Media, Scottish Football

A Wibble from the Past

Good Evening.

“If anyone thinks the Partick Thistle team of today could hold their own in the SPL, then they have been smoking dope.”

Yes folks, the man who brought you this quote in 2002 is back!

Former SPL Chief Executive Roger Mitchell (yes there WAS a time when Neil Doncaster wasn’t bringing joy to our game…) came out of the shadows last night to offer his unique take on the issue of title-stripping, following the latest judgement in the Big Tax Case.

And fair play to the BBC for giving him the airtime. Because there isn’t enough Class B comedy on the radio these days.

As the BBC website reports:

“A former Scottish Premier League chief executive has described the fallout from last week’s court ruling on oldco Rangers’ tax affairs as nothing more than “fans’ bragging rights”.

And do you know what? He really did!

A man who was one of the senior administrators in Scottish football – which purports to be a sport – had this to say…

[EBTs are a] mechanism of financial doping [but] what we’re talking about here is fans’ bragging rights.”

“Scottish football should draw a line under this. We have had three times to go for this EBT. If I were in Rangers’ corner I’d say ‘it’s 2-1 for me’ and the fourth one, I don’t know which way it’s going to go.

Many clubs over the years have spent more than they should have to win success – Rangers, Hearts, John Boyle’s Motherwell.

So where do you draw the line where somebody is using financial doping to get titles and under what circumstances should you remove them? If they go into administration should you remove the previous five years? Maybe. Uefa has brought in Financial Fair Play to try to deal with that.

It is much ado about nothing. That is my opinion on this sad saga.

My view of what happened is it was a 120-year battle between two titans and in 2010 one was on the battlefield dead”

“I believe they’re the same club. I’m not into this newco/oldco stuff. They were dead but they came back. It’s like France and Germany have had wars over a thousand years – they come back. It doesn’t mean that they are not the same army or the same nation.

Rangers is the same soul as it was before, the fans are the same soul. As a Celtic fan, I take my bragging rights from the fact that in 2010 they were dead, lying in the battlefield, but they are back.”

Of all the nonsense written about the EBT saga, “much ado about nothing” may just be the single most ridiculous of all.

Mitchell employs the ‘HMRC 1-2 Rangers’ scoreline description of the Big Tax Case which Derek Johnstone used last week. And let’s face it, if your punditry takes the form of DJ tribute act you have absolutely no right to be taken seriously!

But that’s just what Sportsound did last night. 

Mitchell insists Sevco is the same club as Rangers without advancing any actual evidence, and yet he also admits that they died! In… errr…2010. 

What’s more, his France/ Germany/ battlefield analogy for the Survival Myth is right up there with the legendary ‘Rangers Kit Kat’ and ‘Rangers hen laying a bad company egg’ lunacy of yesteryear.

Was this man really in charge of the Scottish top flight once upon a time? The complacency, disregard for the very concept of sport and…well… outright surrealism is simply breathtaking.

Actually come to think of it, he’d probably still fit right in…