An appeal to all Rangers fans


I need your advice. I’m about to set off to Philly to see the famous Glasgow Celtic show Real Madrid how it’s done. But I’ve a few concerns I’d appreciate pre-gaming with you.

Questions. You know I’m gonna get them. Although 300 million-plus Americans have acquired a bit of a reputation for parochialism despite representing the most diverse range of identities, ethnicities and politics there’s ever been in one place, let me I assure you, tomorrow morning I’ll be fielding questions from Eagles fans on the Celts and our infamous rivalry.

1. The rivalry. Naturally, you can understand that right from the get-go these days, there’s a danger of one becoming unsaddled; caught between the pull of the facts and the desire to respect sensitivities. I wanna be accurate and generous here so please advise me on the best approach. Do Celtic still have a rivalry with Rangers or is that past? When I’m describing my Rangers friends should I now just call them friends? Have Celtic been replaced with “Old Rangers” as Servco Rangers’ greatest rivals? How do I explain the Old vs. New Rangers rivalry, I can’t quite keep up: New Rangers have no responsibilities for or association with the 40million pound doping operation, yet they also claim all trophys won during this racket as their own; as part of their history? The yanks will never understand that one lads, help me out!

2. The history. Like most fans I could rhyme off too many stats on cups won and cups nicked; indeed, one wonders what state the world would be in if energies invested in one-way loyalties to these bizarre corporations were invested instead into questions of social policy and history. But I digress. The thing is, how to I describe Celtic’s trophy haul? Should boasts about Big Jock’s famous 9-in-a-row be updated to “…pending an additional 15-in-a-row run of late; announcement to follow“?

3. The future. Picture the scene tomorrow: 40,000-50-000 fans crowding in to watch Paddy McCourt show Ronaldo a few moves. We’re coming off the back of a great start to a Champions League campaign, enjoying a quick intermission with Real Madrid, then resuming pursuit of every trophy in Scotland and a shot at European football nights in Paradise. How do I square this with Rangers big game away to Peterhead tomorrow? People are gonna ask…

Anyways, you’ll have to reply ASAP because we’ve a tradition stateside called tailgating so I’ll be unavailable all morning. Tailgating is a strange business: everyone gathers before a ball has been kicked and parties as though the result is a given and the celebrations need not wait. It’s hard to explain but ask Sir David Murray, he’ll instantly get the concept.





  • mollymooly

    “The yanks will never understand that one lads” – Imagine the Baltimore Ravens existed only in a courtroom.

  • wild turkey

    “I’ll be fielding questions from Eagles fans on the Celts and our infamous rivalry.”

    ah, tell them the old firm thing is far more intense than the ongoing Red Sox v Yankees warzone….. with the mccoys v hatfields thrown in for good measure.

    you could mention that in 1989, when Rangers signed Mo Johnston, ,their first major Roman Catholic signing , David Miller, the general secretary of the Rangers’ Supporters’ Association condemned the signing, saying “It is a sad day for Rangers… I don’t want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox.”

    one can appeal to facts rather than prejudice. but where’s the fun in that?

    so just ask the parochial eagles fans if they didn’t have a reaction similar to Davy Miller when Randall Cunningham started as QB for the Eagles back in the eighies.

    I happen to be one of those 300 million-plus Americans who have acquired a bit of a reputation for parochialism. In recognition of this sordid reality, i now live in norn ironland.

    thank god.

    i can get the occasional away day to metropolitan Ballymena to celebrate diversity, tolerance. cutting edge cuisine all with an effortless sophisticated multi-cultural welcome.

    is this a great wee country or what?

  • Tome Boatrace at ye

    Ruarai, on Molly Mollys point, you could be fighting a losing a battle.
    It could be simplified as good vs. evil….

    You mentioned ‘financial doping’. The Rangers situation isn’t to dissimilar from another form of Doping…i.e ‘Tour De France’.
    What happens? They are removed from the tour, usually receive a ban for several years and have their titles removed.
    The same should be applied to Rangers.

    I’m not a Celtic fan but I expect rules and regulations be adhered to any sport. ‘Soccer’ is no Different.
    Ruarai, enjoy your tailgating in Kila-delphia….Was David Murray tailgating in Manchester many years ago?

    Could they behave?

  • salgado

    With regards “financial doping”, clubs have been spending beyond their means and with dubious financial arrangements ever since football began – to start removing trophies for it retrospectively would be a very bad precendent to set.

    I’m not a fan of either club btw.

  • Look, I’ve tried (and failed) to follow this one on the [Glasgow] Herald and Scotsman web-sites, along with other places of more sordid resort. Confused? You bet.

    If anyone — anyone — can explain the whole Rangers Oldco/Newco saga, I’d be very grateful. Anyway, ever time I look there seems to yet another buyer in the offing.

    I guess there’s a multi-disciplinary team of Ph.D students working on it already.

