05 October 2012

A Moment of Clarity

by Scott Ferguson | CRO Guest Contributor | 

We are all so involved.
Removing oneself momentarily is a strange experience that is somewhat similar perhaps, speaking from recent personal experience, to the moment when after 6 weeks of soul destroying itchiness and discomfort a rather large and quite depressed looking nurse removes your cast from a broken bone - instant relief! But it does not last long as all too readily the relief is replaced by a slight feeling of dizziness and nausea.
In that initial fleeting moment everything was clear and there was elation. But quickly, too quickly, the feeling of ‘normality’ returned.
Unfortunately, ‘normality’ for a Rangers fan is a head swirl of HMRC, EBTs, VAT, Tax, Duff & Duffer and made up facts.  Then there are shysters, BBC mockumentaries, people with short memories,  court cases, tribunals, phone ins for the mentally unstable, UEFA, SFA, SPL, SFL, SPL2,  boycotts of Irn Bru, boycotts of Scotland, boycotts of sanity, apparently unconficted lawyers shouting profanity, Scotsman Phil Gillivan?, Phil McGillivan?, Phil McFinnegan (begin again), sell out Saturdays, 49% sold out Saturdays, preferred bidder, Bill Miller, CVAs, Judgement Days, 48 hours, another 48 hours, Naismith’s away, McCulloch will stay, Alex ‘Tomoblog’ Thomson, Michael Johnston, Steven Thompson,  league reconstruction, Blue Pitch Holdings, secret meetings, a Blue Knight, Craig Whyte, a floating charge, tax cases both small and large, Sir David Murray, Paul Murray, Malcolm Murray, seeing some deeds, creditors, inhibitors, increased police scrutiny, demands of humility, Timmy obsession, widespread depression, Walter Smith, Lord Nimmo Smith, transfer embargos, The Prince of Monaco, Sevco, oldco, newco, noclueco, innuendo, Stewart Regan aka ‘Pinocchio’, sporting integrity, lack of contrition, lack of ambition, liquidation, administration, widespread elation, hatred, bigotry, nitpicking everything Charles Green has to say….this is a normal day.
This is what we call football in Scotland.
And yet despite it all we, the Rangers family, are happy and yet no-one – especially the haters and the enablers - can understand why?
We have more fans in the stadium than anyone else in Scotland. When our games are televised our viewing figures dwarf those of the SPL games shown and, even when our own matches are broadcast, our stadium is still bouncing. All this from the lowest tier of Scottish football - surely not?
What they don’t realise is that our happiness comes simply from the fact that every week we all get to remove ourselves from ‘normality’ and simply watch our club play football. Not just a few seconds of relief but 90 full glorious minutes.
We get clarity. The greatest single piece of good that we will hold onto from this time in our history is that so many of us rediscovered our love for the beautiful game.
There are full houses at home, families are coming back to the games, BF1 is bouncing, free IRN BRU outside the game (I got two) and away games with terracing! Even a hedge!
We are free of the SPL, free of its hatred and free from the bampots – both internet and ‘real life’.
There is now respect between teams and an appreciation shown from fans to both sets of players as they leave the pitch.
Just fucking football!
Rangers are not dead. We are very much alive and kicking and oh how they hate it.
What should be considered dead however is the entire notion and association of the ‘Old Firm’, at least for now.
Unfortunately though the Old Firm is being kept alive by too many. There are so many from both sides, especially those across the city, who for some reason don’t want to move on.  The Old Firm now exists in internet chatrooms, online forums, radio phone-ins and through social media.
The phoney war for moral high ground continues.
It is a never ending heated debate which seems to no longer be about who is better but has instead degenerated into an argument about who is worse.  It’s a truly unwinnable war and one that I wish to be no part of.
Instead I’ll look forward to East Stirlingshire, Montrose and Peterhead.  I’ll enjoy the solidarity amongst the Rangers fans. I’ll enjoy the best atmospheres Ibrox has witnessed for quite some time.
We will be back up the leagues soon enough and in a sense, once this happens and somewhat ironically the party won’t be beginning, the party instead will most probably be coming to an end. If the SPL still exists that is. Does it even matter?
I have no doubt that, even if league reconstruction occurs, the chances are that the same guys, Messrs Regan and Doncaster, will still be there to greet us.
When this day arrives football will quite possibly once again play second fiddle to boycotts and hatred and people like Graham Spiers. Sorry, Britney, no offence intended.
The hatred shown towards Rangers these last few months will feel like a picnic compared to the levels of hatred that will be thrown at us the day we again share a league with those that wanted us to die.
There will unfortunately come a day when the Old Firm will return from the internet and make its way back onto the football pitch and into the stands.
There is of course a part of me (the ‘get it right up ye!’ part) that looks forward to this day tremendously but yet there is a section that dreads the day we again share league status with many of the teams sitting within the current SPL.
We will go from applauding the opposition off the pitch to an atmosphere of tremendous hostility, the same hostility our team will face at away grounds, whether our fans are there to share it or not. This hostility was shown last month when Motherwell visited Ibrox in the League Cup.  There was no applause for the Motherwell players. There was no warm welcome.
I imagine that this game may have put the fear of God into any SPL club that had any notion that drawing Rangers in the cups would be a good thing.
Charles Green said he wanted to show them what they are missing but, to be fair, I doubt Motherwell missed getting skelped at Ibrox by a Rangers team roared on by their 12th man.  Inverness are next up in the League Cup and, although big Terry Butcher will try to put a positive spin on the draw, I very much doubt he favours it.
In truth however the game is merely one in our long journey and, unless at some point in the foreseeable future we are thrown forcibly up the leagues through some much needed league reconstruction, we will have at least 3 years to enjoy purely football.
Perhaps by this time Phil MacMainstream will have completed his trilogy of novels?  Book number two -‘Ah promise ye – They’re deid!’ - should be due for release soon enough. Quite where his new-found status as ‘the man tarred with a sickening sectarian brush’ fits into his plan though I’m simply not sure.
If others can remove the itchy and uncomfortable cast and share a moment of clarity, what is far more probable is that, when the time eventually comes, his ‘Downfall’ book will be appropriately utilized: propping up wobbly tables all across the country.

Scott pops in at the CRO occasionally, and can also sometimes be found rambling over at our friends' place, The Rangers Standard. You can find him on twitter at @st2oh