Sunday, May 22, 2022

Who Needhams Enemies With Friends Like These

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The Highland Bear
Unashamedly watching the world through Blue tinted specs. Contributor to The 4th Official.

No one likes us; we don’t care.

A song lyric synonymous with the Rangers support. Famously coined by the magnificent Graeme Souness as he called out Scottish football for what it was.  I hate to admit it, but Mr Souness was wrong. We aren’t disliked, in all honesty. We are utterly despised. And you know what? With every salty tear, the more delicious the meal of hypocrisy becomes with every mouthful of satisfaction.

The Chairman of a football club should act in a manner not only befitting of the member they represent but the game of football in general. However, this is the looking glass of Scottish football.

2012 was when the masks (if any were even worn) truly slipped. The narrative was clubs and their fanbase would rather suffer than see Rangers in the top division.  Now you can debate until the cows come home, and it’s always going to split opinion. However, one fact you cannot ignore is that we as a support took our medicine for four long years before returning to where we belong.

One by one we were kicked, lapdogs blinded by hatred, desperate for the approval of the puppet master.

Rangers have been described as “The Quintessential British Club” let’s look at the Key Word. British.

A club steeped in tradition, proud of its unionist roots. Loyal to Queen Elizabeth, her predecessors, heirs and successors. Support of our armed forces. Basically, we are everything that some hate. It’s no coincidence we are the traditional beating stick over the past 14 years, is it? You don’t need to be the Scientist from Coldplay to see the Yellow staring you in the face.

The end goal of a political campaign is not compatible with the traditions and values of our club. Paranoia? Make your own mind up.

We have the usual suspects that have all the coordination of a game of chess on a Rollercoaster. Their agenda masked as champions of morality is as transparent as Highland peat bog. Politicians so poor they can’t get near a top table with a talent pool that’s so shallow; it’s an embarrassment. Of course, we have failed trialists, pundits, journalists who are well and truly on the bandwagon. Makes you wonder if to get a job at a particular rag, you just need to quote your season ticket number and recite a few acceptable songs. Their coordinated attacks are as pathetic as the bandwagon they cling to with their fingernails.

Sectarianism is a sickening stain on society. Let’s not sweep it under the carpet. Rangers have had problems with this. The club and fans have embraced change. Are we perfect? No. Are we making strides? Without a doubt. We have had many faiths represent us, notably our treble winning skipper Lorenzo Amoruso. Ironically the only ones offended when a player blesses themselves at Ibrox are fans of a select few clubs. The desire and hunger to be a victim nauseous.

However, it isn’t the one way street others would like you to believe.

Sectarianism is an industry in Scotland. It pays the bills. It keeps people relevant. They thrive on the notion of it simply to stay in the light. They would be devastated if it was eradicated for good because their pitiful career would follow suit. However, there is one serious flaw. It’s evolved to selectarianism. The tone deaf bastions of morality seem to have lost their collective voice and other senses. They seem to have lost the ability to touch their smartphones and clamour for action as they have done with Rangers fans and ordinary punters. They have lost their hearing as they are unable to hear any bigotry unless it’s coloured blue. The one sense that they kept is Smell. Even their conscience cannot hide from the stench of sickening hypocrisy they harbour.

For over a decade, Rangers fans have sung the popular 4 lads had a dream song.  Yes, a minority have hijacked it. However, are we going to start banning every song that has been modified on the terraces?

Of course, we have publicly funded organisations that should maybe be named Nil by mouthpiece. Courageously demonising Rangers and their fans for a song. Such was the outage it compiled several tweets demanding action.

Yet when pointed out that an SPFL chairman had made sickening remarks about fans going into the river Clyde, the response was as pathetic as their self serving organisation. A suggested donation to Rangers charity for “offensive” remarks? I will correct you. I’m assuming it’s now acceptable to say whatever you want as long as you have enough cash to donate a few quid to a good cause. Credibility? It’s as low as a snake’s belly.

John Needham didn’t make historical tweets, as we like to call them. He made them only five months ago. Can you imagine Douglas Park doing similar? Exactly.

He should resign. Simple as that.

However, after years of demonising one side, one support, one institution, they have created a societal monster. The offensive behaviour at football act, remember that? We all know that was repealed because it was landing the wrong fans in trouble.

They genuinely believe they are untouchable. Their ideas are the only values that are correct or should be followed. They want a two tier system that will persecute one side whilst turning a convenient blind eye to their own behaviour. Even so called rogue states would be mortified by such behaviour.

Quite simply, they have been enabled. You reap what you sow.

We witnessed something when the Record went after Heart and Hand. We saw an entire section of society say enough is enough. This is as much our country as anyone else’s. We decided to take the rank hypocrisy, roll it up and shove it straight back at those firing it.  The calls to sack and ruin the life of 3 men were acceptable until the tables were turned. Another example of “you need to be punished; however, we can’t be”

The simple reality is of many ways to eradicate sectarianism, call it all out or none at all.

Last night we saw Callum McGregor avoid a serious injury from another Ryan Porteous tackle.  I’m going to court controversy and suggest you can’t blame the lad. He had had the usual suspects approve of these tackles when it involves a Rangers player. Why the outrage now? You can’t tell the boy he has done good, then cry foul when it suits.

For what it’s worth, I think the lad has the potential and the talent to go very far in the game. I hope he gets the correct coaching and assistance to eradicate that from his game. And I’m not being hypocritical. You only need to see some challenges our very one Graeme Souness produced over the years.

This was a week where we saw the very best of human decency in Scottish football as we mourn our Father figure in Walter Smith. Traditional rivals and their supporters acted in a dignified and class manner. The messages across the board were the finest example that football unites us more than it divides.

Walter Smith was a great man. He was the closest of friends with Tommy Burns. Rivals on the field, gentleman off it.

If you want heroes to look up to, I suggest both of these men epitomise that notion. Look past those who thrive on division and hatred. For 90 minutes, give each other pelters. When the whistle goes, try and be like Walter and Tommy. Choose friendship, tolerance and respect.

Scottish football lost a great this week. His legacy should be one that mirrors the respect that he commanded.

Editorial Note: If you love Scottish football while sick and tired of the same old biased MSM coverage, this is for you. The 4th Official needs your support. Due to the unprecedented situation as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, the digital media space has been completely devastated. There has been a massive shortfall in revenue (even while viewership is up) as we scramble how to make sure that we go on with our daily job. We are proud to put up exclusive stuff on Scottish football as well as an early release of our podcast interviews with relevant personalities of the game (recent guests have been David Martindale, Matt Polster, Greg Docherty, Daniel Stendel & a lot more) on our Patreon account and hope you would support us in these tough times. We have supporters from at least 11 countries, and you can be too by chipping in just £2.99/month (or become an annual supporter for just £30 today!). Become a proud Patron of The 4th Official!

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