Angry Rangers fans descended on websites and messageboards last night and this morning to denounce UEFA president Michel Platini, over comments he made about the Ibrox club in an interview with the Daily Mail.
The French footballing legend, claimed: “Rangers have everything, they have the fans, they have the public, but they are pshht and bankrupt.”
The 57-year-old was discussing his plans for Financial Fair Play, when Martin Samuel claimed that the current plans for FFP would give more protection to the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona. However, Platini, claimed that he was looking out for all clubs not just one or two.
He told the Daily Mail: “I am in the feeling to protect the clubs. All of the clubs are having big problems – they are all having big losses. Debts and big losses. It is not a question to make advantage to one or the other. It is to protect the cultural aspect of the football in Europe. I want to protect the club. Because when you have €1.5billion of losses every year, one day you will have big problems like in Rangers, like in Portsmouth, like in many, many clubs.
“My job was not to say I protect Bayern Munich, or Manchester, I want to protect all the clubs that are in big difficulties, financial difficulties. That is why we organise financial fair play in this way. Then we give to the financial experts to apply the morality of this financial fair play. And we are working for two or three years on how we can work on the finances of the clubs to help the clubs to survive through the big problems that we face today.
“That is how I feel. It is not the goal to protect Manchester or another club, it is to protect all the football, because football is beautiful. It is about patrimony of the European football and I have to protect all the clubs. That is my idea.”
When asked how he can prevent the FFP rules from benefiting the elite only, he added: “To not to spend more money than we receive. That is the only thing, it is a small sentence, but is a very, very beautiful sentence.
“And what’s happened with Rangers, Rangers have everything, they have the fans, they have the public, but they are pshht and bankrupt. And I have to protect them. I think with this financial fair play we will not have clubs that will be getting in difficulty.
“But it is up to me to find the way, I want to improve them. And when you begin by a white book, you can have the feelings, the mentality and the moralities – but you have to put them, the regulations, on the book. We take three years, four years because we make a deal with all the clubs that we will wait four years to put this.
“Manchester City, Chelsea, they make big efforts, perhaps it’s not enough to be inside financial fair play but it is a big effort because they know that we will take a decision next year.”
Despite Platini talking a lot of sense – even in broken English – his comments were not welcomed by Rangers fans, who rounded on the former striker.
One irate poster on the Rangers message board Follow Follow, implied a conspiracy involving Celtic was behind Platini’s comments, the commenter stoob claimed: “I really dislike Platini, it just seems like he has had an issue with Rangers for a few years now. Also been spotted at parkhead for high-profile games several times in the past few seasons.”
Balmedie Bear went down the route of insults to get his point across, he added: “He’s an incompetent ret*rd that shouldn’t be listened to. He governs European football, but he’s a brain dead little man that simply can’t do his job properly for the sake of football.
“Your ‘fair play’ rules are sh**e, and it’s just another way of making sure teams like PSG, Chelsea, Man city etc can do what they want, as he puts it, “if they have the money”. I know Rangers shouldn’t be living outwith our means ever again, but it’s one rule for them and another for the likes of us simply because we aren’t bankrolled by a filthy rich idiot and TV money. Screw the wee ones over and hope they go away so the big guys can run riot, eh? F*ck up Platini.”
There were some points made rather than insults, iaatpies said: “Platini almost made a valid point – clubs that have overspent in the past are struggling in the current economic climate where banks are cracking down on their previously lax lending policies – but to make these comments about financial fair play now when a team who average less than 10,000 fans a game can spend £60million of the owner’s money on 2 players is laughable. I’ll take Platini seriously when he does something about the uber-rich owners who are destroying football.”
However, what followed next was xenophobic, sectarian and racist attacks of the highest order from posters on Follow Follow and Rangersmedia.
It will be interesting to see if any of them actually look at the full interview or will they just be happy to read the odd one or two passages in what was an indepth piece with some poor translations from Platini and potentially the journalist also.
Either way the comments published by a significant element of those peddling their hate on said forums is certainly in breach of the new Offensive Behaviour in Football Bill. I wonder if the site moderators and owners will discuss this with Police Scotland’s FORCE unit anytime soon? Given that they are in regular contact with them.
You can read Martin Samuel’s full interview transcript via the Daily Mail website.