Day: March 31, 2013

Escape To Liquidity: Charles Green, Rangers & The English League System

It wasn’t, in the overall scheme of things, the most auspicious way in which a club could win a league title, but Rangers’ goalless draw at Montrose yesterday afternoon coupled with Queens Park’s one-nil home defeat at the hands of Elgin City meant that the Glasgow giants have now been confirmed as the champions of the Scottish Football League Division Three. Yet the atmosphere of distrust remains as prevalent as it ever has in Scottish football and this morning, the day after the lifting of the trophy at Links Park, a further story linking Rangers and Celtic with a move into the English league system has appeared with reports that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, “is ­taking a ­‘massive interest’” in seeing both of the Glasgow giants obtain entry to English football, reportedly for political reasons relating to the forthcoming referendum in Scotland concerning independence. This isn’t, of course, the first time that such a suggestion has been mentioned but the door has always been considered shut to the prospect of Celtic and Rangers joining the English game. Since Rangers’ fall from grace, the placing of the club into Division Three of the Scottish Football League and the decision to remould Scottish football into a 12-12-18 formation, though, the noises from Ibrox have started to reach a fever pitch, with a steady stream of articles from Scottish newspapers suggesting...

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Sunderland’s Big End Of Season Gamble

In some respects, there was go great surprise to the departure of Martin O’Neill from Sunderland last night. With just two points from his last nine matches in charge of the club, something had gone from the previously ebullient manager’s demeanour, and in television interviews after yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Manchester United he had the air of a dead man walking about him. Where at many other clubs this season it has felt as if managers have been victims of the whims of owners acting with an itchy trigger finger, O’Neill’s departure from the Stadium of Light doesn’t feel like much of a surprise. Ellis Short, the Sunderland owner, had shown loyalty towards O’Neill even after it became more than apparent that Sunderland were heading towards a season of at best mediocrity, but now the club is sliding towards something far more troubling, and whoever steps into his shoes has just seven matches left to try and save the club’s Premier League position. Following this result, Sunderland now sit just one point above the relegation places in the table, out of form and tumbling in a downward direction at a time of year when no-one in such a position can completely rely upon the results of the clubs below them in the table. Yesterday afternoon, Southampton beat Chelsea whilst Wigan Athletic beat Norwich City. This sort of...

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