Sir David Murray bought Rangers in 1988, two years after the arrival of Graeme Souness had kick-started the football club which had spent most of the previous two decades in the shadow of Celtic, then Aberdeen and Dundee United.
Murray maintained the highly speculative transfer policy of previous owner, Lawrence Malborough, achieving considerable domestic success during his first decade at the club.
Last year Celtic Quick News reported his greatest contribution to Scottish football:
“Within a year of taking control of Rangers Murray ended the most blatant sectarian employment policy still in place in Scotland when his club openly signed a Catholic football player for the first time since before World War I. For this, he deserves enormous credit.
“Many of you grew into adulthood in a country where a large part of the population supported a ‘No Catholics at Rangers’ policy. The sense of shock in 1989 when Rangers signed Maurice Johnston will be difficult to relay to a young reader. This was a taboo no one thought would end.”
After Martin O’Neill’s Celtic redrew the balance of power in Scottish football, Murray found it difficult to compete. He also perhaps found it difficult to lose. A highly controversial Employee Benefit Trust scheme was used to compensate dozens of footballers as well as non-football staff. The consequences of this scheme, the legality of which has still to be decided, brought the club to its knees.
Murray’s business interests had grown from its initial base in steel to encompass a huge property investment empire. When the recession brought a tightening of lending criteria and the property crash arrived in 2008, Celtic Quick News predicted Rangers would go out of business. The clock has been ticking ever since.
Murray sold Rangers to Craig Whyte a year ago, later claiming he was “duped” by Whyte, although former chairman, Alasdair Johnston, today disputes this claim.
All roads of this entire debacle lead back to Murray.
Prediction: Sir David Murray will pay a heavier price than anyone else involved in this mess. I’ll hold fire for now on what I think will be the more serious consequences but I expect Sir David, along with Ogilvie, Clark, Whitehouse and others will face an SFA Judicial Panel for what has happened at Rangers and that none will work in football again.
Many thanks for the info on clubs playing out-with their associations’ geographical area. No more needed.
You can buy a hard copy of the new issue of CQN Magazine via Magcloud here.
The graphic below is just for a flick through, to read the magazine go here to it’s dedicated site.[calameo code=000390171f00e38a3786d lang=en page=58 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]