  • Malcom,
    The two newspapers you mention are part of the story / problem. These two sites will bring you up to speed
    Or read the excellent Alex Thompson’s blog on the Channel 4 website. He is their chief correspondent.

  • Sorry,
    Link to Alex Thompson

  • “Look, I’ve tried (and failed) to follow this one on the [Glasgow] Herald and Scotsman web-sites, along with other places of more sordid resort. Confused? You bet.

    If anyone — anyone — can explain the whole Rangers Oldco/Newco saga, I’d be very grateful. Anyway, ever time I look there seems to yet another buyer in the offing.”

    The ins and outs of this one has definitely been covered best by the new media with the MSM actually been caught complicit in the whole saga.

    Head and shoulders above everything is the “rangerstaxcase” blog though Alex Thompson of Channel 4 News also did a number of good pieces on his blog as well. Mark Daly of BBC Scotland did a documentary on the EBTs and financial mismanagement/fraud that led to their downfall. The Celtic discussion forum Kerrydalestreet had a dedicated thread running from the start of the year which I found useful for layman explanations of each twist and turn – most of which, despite the gloating, proved to be extremely accurate.

  • limpman81

    Firstly Ruarai, your appeal will fall on deaf ears as, make no mistake Rangers are dead, gone, liquidated. The zombie club that have arose from this ,The Rangers, will compete from the bottom tier of Scottish senior football.

    To Salagado, please understand, the possible punishment of stripping of titles is not for financial doping. It is for the incorrect registration of players- in this case that being players having dual contracts- ie one contract which was above board and another hidden contract payed via EBTs. The written punishment for fielding even one ineligible player in a game is an automatic 3-0 defeat, which would amount to every game Rangers played in this period and essentially leave them with zero points in years when they have blatantly cheated their way to titles.

  • salgado

    I do understand that – that’s why I mentioned dubious financial arrangements. I still consider the removal of titles for anything short of outright match fixing to be a dangerous path to take.

    Rangers have (briefly) ceased to exist, and been reinstated down the leagues with further financial issues (and tax bills?) circling overheard. I’d let it lie at that.

  • limpman81

    Wrongly registering players by hiding payments to ensure you can attract a better calibre of player is tantamount to match fixing in my opinion. But we can agree to disagree on that and yet still the rules are written.

    ‘Newco’ seemingly will not be responsible for the tax bills of ‘Oldco’ due to it being a new club and company. That is fact. And yet the lessons of the past have not been learnt as they now sign players from SPL clubs paying them 7-10k per week. And all this with outstanding debt still owed to Celtic, Hearts and Rapid Vienna to name but a few.

  • derrydave

    Ruari – enjoy the tailgaiting, the fun may end abruptly come kick-off time – this Real Madrid team beat AC Milan 5-1 (going on 8-1 !) last week.

    I know from experience how the great experience of travelling with Celtic can be soured somewhat by the actual football (I was there a number of weeks back in Amsterdam when a brilliant days mingling, making friends, having fun and drinking in Dam Square was soured somewhat by us being 3-0 down after only 30 minutes !).

    This is a special Real madrid team – enjoy ! Meanwhile 3000 odd miles away in Peterhead…….. 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    Honestly, Phil Mac and I have discussed this, and I still don’t get it.. New co old co, Rangers is Rangers… surely? No one thinks Bournemouth is not AFC Bournemouth…

    If this whole episode gives the other Scottish clubs a turn at coming second for a while, great. But if it is to be a really new start for one of the most uncompetitive leagues in soccer history it will necessitate Celtic falling into trouble before the Newco get back to the SPL on merit…

    Automatic qualification for Europe for five years means that is hardly likely to happen..

    I’d like to think a lot of things can happen between now and then, but I doubt it will… Big soccer gates is a Glasgow thing… Newco will eventually whallop their way back to the front door of the SPL…

    As for the record… just thing what might have happened to the GAA if there had only ever continued to be Kerry and Dublin in football and Tipp and Kilkenny in hurling…

    Dull, dull, dull…

    Lastly, as an SPL fan, give me almost anything else at the end of the day…

  • galloglaigh

    That link to the Tailgate party, it has a Union flag in the top right corner. I thought maybe it was a US 12th of August Tailgate party? Saying that… Maybe not. It’s just a flag…

    If Rangers want to dodge the tax man (again), fair enough. But if they wash their hands of their financial past, and their drug past, surely they must also let go of their sporting past too? If they’ve cheated their way to titles, the old Rangers should lose those titles. The remaining titles should stay with the old club and it’s supporters, but that old club is not the same as the new club. That’s unless they accept all of their glory, and the illegal ways in which they achieved apparent (illegal?) success.

  • dwatch

    Rangers duo McCoist & Green face SFA disrepute rap RANGERS owner Charles Green faces rap for ‘bigot’ outburst while boss McCoist is carpeted for the ‘who are these people’ SFA panel rant.

  • Mick,
    Please read:
    This explains quite lucidly, why the Rangers issue has much, much wider implications than just one club.

