I’ve dipped in and out of the online debate on Scottish football this week. Can’t believe how much has been written on the new club/same club debate. To what end?
If the boot was on the other foot, and Celtic were liquidated in 2012, my relationship with post-liquidation Celtic would be my business only. I’d have no interest in anyone else’s view on the status of Celtic. I am emotionally invested in Celtic, so would be happy to accept any ‘same club’ theory as fact, and would have no motivation in listening to any contrary view on the matter.
Similarly, under the same scenario, there’s not a ‘Rangers’ fan alive who would consider a scenario, with an insolvency practitioner considering whether to let newly formed Cevco 5088 use the name Celtic for their football team, and conclude: “Yip, that’s the same Celtic that started back in 1888, whether they get permission to call themselves Celtic or not”.
It’s lunacy and an insult to all our intelligence to suggest otherwise. I’ve yet to meet a ‘Rangers’ fan who could tell me with a straight face that they would be calling Celtic the same club under if the situation was reversed. In fact, they have openly admitted they would be filling their boots on the subject.
The critical moment in Craig Whyte’s plan was achieved when Duff and Phelps were appointed as administrators, who would subsequently be in a position not to object to a newco calling itself Rangers, as Airdrieonians administrators and liquidators stopped Airdrie United using the name from 2002 until 2013. Declining to object at Companies House to the use of name was a arbitrary act by an administrator, but it was critical to Whyte’s plan to sell tens of thousands of season tickets.
‘Rangers’ fans, however, can believe what they like, no matter what Uefa wrote. All other football fans will point to this huge liquidation event and hear no more on the matter.
You’re not going to convince one ‘Rangers’ fan, who believes they support the same club that was liquidated, that they are wrong. Why should they deny themselves the history and traditions of their club (OK, I’m at it here, but you know what I mean). Don’t waste your time, you’ll convince no one who doesn’t want to be convinced.
Similarly, if Newco Rangers win 51 of the next 100 titles, and Aberdeen win the other 49, when they recall their remarkable achievements, some Motherwell fan will pop up and say, “Aye, but you let our club die”.
For a century or more, if they survive that long, ‘Rangers’ will pitch up to games and hear “Glasgow Rangers, you let your club die”, up and down the country. Just as you’re wasting your time trying to convince a ‘Rangers’ fan who doesn’t want to be convinced otherwise, the liquidation of Rangers in 2012 will forever be marked when a club with that name takes the field. Forever. It’s not going to stop. Anywhere.
All efforts to expunge this notion from the nation’s consciousness have only raised awareness of the detail of the liquidation.
You and I have been talking about Cognitive Dissonance for a decade. It’s the phenomenon when an individual is caused discomfort by an apparent fact which runs contrary to a cherished belief. It’s what you’re seeing and reading in the sameco coverage, and could have been written for these great times to be a Celtic supporter.
Enjoy the game; serve moderate helpings of Cognitive Dissonance.