They’ve done the crime, and now is time for the punishment. Rangers begin their league campaign today a whole week after the Scottish Premier League kicked off in the knowledge that it is a long way back to the summit from the Third Division.
For that is where Rangers, or Newco Rangers at least, are playing their football this season after their high profile demotion from the SPL as years of financial mismanagement finally caught up with the club this summer.
Quite who takes exactly what share of the blame for the meltdown has been much discussed, but to be honest how much fault either of the previous owners Sir David Murray or Craig Whyte should be apportioned is irrelevant now that Rangers are paying the price for essentially cheating over the last decade, spending money they didn’t have in order to compete with Old Firm rivals Celtic.
I fancy this is a bet that is going to cop more often than not this season given that McCoist can still boast Lee McCulloch, Maurice Edu and others who have been part of title winning teams, and I don’t think you’ll be getting that good a price many times again.
And the chance for fans of other Scottish league clubs – and not just Celtic – to indulge in a large helping of schadenfreude has been too tempting to resist, even if the implications of Rangers’ demotion could be severe for some of the teams that they have left behind: the attitude of those at Ibrox during the glory years (arrogant, brash, graceless) deserves nothing less.
Even now, despite all evidence to the contrary, Rangers continue to show a lack of humility on their way down to the bottom, with both new owner Charles Green and manager Ally McCoist charged by the SFA for comments made about the whole sorry saga.
But it is finally time to get back to football, and where that is concerned Rangers have no problems whatsoever. Let’s make no mistake, the Gers are going to win this division at a canter. Even a drop into the bottom tier hasn’t lessened Rangers’ allure in the eyes of Scottish players if their transfer business is anything to go by: Rangers may be in the Third Division, but it hasn’t stopped them from signing Ian Black from Hearts and Kilmarnock’s Dean Shiels which goes to show the pulling power of the club remains intact.
And they will use their first match to demonstrate how easy they are going to find it. Rangers travel to Peterhead as the strong 1/4 favourites, with the home side an 8/1 to chance and the draw quoted at 4/1.
Peterhead are an average Third Division side and just won’t be able to live with Rangers. Jim McInally’s team lost six league games at the Balmoor Stadium last season and have already lost a competitive match at home this term, losing 2-1 to ,East Fife in the Challenge Cup in July. Rangers hammered the same side 4-0 in midweek in the League Cup, which underlines the gaping chasm between Rangers and Peterhead better than any of my words ever could.
But instead of taking the 1/4, have a look at the 7/10 that Rangers win by at least a couple of goals. I fancy this is a bet that is going to cop more often than not this season given that McCoist can still boast Lee McCulloch, Maurice Edu and others who have been part of championship winning teams, and I don’t think you’ll be getting that good a price many times again. So lump on.
Recommended bet: Rangers to win by at least two goals @ 7/10
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