RED HOT FLUSHES OR SHAMEFUL BLUSHES
Will The Rangers supporters ever be embarrassed by what has happened?
All my life I have been unable to hide my embarrassment when I have done something wrong or shameful. The redness starts as a shade of pink at the base of my neck, then rises like red hot lava to a full blown blaze at the roots of the hair on my head. If I were bald, I guess it might even spread unabated right across my scalp. So the question must be asked as to why such embarrassment causes not the slightest blush on the faces of The Rangers ,or some may still wish to remain ex Rangers, supporters.
Let us, first of all, consider Celtic fans in a similar situation. I feel confident, having met thousands through travelling and attending matches over countless years and in numerous venues, I speak for the vast majority on this topic. However, let me apologise in advance if my own opinion does not coincide with that of any other reader or, worse still, should it offend anyone. I would most warmly welcome their contribution to this debate for the benefit of my personal enlightenment. As I was saying, it might be worthwhile looking at the scenario of Celtic in similar chaos to that currently at Ibrox. For the sake of avoiding the very real danger of utter boredom, I intend to concentrate solely on the current incumbents of that stadium as the Rangers issues have been debated, bloged about and commented on ad infinitum. I also do not see any enhancement of my argument in referring back to the Celtic problems of the 90s prior to the arrival of Fergus McCann, except to draw confirmation from those days about how I suspect fans might react today. And, as our club has not been in a similar position since, we can only pretend what could happen but I hope that some imagination will suffice to provide enough proof that the reaction of the Celtic fans I know would be in total contrast to those of The Rangers support.
So, if Celtic F.C. found itself in financial and footballing chaos due to maladministration and the mismanagement of the club, how would Celtic supporters react? I imagine that once the situation was in the public domain, and we know the media would bend over backwards to make sure it was, there would be a short malaise due to the shock. Once that initial reaction was over, I am certain, especially after the experiences of 1994, there would be an upsurge of ideas to resolve the clubs predicament. I am convinced many fans, many more than did at the time of Fergus’ takeover, would get together on behalf of and with the backing of all fans, to force the board to act immediately to get the club back on track. Combined with this pressure, there would most certainly be financial commitment and input from every quarter. The generosity of Celtic supporters is internationally renowned and I am sure it would not be wanting on its own doorstep. I picture a combined, concerted and determined action group that would lead the whole Celtic family on the road to recovery. Caring families do not leave each other abandoned at the roadside but rather, do all in their power to help save one and all in order to retain the family intact. To do otherwise would be the greatest shame and embarrassment. Our blushes would be exposed for all to see and they would signify our disgrace. Mine most certainly would.
Now for the reality of The Rangers or the present inhabitants of Ibrox. The club these supporters once followed was disgraced to the Nth degree. It left Scottish football in potential tatters and walked away without shame from its financial obligations to even the smallest creditors. Then these supporters looked to accuse all of Scottish football from clubs to administrators to the very grass on their pitch it seemed, for what happened. Once that was established they turned to Scottish Football’s Governing Bodies for salvation and for a while their invulnerability seemed restored because they were accommodated by a total lack of integrity on all sides. But what of their own much publicised gargantuan efforts? Oh yes, we were lambasted with information on their widespread dips into what proved to be quite shallow pockets for a few coppers to help the cause. But the final “collection” was in itself another embarrassment rather than a meaningful, contributory factor in a final solution. As they mouthed their obscenities and abuse at all and sundry within and without, saviour and destroyer alike, from stadium steps to poorly supported rabble marches, they searched in every dark corner and recess to find somebody or something else to resolve their dilemma. Then they stood by and watched in confident hope, because someone had always been and always would be there for them, as soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor and every member of a modern Fagan’s international gang of rogues and thieves tried to arrange cheap or even free “lodgings” in the crumbling “Big Hoose”. Unsurprisingly Bill Sykes, well more a Yorkshire Charlie (Sykes), nicked, by fair means or foul remains to be seen, the whole lot and more from right under everybody else’s noses. And during all of this, what was the reaction of our loyal stalwart fans? Amidst the snarling and the threats they simply watched with an apathy unsurpassed by an overdosed institutionalised patient as their supposedly beloved club was bowled one way and batted another by various teams of infamous “flymen” who were only taking part in the game for the money. The game continues a pace with the club getting more and more battered by the minute. The problem they have is that in this reality innings, if they had any inclination to look, their strength has been dissipated and they are now forced to watch helplessly from the crumbling terraces. The fact is, in this final innings of this final test, there is simply no “new ball” that they can take. The majority just do not want to look, deceiving themselves to believing there must still be a bewitching hour and all is well. But in fact, the golden coach in their dreams is very much in danger of turning into a decaying pumpkin at the stroke of a beckoning midnight. The only returns the supporters have received from the whole destructive melee are the blindfolds that comforted them throughout the whole trauma. “What the eye doth not see, the heart doth not grieve for” and they saw nothing, well nothing wrong that is till, at each stage, it was too late. But then, they had been so used to nothing going wrong for them. It was all sown up on their behalf they thought. And what about the mana-from-heaven share issue. “Charlie said it was for the good of OUR CLUB and we believed him.” So, who are the proper Charlies now, then?
So today, cushioned from any impending pain by blindfolds, ear plugs, spinning heads; duped by the promises, the claims, the manipulations and the intrigue of their numerous boards and directors; sweetened with silence, neglect and jam from the media and obsessed by the insidiousness of the opinions and warnings of other fans and other people, especially that of Celtic supporters, they jack boot on, not oblivious, but willingly and obediently into their second abyss. Meanwhile they are consoled by their hatred for everyone else, their blind commitment to a useless but extremely sly and sneaky manager with slimy share-fingers, their supremacist expectations and demands, their inane belief that football can not survive without them and their uniquely special and indispensable role as The Peepil. And so they never changed and it is doubtful they ever can or will.
In this summary I have merely skimmed the charges that could be laid at the door of The Rangers supporters. But, as little as they are, they will suffice for my argument. What they have done and what they have not done would raise at least a slight shade of pink on the brassiest of necks. Their constant expectancy, their apathetic stubbornness, their determined blindness, their uncontrolled rage among so many other outrages should be an unqualified reason for shame. But is it? For them, not one whit as I have seen or see. They carry on as though owed an apology instead of asking forgiveness. They demand the world change so that they can remain unaffected. They regard it their right to embarrass rather than be embarrassed and that is their one unequivocal claim to success.
“This has to be said about Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.” (Ian Archer – and pinched from Wullie’s post :)).
Any embarrassment usually causes people to blush with shame. This level of disgrace should cause scalding and blisters. With The Rangers support there are not even glimpses of repentance or regret, of embarrassment or shame. Will we ever witness their apology, their shameful blushes or will we always see their rage, their red hot flushes? Personally, I believe they are so full of their perceived self importance and social status, they are simply unaware of or incapable of sorrow or embarrassment.