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Scottish game IS healthier but Rangers still manage to buck the trend


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Keith Jackson: Scottish game IS healthier but Rangers still manage to buck the trend

WITH the majority of clubs in Scotland look like they are beginning to flourish once again, KEITH says Rangers seem unable to move on from the never-ending war for control that continues to rage on in the boardroom.

kingwallace-3286271.jpg Dave King, left, and Graham Wallace

SO now that the football’s finished for another season, where next for Rangers?

Well it won’t be Celtic Park in May anyway. Dundee United made sure of that on Saturday when, even without hitting top form, they coasted safely into this season’s Scottish Cup Final on the back of a 3-1 win, secured at “neutral” Ibrox.

Jackie McNamara’s wide-eyed bunch will now bound on towards Glasgow’s east end where they will be hotly tipped to finish the job against St Johnstone – despite the Perth side’s heroics in slapping down Aberdeen yesterday.

By stopping the rise of the Reds dead in its tracks, Saints have already secured their own piece of history. A first Scottish Cup Final appearance now awaits them and they thoroughly deserve this moment, even if the rest of us were gearing up for what might have been an even more mouth-watering coming together of the New Firm.

In many ways, the game up here was crying out for a United v Aberdeen final but even though they have been kept apart, the ongoing resurgence of these two old foes is perhaps a telltale sign that Scottish football might be getting its act together at long last.

Despite the financial earthquake which reduced Rangers to rubble two years ago and the predictions of a devastating tsunami to follow, football in this country has survived its Armageddon.

Yes, Hearts remain in a critical condition but it was downfall of Romanov rather than Rangers which visited this misery upon them.

Crowds may have fallen at Celtic but any downturn in interest has been more than offset by the tapping into UEFA’s Champions League millions on an exclusive basis.

Aberdeen, while licking yesterday’s wounds, can at least cling on to the League Cup for consolation.

Motherwell are flying high again in the league, United and St Johnstone will now end the season as success stories one way or the other.

It could even be reasonably argued that our national team and manager Gordon Strachan are feeling the benefit of the administration and then liquidation which led to Steven Whittaker, Allan McGregor and Steven Naismith setting off towards the top end of English football.

Naismith, in particular, is beginning to look like a genuine star at Everton and could well be Strachan’s first-choice striker for some considerable time to come.

All of which is good news. Green shoots are everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except at Ibrox.

Because while all around them others are beginning to emerge from this long, nuclear winter and are even starting to flourish, Rangers continue to blow themselves to pieces.

This club has reached a point where it now seems unable to move on, locked into a cycle of self-abuse. While this may be the source of endless amusement for some, maybe even most, those less blinded by their own prejudices can’t have failed to notice on Saturday what the Scottish game has been missing over these last two seasons.

What most certainly has not been missed are the most offensive ditties from this support’s historic song sheet and those Rangers fans who indulged in them on Saturday continue to harm their own club.

They ought to be focusing on a better future rather than returning to the bad old days of F***** this and F***** that. But, for the most part, the atmosphere created by both sets of supporters was utterly compelling.

In fact, there was a pulse about Ibrox the likes of which has not been felt for some time. Even though some wish fervently for this club to be officially declared dead, the more rational must surely realise that a strong Rangers is good for business.

United’s fans revelled in the occasion and in the opportunity to slap a long-term adversary back down. The atmosphere generated by these old rivalries made the match even more engrossing.

In fact, this 90 minutes offered a tantalising glimpse of how things might be again one day. If ever, that is, Rangers are fit for purpose as a football club.

Their problems on the pitch are obvious enough. Much remedial work is required to make this team a serious contender again but none of its problems are insurmountable.

No, the real issues threatening the recovery of Rangers remain off the field where this never-ending war for control still rages on.

Last night Dave King launched his latest thermonuclear statement at the current board, once again calling into question the integrity and honesty of those in charge.

The very idea that this regime might be covering up the depth of the club’s current financial plight should appal a support which has been misled so ruinously by the likes of Charles Green and Craig Whyte before him.

I asked in this column two weeks ago: “Can he (chief executive Graham Wallace) explain why he stood up at the club’s agm on December 18 and insisted robustly that all was well when, with the benefit of hindsight, the whole world can now see that plainly it was not?”

Now King appears to be asking the very same question of the board and its CEO.

With the situation deteriorating rapidly – and the sideshow distraction of the football all but over – it is time for these Rangers fans to decide in whom they would rather place their trust.

