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Jason Kenny

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

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 …

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 …

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?

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 …

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 …

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 …

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?

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 …

Tweet Stewart Weir with thoughts and comments.

A non-Augusta albatross Picture: twiddleblat

A non-Augusta albatross Picture: twiddleblat

What a performance. What a result. No, not what happened at Rugby Park. What happened at the rugby.

Edinburgh produced the best-ever result (I don’t think anyone could ever say best-ever performance) from a Scottish side in the Heineken Cup, beating four-times winner Toulouse at a busy Murrayfield.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was more than enough to see Edinburgh through to the last four, with just a date in Dublin against Ulster (“just”, he says) between them and the final.

Nearly 38,000 turned up at Murrayfield. Big-time club rugby. But let’s not get carried away as some appear to be doing (headed in the direction of the nearest asylum). Edinburgh got that crowd because of the importance of the match, not because of any great support Edinburgh might have.

Many people I know who went saw it as a one-off, the chance to see Edinburgh – or just a Scottish club – that far advanced in the premier European club tournament. So before anyone sees Edinburgh as the biggest team in the capital – ahead of Hearts and Hibs – wait and see what your next home gate is.

Of course I can’t let Saturday pass without giving credit where credit is due. Well done to Celtic and Neil Lennon on winning the SPL title.

It is not a soiled title. It is not a tarnished trophy. It is not a competition won by the second-best team. Celtic won it fair and square. And anyone suggesting that Rangers’ ten-point penalty handed the Hoops the title are deluded.

It didn’t help the Rangers cause, admittedly. But there was no mention of penalties or administration when the Ibrox club lost a 15-point advantage in October. So please, get real …

I hugely admire Sir Chris Hoy, although I still get to call him Chris. That might change if he wins another couple of golds this summer. I, like everyone else, might need to call him Lord Hoy.

And, on the evidence of Sunday at the world championships in Melbourne, he might have a chance of doing that. Hoy (or should I say Chris?) monstered his way to yet another world title (his 11th) by taking the keirin race. It was a typically gutsy, bullish effort from the Team Sky rider and one that should be sufficient to see him selected in that event come London.

He will also be part of the UK’s line-up in team sprint, but in the individual sprint he may (probably) need to concede that berth to his young team-mate and protégé Jason Kenny, who defeated the Scot in Melbourne.

Whatever events he participates in, Hoy will have everyone’s support. Or maybe not everyone’s.

His father, David, had the previous day highlighted the fact that British athletes had been given the chance to purchase two tickets from LOCOG for each session that they compete in. It means Chris may need to choose between sister, parents or wife Sarra as to who gets to see him winning again.

“It just needs somebody to sit down and think about the families who have got the athletes to this level,” said Hoy Snr. “Just a little bit of payback would be very welcome.”

Still, it could have been worse. The name Ticketus might have cropped up …

The Masters dominated the sporting Easter Sunday, and into the sma’ hours of Monday. It was worth staying up for.

As is the way these days, there were, naturally, a million-and-one comments posted on social media sites about the players, the shots and the protagonists.

What was the best shot?

Louis Oosthuizen’s albatross (or double-eagle as the Americans call it), or the eventual winner Bubba Watson’s Seve-esque wedge around the trees?

In the world of Twitter, however, there was an equally heated debate about the merits – or lack of them – around the emergence of former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan conducting the post-round interviews.

A great many didn’t catch up with that detail until Sunday night, probably not sure exactly who the “Michael” being referred to was.

But like a self-fulfilling prophesy that such jobs should be left to professionals, and that Vaughan would be caught out eventually (see the cricketing pun I used there), he boldly interviewed three-times Masters winner Tiger Woods.

“Four actually,” replied Tiger. Oops …

I, possibly more than most, realise that people need to make a start somewhere when they are switching careers or moving into new fields.

But it was asking for trouble to give someone so relatively inexperienced – and from a totally different sport – that gig in the first place.

Anyway, I’m just looking forward to the Olympics and Geoffrey Boycott interviewing Usain Bolt …

Category One whistler Charlie Richmond quits amid claims he believed he’d been shunned and frozen out by his SFA handler for not being a team player.

