Watching our team take on Montrose tomorrow is going to be a welcome respite from another period of madness, but where do you even start when trying to describe the past week or so?
The madness certainly started with a somewhat of bang as the IPO launch, prospectus release and Jim Traynor appointment all happened to coincide with our wonderful and memorable 140th birthday bash at Ibrox. This clash of events was no mistake though because last weekend wasn't actually the club's birthday, it was simply decided that last weekend was an appropriate date to celebrate the birthday. The celebrations that should've taken place in the spring were put on hold due to the club being in administration and a huge party not exactly being appropriate at the time, to say the least.
The birthday bash was a roaring success and something to remember for many a year, but I can't help thinking the timing of it was, what's the word? Interesting? I don't think anyone could argue that it would be difficult to think of a better way to make almost fifty thousand potential share purchasers happy than to throw them a wonderful party. Is there merit in such thoughts though or have the events of the past ten months turned some of us into cynics? Oscar Wilde wrote that a cynic is "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing", but I'm not sure if that quote would be more appropriately applied to myself or to Mr. Green and his associates.
Well quite unsurprisingly the madness just started to spiral from that point a week ago as enemies of our club clamored to ramp up their offensive, their coordinated campaign against Rangers retaining it's history.
First up and on the day of the actual celebrations last week, BBC employees at Pacific Quay (you know, the loony brigade that form the anti-Rangers Chuckle Snigger Club down there) decided to have a debate about whether our history is still intact on National radio. The thought that almost every one of the Bears in Ibrox that day pay a license fee which in turn contributes to the wages of those particular people down at Pacific Quay really sticks in the craw.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the dark side, other members of the loony brigade were systematically coordinating efforts to complain to various business authorities about our club celebrating 140 years of history. They've been contacting Trading Standards, the London Stock Exchange and anyone else they could think of.
So... it comes as absolutely no surprise to read today that the European Club Association - of which we were a founding member - have this week been forced to discuss and decide on the matter. It was extremely pleasing to hear they have decided that our new business 'entity' (ie the company or corporate shell) does indeed retain the club's full history.
They've downgraded our membership status due to the division we now play in and not currently having a European license, but they clearly agree with the common sense point of view regarding our club's magnificent history. Needless to say, the loony brigade are not pleased about this at all and I'm sure the ECA will be bombarded with complaints about it in the coming days. Our enemies really are a shameless bunch of obsessed losers, aren't they.
Next up for a swipe at our club this week we've got the loony brigade at PFA Scotland. Yes, the very same impartial people who were convincing our players that the club was dead and that they should walk out on their Rangers contracts this summer when the CVA was rejected. Yes, that PFA Scotland.
This time the PFA's very own loony brigade have officially taken action against Rangers for not properly notifying 67 players of the TUPE process. Problem is that not only did the nutters get the number of players wrong by a country mile, they also forgot to notify the players they were taking the action on their behalf. It takes a special kind of crackpot to manage that one, but ultimately it's comedy gold as they stagger from one missed punch to another. Frank Gallagher after a heavy binge could outmaneuver them.
Lastly and before I start talking about the Montrose game I want to give a special shout out and Friday mention to the Rangers fans having pops at one another online: Sort it out please folks.
Football? Yes please nurse! We need some football to calm us down and take our minds off this bloody madness!
So we're up at Links Park tomorrow to play Montrose on their all weather artificial pitch. Despite a forecast of about 6 degrees with the chance of some rain, the weather looks set to be pretty decent though and Links Park will be absolutely mobbed for the clash due to recently having it's capacity upgraded by over 1700 to the nice round number of 5000.
Tayside Police are apparently expecting 3000 Gers fans to attend based on the ticket sales, which means a couple of thousand Montrose fans are coming out to watch the only show in town in the hopes that their team can get one over on us. I'm sure Ally and our team will have other ideas about that though, as we aim for another 3 points and another step closer to automatic promotion.
We're currently 5 points ahead of Montrose in the league after having played only 12 games to the 14 they've played, but they are one of the better teams in the division if you go by their joint 3rd place standing, so as with every game, nothing can be taken for granted. Montrose haven't lost a game since 13th October, so our lads are going to have to work hard to win us the 3 points and they're going to have to do it on an artificial surface which they still aren't accustomed to playing on.
There were hints today that Ally might look to give young Fraser Aird another whirl up the left wing, but despite the young man's obvious promise, I have to say it would be a gamble on Ally's part if there's more experienced players at his disposal. Ally's watching the players in training though, so if he decides to give young Aird a start then he must have good reason. We'll just have to wait and see what the team sheet looks like, but I think almost everyone will be expecting Aird to start on the bench if he's selected.
We'll still be without a bunch of players who are either injured or returning from injury, so we can count out Black, Perry, Faure, Cribari and Hemmings. We'll possibly be without David Templeton too due to the game being on an artificial surface and that having contributed to his previous injury, so having Aird as an option will be welcome to the manager.
The back four for the game will no doubt be Anestis, Hegarty, McCulloch & Wallace. With Black injured, I think it's almost a certainty that Ally will play Kyle Hutton and Lewis MacLeod in central midfield, so that just leaves him with decisions to make for the wings and attacking positions. If Templeton isn't on the left, then I'd like to see McKay play there with Naismith on the right and 2 from Shiels, Little and Kyle up top.
With a stowed out Links Park it could very well prove to be a pretty crazy day that brings some much needed respite from a completely mad week, but all that matters tomorrow is Ally and the team notching up another 3 points on the league table!
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