Here it is, it’s game day. My team is going head to head with our greatest rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final at the National Stadium, Hampden park.
It’s been a hard road back for the club in the past six / seven years, facing bankruptcy, corruption, oblivion and persecution from the rest of Scottish football who all lined up to get a boot in while we were vulnerable. It has been hard to be a Glasgow Rangers fan but never in question.
We had a season where pressing for honours and then the club was sold for £1, with the proviso the buyer invested in the club, reduced the debts and stabilised the business. Not only did it not happen, the company faced liquidation and as a result, it let in the sharks looking for a quick profit. There are court cases going on now for fraud which just rake it all up but I do hope that if any wrong doing is proven, the guilty get stiff sentences.
The club was demoted to the bottom tier of Scottish professional football, lost a lot of players who left for other clubs and six players turned up for pre-season training on day one. The manager didn’t know who was turning up until they walked through the door. Not the Rangers way at all and we had to adapt.
We’re still plagued by commercial sharks at the club, even though there is a more stable and progressive board in place. It’s a hangover casting a shadow over us and we won’t be truly free of it for some time, with other litigation matters drawing on much needed resources. There is even a gagging order on the club to stop details of the dodgy deals being made public. That’s how farcical this is and how far it has gone.
Back to today’s game. Celtic have won the league, the league cup and in for a treble. They have been the team to beat in the past few years and certainly benefited from our demise. We beat them last year in the semi and fell apart after that, even though we did win promotion to the top tier. Now, a new manager, a different focus and a bit of change within the club see us getting on the front foot again, albeit a bit shakily. First season back in the top flight, look likely to finish third and some think it’s Armageddon, such is the high expectation at our club.
What I want today is win. I want a team performance, which will have to be at our best to frustrate Celtic and our work rate high but a strong performance with full commitment is needed. This is a decent Celtic side but they are beatable and I would love us to be the ones to do it.
I’m up for it. I’m ready. I’ve got the nerves which will turn into ‘battle fever’, words of the great Jock Wallace one of our previous iconic managers. As long as the game is well contested, the fans behave themselves, the press don’t make up any stories again this year to stir up hatred (yes, it did happen) and everyone goes home safe with a Rangers win. We’ll be okay.
I’m really looking forward to this and so good to be back at the top of Scottish football from where we’ve been.
As AC\DC sang (they are Rangers fans too), it’s a long way to the top and we’re back in the mix.
Mon the Gers!