Scottish Fitba: The Five Stages Of Grief

The name Kubler-Ross will be unknown to 99% of Scottish fitba followers, and rightly so because that name doesn’t belong to a long line of high profile recruits at Bayern or Dortmund; it belongs to a psychiatrist whose groundbreaking work in the late 20th century brings clarity and understanding to the mess that surrounds the game in Scotland. Her book, Death & Dying, published in 1969, introduced to the world the classically regarded Five Stages Of Grief that we can now use to define and measure the weakening heartbeart of the senior patient north of the border.
These are the Five Stages Of Grief…
Denial Sound familiar?
Anger Sound familiar?
Bargaining Sound familiar?
Depression Sound familiar?
Acceptance Sound familiar?
Remember, this is serious stuff; Kubler-Ross’s research documented each of these stages of grief long before David Murray hatched his plot to dominate the game in Scotland and beyond these shores, with or without his friends in high places. So let’s take the lid off each stage and try to understand how the game stands on the edge of the abyss…
Denial
Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information and reality relating to a situation. It’s a defence mechanism and it’s perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic event. But who could possibly be in denial? Well the board of the liquidated club formerly known as Rangers for starters; the management at Ibrox who to this day haven’t uttered one word of apology or regret in recognition that they did wrong; the SFA and its President in particular; and last but not least the supporters of the Glasgow club who continue to peddle the myth that it’s the same club with the same history. Sorry pal, it’s not, and Kubler-Ross has an explanation for why you feel that way; it’s called the first stage of grief.
Anger
Anger can manifest itself in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others. Charles Green is angry because he feels that Sevco have been victimised. Sorry to break this to you Charles but your club haven’t been victimised at all; quite the opposite. If the SFA and the SFL had followed their own rules properly when your new club was formed, you wouldn’t be playing in Division 3; you wouldn’t have been in the league at all. Then there’s the anger of supporters; of Sevconians towards the supporters of, well, every other club in Scotland, and in return the anger that ordinary fans of ordinary clubs feel about the way that the SFA, the SPL, the SFL and the media in Scotland have gone about their business in cuddling up to the establishment club (both its corpse and its infant), the club that Lord Nimmo Smith confirmed as having cheated its way to success in its previous life. Aye, there’s anger out there alright, but that’s okay because fortunately, Kubler-Ross nailed it for us; it’s called the second stage of grief.
Bargaining
How much bargaining do you want? Would you be looking at a five minute bargain or a full blown thirty minutes of extra time? There’s been so much bargaining throughout this sorry tale that Kubler-Ross could have penned a whole book on the topic in its own right. First we had Doncaster trying to shoehorn Sevco into a bankrupt SPL and by golly he nearly got away with it; shame about the fans and the great uprising though, eh? Then we had the Doncaster-Regan plot to parachute Sevco straight into Division 1 in order that the Doncastership would only be without its favoured one for a single season. Oops, forgot about the fans again; they’re a feckin rebellious lot, the Scots. So sod the bargaining, just bin the rule book and get Sevco sharpish into something, somewhere and then dress it up as a moral crusade… “nae bother” they thought, “we’ll hatch a plan to bulldoze Sevconia back up the leagues faster than you can order a half time horsemeat pie”. Sorry chaps, but the fans really are revolting. Bums on seats, I don’t think so: #Boycott is the name. But for all those suits in the committee rooms at Hampden, I have some reassuring news: your tactics are not new, for Kubler-Ross wrote about them over forty years ago. They’re documented as the third stage of grief.
Depression
Sometimes referred to as preparatory grieving, this shows that the person (or persons) has at least begun to accept the reality. It is essentially acceptance with an emotional attachment. This is unfortunately the place that Dunfermline supporters will be in if the efforts to save their club do not succeed. This is the place that the rest of the fitba community will be if it ultimately comes to pass that there will be no more away days to East End Park, or god forbid to Tynecastle and the raucous day out that that ground provides. Depression is characterised by sadness, regret, fear and uncertainty and Scottish fitba has all of those attributes in spades just now, courtesy of the collective failure of those in command to do the simple stuff like follow their own rule book.
Acceptance
And finally there’s acceptance. This stage varies considerably according to one’s own situation but broadly it reflects emotional detachment and objectivity. It is a late game, and not in sense that it’s an 8 o’clock kick off. As a competition, the game has ceased to be. It means nothing: corruption, cheating and cover up have seen to that. What is not clear however is whether the game will suffer a slow lingering, painful death, courtesy of complete lack of intensive care, or whether patient clubs (sic) will suffer a collective cardiac arrest. Only time will tell…
**********
And there you have it: Scottish fitba explained through the work of an eminent psychiatrist who died, ironically, right at the start of the 2004/05 season that saw the former Rangers FC field ten EBT’s on the final day of the season.
Scottish fitba has been blown wide open across the whole five stages: is it any wonder therefore that the game’s dying on its feet when you’ve got the SFA, the media, Rangers, Sevco and their supporters in denial; everybody angry with everyone who doesn’t agree with their version of ‘the truth’. Meanwhile the governing bodies are busy with their heads in the sand, attempting to gerrymander a fix that will see their favoured friends back snouting in the big trough as soon as, leaving ordinary supporters to look on in the realisation that the game is perceptibly corrupt from the top down.
Scottish fitba has passed away and only a national NewCo (sic) can rekindle its soul.
By Steve Taylor ICT Supporter and Highland Marcher.
@VonSchiehallion

