Damned if they do and damned if they don’t

Tartan noir.

In another fine example of the rich Scottish tradition of gallows humour, the future of Reincarnated Rangers will now be decided on Friday the 13th.

Seldom has a rock and a hard place lined up its prey so squarely. Scottish football is caught in a classic Morton’s Fork — torn between doing the right thing and doing the right thing for its pocket.

Worse, it can’t quite be sure which option is which.

This week, SPL clubs voted, as expected, to exclude the Rangers newco from the competition next season. That, at least, was a no-brainer. Any other verdict would have seen fans desert in droves, appalled that there would be no price to pay for breathtaking financial chicanery. But now, SFA chief Stewart Regan wants to balance punishment with prudence. Rather than send Rangers to the foot of the football ladder as most of their fans accept is deserved, he has urged SFL clubs to accept the newco into the First Division to save Scottish football from ‘a slow, lingering death’. In other words; we can survive without them for a year, but no more.

Depressing sentiments from a football figurehead, essentially admitting that financial imperative takes precedence over sporting integrity.

That’s the unfair burden loaded on Dumbarton, Hamilton, Falkirk and the rest when they vote on Friday. What acquiescence will be asked of them next? Ought they dutifully ship defeats and allow Rangers swift promotion, reinstating the duopoly that has cast all of them to the margins? If the vote goes Rangers’ way, will fans up and down the country look back in 12 months at Friday the 13th as the day whatever soul Scottish football had left was sold? Death might come either way. You are always as well to go out with dignity.

More in this section