Instead it’s a couple of phrases which came into my head after reading Spiers’ ramblings on Saturday regarding the promises Charles Green has made about the club. In may ways the article is a classic example of what is wrong with Scottish sports journalism. Off the cuff, lacking insight, lacking research and doomed from the start by trying to twist the facts to an already pre-determined outcome.
I’ll be the first to say that Charles Green - or indeed anyone connected with Rangers - needs to be examined and keep under continual review. After what we’ve been through in the last few years thats only sensible.
However, there is a marked tendency amongst the media to act like a child in an argument where every mis-placed comma or rhetorical flourish is seized upon as if it’s the end of the world for your opponent. Green is a salesman, we know he likes a sound-bite and is notoriously indiscreet when in front of an audience. It’s Barnum and Bailey showtime. Accept that and then criticise if you want.
The criticisms come under four main headings:-
1/ The pledge to spend £9m upgrading Ibrox.
2/ The pledge to lead Rangers back into the Champions League
3/ The pledge to cap players’ salaries to 33% of turnover
4/ The pledge to maximise Rangers FC’s media opportunities
Spiers poo-poos the numbers and the ability to fund the upgrade using naming rights - but the fact is that all the competing bidders who were looking to take over the club last year were well aware that a refurb of the ground was necessary to maintain it’s UEFA rating and to comply with Health and Safety requirements. £9m can easily be spent - and at least £5m has to be spent. Throw in some upgrades to corporate areas and it can be a program of work that makes money as well as being a cost.
The Champions League. Spiers is his tedious self arguing the CL might not be around by the time Rangers qualify for it. Ok, we all know what Chico means but why give up the chance to be a smarmy twerp. The facts are that Scotland will yo-you in and out of spots for various numbers of places in UEFA competitions for the next five seasons with the likes of Switzerland and Bulgaria. With the finance normally available to Rangers it’s not unreasonable to say we will be back in the CL in the short to medium term.
Capping salaries. It’s a nice target to go for but probably impractical unless there is a league-wide salary cap. Yet, consider that about 60% of our European income during the UEFA Cup run went straight out of the door in bonuses and you can see the scope for cutting wages but still having a competitive team.
Maximising media opportunities. Spiers misses the point completely with talk of pay walls and the numbers on Twitter and Facebook. You won’t make money out of those but you will make money out of games if it’s done in the correct away Spiers plaintively asks ‘can they make it work’ but then fails to supply reasons for or against. Come on, commit yourself for once!
In summary - for the £500 Spiers gets for this Saturday tripe he slapdashes a few prejudices onto questions he raises but fails to answer. He lacks the knowledge or the courage to see his trains of thought through to the end - he favours damning with faint praise and innuendo. Anything, in fact, that can take the shine off any good news.