Rangers FC, or Glasgow Rangers as many refer to the club, 54 times Scottish champions and the winners of the SPL for the last three seasons, have gone into administration. Unpaid tax bills that reach the incredible sum of £84 million in two separated disputes mean a grim future for the club, the Scottish Premier League and even Celtic and the Old Firm derby.
Yesterday was a sad day for the club, although optimistic voices have been heard. Manager Ally McCoist is confident that the club will emerge in a better position from the administration. Paul Clark, one of the administrators, claims that the process will clear the financial uncertainty that has followed and eaten away the the club in the past few years.
But it’s nearly impossible to comprehend that a club of this stature, with a huge following in the UK and around the world, a club with an average attendance of over 45,000 and is one half of one of the biggest rivalries in the history of the sport has crippled itself in a way threatening its own existence.
Craigh Whyte may be the man in charge of the sinking ship for less than a year now, but it is David Murray, who was the owner of the club from 1988 and presided over the very successful 1990’s period which saw Rangers not only win the league uninterruptedly, but was able to make the club a big draw in terms of quality players, with the Briand Laudrup and Paul Gascoigne era arguably the best in club history.
David Murray’s over spending in the face of a Celtic revival under Martin O’Neill brought the club into debt, and his antics with the tax strategy, which he and others were never really able to pull the club out of, and finally, after more than a decade of trying to find a way out, dangerous financial behavior caught up with the most successful club in Scotland.
Ally McCoist – We will be doing everything to make sure Rangers comes out the other side far better and far stronger. There’s no getting away from it. It has been a very disappointing and black day. We have 140 years of fantastic history at this football club but the most important thing is that we look to the future and the next 140 years.
Going into administration obviously wasn’t ideal but it’s the opinion of many people that it might be the best thing for this football club. Everybody at this club wants the club to continue, which it will do that’s for sure, and this might just be the best way forward. So we have to adjust to what’s happened, react to it and take the club forward and we aim to do that.
Paul Clark – We will be conducting regular meetings with the staff and, wherever we can, will keep giving messages to the fans who we know have an interest in the work that we are doing. I can’t give any firm commitment but certainly over the next day or two we hope to get control of the finances of the club and to better understand what we need to do in the coming days and weeks.
The club had been in such a period of uncertainty that the administration will actually relieve that uncertainty and start to build the future.
For Celtic fans rejoicing the fall of their eternal rivals, there’s no real need to be happy. No one will care about Celtic vs Hearts if the worst does befall Rangers. Losing 10 points and the chance of winning the title seems irrelevant, petty even.
A future without the Old Firm derby is almost like a death sentence for a league that had most of its teams probably wishing Rangers and Celtic would leave and join the English Premier League, back when the two were actually on par, in terms of quality and financially with some of the biggest English clubs.