Weir’s Week: integrity-lite, Wiggins the winner and lunchtime at Lytham

Bradley Wiggins leads the peloton on stage 15 of the Tour de France Picture: Robert King
Bradley Wiggins leads the peloton on stage 15 of the Tour de France Picture: Robert King

Saturday
Today people woke up, the unthinkable, the unimaginable a reality. Rangers oldco/newco/sevco/Seb Coe in the lowest tier of the Scottish game.

Today people woke up, the unthinkable, the unimaginable a possibility. Scottish football teetering on the brink of collapse.

There would have been much hand-wringing, head-shaking and consternation among those SPL clubs who were suddenly faced with a rebalancing of already top-heavy books.

Still, you didn’t want Rangers, or rather your “stakeholders” and “customers” didn’t want them. And you listened.

If there are any clubs now worried about the future PR (that’s post-Rangers, nothing to do with public relations), then they are in a place totally of their own making.

You see you did, despite denials, heavily rely on their being an Old Firm (which we now know for some time was made up of a firm Firm and the criminally infirm). Still, it was within your powers (not those whose loyalty is dependent upon the weather) to punish Rangers within the confines of the SPL. A massive fine, a 30-point deduction (scaled to 20 in the second year and ten in the third), and SFA transfer embargo, would have rendered Rangers non-runners when it came to chasing the top prize.

But the SPL would still have had them as a cash generator, rather than a reason for visiting Cash Converters. Did no one think of that?

Obviously no, as they decided to go with the whim of some loud-mouthed supporters (not all), who appear full of bile, vengeance, revenge and masochism rather than any economic or business acumen.

Voting Rangers out of the SPL, to my mind, was spineless. It wasn’t a punishment for what Rangers had done, more a draconian measure to satisfy many who come December will be Christmas shopping rather than paying to see a visiting Kilmarnock or St Mirren.

However, these moaning “woe is me” merchants, predicting multi-million-pound shortfalls and a handful of clubs (including their own) possibly in administration by next summer, were to be even more spineless and gutless.

They wanted to kick Rangers out – but not too far so they can’t find their way out of the long grass within a season

For in ridding themselves of Rangers, claiming “sporting integrity”, they then wanted others – namely Division One and Scottish Football League clubs – to act as a safety net to catch the big fish, but allowing the tiddlers, like integrity, morals and their own supporters’ wishes, to wash away.

I call it “integrity-lite”.

Just who did these SPL chairmen think they were? Bottling the decision themselves but expecting others to do their dirty work for them. Huh …

The SFL representatives were not as gullible – and, thankfully, showed the kind of backbone that was lacking elsewhere.

And so we have Rangers (I’ll call them that, because even those who want to call them something else still identify them as that) starting at the bottom and having to work their way back up – no doubt passing one of two SPL “giants” on the way.

That is, if they don’t land in administration again …

Sunday
The Tour de France momentarily turns into the Tour de Farce (we have to wait until later in the week before the first major drugs fail at the Tour de Pharmacy) when the leading yellow-jersey group on the Mur de Péguère are beset by punctures.

Leader Bradley Wiggins and rival Vincenzo Nibali immediately ordered the peloton to slow down, then stop, given the scale of the problem.

Wiggins’ actions were hailed as a fantastic example of sportsmanship, which it was. I’d also add a healthy dose of gamesmanship. Imagine being in the chasing pack and seeing the leader stop so you can catch up. How confident must he have been with a week to go?

It also showed what levels some would go to trying to prevent a British winner, carpet tacks being more difficult to spot than French farmers’ sheep …

Monday
What is the saying about what goes around comes around, or what rolls around will squash you flat? I’m never sure.

But no more than a few weeks after the hyper-criticism of Rangers going to the Court of Session to have an unwritten transfer embargo overturned, so Dunfermline Athletic say they are considering taking legal action after Dundee are given the Club 12 berth in the SPL.

How can the likes of St Mirren salesman, I mean owner, Stewart Gilmour be so critical about Rangers, yet deafen people with his silence over what the Pars are considering for their injustice?

More double standards anyone?

Tuesday
I’m disappointed to see that Stewart Regan, the SFA’s imperial grand wizard, has decided to ditch Twitter.

To be honest, I’m not disappointed. I did the same to him ages ago – as soon as he tweeted about David Goodwillie scoring in a League Cup tie and how great it was for Scottish football.

Funny how he appeared to miss that Goodwillie’s misses assisted in Blackburn’s relegation …

Wednesday
And a report says the BBC is showing less sport but more drama. Well, we kind of knew that.

We can also say Sky Sports is showing more drama – or F1, live boxing and the last day of the English Premier League season, as it’s known …

Thursday
So Sir Christopher Hoy (although he still answers to plain Chris) sees his hopes of another Olympic treble dashed when Jason Kenny is selected ahead of him for the individual sprint competition in London.

No surprise really. Kenny beat him in the World Championships, so in many eyes deserved the call.

Hoy was philosophical – but, being the pro he is, probably knows that his chances of two golds have been improved.

Chris said four years ago Kenny would be the man to take his crown. But at least Hoy goes unbeaten – leaving Kenny with all the pressure of delivering …

Friday
All week we’ve heard about further sanctions being taken against Rangers for their various misdemeanours, with more and more noise being made about them being stripped of titles and trophies.

The mindset amongst those calling for such penalties appears to be that Rangers employed players that their clubs couldn’t afford and, as a result, were able to utilise better players than those being employed by other clubs.

That seems to be a fair summation, doesn’t it?

One championship under threat, should the losers, get their way is the 2002–03 flag which Rangers won utilising during the course of that season Latapy, Konterman, Flo, Muscat, Malcolm, Ross, Nerlinger and Hughes.

Now, does that mean those individuals calling for those titles to be expunged are saying those Rangers players I’ve listed were better than their team-mates, or better even than the players doing the complaining?

That seems to be a fair summation, doesn’t it?

Saturday
It’s seen as an achievement to make the cut in a major and reach the final two days of The Open.

Must seems slightly less of a feat when you walk on to the 18th green on the Saturday around lunchtime and the grandstands are almost completely empty …

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