By TomTom – Your SatNav around Football
There will be talks this week to decide whether Rangers newco will participate in Division 1 of Scottish football or unthinkably in the bottom tier, Division 3. Whichever outcome is eventually decided upon, there is a profound sadness surrounding Rangers’ tale of woe. The once mighty ‘Gers, now with only six full time players, a transfer embargo and the unthinkable prospect of facing life in SFL3.
Even the green half of Glasgow must be experiencing mixed feelings about their great rivals’ fall from grace. Think Tom with no Jerry, Elmer Fudd without Bugs Bunny. It’s certainly going to be a strange season without their blue foes from across the city.
And what about the Rangers faithful? If the decision is for Rangers newco to participate in SFL3, how will they respond to the concept of travelling to watch their team face the likes of Annan Athletic at Galabank, capacity 2,000 with 500 seats?
The image is poignant, a battered heavyweight champion, reduced to brawling bare fist in bars.
Surely the SPL must recognise the pathos in this scenario. Already woefully trailing Scudamore’s Premiership fancy dans, this will surely put Scottish football further off a map they were scantily clinging on to. There was at one stage a growing call for Rangers and Celtic to be included in the top tier of English football. Southampton, West Ham and Reading now seem far more reliable additions to the competition. The famous European nights in the city which at one time boasted the 3 biggest stadia in the world, now appear a distant memory.
Perverse Pleasure in Pain?
McCoist, who has shown great loyalty to his club throughout this process, has this week spoken of the supporters’ preference of starting again in SFL3. It remains to be seen whether this testament will remain through what could prove to be a long, cold winter in obscurity.
The only hope is that Rangers newco somehow grab resolve from their plight. They may find that there is a certain perverse pleasure in supporting your team through troubled times. The winning feeling is certainly more cherished when it is less frequent. There is nothing worse than a deafening silence of expectancy hanging over a football stadium, the novelty factor of success long forgotten.
In that vein, there are Man City fans who are uncomfortable with their recent inorganic growth and long for the Division 2 days at the crumbling Maine Road. Fans who gained just as much satisfaction from the Paul Dickov inspired comeback in the Division 2 Playoff final against Gillingham as they did from Sergio Aguero’s last gasp winner in the season just past. There are also Burnley fans who enjoyed the Tuesday night away trip on the terraces at Leyton Orient far more than the Saturday lunchtime visit to the airport terminal that is The Emirates.
Clearly next season will be new territory for the ‘Gers faithful, so let us hope they can enjoy the perversity of nicking a point at Stirling Albion, rather than bludgeoning their way illegally and beyond their means to their 55th top flight title. So Rangers are going to have to take their medicine, regain their integrity and battle it out at the basement. I’m intrigued to see how they and their fans adapt. They may well find it perversely pleasurable. I wish them well.« Sports Lawyer role in Social Networking Andy Murray and a Message from Tom Allnutt »
“Having studied English at university and always been a keen footballer and fan, combining the two has always appealed to me.” - Tom Lytton-Dickie. -"I'm a recently qualified journalist and I've worked in newspapers and broadcasting. I'm a dedicated follower of all sports primarily football, tennis and cricket." Tom Allnutt
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