When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st and the new year is ushered in, no football club will be glad to see the back of 2012 quite like Rangers.
In what has turned out to be the most tumultuous calendar year in the club’s 140-year existence, this once-proud institution became the highest-profile casualty of British football’s increasingly perilous financial position and as the scale of the crisis became clear, Rangers as we knew it ceased to exist, a new club taking the place of the old insolvent one.
Even that very existence was thrown into grave doubt over the summer as years and years of financial mismanagement by former chairman David Murray and then cowboy builder Craig Whyte caught up with the club, forcing the powers that be in Scotland to demote Rangers from the SPL to the Third Division, where they now rather ridiculously ply their trade, much to the amusement of the rest of the Scottish football contingent.
We now have this surreal situation where the bottom tier of Scottish football plays host to a side who can still attract 40,000-plus crowds while the majority of the other teams can barely rustle up a few hundred unless Rangers are in town, and the title race is turning into just the procession that everybody imagined.
Rangers are currently 12 points clear of nearest challengers Elgin City having lost just once all season long and it would take something incredible for Ally McCoist’s side not to be playing Second Division football next year.
Complacency looks to be the only barrier to promotion and even then that remains highly unlikely.
After a difficult start (especially away from home), Rangers have won nine consecutive league matches and you don’t really need me to tell you that their trip to Hampden Park to face fellow Glaswegians Queen’s Park will make it a perfect ten.
You are only getting 9/50 on the Gers taking home the points, while you will get 5/1 on the draw and 19/2 on a Queen’s Park win. But let’s face it, this is all about getting value on the win for McCoist’s men.
Amateur side Queen’s Park are having a decent season, currently in third and 16 points behind their visitors with two games in hand.
Even still, it is fanciful in the extreme to think that (the wonderfully named) Gardner Spiers can get his side into league title contention, despite losing just three times this season.
And on the big pitch at Hampden, Rangers’ extra quality will tell and they will win this easily. You aren’t going to get rich backing the 9/50, but the 53/100 that Rangers win by two or more goals is a great bet.
Every single one of Rangers’ 12 league wins this season have been by at least two goals and I don’t see any reason why this will be any different.