Has fan power gone too far this season? What can Liverpool and Everton learn from the sad demise of Rangers? Chris Nuttall is north of the border to find out.
‘There’s no point in surrounding the ref now, he’s not going to change his mind’ is such a common phrase in football commentary as to be a cliche. This is exactly what these small minded Rangers ‘fans’ are doing.
Strathclyde Police are investigating the threat allegations made against the three man panel that on Tuesday placed a season long transfer embargo upon Rangers FC, following the well publicised financial woes.
This three man panel has been the subject of vile abuse over Twitter (that old chestnut) for objectively making a decision based on the facts laid out in front of them. They saw the foul and have pointed to the spot.
This is when you need everyone linked to a club to pull together, as so commendably done at Bradford Bulls recently.
Rather than a sponsored car wash to help the club out, a minority of fans have turned the rest of the world against Rangers. The messages may scare them but as any ref worth their salt, it’s not going to change the outcome.
When the world is on the panel’s side, Rangers position looks even more untenable.
If the decision was, as some Rangers fans claim, an anti-Rangers biased, then threatening the panel members is not exactly the best charm offensive.
It’s a lesson all too familiar with those of Liverpool after the Suarez incident this season.
Players wearing t-shirts, fans booing a player who was found to have been racially abused by the FA, still shots and analysis of ‘ghost’ handshakes – and the end result of their star striker banned for nine games and a country of football fans against them.
It turned an unwanted media spotlight onto a club struggling in the league and cranked up the pressure on one of the club’s most beloved sons, Kenny Daglish.
Luckily, Liverpool could argue they have recovered from the setback with two trophies a real possibility this season.
Then there are Everton fans. The Blue Union leaked interviews with Bill Kenwright days before a crucial home game, marched and sang against the board and then went missing when the club’s form upturned – stating they did not want to ‘disrupt’ the club when form was good.
Perhaps football fans can learn lessons from this season. Perhaps they will realise it is fine to support the club, but something altogether different to alienate the football world and heap pressure on those they profess to support.
Ranger’s situation is even more drastic than a suspended striker or lack of big-name signings, however.
Fans worry is Rangers will be financially crippled, and out of contention with their Glasgow counterparts, Celtic, forever.
In that case I’ll point you to a little old lady in Turin who despite being knocked to the canvas, is back up fighting fit. Juventus suffered the indignity of being relegated to Serie B after max fixing scandals of 2006.
At the time of writing they are currently in a two way battle with AC Milan for the Serie A title. Forever seems a short time in that instance.
Football across the board is coming to terms with the fact that even with Sky’s mega contracts, every club has to be held financially accountable.
Fans don’t yet appear to be buying into this premise, so it’s just a case of how many more Portsmouths, Chesters and Leeds we need before they wake up am smell the coffee.
I sympathise with the fans who have paid the money, and watched their beloved club become financially crippled.
This is quickly curtailed after the latest reports. If fans continue in this way, I for one hope they are telling their grand kids about the glorious team that once was, Rangers FC.
image credit: Archibald99