The Death and Immediate Rebirth of Rangers Football Club
New owner of The Rangers Football Club, Charles Green
A 140-year-old club ceased operations in just eight minutes on Thursday. Following Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs’ rejection of any creditors Company Voluntary Agreement, Rangers Football Club has been liquidated. I will admit, as a Celtic fan, that I write this article with something of a smirk on my face, but I will attempt to remain impartial and apologise in advance for any comments that can be interpreted as biased.
Rangers entered administration on Valentine’s Day of this year and for those following the story, any sort of pity the club may have gotten from the other inhabitants has been wiped out for a variety of reasons that range from manager Ally McCoist’s asserting that Rangers are a special club and deserve to be treated leniently to the xenophobic behaviour of Rangers fans as they scared off prospective American owner/saviour Bill Miller. While the majority of the blame is being placed on erratic owner Craig Whyte, the real origins of Rangers’ debt goes back to the days when Whyte was a simple Rangers fan. With Dick Advocaat as manager from 1998-2001, Rangers are believed to have wracked up debt somewhere in the figure of £52 million, a debt that has never truly been cleared.
Gers fans will now have to come to terms with the fact that they no longer support the most successful club team (in terms of sheer amount of trophies) in the world. They now support a club with no trophies, founded in 2012 that may not play its football in the Scottish Premier League. A decision on whether or not the new club, henceforth known as The Rangers Football Club, will be allowed to participate in the SPL will not be known until the other eleven charter clubs convene to vote on the matter. Both Rangers’ administrators and Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson have speculated that Rangers’ application for re-entry to the league will be rejected, with Thompson citing the club’s perceived arrogance and lack of remorse for their arrogance as the main reason they will not achieve the seven positive votes they aspire to achieve. New Rangers owner Charles Green himself admitted that he has no idea where Rangers will be playing next year following the completion of his purchase of the club for £5.5 million.
Rangers are famous worldwide as one half of the Old Firm, one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in world football, both on and off the field; this rivalry will make the vote of cross-town archrivals Celtic all the more interesting. Do they stick the knife in their most hated of enemies and prove what they have said all along: that the club simply doesn’t need a healthy Rangers to survive? Or do they vote in favour of the new club for competition’s sake and to preserve the unparalleled (in Scotland) energy and excitement that is Old Firm derby day?
The future, whether in the Scottish Third Division or the Scottish Premier League, for Rangers is unknown. Until said future is made clearer, fans of Rangers will have to stomach the cruel irony of their club’s last two owners being called Green and Whyte, and their last signing being a man by the name of Celik.