In short, says the Rangers manager, the SFA and SPL have it in for his club. McCoist would do well to pause before heading down this siege mentality road which Rangers, of all clubs, had always previously boasted of avoiding.
Is McCoist right? Is the balance of crime and punishment wrong between Rangers and Scottish football's governing bodies? Or even more pointedly – as some Rangers fans are now wont to say – do the SFA/SPL axis really want to kill off for good the Ibrox club?
I find the allegation more than a tad ludicrous. For one thing, the early, private instinct of SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster was actually somehow to keep Rangers in the SPL. This was the deal Doncaster wished to cut with Bill Miller, that most ephemeral American tycoon, before Miller trucked off. How could this stance by Doncaster possibly be classed as "wanting to do Rangers harm"?
Or what about Stewart Regan, the SFA's top man? Regan, in truth, knew a newco Rangers could not simply waltz back into the SPL – that would have looked indefensible – but his avowed next best thing was to secure a place for Ally McCoist's team in the Irn-Bru First Division.
For Regan it became critical throughout June that Rangers went down one division, not three. He even said, of Rangers being thrown to the bottom tier: "We cannot stand back and let it happen." If this is the intent of a man who "has it in for Rangers" then Ally McCoist has a most unusual view of friends and enemies.
The fact is, both Doncaster and Regan somehow wanted to preserve Rangers as close as possible to the Scottish football summit, and both men have been undermined by events. A married, chaotic democracy of fans and SFL club chairmen has seen to it.
Regan and Doncaster look more than a little undermined today, but neither, contrary to the wailings from Govan, has been "anti-Rangers". Let's look at this a little more closely. Let's examine close up another of McCoist's favourite themes: that there is a "punishment frenzy" around Rangers and that the SFA and SPL simply cannot kick the club enough.
McCoist and Rangers would do well to distinguish between punishments for insolvency and the consequences of insolvency. They are two very different categories.
For actually becoming insolvent – ie, a football club being killed off by its negligent owners – oldco Rangers were deducted 10 points by the SPL. From the SFA side, a fine of £160,000 for various non-payment misdemeanours and a 12-month transfer embargo are both still pending. These, for what they amount to, can certainly be classed as punishments.
But McCoist complains about Rangers being thrown out of the SPL, and facing no European football for three years, as if the SPL and Uefa have waded in with further "punishments". Yet neither of these are punitive actions at all. These are simple applications of the rules of football, which Rangers, like everyone else, thought nothing of until the Ibrox club self-immolated in this grisly spectacle.
No-one in their right mind would argue that a new football company, scarcely weeks old, should simply march back into a top league as if they owned the place. Likewise, Uefa aren't interested in "punishing" Rangers at all. Rather, they have a simple, uncontroversial rule about any new company or club having to have three years of audited business before it can compete in European football – a rule newco Rangers evidently fails.
It is a misapprehension to talk of this as punishment. More accurately, it is cold reality. These are the rules and they seem fair and practical to just about anyone.
In fact, contrary to the SPL hierarchy being hostile to Rangers, the suspicion persists for many that the club and the SPL will somehow fudge a deal over the imminent double contracts investigation. Rangers had insisted that the SPL drop it – when you think about, a choice request to make – but it is to proceed, apparently, despite this entire SFA membership saga somehow being resolved on Friday night.
Doncaster and the SPL are adamant their investigation will continue freely, and will impose sanctions come what may, though only the fullness of time will corroborate that view. In truth, where the SPL may yet remain hamstrung is over the final decision of the big tax case tribunal, which will decree once and for all whether Rangers, with their employee benefit trusts (EBTs), acted illegally.
I like Ally McCoist a lot. That old-fashioned phrase "a smashing guy" so easily applies to him. Moreover, on more than one occasion he has helped this particular writer, over some minor request which nonetheless would cost McCoist a few minutes to sort out. So I don't easily knock him in print. He is having a hard enough time of it.
McCoist, nonetheless, is calling it badly wrong when it comes to the SFA and SPL's motives. They do not in the slightest have "as hostile an agenda as possible" against Rangers. Alas for McCoist, what Scottish football must do is see that severe wrongdoing is brought to account.
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