  • Dec

    ‘The yanks will never understand that one lads” – Imagine the Baltimore Ravens existed only in a courtroom.’

    Erm, that’s already happened.

  • Eamonn McCann
  • DC

    Eamonn’s take on the problem with rangers reads like the recent book written about America and how it all went wrong went it moved away from the protestant but in particular Calvinist ethos.

    Anyone know the name of that book, was looking for it there online can’t seem to find it.

  • Fabulous result for the newco rangers team today for their first ever game in the SFL, in fact only their second game ever!
    2 -2 v Peterhead.
    Nice to see them doing so well

  • DC

    An appeal to all Celtic fans, just concentrate on your own team and game.

    That is all.

  • redhugh78

    Peterhead 2 ‘Rangers’ 2

    Rangers will be turning in their grave.

  • DC,
    Just in case you had me in mind I can assure you I am not a Celtic fan. Anyhow, who are they playing today? 🙂

  • Valenciano

    MickFealty, regarding Celtic’s automatic qualification for Europe for five years, you’re missing one important point, the demise of Rangers is disastrous from a Celtic point of view in Europe. Celtic always qualified directly for Europe anyway but while Rangers were around, there were two clubs who could on a good day do well in Europe. That kept Scotland’s European coefficient (club performance average) at a reasonable level. The result was that until very recently, the Scots champs had automatic entry into the champs league group stages, with the runners up (nine times out of ten the other old firm team) starting two rounds earlier in the third qualifying round.

    From this season though the Scots champs (and runners up) start in the 3rd qualifying round, needing to beat two clubs to get to a stage they qualified for automatically a couple of seasons back. This is also the last time this will happen. As of next year, the Scots champs will start in the second qualifying round, while the runners up go into the much less appealing Europa league.

    For Celtic fans that wipes out the automatic prospect of champs league football. The group stages are where the money is at. However in place of trips to Milan, Munich, Barcelona, Paris, Manchester, Moscow and Valencia 🙂 they’ll now have to run around pre-season avoiding mishaps in places like Zestafoni, Korce, Panevezys, Karagandy and Dudelange. While that might be great for fans of more exotic travel, the sub-3000 crowds in places like that are hardly appealing for sponsors, investors or top players, who will be more likely to sign for clubs in leagues where the champs get direct entry to the champs league group stages. Also the real likelihood that Celtic will, more often than not, slip up along the way in the qualifying stages will hardly be good for the club’s financial health either, costing them many millions in European TV revenue.

    Rangers were probably the only other Scots club that had the ability to do well in Europe, without them, Celtic will ironically find the next few years a lot less lucrative.

  • „While that might be great for fans of more exotic travel, the sub-3000 crowds in places like that are hardly appealing for sponsors, investors or top players, who will be more likely to sign for clubs in leagues where the champs get direct entry to the champs league group stages.”

    The top players on the European stage who are going to do you the business in the CL haven’t been signing for either club for some time now; where Celtic might gain playerwise, without the competing charms of Ranger,s is in the recruitment of the best younger Scottish or even English and Irish players

    .They may help them win the SPL forever more (Rangers won’t be back in three years and when they do manage to climb up there again it won’t be as the power of old), but will do diddly squat against yer Reals, Bayerns or even Chelseas.

  • Skinner

    “And all this with outstanding debt still owed to Celtic, Hearts and Rapid Vienna to name but a few.”

    Wrong. The debts have been paid off.

    On another note, the very people who objected to Rangers being allowed back into the SPL, arguing that it is a new club and should have to start from the bottom, are the same people who want further punishment meted out to the ‘new club’ for the misdemeanors of the ‘old’. Is it a new club or is it not? You can’t have it both ways.

  • Reader

    Skinner: You can’t have it both ways.
    The questions about how the new club got the stadium dirt cheap are fair enough, though.

  • Skinner
    “Wrong. The debts have been paid off”
    Please see todays statement from Dundee.

  • Skinner


    Dundee Utd debt is a case apart (it’s disputed) and is not one of those listed in the sentence I was responding to.

  • Skinner

    Reader – what do you mean? The stadium was not sold seperately. In any case it’s not worth much as it’s listed and in a pretty run down area of Glasgow.

  • Mick. The Scottish league has always been a joke. Celtic and Rangers are mirror images of the bigotry imported from here to Scotland. It’s about football the very least of all. An infection sent from NE Ireland to Glasgow and gladly spread over there since. A disease with no apparent antidote.

  • I am enormously grateful to the likes of Ulick, above @ 10:26 pm, 10 August 2012 . I think I’ve got a handle on this thing, now.

    One last thought: why didn’t Rangers (Newco) not extend their usual two-fingers, and apply to — say — la Liga or elsewhere? What’s so special about the SPL that it’s worth three years, minimum, of mud-and-blood? Apart from umpteen Old Firm confrontations, of course.

    [Stop it, Malcolm! Stop it this second!. Your cynicism is s-o-o-o- not funny.]