mood to make friends.
It appears to be as bloodthirsty, and crazy, as the last one.