An Article by
Since 2008 when, the SPL bought into Peter Lawwell's "sporting integrity" sham, in which Scottish football actively hindered a Scottish club in a European Final, Rangers fans were sceptical of the notion, particularly as it was uttered by a man who claimed as a subsidiary reason that Celtic, the one club who benefited by this wilful harming of the Scottish game and reputation, had a tour in Japan, which never actually happened. Sporting integrity seemed to conform to hampering one club and helping another.
Last year, after many other such instances, a lie that Rangers were a new club was put forward and wilfully gobbled up by the media, to suggest that a new club must start from the very bottom of the professional game and if possible, even lower. Sporting integrity demanded, it was claimed, that a new club, which Rangers weren't, had to start from the bottom, after liquidation. It was conveniently ignored that Rangers actually avoided liquidation by the mere fact that the sale of assets, business and goodwill preceded any liquidation process.
At that point, it was up to the SPL board consisting of a handful of appointees to decide as to whether the SPL share should be transferred to the new company representing the same old Rangers Football Club. A traditional and social media campaign demanded that the clubs and further, that the fans of said clubs should get a say. Hesitant, procrastinating, indecisive leaders delayed the decision in the hope that it would be resolved without consulting the sister SFL organisation. The SPL chairmen cow-towed to the online hubbub that was clearly infiltrated by a certain support with a narrative couched in the old sectarian terms.
Vladimir Romanov was the first to publicly state that Hearts would vote against Rangers and now looks like a hypocrite and a fool given Hearts perilous state, which he unbelievably blamed partly on the absence of Rangers away gate money as if unaware of his own vote and role in the affair. Rod Petrie of Hibs, another vocal enemy of Rangers' cause, conveniently overlooked the fact that his own club experienced liquidation in 1991 and received no sanction. Given other clubs such as Motherwell and Dundee, then beneficiaries of Rangers' expulsion, had previously suffered their own insolvency events, the hypocrisy wasn't restricted to Edinburgh. Aberdeen also joined the list by ignoring their own curious avoidance of relegation via invented play-offs and the dubious exclusion of Airdrie and Falkirk on the basis of inadequate stadia for the top tier in Scotland.
It is believed that Celtic's plan was to keep Rangers in but weakened by a points deductions over as many as five years, combined with massive financial penalties rendering them impotent stooges to be beaten into submission by the baying crowd. Unfortunately for Lawwell and co. his own support weren't looking for the fiscal benefits but merely the complete extermination of their rival. Peter knows that Rangers are the biggest show in town and his own support have proven that with falling admissions. This pattern will continue until Rangers return to the top tier at which point they will prove to be another cash bonanza for the East end club after many recent advantages and favours from his old mate from the Coors days, Stewart Regan of the SFA. At that point those who hate us most and wanted us gone forever will expose their own hypocrisy by gobbling up the season tickets in order to get a chance to vent their old sectarian bile at Rangers. Such is the ever-growing glee for this day that Scotland, its jails and casualty units must be preparing to brace themselves for the impending tsunami of hate which will greet Rangers' return. Lawwell now looks to be reaping a bitter harvest for not standing up to the incredibly bitter elements in his own club's support and has sadly pandered to it too often. It is now the core characteristic of Celtic and is now embodied in the in the snarling shellsuit in the Parkhead dugout- a key figure in the refereeing witch-hunt which Regan effectively endorsed.
The SPL tried to pander to this wicth-hunt by dropping Rangers one division to save themselves from the financial hit- a plan not agreed to or discussed with the SFL. Rangers were sent to the bottom of the professional game. A slow Armageddon has ensued with two clubs facing extinction, others edging nearer to it and everyone cutting their cloth with lay-offs, staff reductions and loan players, many of whom appeared in showcase finals.
The precedent was set. Everybody knew it. You couldn't ignore it. The media covered it endlessly. Any club in the future suffering a similar fate would also be sent to the depths of the bottom tier. Of course, sporting integrity demands that the precedent be maintained.
Except that this year with Hearts in a very similar position, we are being told by the head of the new SPFL that Hearts may not suffer the same fate. A Hearts newco can possibly expect a lighter punishment. "Sporting integrity" isn't such a big deal for the "Wee H*ns". Perhaps they aren't Protestant enough or successful enough to be forced to suffer the demands of "Sporting Integrity". Maybe they're just not big or perhaps hated enough to make it worth pandering to such a worthy standard.
The flip side of this is that as the biggest club with the biggest support, whilst not expecting any favours, Rangers should not expect to be subjected to special unfairness, such as this new precedent that was set last year and is now set to be cast aside now that it's not the Ibrox club suffering a fiscal maelstrom. However, Rangers are now used to the special treatment that a whole swathe of "new precedents" have revealed over such wide ranging topics as refereeing, which songs are offensive or merely political and whether the nation should help a club in its efforts to raise the prestige of the national game
Rangers didn't get any help to meet the start of the season. A level of glee greeted their misfortune, even if the whole thing was was the interaction of a fraudster defrauding the club and HMRC looking dangerously close to trying to do the same with a fallacious and extortive tax claim. Even impartial observers, well some of them, can see that the club has been treated with undue harshness.
This year Scotland, its media and football community don't seem to be so worried about Hearts "skipping their responsibilities" Hearts can get off lightly because Scotland doesn't hate them quite enough. There aren't enough, if any, bigots infesting the social media, column inches and airwaves actively campaigning against their well-being as if it were more important than global poverty, terrorism and various economic crises combined.
Can any rational observer take this new body, rushed in to save Hearts and others from suffering the same fate as Rangers, seriously? They are publicly stating that others who go through the same problems as Rangers won't receive the same treatment. Yet, they want us to move on, and even peddled out an old manager or Rangers just to tell us that at the launch of this shiny new league with no new structure and no sponsors at all. (They do have some new logos and names for the league, so it's clearly a fool-proof enterprise guaranteed to see the game thrive.) Clearly sporting integrity is a farce aimed at influencing the media and public debate via propaganda to hinder one particular club while always favouring another.
So there you have it Rangers fans. You will never be treated fairly in Scotland under the current regime and its willingness to pander to the bigoted online idocracy, but please move on and continue follow your team, especially at away grounds as as the other clubs are hurting for the need of your gate money as the nation's largest travelling. Forget all that has happened, swallow our lies, and please continue to bail us out. Scotland hates you, but needs your money. Just pay up and don't expect to see any integrity of any form.