Wednesday, May 07, 2008

By George, keep it shut. Or a Chick has kittens

"They are being punished for their success in reaching the Uefa Cup final. And it's something that the SPL and everyone in Scottish football has got to look at."

Not a Rangers insider talking but national manager George Burley. This is getting really dull and I'm not sure that Burley really needs to weigh in. He's apparently upset that he's had to pick Rangers players for his next Scotland squad despite the seven games they still have to play.

I'd like to ask George why his team are playing a friendly at this stage of the season? I'd like to ask why he needs to see the Rangers players after the 555 games they have played already this season?

And why only blame the SPL? If we need an extension then could George not have picked up the phone and persuaded his own paymaster to move the date of the Cup Final back by a week. Why not? If Rangers are being treated so badly the cup final could surely have been sacrificed.

Unsurprisingly George has one supporter though. Little Chick Young, invoking Jimmy Shand, Christopher Columbus and Morecambe and Wise in a blistering (in his own mind) few sentences, argues that this is the time to "put a bomb" under the administration of our game.

Now Chick is right that the SPL needs to be changed, although he does rather forget the role that Rangers played in creating it, but the season has to end some time.

And Chick forgets that allowances have already been made for Rangers, he forgets that if our league is not geared to success in Europe then the Old Firm are the victims of their own failures, he forgets that he was vocal in supporting the insurrection that got the Old Firm games cancelled before Scotland played Italy.

So there we have it. Walter Smith has accepted the fixture schedule as it now stands. But David Murray, the incredible reappearing owner, George Burley, the national manager trying desperately to make people care about a nothing game, and little Chick Young, the pantomime dame of Scottish football, stand united in raging against a decision that will not be reversed.

Please can we get on with the game.