Published on 16 December 2012
Yes, Sevco. Yes, a different club. Yes, it matters.
Debates will, and do, rage about the legal status and definition of a club and there’s a brand new conversation happening in Scotland over which components are required for a club to exist. However, most of it doesn’t really matter in the overall picture, because the heart of this story has nothing to do with combing through football regulations to define a club, at the heart of it is injustice.
This is about injustice, and everyone who continues to use the word Sevco instead of Rangers is standing up to it.
Respect to you all.
Rangers Football Club was founded in 1872 and went bust in 2012 owing millions of pounds to 276 creditors, including the taxman.
Please, read that again. Millions of pounds, 276 creditors. They will never be paid.
The new guy at the helm, Charles Green, took up his part in the pantomime in 2012 when he bought the assets of Rangers for a small £5.5m and formed the NewCo. The original name of the company, Sevco Scotland Limited, was later changed to The Rangers Football Club.
Yes, the new team plays at Ibrox. Yes, the new team plays in blue. Yes, the same supporters go to see them and yes, that is probably satisfactory enough for those supporters to believe it is the same club.
That’s understandable. What isn’t understandable is the turning of a blind eye to the carnage left behind by old Rangers. The mess left by the club was shameful.
Rather than acknowledge the extent of the damage caused by this sorry episode to Scottish football – and society, remember that the taxman was left out of pocket, as were a number of public services – the reaction of the NewCo has been to act with complete defiance and the fans have a renewed love of the “We Are The People” slogan.
Sevco is not a demoted Rangers. Rangers went out of business. The club went bust. Sevco is a new club and rules were created on-the-go by the SFA to accommodate it. Sevco is lucky to be in the Third Division, other small clubs which have paid their dues should have been ahead of them.
And yes, the club has thousands upon thousands of fans and had the SFA followed the rules that were already in place it would have left those fans without a club to follow this season. It is pretty unthinkable, but imagining my local High Street without Woolworths was unthinkable once as well. Me, the customer, I lost out because of a financial crisis that I played no part in. However, rules weren’t rewritten because the situation was unfair to the loyal customers. It’s the ruthless nature of business, it just doesn’t seem to apply to Rangers.
Football is a sport, bending over backwards to accommodate a club, or its many fans, makes the validity of the competition questionable.
The mainstream media is not reflecting the truth of this story and is largely happy to go with the “same old Rangers” line without significant challenge.
Thankfully, Scottish football fans aren’t so forgiving. They see the fundamental injustice of this saga and find the same-club claim insulting.
Now that the internet has provided the platform and the tools to bypass the mainstream media, don’t expect those fans to get any quieter about it.
The word Sevco matters. History is not just about the trophies won on the pitch, it’s about conducting business properly, fairly and within the rules. Rangers didn’t play the whole game and it will be another injustice if we allow ourselves to forget it.