Rangers downfall hurts Celtic and SPL

 Ryan Fleming

Glasgow, well at least, part of it was in party mode earlier this weekend when Glasgow Rangers announced the club was going into administration, thereby essentially handing Celtic the title. Yes, without thinking, I would have been partying too. But the struggle of Rangers to keep money in their pockets does more harm than good to Celtic and the Scottish Premier League as a whole.

Without Rangers, Celtic would be the best team in the SPL. Being the top team in a league ignored by a good 70 percent of football fans isn’t something to really bribe about, except when it comes to the Old Firm. Any reason to celebrate over the demise of the other is taken with tremendous joviality. But when the struggles point to the question if one of the two team’s cease to exist, supporters on both sides should be using common sense instead of their common disdain for the other.

The administration itself will costs Rangers 10 points — put that together with an impressive 13-game winning streak, the crown might as well head over to Parkhead. Come April, if they are still under administration, the club could forfeit European competition entirely. This itself, is a shock to the system. Not qualifying for the Champions League or Europa League — the money brought in from European competition is coveted — is devastating for a club in such a small market. It has to be noted that Celtic crashed out of Europe the same night (Aug 25).

A remaining optimist would say the two clubs would do better this time around, bring more money in and navigating the SPL at least toward the map for recognition.

The risk of losing out on Europe isn’t the only blemish, Gers have to cut some of their highest paid players and other clubs around the SPL are taking note of the trouble this lack of funds could also bring to their clubs. Dundee United listed a warning to Rangers stating that the club needed to pay for supporter tickets up front or they weren’t going to be let in. This, stemming from a £100,000 bill that has gone unpaid since the two played each other last week in a cup match.

It’s also believed that GAIS are due around £250,000 for Mervan Celik, a deal that has all the possibility of falling through.

But in reality, who could blame a team like Dundee. With Rangers, despite all their support, are still not paying their bills, when in reality, there’s more money floating around Ibrox than Tannadice. At least, there was.

It’s true, Rangers will do all they can to ensure their place in Europe, granted they qualify. But a lot more has to be done to clear their name. Many clubs in the SPL have made announcements backing the Glasgow side and now it’s time for Gers supporters and Celtic supporters to make headway over this issue together. Those who don’t see fit, are still living in the dark ages of the Scottish game and the demographics both team’s “represented”. That, of course, is just another issue. One thing at a time.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at fleming.ryanr@gmail.com.

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