BILLIONS of words have been written – and a Norwegian forest decimated – telling the tale of the astonishing and spectacular demise of Rangers Football Club.

That being the case, it was extremely brave of author Stephen O’Donnell to embark upon a subject so well documented in the many strands of the media.

What could the writer unearth that was hitherto unknown information? What gems could be uncovered amid the rubble of an institution that drowned in self-inflicted debt? In this country, there are those who will provide a safety net for the author as he takes those steps onto the high wire. There are others who will replace it with a shark-infested pool in the hope there is a faltering step on the tightrope.

It is to O’Donnell’s eternal credit he manages to keep his balance – and that of his tome – to bring the reader a wonderfully insightful look at an institution known for long enough as Scotland’s “establishment club”.

It’s an extraordinary odyssey of a team team from the pinnacle to the pits. This is an exhaustive examination well researched by the author and delivered in an extremely readable format.

In the words of the author, “the eventual loss of the Ibrox side’s grip on eventual reality can be traced back to 1998” when a so-called tax-avoiding scheme could be introduced to attract some of football’s biggest names to Govan to give them an unfair advantage over all the other participants.

O’Donnell tells the story with skill and without rancour. He tells it like it is. He lays out the inescapable facts of a team that collapsed in disgrace, exposed for financial misdeeds that caught up with them and brought liquidation.

Naturally, O’Donnell covers the sordid subject at great length, but this book is a lot more than that. There is an overview of what Rangers Football Club was all about and he does not shirk the issues of sectarianism and other taboo subjects associated with the club.

It is a thoroughly engrossing, penetrating and discerning review that exposes the flaws in a club hell-bent on self-destruction.

Yes, it was a courageous undertaking by the author on such a turbulent topic, but he reaches his goal with a remarkable expose.

A very worthwhile and readable addition to the literary world. And highly recommended.

You can order a copy here on Amazon UK.


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