Malcolm Murray, the newly appointed chairman of the Newco club Charles Green hopes to establish, yesterday entertained us with his comments on punishments served on a football team suspected of cheating you for over a decade. He said:
“We’ve had giant punishments already – a European ban, a 10-point deduction, the emotional trauma everyone has suffered. I think, for the good of Scottish football, it’s much better Rangers in the SPL.”
There has been no European ban. Newco will not be eligible for European competition because it is a Newco and Uefa requires three years accounts from participating clubs. They are simply not eligible, they have not and will not achieve the qualification criteria for European football for three years.
The 10-point penalty imposed on Rangers last season for seeking protection from creditors by going into administration is hardly a “giant” punishment. It changed nothing. Rangers were second in the league when it was imposed and remained so. They released no players and went on to defeat Motherwell twice, ensuring they finished the league in second place, earning £900k in additional prize money.
As a punishment, it is the equivalent of banning Ally McCoist from this year’s 100m Olympic competition. Pointless.
Which leaves us with “the emotional trauma everyone has suffered”. Compared to the emotional trauma suffered by Dundee, Motherwell, Gretna, Third Lanark fans, recent events have been nothing more than a focus for some robust rallying calls.
Don’t even start me on the emotional cost of losing the league in 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011, all to a team of cheats. How do you measure that? Think back to each day we lost those titles and tell me how you felt about them then and how you feel now, knowing you were cheated.