Two days ago Charles Green said: “The history of Rangers is not going to disappear just because HMRC decided to do an about-turn on what they have been suggesting over the last few weeks. This club’s history and traditions are based around its fans, their support and their loyalty and we’re going to ensure the new structure preserves that.”
While Rangers manager Ally McCoist said back at the start of May: “….make no mistake, we wouldn’t lose our history at all. We wouldn’t allow that to happen. If there is a team playing at Ibrox in blue shirts, it’s Rangers. I think I’m right in saying we only became a plc in 1899, which was 27 years after we were formed. Nobody really recognises that change, but there have been changes all the way down the years. Rangers are Rangers and that would be the opinion of the vast majority of people.”
Now there has also been the peddling of the notion that Celtic should not be able to claim their history pre-Fergus McCann era because the Parkhead side named The Celtic Football and Athletic Company 1888 ended under the Canadian’s tenure. However it became a subsidiary of Celtic FC plc, that change in name also heralded the most successful share issue in British football history raising over £14 million. The club was re-branded and renamed Celtic Football Club plc. A massive difference from the saga surrounding Rangers Football Club 1872, whose timeline started in 1872 and was broken in 2012.
Some fans of the Rangers persuasion may think that Celtic’s timeline was broken, but at no time did Celtic ever enter into administration or liquidation unlike Rangers, all that happened was a re-branding of a name nothing else.
Scottish football has a number of clubs who have ended up the same way as Rangers – going into liquidation and then being reborn as a newco – Airdrieonians, Gretna, Clydebank and Third Lanark.
Third Lanark went into liquidation in 1967 and has only re-emerged within Scottish football over the past few years. The current reincarnation of the Hi-hi’s cannot lay claim to the 15 trophies won by their fore bearers.
Likewise Clydebank formed in 1965 and went into liquidation in 2002, saw their history wiped out and consigned to history books, while they saw their registration bought over by Airdrie United under Jim Ballantyne after the Lanarkshire club’s previous namesake Airdrieonians went bust.
Neither Airdrie United nor Clydebank lay claim to the titles of their forebearers, neither do Gretna 2008 whose previous namesake Gretna Football Club were liquidated in 2008 and reborn as Gretna FC 2008 Ltd.
Of those clubs that went into liquidation a total of 18 major trophies have been consigned to the history books and have been honourably laid to rest along with the defunct clubs.
So what makes Rangers so different? They aren’t.
They may have won significantly more trophies than those clubs listed above, they may have had a long and successful history but that has all ended in 2012 whether they like it or not.
THE Rangers Football Club 2012 has now been born and awaits acceptance of its bid to not only join the SFA but also the SPL. June 2012 is the formation date of the newco and it currently holds no titles and no honours. Fans of THE Rangers Football Club can no longer claim to follow the world’s most successful club. The 54 championship titles, 33 Scottish Cups, 27 League Cups and the European Cup Winner’s Cup are not the property of THE Rangers Football Club 2012, despite what Duff & Phelps, Charles Green and Ally McCoist peddle to the press, they belong to the now defunct Rangers Football Club 1872.
Former Rangers player Alex Rae commented this week in a column in the Daily Record, and is very apt: “We can now say that 140 years of history have effectively come to an end.”
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