I didn’t realise until watching TV last night it was Keith Lasley that Anthony Stokes ‘did’ on Saturday, the player who put Adam Matthews out of the game for a couple of months. It’s a physical game, and I’m not going to concede violent behaviour is acceptable, but it would be super-human to not be affected by earlier violence. We need to rise above this.
On a similar theme…. Another incident I missed at the game was James McFadden wresting Fraser Forster, who was holding the ball, early in the second half. Minutes later Fraser threw himself to deny McFadden what looked like a certain goal.
Players need an edge to be able to summon their very best performances, and a wee nyaff climbing all over you is as likely to give you an edge as anything. McFadden has a few years left in him. He’s at a well-run club who will give him the platform to excel, if he can find the focus to deliver.
I see some re-writing of history today and over the weekend on where responsibility for Newco Rangers acute financial plight lies. Among throwing blame on convenient scapegoats, one-time-hero-though-transparent-chancer Charles Green, and financial director, Brian Stockbridge, few seem prepared to offer up the prized oaf.
They banked £22m from a share issue and cash from circa 30,000 ticket sales, enough to see them through to top flight football, as long as they didn’t blow it on football bling. So who was responsible for doing exactly that (if you can stretch the definition of bling to Jon Daly and even lesser appealing gems)?
Sure, Stockbridge and Mather signed off, and they certainly knew the financial situation the club was in, but we know enough of the story to explain why it happened.
Despite having a budget close to 100 times their opponents Newco suffered considerable humiliation at the hands of fourth-tier clubs last season. Without reinforcements their chances of progress from the third tier was far from guaranteed – if they continued to allow Ally McCoist to run football operations.
McCoist was unsackable. He played the fans perfectly, earning a ridiculous contract and shares a 1p each for his ability to put bums on seats. Mather had to throw enough talent into the squad to ensure promotion with McCoist in charge, then rely on Charles Green to pull together another share issue.
The question you have to ask is, once McCoist had his reinforcements, who torpedoed the Charles Green supply ship?
No one is going to tell you Charles Green is a man you would want associated with your club, but before mob-rule ensured his attempts to raise investment cash were quashed, should someone not have asked the questions, why did the board find it necessary to bring such a pariah back and what happens if we throw him and his investment plans out?
We’re about to find out.
If suggestions that Newco will come close to expiring cash in hand before season ticket income arrives are accurate I expect they will get there, even if players don’t agree to a wage cut. Companies can control when to pay creditors, even HMRC, who despite what is likely to be an acute interest in Newco, would take months to complete a debt recovery action.
Don’t get too drawn in the minutia of this, whether an insolvency event happens or not does not change the fundamentals, which we touched on last week. Newco had a gamblers chance of turning into something resembling Oldco.
Spooking the SPL into giving them a ticket into top flight football would have seen them debt free and competing for last season’s SPL. Three years of paying our bills while losing the league would have been pointless. I genuinely think only one of Glasgow’s big teams was ever going to survive the SPL decision on Newco.
Had they liquidated Oldco, then flooded Newco with talent and won the league, Celtic would not have recovered, a reality that should be remembered when journalists talk about Scottish football harming itself in 2012. It was them or us.
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