Those regular readers of my football blogs will know that most of my work is based on a humorous slant to our wonderful game, a reference to the latest events, sometimes with a personal touch, but never heavily researched or detailed references to a subject matter or particular facet of our game.
It was along these familiar lines I was scribing when I started out on this blog. Who else could I write about than Rangers and their current predicament, especially on a weekend when the worst possible fate could have happened to them. Defeat at home to Celtic would have meant the arch enemy winning the League Title on the hallowed turf that is Ibrox, a blow surely even more painful for the Rangers faithful than the current financial mess they are in.
What I didn’t account for as I used the old Rangers motto aye ready for my lead headline (in reference to the Scottish giants preparing themselves for more dark days to come) was the wife clocking my title and insisting if I was to write about Rangers then she didn’t want any humour about their current predicament and what was required was a factual, researched document that explained how the once Scottish giants had managed to so catastrophically fall from their lofty perch.
So you want a detailed explanation of Rangers finances I asked? Yes she replied, do you know how they got in this much trouble? Now I should explain, my wife, Glaswegian to her very core I would describe at best has a bias to Rangers and no more. Indeed it was part of her charm as my favourite Scottish club has always been Rangers. I tried to explain to her about the Tottenham link once, Paul Gascoigne, Richard Gough, the Rangers of the 90’s, spending money like it was going out of fashion but she just looked at me blankly, I guess it was her student years so maybe she wasn’t awake for much of it.
So having considered the good ladies request I have dropped my humorous lines and for all my regular readers I apologise, no laughs here, fasten your seatbelts , if the good lady wants factual and researched who am I to deny her this, on a subject she obviously feels passionate about.
Just before we go all factual and researched, I should just say that I have explained Rangers predicament to the good lady in a language she could understand, it went like this:
Imagine you have just been paid your monthly salary, you then realise that all your monthly direct debits exceed that salary by about 100%. Now rather than trying to do something-about reducing the direct debits, you try to keep this quiet for a number of years as the Bank Manager seems friendly and allows you a little extra each month to keep you in shoes & handbags.
You then have a great idea, you ask your employer to lend you the next three years salary up front, promising to pay back at least half in interest and payments over the next three years but giving you less income with the same amount of direct debits. This small inconvenience though is overcome because you have also predicted that success in the job will bring those European adventures that other colleagues have had and made lots of money, so you ask the bank to forward the potential income from that as well.
You then find out that somewhere along the line you haven’t been paying enough tax on the income you earn, tax man asks for a refund just about the time the Bank Manager don’t seem so friendly, the promised European money isn’t forthcoming as Beryl from accounts got that job and suddenly you will have to own up and advise those most closest to you, those who have supported you that you are broke and ask for a fund to be set up in your name to pay off the debts. Failing that of course you could use the money we have saved for a rainy day to bail you out, you search for it only to find out that it isn’t there anymore or start hunting in the attic for that family air loom.
Looking a little confused and I have to say a little pale the good lady has left the room and given me some peace to start on this factual blog.
So back to the research, the title of this blog as mentioned above is the Rangers motto “always ready” or as it is now known as ‘Ready’ the motto was changed in 1966 (factual) Having averted this weekend’s crises by overcoming Celtic the question is are Rangers ready and prepared for the onslaught and no doubt elongated road to recovery they must take, for falling into the trap of chasing success on a budget they simply could not afford. Sure it’s much more complicated than that, money matters always are at that level but the facts that my wife is now contemplating don’t go much further from the truth, Rangers simply couldn’t afford their lifestyle and may be the answers lie no further than in their very own founder members.
After hours of detailed research I have come up with the reason why Rangers find themselves in the position they are:
Rangers FC was formed in 1872 by four founder members, brother’s Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell and William McBeath. All but one of them died in circumstances that have a ring of irony and for-warning for Rangers that no-one has yet seen or published.
Moses McNeil lived to the grand old age of 82, played for Rangers and Scotland and lived a full life until he passed away in 1938 in his beloved Scotland. No hint of the irony to come but factual you must agree.
Peter Campbell was not so lucky as Moses, he departed this earth at the very young age of thirty four, what may you ask happened to this fit young footballer that should cause such an early death…..he drowned as his ship went down (irony started) on the Bay of Biscany, his ship Saint Columba was caught in a storm and his body never recovered.
William McBeath had a very hard life, plagued by family issues, failed marriages and most enlighteningly a case against him for fraud in 1896 where he was accused of selling advertising space for a newspaper that never existed or was distributed (some irony). McBeath was cleared but live never got any better for him and he spent his final days in a Lincoln poor house branded an imbecile.
Finally and with the most irony I could find, Peter McNeil, brother of Moses, never made it past his 47th birthday after a life playing and working for Rangers. He sadly ended up in the Hawkhead Asylum in Paisley, he was certified insane, been sectioned and the reasons recorded for this terrible end was the mental & physical strain put on him due to pressure of financial problems……….
It appears Rangers F.C was not built on the solid ground we all thought it was and after my researched blog we can now perhaps track that lack of solidity way back to before the current owners and officials who now have the job of bringing Rangers back to the real world.
By the way this research lark is easy, expect more researched documents in the future, I’m off to find the wife, I heard her going into the attic on the phone to her bank………but I’m not worried.