IT SAYS much for the abilities of today's front-line sports journalists in Scotland that, if you want to know what is happening as regards “The Ibrox Three” - messers Warburton, Weir and McParland, the Rangers management team who apparently “resigned” just over a week ago – you don't head to the traditional fountains of truth and fairness – The Herald, The Scotsman or BBC Scotland – no, you go straight to the blog of a Donegal-based Celtic supporter.
Yer man Phil Mac Giolla Bhain has been ahead of the game in matters Rangers since the far-off days when Sir David Murray was master of all he surveyed. Phil might be a Celtic fan with a Rangers obsession, but, he has consistently been a better reader of the complex intrigues around Ibrox than have the sports writers he so-brilliantly dismisses as “stenographers” (tm. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain).
He was at it again last night, in my view correctly pointing-out, if “The Ibrox Three” stand firm in their determination to prove they were sacked and did not resign; if they take it all the way to the Court of Session, then Rangers will need to find some £2-£3 million which they do not currently have, to fight a case they will probably lose. The embattled club is also elsewhere engaged in a legal dispute with Mike Ashley of Sorts Direct, where again, the smart money is on another defeat, and, for all I know, there could be other cases to come.
This, as PMGB delights in pointing-out, from a club without a line of credit from a bank and dependant on “soft” loans from directors to keep going.
But, you will not find such information in the newspapers. Why not? Are they maybe a wee bit feart that Ra Bears, who are not best disposed to the bearers of bad news about their beloved club, might turn nasty?
At least, the esteemed Bill Leckie is telling it like it is. If it was any other club, the fans would be revolting, there would be boycotts, but, maybe it's their creed of “No one likes us, we don't care” or perhaps “No Surrender”, but, crying: “The Big Hoose must stay open”, Ra Peepul will still turn up in numbers to howl their battle anthems at the moon as the footballing ship called “Dignity” founders yet again, under the catastrophic captaincy of an exiled glib and shameless liar.
Turning 70 next week, as I will, I will probably not be around when, after all the legal shenanigans end and the dust settles, someone, maybe that young boy Spiers, writes the definitive book, which spawns the definitive film, which becomes the accepted historical telling of a terrific tale.
I can see it now, some perhaps as yet unborn Scottish actor, a future Gerard Butler (although he's the “wrong” religion for the story) will, clad in a royal blue shirt, with the five stars on the left breast, face the camera and defiantly roar: “We are RANGERS”.
MEANWHILE, has anything happened on the pitch? Well, Aberdeen put Motherwell to the sword in midweek and Mark McGhee made a right tit of himself with some less than sporting Aberdeen fans, and became, in the process, a You Tube hit. Fitting.
That win put the Dons into second spot, ahead of Rangers. Well the stnographers (tm. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain) can concentrate on bigging-up “The Race For Second”, now we know the only question about Celtic's coronation as Champions will be, after which game doe they achieve this?
Elsewhere, Lee Clark has shown rare good judgement and shot the craw to Bury from Kilmarnock. Now there is a club with ongoing problems. I was there in a journalistic capacity the last time things went really tits-up at Rugby Park, back in the day before Bobby Fleeting arrived. I can see that scenario being reprised.
Good luck to Lee McCulloch, in his caretaker role, he'll need lots of it, plus a few goals from Boydie, to keep Killie in the top flight.
I DO NOT pay much attention to the Champions League – comparing the football there to what we are served-up on a regular basis in Scotland, well, it's depressing. I watched PSG take Barcelona apart in midweek, most-impressive, as was Bayern's disassembling of Arsenal 24-hours later. Aye, yon unidentified SFA official who, in the wake of the Real Madrid v Eintracht game at Hampen back in 1960, said: “Of course, Scottish fans would not pay to watch this kind of football on a weekly basis” clearly had his finger on the pulse of a nation. And his descendants along Hampden's sixth floor corridor are keeping the faith.