This week, The Rangers Football Club Limited was finally delivered - kicking and screaming and scoring an extra-time goal to beat Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup - into Scottish football.
The men behind the venture insisted that this was the return of the 140-year-old club which entered administration in February and went into liquidation. They will be known as Rangers, eventually at least and mostly for reasons of convenience, but no observer of Scottish football over the past six months will be able to forget this terrible mess and that will be marked by a break in the history of football at Ibrox.
Charles Green, the chief executive of the new club, admitted as much when comparing his club to some of those he claimed had kept Rangers out of the SPL due to bigotry. He said: "We've not got the debt that any of these clubs have. And, on the last day of the season, I would really enjoy some clever financial analyst looking at the balance sheets and debt-to-equity ratio of every club in Scotland."
His words about the motives of the other SPL clubs, his reference to a debt-free Rangers and his apparent ill will toward others clubs were painful for anyone hoping for a fresh start here. They spoke of an ignorance of the landscape of Scottish football and of the relationships between the clubs, while they were filled with an antagonism that should not belong in the office Green holds.
The match at Brechin last weekend took place after an 11th-hour decision by the SFA to grant the new club a temporary licence. The full licence followed after the transfer of Rangers oldco's SPL shares to Dundee, the club who finished second in the First Division last season.
Rangers put out a starting XI including seven internationals at Glebe Park, a stadium that has a hedge, not a stand, running down one side of the pitch. Among them was Ian Black, picked up from Hearts, who could not afford to offer him a new contract. Instead he will play in the Third Division. He was joined through the week by Dean Shiels, one of the best midfielders in the SPL last season with Kilmarnock. He grew up a Rangers supporter and that, and a wage reported to be upwards of £5000-per-week, persuaded him to sign a four-year contract that he hopes will end in the SPL. It will certainly take care of the rest of the best years of his career.
Gordon Waddell, of the Sunday Mail newspaper, put it best when he channelled Sean Connery in The Untouchables in his description of Rangers' acquisition strategy for life in the lower leagues, accusing them of "bringing a gun to a knife fight".
Members of the team that won in extra-time at Brechin will leave before Rangers are suspended from registering players over the age of 18, on September 1. However, others will join to form a Harlem Globetrotters for the lower leagues, a side that will be capable of regularly inflicting heavy defeats on part-time opposition.
The 12-month embargo means all business must be done by the end of this month - there will be no January window for Rangers - but next summer they will be able to acquire the best free agents after August 31. Everything is in place for a thunderous, if perhaps joyless, march through the divisions.
That may not be the case if some of the young academy graduates prove themselves to McCoist and take up more first-team shirts. This has always been the alternative: a team with these young players at its core, who would find a much harder fight in the Third Division, but behind whom the huge Rangers support could find a fresh start and a reason to make those trips to the corners of Scottish football during the coming months and years. Great PR, but a short-term business risk. And, as has always been crystal clear, this is a short-term business proposition for the men behind The Rangers Football Club Limited.
In European competition Scottish clubs have become like the opponents in Rocky movies that are fit only for the fast-cut montages set to a thumping soft-rock soundtrack; there only to move the true protagonists toward their goal in a speedy and unobtrusive fashion, while allowing them to sharpen up their knockout punch.
After St Johnstone fell too far behind Eskisehirspor to get back into their Europa League qualifier, this week Motherwell went down 2-0 at home to Panathinaikos. They will almost certainly end their first tilt at the Champions League after the return leg and drop into the secondary tournament.
Celtic have better prospects after a 2-1 home win over HJK Helsinki and the optimism of their manager, Neil Lennon, about the difference a week can make as they continue their pre-season, seems to have a logic to it. Dundee United would have held an enticing lead over Dinamo Moscow had they not conceded in the last minute of a 2-2 draw at Tannadice.
If they are in the draw when they leave Russia it will be after their biggest European result since their glory days under Jim McLean during the 1980s. Hearts, with a squad that looks less robust than that which finished third in the SPL, begin in the Europa League play-offs.
Celtic's participation in the Champions League - they would face a difficult play-off even if they were to seal progress in Helsinki - is vitally important to that club during their first season without Rangers to bounce off in the SPL. Beyond those two, a place in the Europa League group stages for one of the other contenders would be a remarkable achievement. It will take something special, and that is exactly what Scottish football needs this season.