Rangers’ Blofeld-esque Philosophy of Football


rangers-logoThe King is dead, long live the King! No we don’t mean Dave King, although the convicted tax cheat is once again sniffing round Ibrox like a dog on heat.

Do Rangers want a tax cheat and one that is facing criminal charges now, having a major say in the club? They wouldn’t be that silly now would they?

Back to the matter at hand, Craig Mathers has taken the Ibrox throne after Charles Green abdicated following some nasty rumours about his liaisons with former Rangers owner and disgraced businessman Craig Whyte. What will this King do to continue the debacle at the Third Division champions?

Of course he will be given the benefit of the doubt, he will be defended to the hilt by the Rangers faithful against all foes foreign and domestic [Clear & Present Danger moment there] no matter what is published about him or his reign.

It can’t be third time unlucky for Rangers can it? A serious question though – how can one club get it so wrong on so many occasions?

Mathers predecessor Charles Green, peddled the rhetoric that the Rangers support mopped up by the bucket load. They loved his confrontational stance, they loved his ability to noise up other clubs and the governing bodies with his no-nonsense approach – or should that just be nonsense approach? – and above all he claimed the club survived as did its history despite previously stating that if a CVA was not agreed then the history would end.

But hey that is all in the past, that is all water off a ducks back and any other cliché ridden phrase you can think of, about moments passed.

It seems that the internet bampots were correct about Charles Green as they were about Craig Whyte – holding back from shouting I TOLD YOU SO! – but all the while he was brown-nosing the Rangers fans and the good auld honest Rangers minded people around the club, he was plotting a dastardly scheme to rip the heart out of the Ibrox club. It sounds oh James Bond v Ernst Stavro Blofeld all that Green was missing was his white fluffy kitty.


In a document that was hoodwinked out of the super villain’s layer by Agent 00[Doesn’t matter he was killed off at the start of the film] and handed to BBC Scotland, the document dubbed Football Philosophy plotted the future of Rangers Football Club. All that was missing was the kitchen sink and the Death Star – although Lee McCulloch’s elbows are just as deadly!

Now if you are regular readers of Scotzine you would have seen our list of Greenisms, we published soon after Green walked away from his dream job.

But the Football Philosophy document, has some peachy Greenisms that really take the biscuit. In fact it puts the icing on the cake of Green’s Ibrox reign. There is me going all cliché again.

Does anyone remember Jerry MaGuire? That part in the movie he has an epiphany late one night, produces a mission statement and then proceeds to hand it out to every agent and business person in his hotel? It was a work of art, he was lauded over it and congratulated by his peers to his face and then behind his back he is laughed at, mocked and subsequently sacked. Sound familiar?

Was the Football Philosophy Charles Green’s epiphany moment? He will certainly be shouting at the top of his lungs in December ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY!’ when or if the Easdale brothers buy his shares he got for nothing.

So while Jerry MaGuire was fictional, Charles Green was not – although his Greenisms bordered on text taken straight from a Hollywood B movie.

Today, Rangers celebrate – too much fan fare and patting themselves on the back – their Third Division title under Ally McCoist. But if Green had his way he would have seen McCoist and his management team punted. After all we know that McCoist was never Green’s choice for Rangers manager – that was Sir David Murray’s and Walter Smith’s, but his Football Philosophy document puts it down in black and white, despite his previous rhetoric.

The clearest indication that Green was set to sack McCoist came at the end of his mission statement, he said: “There is a big risk that if the current coaching regime remains, then fans will stop coming and we will see half of the season ticket sales we had this season. Change is required and this starts with a big decision.”

With McCoist out of the picture, the philosophy called on the club to secure a ‘top European ex-player with great pedigree and reputation’ for a Director of Football role – such as Frank Rijkaard, Frank de Boer or Johan Cruyff – and that this person would have the final say on the players that the club signs.

McCoist’s replacement would be deemed as a Head Coach – solely concentrating on team selection, training and tactics.

The Rangers manager, who survived the tenures of Whyte and Green [just!] has not commented on the Football Philosophy document yet, although Jim Traynor and the Ibrox club have banned the BBC journalist who broke the mission statement from the stadium.

While his tenure at the club can be labelled as poor, given on the field performances in the SPL, Third Division and Cup competitions – all of these issues have been overshadowed by off the field matters with Whyte and Green. Another period in the club’s history and maybe under stable and reliable ownership would have seen McCoist out on his ear long before now. Just look what happened to Paul Le Guen.

But given the comments within the document relating to the head coach/manager – it looks and sounds as though Charles Green and the author of the document had no faith in McCoist.

The document stated:

“We would then have a head coach (manager) who would be responsible for the first team only, but with a very keen interest and involvement within all Rangers teams. Ideally a young manager with good leadership qualities and who would demand respect. Preferably a Scottish manager who knows the challenges of the Scottish game.

“He should have had coaching experience and have a ‘big picture’ attitude. He would of course need to believe in the philosophy of ‘total football’, and have an optimistic view on taking Rangers to the top of Europe. He would encourage and develop his players, show clear tactical awareness, and be willing to try new methods of training and coaching.”

There were one or two good ideas within the mission statement, having a ‘strict wage structure’ and pinching the ‘total football philosophy’ across every team – which Ajax are famous for. But that would have been a long-term project at Rangers and with results going against them if playing the Ajax way – would the fans have been so loyal defeat after defeat?

There was also a Vladimir Romanov-esque moment – remember his European force claim – the document outlined the aim for the club to win a European trophy by 2020. If they followed the rest of the Football Philosophy – specifically the strict wage structure, then that would have been nigh on impossible to do.

I won’t go indepth into the whole document as it covers many issues at the club, some of it was good, some of it was poor and others were downright laughable. You can make your own mind up.

As the copy guy said to Jerry Maguire after printing his mission statement: “That’s how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there.”

Sadly for Green and this Football Philosophy for Rangers, he was castrated when Craig Whyte came back on the scene.

The author of the document is still a mystery, but given that the club took action against the BBC today over its publication – you could come to the conclusion that the author is still at the club.

Could it be an influential member of the Rangers board? Could it be the new interim Rangers chief executive? Whoever it is, they have certainly kept their own council well for fear of a backlash from the Rangers support. And at a time when the season ticket renewal forms are being sent out – it is the last thing that Rangers need at this time.

Can it get any worse for Rangers? Only time will tell.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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