Mob Politics Cannot Be Seen to Influence This SPL Judgment

Daily Mail (London), April 30, 2012 | Go to article overview

Mob Politics Cannot Be Seen to Influence This SPL Judgment


Byline: John Greechan Taking issue with the sporting world

DO the right thing. Except when confronted by naked intimidation by those powerful enough to carry out all threats of payback. In those circumstances, buckling under the pressure is entirely understandable.

Do the right thing. Unless you have really got it in for someone, of course. Then you can feel free to don the steel toecaps and start hoofing for fun. All's fair in love and football, after all.

Do the right thing. Sweet moderation, heart of this nation, that used to mean something. Some of us once believed that, allowing for differences of opinion and individual lapses on a grand scale, this simple tenet just happened to underpin the very fabric of a working society.

Anyone listening in to the latest bullying outbursts from inside Ibrox would wonder if those days had gone for ever. Because the latest campaign to influence both today's SPL meeting and an SFA appeal into certain penalties imposed on Rangers is mob politics of the ugliest kind.

Sandy Jardine has every right to hand back his SFA Hall of Fame award in protest at sanctions against his beloved club. Supporters have the right to protest; the Scottish game would be a hell of a lot better if more punters got together to complain about their lot.

But then Jardine has to go and spoil it all by saying that the Fans' Fighting Fund will 'take appropriate action against either the governing bodies or against clubs we feel are being detrimental to Rangers'.

He further admitted that 'everything is on the table' when it comes to action. 'We will find out what clubs voted against us,' he added.

Now, there are some good reasons for people deciding that the much-discussed 'newco punishments' proposed by some SPL clubs aren't worth the trouble. Or at least that -- even if they were enforceable -- they shouldn't be rushed through just to catch out Rangers. But fear of reprisals by the Ibrox club isn't one of the reasons.

Jardine is effectively telling clubs how to vote -- or else. It is utterly shameful and, sadly, in keeping with much of the bluster that has accompanied this saga.

Take, for example, the reaction to the 'swingeing, draconian, utterly disgraceful, completely unacceptable' one-year transfer embargo imposed on Rangers. Appeal pending.

In truth, the independent panel were right to recommend a senior signing ban that stretches no further than the next two transfer windows. Because, while Rangers are certainly victims of Craig Whyte's rush to insolvency, they were also beneficiaries not only of his predecessor's unsustainable largesse, but of Whyte's refusal to balance the books on arrival.

We are told by administrators that the club was running an operating loss of [pounds sterling]1million a month when they arrived in February. …

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