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JIM SPENCE: Undignified Rangers carry on threatens Scottish football

The gates at Rangers' Ibrox Stadium.
The gates at Rangers' Ibrox Stadium.

Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me, is a classic line, delivered by the immortal Kenneth Williams.

It looks like Rangers have nicked his script though, with their behaviour threatening to turn Scottish football into a Carry On comedy.

The club which, before liquidation, regarded itself as Scotland’s quintessential establishment football institution, is engaged in a war of words with the SPFL, casting aspersions but, as yet, producing no hard evidence.

Statements are being scattered around in a blitz of indignation and incandescence, as the Ibrox power-brokers play to the wild-eyed section of their gallery.

Hints and suggestions of dark deeds done to the Govan club litter the sports pages and the airwaves in a constant diatribe of complaints, which even tinfoil-hat-wearers surely now find seriously wacky.

For a club which traditionally traded on their respectability, they seem to have misplaced it in their purple-faced furore, which takes aim at just about everyone in Scottish football.

To take further artistic licence, the quote attributed to Greek playwright Euripides: “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad,” seems apt, as Rangers rage against the Scottish football world.

What the actual substance of their complaints are is difficult to discern.

What they want they don’t seem to know themselves.

What evidence they have of misdeeds, if any, remains invisible.

At best it appears to be a howl of rage that they’re no longer top dogs.

At worst it’s an unedifying collapse into morose self-pity.

For an institution whose refrain was always: “Dignity,” it’s all rather, well, undignified.


Dundee chief John Nelms could be Scottish football’s ragged-trousered philanthropist.

His interview with The Courier reveals that he’s gained no special favours for his club from the SPFL, and was thinking only of the betterment of the Scottish game when he changed his vote in the recent SPFL voting shambles.

Some cynical folk may feel that certain streetwise power brokers in the game may have played John like a Stradivarius.

Those of a more forgiving disposition will think that an honourable man, looking to the greater good of the game, has risen above the fray.

Whichever view is taken will be shaped by the innate prejudices of football fans, but the thing is done and Scottish football now needs to work quickly and with vision to move towards an acceptable and workable reconstruction model.


Mail Brannigan’s sudden departure from Tannadice will have United fans worrying.

Just this week the MD proclaimed lofty ambitions for next season with a top six spot targeted. Now suddenly he’s gone: “With immediate effect,” and a: “No further comment at this time,” statement from the club.

Conspiracy theorists have a field day in these situations.

Fans wonder why a man who’s been instrumental in reorganising the club’s marketing and general operations has so suddenly departed.

In the middle of the most serious financial challenges clubs have faced in living memory, United need to clarify the situation as soon as possible.

Until they do, many supporters who are contemplating parting with their hard-earned cash for the season books currently on sale, might think twice about it.

Since American owner, Mark Ogren, rode into town, United have been transformed on and off the pitch

Heavy investment’s been made in the squad and stadium.

Now Ogren must say whether there’s any serious issue facing the club, or if it’s simply another of football’s strange twists and turns.

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