It was good to see Walter Smith holding court today in one of Sevconia’s premier hostelries: The Ragged Cardigan. Walter didn’t need to buy a round. He simply had to stare, thus delighting and terrifying his adoring MSM audience, who squealed as they fought each other to get him a drink.
And what did the legned have to drink? Why, a pint of bitter of course. Or perhaps it was a yard of wail? The exact size of the drink doesn’t really matter. It is simply sufficient to know that there was an awful lot of bitter wailing going on.
Walter sat in a quiet part of the pub: the snug. Or was it the smug? It was hard to tell. But his tale was a heart-rending one. Using a Sports Direct-branded ouija board he conjured up the spirits of entitlement, profligacy and misdirected grievance that could only represent the troubled soul of the deceased Rangers Football Club.
It was a truly desperate scene as Smith indulged those who so desperately want to think that Rangers and then Sevco were wronged. Those who need to believe they were kicked when they were down, and were unfairly treated when Sevco wasn’t given a free pass into the top divisions despite claiming to be the same creditor-stiffing and rule-breaking entity that pretty much trampled on Scottish football for a decade.
Folk who simply will not accept that everything which befell Rangers was its own fault. People who can’t or won’t see that the spending undertaken when Smith and others were in the dugout ultimately helped to destroy the club.
Here is an extract from Smith’s comments:
“There was no necessity for Rangers to be put down into the Third Division. That will always stay in Scottish football. There will be a bitterness in the Rangers ranks. It will be a massive motivation for the club. It would certainly be for me.
How can they forget what happened to them? Nobody could forget that. There is no doubt it was the wrong move in my eyes: Scottish football has been worse off. And a lot of the teams who were happy to see Rangers going down there have suffered and found themselves relegated or in the process of being relegated.”
“Rangers going out the Premier League has, in many ways, caused problems to quite a number of the teams that have been there. And Celtic are one of them, in the sense that they have been left more or less alone to win a championship. Aberdeen put up a great fight over the last couple of years but it’s very difficult for provincial teams to match Celtic, or Rangers when they were at the level they were at five years ago.
Celtic have had a problem with their own motivation going into games. They have not had Rangers on their coat-tails. I don’t think their spending has been what it was, and quite rightly: why spend the money when they don’t need to?”
What a spectacularly insular and arrogant point of view! I think Smith would struggle to find many fans of the 41 other clubs who agree there was no need to put Sevco in the 3rd Division. Indeed, the chances are that they think Sevco were damned lucky to be given any sort of place in the senior game.
What’s more, anyone whose side has won a cup, been promoted or simply experienced football on a level playing field since 2012 is unlikely to share Smith’s view that Scottish football has suffered without a ‘Rangers’ in the top flight. In fact, they might conclude that Smith’s whining sounded like nothing more than a last desperate cry from a discredited era of our game.
Personally, I think it was rather reckless of Smith to play the ‘grievance’ card when an enormous fuss is being made about the upcoming Celtic-Sevco game. Why on earth would you say something that could well inflame things? Can you imagine the furore if Neil Lennon had said he felt cheated out of numerous medals during his playing career at Celtic as a result of Rangers’ financial and administrative practices?
Having finished with his ouija board, Smith moved on to his next trick: he placed a tasteful Sports Direct-branded crystal ball on the bar of the Ragged Cardigan and looked into the future:
“Rangers will have to support Mark Warburton in the manner I was supported as manager, to give him the opportunity to challenge”
“The board want the club to be up there and they have to find a way of doing so. The economics of Scottish football are fairly straightforward for Rangers and Celtic. If you invest in your team and get to the Champions League, you make money. If you don’t, you lose money. That’s the biggest gamble. Rangers are in a totally different circumstance from Celtic, but they have to find a way.
It can be done. We weren’t in a great circumstance when I came back a second time. We weren’t in a great circumstance when Graeme Souness took over 30 years ago. The club showed a reaction at that time and I’m fairly sure they will show a reaction now.”
Oh dear. Walter Smith really only seems to know one tune, doesn’t he?
A big-spending board finding money from somewhere, and then hopefully securing Champions League income. How did that pan out last time around, Mr Smith?
Ah yes. All the other clubs treated Rangers badly. And that army of stiffed creditors and liquidation weren’t indicative of a business model that was completely unsustainable and which warped Scottish football for many years.
Aye right you are Walter. Can I get you another pint of bitter?