Rangers (2012)

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Aten
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Rangers (2012)

Post by Aten » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:06 am

As a statistician and historian of Scottish football, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the continuing misconception that Rangers (1872) F.C. are the same club as The Rangers (2012) F.C. The fact is that Rangers (1872) were liquidated in July 2012 and a new club that bears almost the same name was formed to replace them. That they play out of the same stadium and re-employed many of the same staff is irrelevant. It is a new club. Given that they had to negotiate membership to the SFA, apply for membership to the SFL and UEFA only confirms they are a new club.

I can understand supporters of the new club deluding themselves into believing nothing has changed, that is the nature of the beast. However for the custodians of the club to acquiesce to that view for blatant marketing purposes is morally wrong. The media is no better; they just do not want to upset the new clubs fans in case it impinges on their profit margins. Not so long ago the same thing happened to Gretna and no one regards Gretna (1946) as the same club as Gretna (2008), so why should Rangers (2012) be treated different?

I for one, fully intend to separate the two clubs in my work because that is the factually correct way to go about the matter. However I would be interested to learn the views of any other statisticians/historians out there.

HibeeJibee
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by HibeeJibee » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:13 am

Key to the continuity argument appears to be the "transfer" of SFA membership from OldCo to NewCo... i.e. that having membership of an FA is what makes you a football club and Rangers have the same membership they had pre-liquidation. That's the predominant justification.

The football club is a teapot, and regardless of which box (company framework) the teapot sits in, the 'history' is attached to the teapot not the box.

There was also an assertion that Clachnacuddin did the same in the 1980s and no-one called them a new club... although I don't think the full story there was ever explored.

Ultimately, there's no 100% consistency. For example, Rangers started the League Cup unseeded in R1 and the Scottish Cup in R2, despite having played in SPL last season.

I certainly anticipate most historians, and all mainstream publications, will treat them as the same club.

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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Scottish » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:44 am

I subscribe to the old theory that things that look, waddle and quack like ducks invariably turn out to be ducks. Even if in this instance it is a duck a l'orange. I lived in Middlesbrough at the time the Boro were liquidated in 1986, with Ayresome Park padlocked, players and management sacked by the liquidator and carrying on over the summer unpaid and training in public parks with their kit stashed in car boots - an altogether much worse experience than that undergone at Ibrox last year. A 'new' club was formed. Middlesbrough FC were no more. Middlesbrough FC & Athletic club (1986), complete with new club crest, was born at the last minute just before the deadline for the Football League expired. Ayresome Park was still unavailable and the club had to play their first home game at Hartlepool.

The crux of the matter is that every Boro fan regards the club as one and the same and fans of most other teams don't even think about it all. That was the case even at the time. With regards to Gretna, I'm sure if they could have carried on their league membership in 2008-09 they would have been regarded as one and the same club even if a change of name had been made. Airdrie United though is a totally different matter as they entered the league by taking over Clydebank which led to the ludicrous situation of the SFL regarding them as a continuation of Clydebank (see SFL annual reviews).

So, tempting as it might be for those of us without any particular disposition to see the Ibrox club prosper, I regard them as the same club. If it's good enough for Middlesbrough, Wolves and several other English clubs then I don't see how Rangers can be regarded any differently.

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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Skyline Drifter » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:46 pm

Likewise, I don't consider the few records I keep with respect to Queen of the South to be enough to deem myself either a football statistician or historian but as far as I'm concerned I'm treating the present Rangers and the one that played up to last season as the same club.

the hibLOG
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by the hibLOG » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Presumably, despite the Clydebank connection, the vast majority of Airdrie United's fans see that club as a continuation of Airdrieonians - a club playing in Airdrie, bearing the name of the town and wearing white shirts with a red V around the neck. Similarly you will never persuade The Rangers' fans that their club is anything but a continuation of the old Rangers. Even the learned judge pronounced recently to the effect that the club is not a legal entity and therefore has continuity when passed between owners, whether through liquidation or otherwise. Nevertheless I would totally agree that Rangers (2012) are a new club for statistical purposes, but any statistical source which separates the records will find that Rangers fans (and most of the media) will simply add the post-liquidation statistics to the old ones to form overall totals regardless of the technical definitions of old and new. Just another nice little absurdity to add to the game's rich tapestry of tribal disputation.
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Scottish » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:19 am

the hibLOG wrote:Presumably, despite the Clydebank connection, the vast majority of Airdrie United's fans see that club as a continuation of Airdrieonians - a club playing in Airdrie, bearing the name of the town and wearing white shirts with a red V around the neck.
Though not once in ten years of existence have they ever come near the average attendances of the 'old' club. And I don't know about the vast majority but they've definitely lost one of their vast fans who is now head spinner at Ibrox
the hibLOG wrote: Nevertheless I would totally agree that Rangers (2012) are a new club for statistical purposes
When Rangers fans insist this is the same club I am quite happy to accept that. In my eyes the club that has won over fifty league titles, its last as recently as 2011, is EXACTLY the same as the one beaten by the team at the bottom of the 3rd division earlier this season.

