Wanted as long as you’re not Irish?


On reading this piece from Roger Hannah in the Scottish Sun I can’t help

but think that the former may depend on the latter.

Perhaps the sub editor would have been closer to the mark had the headline read:

“ Jim wants Scotland now Gers want Jim.”

Jim O’Brien has, apparently, declared for Scotland and now he is also, we are told, now a Rangers target.

Would Rangers seek him if he were planning to turn out in the green of the Republic?

There is,potentially, a huge story that is not being addressed by the Scottish sports desks.

Why is it that Rangers can have scores of nationalities in their first team over, say a twenty year period, but not one from a neighbouring country.

At the same time players from the Republic of Ireland have played for every team in the SPL and almost all of the teams in England.

A strange set or coincidences.

In criminal cases the law works on “beyond all reasonable doubt. In civil cases, like libel then “the balance of probabilities” is the threshold for credibility.

On the balance of probabilities what is the chance that Rangers in modern times have not been able to find a suitable player for their first team who just happened to play for the Republic of Ireland?

In the last two years Rangers, of course, have not signed any player due to the fact that the bank has moved into stabilise the Ibrox club.

One thing that Rangers could not have endured over the past few years of financial crisis was to have been boycotted by their hardcore support.

What could have triggered such a protest?

Perhaps signing a player from the Republic of Ireland would be too be much to take for the supporters that sing the “Famine song”?

Hatred of Irishness goes to the core of the Ibrox belief system.

The people who run the club know that the days when such prejudice was acceptable is coming to an end.

However the same people that belt of the “Famine song” are the first in line to renew their season tickets.

Unlike in the English premiership ST sales make up a significant chunk of the revenue of any SPL club.

Rangers are no different.

The emotional contract between club and supporter at Rangers is particularly well understood.

Rangers, as a vehicle for anti-Irish racism, needs to be decommissioned. I am sure that if the people who run Rangers could do so and maintain their revenue streams they would do so.

Now it appears that they will be able to purchases players once more then they should not exclude those who play for the Republic of Ireland.

In the meantime the day still seems far off when a player can be described as “Rangers and Republic of Ireland.”