If they do back the board, they must be prepared to do so blindly given that they have only three weeks left to renew their season tickets and still have not seen Wallace’s 120-day business review. Which would seem extremely foolish. On the other hand, if they back King then they must be prepared, in theory at least, to starve the club of the very money it needs to survive. Which would appear extremely high risk.

The adoption of such a militant stance will raise the spectre of Administration II and bring many of these supporters out in a cold sweat.

But the truth is this money will only be kept away from the club if the current regime remains intransigent and unwilling to secure it against Ibrox and Murray Park. There seems no logical basis for the board NOT to bend on this one.

In other words, if the worse case scenario unfolded and Rangers were forced back under, the collapse will not have been caused by rebellious supporters but by a board that may need to be broken down completely for this club to be properly rebuilt.

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Must have missed all these debt for equity deals at scumdee utd, Killie and scaberdeen.

Even saying the national team benefiting from our administration. Our players were key to Scotland before admin.

KJ sliteyes lap dug right enough.

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I normally read at least the whole posting of the article but I couldn't go past the first paragraph.

What a load of nonsense that idiot writes.

"even without hitting top form"? Does his simple brain not maybe put that towards Rangers not allowing them to hit "top form", whatever that may be.

Absolute cnut of a man.

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Scottish football is flourishing? I can tell you where it's flourishing. With the clubs in div 3 and div 2.

If someone had suggested two years ago Albion rovers would donate 100k to cash for kids you would have been locked up. But then the rangers support, so often vilified and has swelled the coffers of around 20 clubs in the lower divisions. I'm led to believe that not one club in the lower divisions are now in debt. All thanks to the Rangers support.

Dundee Utd, st Johnstone and Aberdeen all shared the gate money with Rangers at the weekend's semi finals. Guess who made the largest contribution to this windfall?

One day a journalist is going to write a piece about the time between 2012 and 2016 when Rangers fans (not the club or any other for that matter) single handedly nursed so many football clubs back to health.

AYE RIGHT!

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probably is most deluded piece yet , a myoipic view where everything is rosy apart from Rangers, is the most obvious example of writing an article to suit a particular agenda. The bit on Whittiker, McGregor and Naismith really gave the game away. The bit on cellic crowds being offset by Champions league money, while true, is laughable.

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An out and out fucking fud of a man, who is blinded by hatred for the Rangers. Another reason that the sooner he and the other haters who write edit and produce that fuckin rhag are trying to scratch a living fae internet blogs the better. Selling pro mhanky anti Rangers articles is how the vhermin make a living in Scotlands new inclusive Society. How any Bear still parts wae money for that steaming cess pit of hate and bias is truly beyond me.

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Keith Jackson might as well be a pen name for Dave King.

He sold any journalistic integrity he had years ago and is now just a pet mouthpiece for King propaganda.

His one sided, fact ignoring, diatribes show he is just as toxic as Irvine ever was.

How any journalist, let alone one claiming to be a football one, can ignore the biggest scandal in British football shows just how corrupt these scribes are. If they weren't bought and paid for tame sheep they would be investigating these land deals.

Some real journalist will make his name doing so.

Jacko is too busy allowing himself to be worked from the back as kings Goebbels, in the hope of getting a proper job at Ibrox.

The cretin is an embarrassment to journalism.

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everybody else in Scotland is positive and feel good about Scottish football and their team,and teams are flourishing ....... fuck me is he fucking having a laugh?? comedy gold.

make sure you get the maximum negativety towards Ranngers for yer avid readers Keith ya fuckin walloper.

The Billy Boys is back fuckin deal with it, I actually sang "we'll sing the sash and derrys walls surrender or you'll die" and if I sing it louder than the person next to me It will be back without ppl like you crying over some words on a football terrace ya fuckin hand wringing cunt.

fuck the rhebel and its tarrier readers.

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The Scottish game continues to flourish? A Rangers side ravaged by injuries to key players 2 divisions below that team on Saturday outplayed them for most of the game. Thought this team we played was supposed to be an exciting up and coming side ? They got the breaks on Saturday and Rangers gifted them their goals.

I dont watch much SPFL but saw the league cup final and a few weeks ago the sheep v hivs and both games were dross. The standard in Scotlands top league has never been worse. If my opinion is seen as biased then wait till the Euro qualifiers when Scotlands finest who are flourishing get dumped out by Europes minnows in the qualifying rounds.

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