Rangers in the Third Division - What Could Have Happened
13 August 2012
(New Rangers, Old Rangers, Glasgow Rangers, Fucking Rangers, call 'em what you will. This isn't about being a fan or being an abiding enemy. This is just what could have happened.)
Rangers start life in Division Three of Scottish football. Faced with a season of playing against Euro-giants such as East Stirlingshire and Annan Athletic, they take the bold move to start with a fresh young team composed almost entirely of eighteen and nineteen year-olds, augmented at first by one or two old hands. They accept any SFA transfer ban for as long as they wish to impose it, as they won't be signing anyone anyway. Any money they have to invest goes towards their academy and youth teams. They get a coach with a vision, a coach that can take a young team and grow it and mould it the way he wants.
There's an inherent sense of humility in the process. It's not trampling all over the Third Division, spending money the other clubs don't have. There would be defeats, there might be a bit of a struggle, but the team would be young, pacy, enthusiastic, and full-time. They would get promoted. As they would the next season. By the time they reached the SPL they would be a team of twenty-one and twenty-two year olds who had been playing together for three years; augmented by the best younger players coming into the squad, buoyed by the enthusiasm and knowledge that a real opportunity awaited them.
They would be the Busby Babes for the generation. The would arrive in the SPL and take it by storm, playing with an enthusiasm and commitment that teams of foreign nationals, not good enough to make it in England, could not match. As Rangers run away with the league, Scottish football is swept away with the notion that this is the way forward. Young Scottish players fill the SPL. Scottish children, seeing the opportunities opening up before them, cram into youth academies. Soon we are producing more talent than can be accommodated in our league system, and before long the EPL is being graced with many more Scots than just a smattering of players at Wigan and West Brom, and Charlie Adam's ego.
Rangers win the Champions league. Soon enough we are entering four teams in the competition. Scotland win the World Cup in Qatar. The new independent nation is blessed with self-confidence and passion. A New Enlightenment sweeps the country. Scotland becomes Switzerland multiplied by Singapore and Norway.
Scottish forces march on Mordor and evil is banished from Earth for all time.
So how's all that looking so far?
Rangers have signed the likes of 31 year-old Kevin Kyle, who has played for virtually every shite team in Britain, and legendary 32 year-old Brazilian Emilson, who is so undistinguished a Brazilian player that he has a second name. Rather than a team of raw recruits stuttering to a draw on Saturday, the average age of the team that drew 2-2 at Peterhead was 27. Not so much the Busby Babes, as the McCoist Muppets.
Scotland won't win the World Cup in Qatar.
Mordor is probably safe.