Glasgow Rangers

I’m not usually a football follower but I was both shocked and affected by the news that Glasgow Rangers has been forced  into liquidation.

The reason  that I feel connected to this iconic football team is that my grandfather Robert Carmichael was the Physiotherapist and chief Scout for Rangers before and during the Second World War.  He played football for Clyde and then Sunderland  and when he ‘retired’ as a footballer, joined Rangers in this capacity.

In those days footballers did not earn the megabucks that they command today nor did they have the same “celebrity” status. Although my father and his two brothers were talented footballers my grandfather did not want any of them to choose football as a career and insisted that they all learnt other skills. He refused to pick them to play for Rangers. He paid for an apprenticeship in Engineering for my father who consoled himself by playing for Falkirk.  He earned £8 per week  which in 1938 was a lot of money but in these days it is peanuts.

My father’s elder brother Jack Carmichael played as an amateur for Queens park and played for England in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.  His son, my cousin, also Jack Carmichael played for Arsenal  junior team and then became captain of Peterborough.

My father played for the Royal Navy during and after the second World War, against such teams as Portugal, where they won and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they lost! He was offered places in a couple of football teams, notably Portsmouth when he left the Royal Navy but declined as in those days footballing as a career was still not prestigious or well paid.

It does seem to be a mad world nowadays where footballers and managers are paid fortunes in salaries and in transfer fees. Football is big business and the demise of Glasgow Rangers is just business and not personal but it will certainly feel personal to the players and staff who are sacked.  I cannot help feeling that it did not have to be this way and that some form of negotiation could have been made to repay the debts. Whatever happens, i wish them well and I hope that Glasgow rangers will survive this storm and come out the other side far better and far stronger.