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A new beginning for RFC

Edit: Yeah. So this was posted minutes before I saw the stories about Ally Mccoist hit the net. I’ll update tomorrow when the story is clearer. Let’s just say that pissed is the nicest description of how I feel right now.

Okay, bear with me. This one might be a little jagged. Also, just a reminder, I’m NOT a sports blogger. It just happens that I’ve been writing abut my teams lately.

Oy, Rangers. You’re breaking my silly little heart.

It was nice to have a couple weeks there with no crazy-insane-bad Rangers news. But, apparently, it was all just building up for a flood. The dam has broken.

When last I wrote about Rangers, we were waiting for a buyer to come forward. Bill Miller, the tow truck manufacturer from Tennessee had taken his toys and gone home, leaving what is arguably the world’s most successful football club without an owner and in severe financial and spiritual distress.

Another bidder came forward and laid his cards on the table. Bid accepted.

I didn’t know much about him. I’m not sure any of us really did, but since stepping up to the podium, Charles Green has been open and (as far as I can see) honest and, when things start to get weird, he does not hesitate to issue tersely worded statements in which he outlines his discontent. He appears on the surface to be, at the very least, a man who does not easily back down from a challenge.

I’ll be the first to admit that he wasn’t my preferred bidder, but his determination to make sure that Rangers survives has won me over. He has stated his commitment to keeping the boys in blue playing at Ibrox. That’s enough for me.

The biggest challenges are yet to come. Green announced earlier this week that HMRC has rejected the planned CVA. For those of you not following along, this basically means that instead of a managed bankruptcy wherein the new buyer of the club (Green) settles debts with creditors for essentially pennies on the dollar (or, in this case, pence on the pound) and the club continues forward as best it can, we move toward a total liquidation. At least, that’s my understanding. I’m not a Scottish/British tax/bankruptcy expert by any stretch of the imagination.

The proposed CVA has been rejected by the governmental body that reviews such things. Rather, it will be rejected sometime in the next twelve hours or so.

It’s 7 a.m. in Glasgow. My Scottish Twitter friends are waking and starting their day and, as most of them are part of the Rangers family, they’ll be on pins and needles until the official announcement.

And then they’ll continue to fret until Green reiterates his support for the club.

So, there it is. Rangers gets a new start. With the CVA denied, the club goes into liquidation and, barring any further nonsense, the good Mr. Green will buy the club’s assets and form a newco for even less than the CVA would have cost him in the first place. Who gets screwed here? The creditors. Again. I’m entirely unsure why this makes any sense at all but there you go.

The arguments will continue for years. Is a new Rangers still Rangers? Can we still lay claim to the accumulated titles and hardware of the last 140 years?

Yes. We can and we will.

All the Celtic bloggers are sounding the death knell for Rangers. Wishful thinking, kids. Wishful thinking. Newco, not newclub.

Rangers will be liquidated and reformed. They will still play at Ibrox. They will still carry the weight of 140 years of history and trophies. They will still be ours.

And it will be the SPL that suffers. And I will suffer because there’s little chance I’ll see the boys play if they land in the third division and are forced to claw their way back to the top tier.

A new beginning for Rangers.

Onward.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I just don’t like soccer fans.

Yeah. Someone actually said this to me today. “Yeah, I know I give you a hard time, but I just don’t like soccer fans.”

I’ve been to four Timbers matches in the last five days: an international friendly, a U23, a reserves match and an MLS derby. I’m tired. My throat is sore from singing and yelling. I have a huge bruise on my knee that I’m pretty sure is from the match on Wednesday. I’ve got a sunburn from this afternoon’s game. In short: everything hurts.

I say this so you understand my mood. My nerves are, perhaps, the tiniest bit raw where all things soccer are concerned.

I can understand folks not liking soccer. They don’t get it. That’s fine. They have other things they understand and enjoy.

Last Saturday, I walked with a team at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides event here in Portland, a team that included several other soccer fans and Timbers keeper Joe Bendik. When we were done there, a fair few of us made our way to the St. Baldrick’s event where a bunch of other soccer fans, members of the Timbers Army and a handful of past and present Timbers players had their heads shaved to raise money to fight childhood cancer.

Timber Jim, a legend in the Portland soccer community and beyond and a man I’m proud to call a friend, will host an art and memorabilia auction next Sunday benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (tickets available here). The Timbers Army, in addition to all the other charity work they do (Friends of Trees, Oregon Food Bank, American Red Cross) recently committed to raising another $40,000 to fund Harper’s Playground, a playground meant to be inclusive of children with disabilities who might not otherwise have a safe place to play (more info here).

This is just a fraction of the stuff fans in Portland are participating in. There are nineteen MLS clubs, each with a pretty hearty following doing some pretty amazing stuff. (Well, most of them. I don’t know what they do in Seattle other than complain about Portland but that’s for another post.)

So, sunshine, what is it that you don’t like about soccer fans?

Is it that we’ve found something that unites us like nothing else could? That we’ve found a passion you envy? That you’re jealous of our flag-waving, scarf-twirling, clever chant-writing abilities? What? What is it?

Here’s where I get all sentimental and repeat things I’ve said before.

Though I’ve attended occasional soccer games for half a decade, it was just a year ago, at a time when I’d lost the identity afforded me by long-term employment or by my status as a student, that I was adopted by an Army. With open arms, I was welcomed. “Here,” the Army said to me. “Come, stand with us. Watch this game. Break bread with us. Become one of us.”

And I did. I bought in wholly and completely. Headlong into the deep end of the pool. I am grateful for every minute of the ride, even the more painful ones.

What is there about soccer fans that pissed this guy off?

I’m not saying we don’t have your fair share of idiots. We do. But for every idiot I’ve encountered, there’s been a dozen really phenomenal folks. The kinds of folks I want to know for a very long time.

The guy who says he doesn’t like soccer fans? Well, let’s just say I don’t feel the same way about him.

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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Timbers

 

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