You will struggle to find a more detested player around the Ibrox than former midfielder Ian Black.
A name which carries so many negative connotations fans barely utter it unless they find themselves in a state of unprecedented rage.
Black crawled his way into Glasgow as a victim of controversial Lithuanian tycoon Vladimir Romanov, whose reign of terror over Tynecastle left Hearts slumped in £25 million worth of debt and heading into administration (Daily Record).
When asked about his move Black spoke positively about his prospects at the club. “I can be part of something really special here. It’s harder to play for Rangers than it is to play against them,” he said (via the Daily Record).
“But I thought about that before I came, about having to deal with the pressure of the fanbase and the club’s size. It’s something I wanted to have a shot at and I think I’m handling it well.
“I’m not surprised by the expectations here. If you’re involved in football you know what the expectations of Rangers Football Club is. I knew what I was coming into.”
But did things turn out like the gold infused fairy-tale Black had hoped for? No, no they did not.
One of the main sticking points for Rangers fans was that the midfielder was actually an incredibly unlikeable person; someone who arrived with an air of unjustified arrogance, who thought himself bigger than the club, and clearly had very little self-awareness.
Egotism is fine – some of the best players in the world have harnessed it to boost their global profiles and accelerate their careers. But this was not one of the best players in the world. It was Ian Black, a nobody outside of Scotland.
Problems off the pitch were as prevalent as those on it as well.
In 2013 Black found himself embroiled in scandal and on the end of a 10-match ban after admitting to a breach of Scottish FA regulations of betting (BBC Sport). The one time capped Scotland international was accused of gambling on 160 matches over a seven-year period, including betting against his own side on three occasions – so you can only imagine what that did to boost his popularity around the Ibrox.
He made 115 appearances for the club before being released and joining Shrewsbury Town. After just a month, he was again without an employer, before being picked up by Blackpool. And this is where it all went downhill for the disgraced former Rangers man.
He moved to Northern Premier League side Skelmersdale United (?) before joining non-league outfit Chorley and eventually settling at Tranent Juniors, a team operating in the East of Scotland Conference B.
Hardly the most illustrious end to a career.
He has since come out describing his experience as a targeted man. “I did get a picture painted that I was this villain,” he explained the BBC Sport.
“A lot of it was harsh. I was a winner.”
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