Comments

  1. Steve
    Brilliant piece of interpretation and explanation. What is truly encouraging is to hear that supporters of other clubs are of a similar opinion to one’s own. I believe that not a few Celtic supporters are reluctant express their opinions too openly for a variety of reasons, not least the bias tag that might be given by association to the club itself. Any comment from a Celtic fan can so easily be written off as bigoted rather than be openly and properly debated – if there was justifiable room for discussion on this topic. There is much more power in the argument when it is stated by supporters who have no axe to grind other than the injustice to their club and to Scottish football in general by the whole affair. Personally, I fear, and have said it often, not just for the consequences of the gutlessness of the authorities in Scottish football to address malpractice and to administer justice but for the very soul and existence of Scottish football. I for one, would never support football through attendance at matches (to put that in context, in truth I do not get the chance very often now) unless it was absolutely crystal clear that games were taking place on a level playing field. I think JasCam said he would continue to support the club financially by contributions and purchases though not by match attendance. I have done this since I stopped attending and will continue to do so. However, I would encourage all those who do attend to seriously consider what they could be contributing to viz. biased or even rigged arrangements and competition for the privilege of one team.
    Thank you for a well written, informative and effective article.
    H H

  2. Steve
    Brilliant piece of interpretation and explanation. What is truly encouraging is to hear that supporters of other clubs are of a similar opinion to one’s own. I believe that not a few Celtic supporters are reluctant express their opinions too openly for a variety of reasons, not least the bias tag that might be given by association to the club itself. Any comment from a Celtic fan can so easily be written off as bigoted rather than be openly and properly debated – if there was justifiable room for discussion on this topic. There is much more power in the argument when it is stated by supporters who have no axe to grind other than the injustice to their club and to Scottish football in general by the whole affair. Personally, I fear, and have said it often, not just for the consequences of the gutlessness of the authorities in Scottish football to address malpractice and to administer justice but for the very soul and existence of Scottish football. I for one, would never support football through attendance at matches (to put that in context, in truth I do not get the chance very often now) unless it was absolutely crystal clear that games were taking place on a level playing field. I think JasCam said he would continue to support the club financially by contributions and purchases though not by match attendance. I have done this since I stopped attending and will continue to do so. However, I would encourage all those who do attend to seriously consider what they could be contributing to viz. biased or even rigged arrangements and competition for the privilege of one team.
    Thank you for a well written, informative and effective article.
    H H

  3. Well said Mr Steve Taylor. It is gratifying that fans of other clubs are aware of the damage that this situation has done to our game. The suits and the msm have made sure we know who the game is run for and it is sadly not for the benefit of football in Scotland or it’s various fans and clubs.

  4. Well said Mr Steve Taylor. It is gratifying that fans of other clubs are aware of the damage that this situation has done to our game. The suits and the msm have made sure we know who the game is run for and it is sadly not for the benefit of football in Scotland or it’s various fans and clubs.

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