Monday, August 13, 2012

Jabba's Rangers rescue

So, what to make of Jabba's reported investment in Rangers? It's too soon to comment at length, but perhaps a few initial thoughts might be justified.

On the one hand, he deserves great credit for the way he's reversed and rectified decades of financial mismanagement, and what he does with his money is his own business. On the other hand, that doesn't stop me from feeling unhappy at our owner helping to prop up a club who find themselves in dire straits through their own shameful misconduct.

There's no direct conflict of interest in that the two clubs are in different leagues and the possibility of them meeting in European competition looks remote, at least for the next two or three seasons. However, Jabba's interest in Rangers does become an issue if it starts to interfere with his day job at the helm of Newcastle - and, given the conspicuous absence of notable arrivals over the course of the summer, it might be suggested that he should be devoting all of his energies to our cause rather than allowing himself to be diverted to that of another club.

Add to that the fact that there's talk of Rangers borrowing up to nine of our players. What purpose would be served by sending our youngsters to play in the fourth tier of Scottish football? While the benefits to Rangers are obvious, they certainly aren't so to us. Unless, perhaps, the arrangement hints at plans to establish Rangers as a feeder club. The issue has been raised in connection to the Pozzos' recent takeover of Watford - new manager Gianfranco Zola denied that was the intention, though the Hornets then borrowed no fewer than five players from the Pozzos' Italian and Spanish sides Udinese and Granada respectively. I can imagine how Rangers fans might feel about the prospect of being nothing more than a breeding ground for talent which we then hoover up (or a dumping ground for our development squad) - and I doubt many of our fans would be too comfortable with it either.

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