McCoist, Rangers & the Treaty of Versailles

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McCoist, Rangers & the Treaty of Versailles

Post by Scottish » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:49 am

I’d never have marked Ally McCoist as a history buff until last weekend. Then, reading about how the Rangers/The Rangers/Sevco/Newco manager walked out of talks on gaining a licence from the SFA in order for the Ibrox entity to play football in the coming season, I began to wonder where I’d read something similar.

“I had to leave the final meeting as I could not support the sanctions they were trying to impose,” quoth the bold Ally. Specifically he rejected the year-long transfer ban due to kick in on September 1st but was also touchy about the dual contracts investigation. “I can assure every Rangers fan I will not be accepting any talk of stripping the club of titles.”

Now, Rangers are not exactly in a strong bargaining position with anyone at the moment. Yet instead of expressing contrition for past wrongdoing and gratitude for the chance to start again in the 3rd division, McCoist, instead, exemplifies all the old arrogance that saw them strut so proudly for so long. It was, an historian might remark, almost Prussian in outlook.

A short diversion into history is required here. At the end of World War One, the German Empire, although outwardly unconquered, imploded. The Kaiser fled and the generals, chiefly Hindenburg and his lieutenant Ludendorff left the armistice and the subsequent peace talks to a new civilian administration which had nothing to do with the German, or specifically Prussian, militarism of the past.

Nevertheless, it was these civilians, holding a weak hand in bargaining who were blamed for the subsequent Treaty of Versailles and the humiliations, both real and imagined, placed upon Germany in the 1920s. By refusing to accept any responsibility for their own actions, the military particularly Ludendorff, kept their reputation with the public intact and began to blame civilian politicians for the “stab in the back” of the Versailles treaty.

I think you can see where I’m going here.

In history the Kaiser spent more than twenty years in exile in Holland and was never called to account for his part in the launching of the war or for Germany’s ruin. In football Kaiser Murray (not to confused with the former Hibs manager Kaiser Sauzee) spends his exile in Monaco. Walter Von Hindenburg’s number two Uber Ally Ludendorff is still at Ibrox but if he cannot work under conditions imposed by the SFA’s Versailles treaty then he could well, to use his own words, walk away.

That leaves the way clear for McCoist to blame Charles Green & co for accepting the unacceptable even though Green is realist enough to know there are no other options. Just like the Socialist and Centrist politicians who took the brunt of public opprobrium for Versailles even though it wasn’t they who had led their country to disaster, it could well be Green, Malcolm Murray & co who get it in the neck.

In 1920s Germany the turmoil was temporarily ended by the return of the father figure Hindenburg. Like Wattie he seemed to be above the fray of faction-fighting and sectional interest. But as he grew older he grew doddier and upon his death… well, let’s not go there. We know who succeeded Hindenburg and I don’t want to make comparisons with Rangers.

Instead, the fate of Hindenburg’s long-time subordinate might be instructive. After walking away from real power and influence shortly before his 50th birthday, Ludendorff spent the rest of his life following one crackpot cause after another. But he never regained that power and his influence was a commodity which dwindled daily until the day he died.

So if McCoist really is intending to copy from Ludendorff’s playbook, he should make sure he reads it all the way to the final page.

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Re: McCoist, Rangers & the Treaty of Versailles

Post by killiegradge » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:44 am

Very interesting parallel. I wonder who the Adolf Hitler figure will be fighting against the "Diktat" punishment?

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