The term ‘crisis’ is often bandied around in football, but never has it been more aptly applied than in the case of Glasgow Rangers FC right now.
With every day that passes, the club seems to slip deeper and deeper into trouble. The Scottish tabloids have been overflowing all week with page after page of gruesome detail about their financial woes, with owner Craig Whyte’s leadership coming under intense scrutiny.
On deadline day star striker Nikica Jelavic was flogged to Everton for a cut-price £5.5million – almost half of what manager Ally McCoist had consistently valued his prize asset at – before the Croatian aimed a parting shot at the Rangers regime claiming he was forced out of the club.
A conveyor belt of underwhelming trialists arrived and departed before most people had even learned their names, and in the end the club failed to add any recognised names to their squad.
With an injury list almost as long as their first team squad and in the middle of a run of form that has seen them throw away a huge lead at the top of the table to slip behind rivals Celtic, it really is difficult to see where the SPL champions can go from here.
McCoist is so exasperated, we are told, that he is on the verge of walking out. Several bookmakers suspended betting on him quitting on Wednesday, and speculation is still intense enough at the moment that nobody can really be certain whether he will still be in charge by the time you read this article.
With Rangers in turmoil, Dundee United travel to Ibrox on Sunday having never had a better chance to knock the Gers out of the cup.
Bwin are offering odds of 29/4 on Dundee United winning the match and, after the week Rangers have had, I would be biting their hand off.
The home team, for all their woes, are still priced at odds of 7/20 to win the game, and I doubt there will be many people who see any value in backing that outcome.
It is a very rare day when a betting preview will advise you to put your money on an away win at Ibrox, but punters who are brave enough to stake their free £25 bet for joining bwin on this outcome stand to win £206.25 if successful.
Sometimes, however, adversity can bring the best out of teams, and this is what the Rangers faithful will be relying on if they are to put their troubles behind them on Saturday.
While 7/20 on a Rangers win might not represent good value, odds of 25/1 on Rangers turning a half-time defeat into a full time victory might tempt some people to put their faith in the Gers.
This bet would allow for a slow and difficult start to the game from the home side, but would see Rangers ultimately digging deep through adversity to grind out a result.