RANGERS are not a new club. They didn’t die in 2012. I’ve never believed that or written anything close to it.

Those who spend their life banging on about Sevco need to find a hobby. Or a friend. Those who believe a football club’s identity exists on deeds, who the owner happens to be or all that boring stuff usually aren’t that into football.

Despite me being “wan of them” I have never been intimidated or antagonised by any Rangers fan, have always felt welcome at Ibrox and – you can Google it – this column more than once asked those whose noses aren’t blue to stop their prejudice, or at least re-evaluate what they believe the average Bear to be.

The anti-Catholic signing policy was lifted 31 years ago. Rangers are still seen as a Protestant club – and I’ve no real issue with that and neither should anyone else – but I’ve seen for myself a significant cultural change within the support.

For every “FTP” mouth-breather, there are 20 who don’t want anything to do with that. Nor do they care what school a player went to. All they are interested in is whether they can do it on the pitch. Lorenzo Amoruso was captain. Rino Gattuso remains a cult hero.

Celtic fan Neil McCann got roundly cheered as he helped Rangers to two trebles and a double. The most popular player at Ibrox right now is Alfredo Morelos. Nacho Novo will probably get a statue one day. All “left footers”.

Sectarianism remains an issue because of the club’s history and because within the Rangers support remain people with King Billy tattoos. William of Orange had the political backing and private financial support of Pope Innocent XI – the Mo Johnston of his day. That never gets a mention in any song…

And because at every game anthems are belted out with blatant sectarian messages across an increasingly secular Scotland.

I’ve always been a defender if not a supporter of Rangers. I’ve met so many good people at that club. Most of my mates are Rangers fans. I was and remain of the opinion that more should have been done to keep the club in the Premier League in 2012; not that they didn’t deserve what happened to them per se, but the impact on the other clubs and our game as a whole was hugely negative.

To quote the great Kevin Bridges: “We had a two-horse league and we’ve lost a horse.”

But then they go and appoint DUP councillor David Graham who is a “worshipful master” of the Orange Order to be the face of the club.

No club is without sin when it comes to making appointments. Dundee had Giovanni de Stefano on their board – a jailbird, friend of terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s lawyer.

Vladimir Romanov was for years a popular owner of Hearts. Hibernian almost went to the wall under the, cough, leadership of chairman David Duff – a man with a perfect surname.

And as for Celtic, where to begin? Well, let’s start with John Reid as chairman, a man who is “at ease with his conscience” about when, as a Labour government minister, he supported the war in Iraq.

But we are talking about Rangers here and the appointment of Graham is, in my view, a bad call.

Why, when Rangers are supposedly doing their best to show themselves to be an inclusive club, have they given a job to a member of a Northern Ireland political party with links to many Unionist paramilitary groups that continue to haunt them.

The DUP is ostensibly anti-homosexual, has a pro-creationist faction within the party and aren’t keen on women having control of their own bodies. I had to check the calendar there to make sure this was the 21st century.

Speaking to Good Morning Ulster yesterday about his new role, Graham said: “The future includes everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, religious background or cultural affiliation.”

His membership of the Orange Order is not illegal. Indeed, who am I or anyone to tell another person what to do in their spare time. But while the OO says it isn’t anti-Catholic, it wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest they aren’t overly keen on them.

Is this really the type of person Rangers need right now? Graham will replace Jim Traynor, a controversial figure who happened to be my boss for the best part of 10 years.

He gave me a job at the country’s biggest selling newspaper at that time and made me, at just 27, one of the best paid members of my extended family.

With him as my gaffer, I was sent all over the world to watch football and golf. I got to write columns with Ally McCoist and Jim McLean. I was given a freer role than most on the desk, at least for a time, a period in which I had my best times in journalism.

In so many ways I owe him a lot but I’ve never felt that. I don’t like the man. Anyway, it’s good that he’s going, it’s just that his successor shouldn’t be a DUP and Orange Order member.

Why didn’t they go for a bluenose journalist, there’s plenty of them, who would bring calmness to such an important role?

Instead the powers that be have acted like the Rangers from the bygone days. See, I told you they were the same club.