As ever, anyone who dares say anything about the Scottish Football Association is cast as a wrongdoer and a troublemaker.

Almost immediately, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan used Twitter to call Richmond a “consistent under performer”, while referees’ chief John Fleming joined in, stating: “I consider his comments an affront to the work currently being undertaken by the Scottish FA to promote and support referees at all levels.”

A closing of ranks there – or a closing of eyes?

It was such a big story that Reporting Scotland did a live interview from Somerset Park.

Yes, because of events the previous evening, Ross County were crowned First Division champions, earning them promotion to the SPL.

I congratulate them. See, I’ve said it.

But I’m sorry. I ain’t buying into the fantasy being perpetrated by one or two blatantly delusional (or drunk) individuals that Ross County’s arrival is going to be great for the SPL. It’s Ross County who are getting in, not Barcelona.

My reaction may appear like sour grapes, but when you get people pointing to the Scottish Cup final a few years ago (when they were tonked by Dundee United) as being an example “of the kind of crowds we could take to Glasgow”, then someone somewhere has lost both sense and sobriety.

Like the rugby boys on Saturday, that crowd was an exception to the rule, not the norm.

Against Ayr United, a few hundred fans (probably nearer the two than the three) travelled south. OK, it was a midweek game, and OK, Ayr United might not be must-see opposition.

But will Motherwell or Hibs or Kilmarnock or St Mirren be any more an attractive proposition come November or February next term? SPL chairmen and bean counters won’t be planning their bonus structure on what Ross County bring to the party.

No, they’ll base it on what the likes of Rangers might bring them.

A lot of posturing today from the SPL’s decision-makers about the type of penalties clubs facing liquidation (ie Rangers) might face if they come back in another guise (ie Rangers Newco).

Threats of ten-point penalties for two years, and TV and sponsorship incomes hacked back to just a third (around £800,000 as opposed to £2.4 million) have been voiced. All very threatening, all very we’ll-show-them-who’s-boss.

Whether the vote goes that way remains to be seen. A who-blinks-first scenario is forming: the SPL wants to teach those who have flouted the rules (ie Rangers) a lesson. But what happens if such a club (eg Rangers Newco) seeks sanctuary in the SFL, wrecking any TV deal and denying club’s vital income?

Oh, there will be a debate-and-a-half that afternoon.

Of course, all of this is worst-case scenario stuff. Of course, worse-case scenario is still a massive threat to some SPL clubs (ie Rangers).

The SPL’s leaders are right to toughen their stance on clubs that go into administration or liquidate. It shows how weak their rules were previously. Or didn’t they believe it could ever happen?

If that was the case, then they have been acutely negligent. Or didn’t they notice what happened at Motherwell and Gretna?

If they had moved their rules and regulations to make them more robust after those episodes, when Gretna went to the wall or when Motherwell made 19 players redundant, no one could have accused them of bolting the stable doors and all that, or of knee-jerk reactions and double standards …

On a day when director of football Damien Comolli leaves the club by mutual consent and Peter Brukner, head of sports science and medicine, also departs, at least Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says the Anfield board has “great confidence” in manager Kenny Dalglish.

Just what you want to hear just two days away from your biggest game of the season – an FA Cup semi-final against arch-rivals Everton. Bad enough being eighth in the Premier League – but not as bad as being second-best in your home city.

After that vote of confidence, there were names galore being touted as Dalglish’s replacement. Who would I go for?

Why, David Moyes of course. At least, after spending £120-odd million on players, it would save Liverpool some money on a relocation package …

Busy day on the airwaves. Early morning shot on talkSport’s superb through-the-night show Extra Time with Mike Graham, before talking about the dangers of the Grand National on BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye.

When I say dangers, I mean to the horses, not to your bank balance.

Of course, betting can be profitable. Take one punter yesterday who lifted £100,000 when Big Buck’s won on the opening day of the Grand National Festival, its 17th consecutive win.

And how much did they have to gamble to hit six figures? Just half a million quid, as the horse started at odds of 1/5.

Big Buck’s was such a sure thing. In most people’s cases, so too would be a heart attack …

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