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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by lbb » Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:00 pm

Aten wrote:The media is no better; they just do not want to upset the new clubs fans in case it impinges on their profit margins.
As all newspapers are in terminal decline, it does not appear to be a strategy that is working.
Aten wrote:I for one, fully intend to separate the two clubs in my work because that is the factually correct way to go about the matter.
Then that is what you should do. Your conscience will be clear.

Ne24
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Ne24 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:29 pm

Aten wrote:As a statistician and historian of Scottish football, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the continuing misconception that Rangers (1872) F.C. are the same club as The Rangers (2012) F.C.

I for one, fully intend to separate the two clubs in my work because that is the factually correct way to go about the matter. However I would be interested to learn the views of any other statisticians/historians out there.
I guess i am of a differing opinion, Rangers are the latest in a long list of clubs, Hibs won the Scottish Cup in 1887, disbanded and then reformed in 1891 yet very few if any would think of them as a different club.

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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Sat31March1928 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:56 pm

Ne24 wrote:
Aten wrote:As a statistician and historian of Scottish football, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the continuing misconception that Rangers (1872) F.C. are the same club as The Rangers (2012) F.C.

I for one, fully intend to separate the two clubs in my work because that is the factually correct way to go about the matter. However I would be interested to learn the views of any other statisticians/historians out there.
I guess i am of a differing opinion, Rangers are the latest in a long list of clubs, Hibs won the Scottish Cup in 1887, disbanded and then reformed in 1891 yet very few if any would think of them as a different club.
Hearts would only start around 1876-77 as they too had a spell of 'disbandment'.
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Scottish » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:20 am

Sat31March1928 wrote: Hearts would only start around 1876-77 as they too had a spell of 'disbandment'.
I think there are several clubs which would fall into this category. Apart from Rangers & the Edinburgh pair, the most obvious example is Dundee United/Dundee Hibernians as well as Dundee United's further travails in the early 1930s. Dundee too had to "re-form" in 1898. Kilmarnock were founded by 1869. Absolutely no doubt of that as I've seen a membership card for that year. There's a good argument for saying it was 1868. But the first written record is from October 1872 and it talks about the intention "to form a football club" and when Killie played in their first Scottish Cup Final in 1898, the Scottish Referee described them as founded in 1872.

Dumbarton vanished for almost a decade around the turn of the 19th & 20th centuries but no one says they can't lay claim to their two league titles and one Scottish Cup.

South of the border, apart from the 1980s examples like Wolves and Boro, there's also the case of Leeds United and their predecessors Leeds City, expelled from the league in October 1919 then readmitted as United in May 1920. Same ground, same fans, though not the same players as these had all been sold by the Football League. I have a history of Leeds United in front of me right now. It includes Leeds City.

Then there are non-league/junior sides which are obviously continuations. Take Dalbeattie Star for example. They dropped out of football in 1934-35 before re-forming the next season. But they then faded away again in the late 1940s, not to appear again until the 1970s. Yet club officials maintain the current club is the same as the original.

It seems to me that despite the schadenfraude that many, myself included, are enjoying over Rangers misfortunes (and why not, given the way they and their brothers-in-arms have lorded it over the rest of us for over a century) that to regard them as anything other than Rangers is a step too far.

I'd wager if this were any other club (Celtic apart) there wouldn't even be any dispute about the matter.

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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by sam peckinpah » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:39 pm

Most Airdrie fans do take the view that Airdrie United are the 'de facto' continuation of Airdrieonians, albeit in reduced circumstances. The continuous use of the strip, ground etc make the 'duck' analogy relevant here, although, as noted, maybe the new club is more of a duckling (if you see what I mean).

Had there been a gap between the demise of 'Onians and the birth of United then this would have made things different, but the uninterupted league membership has meant that continuity was seamless. In this sense, and despite United's controversial creation, you could contend that the town's football club is now in its third guise having been known as Excelsior FC between 1878 - 1882.

Aten
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Re: Rangers (2012)

Post by Aten » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:01 pm

Many thanks for all your comments. Very much appreciated.

I will post a full response in due course.

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