Justifying bitterness


I have two significant concerns about Walter Smith’s comments yesterday. He spoke about the events which followed Rangers liquidation in 2012:

“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.”

I’ve spoken to people at Celtic about security concerns ahead of the weekend. The game itself will almost certainly pass off without incident, but what happens on the streets of Glasgow and surrounding towns is anyone’s guess.

You will hear nothing even close to inflammatory from Celtic, senior fans groups, or anyone who cares about the club’s fans and wellbeing. Justifying bitterness due to (mis)perceived persecution ahead of this fixture is inciteful.  I’m astonished Smith said this.

On his subject matter, let me give you an alternative scenario:

Newco Rangers are parachuted straight into the Premier League, hundreds of creditors are abandoned, they have a full squad of players and are not a penny in debt. They would have been out signing players within minutes of registration (they even tried to sign a player while still in administration).

With Oldco having won the league accumulating debts they would never pay in 2009, 2010 and 2011, Newco, free of legacy financial commitments, would have an excellent chance of winning again in 2013 and beyond.

This plan was one strand of Craig Whyte’s lunacy and it would have killed Scottish football. Celtic, and others, would have been left to consider, do we pay these millions of debts, or liquidate and spend the money on players instead? I had this very conversation with a senior figure in the game in October 2011, when the realisation of what Whyte was planning became evident.  Utter mayhem would have ensued.

The damage done to the Rangers brand of clubs by allowing Newco access only to the bottom tier was huge. It’s consequences are yet to be appreciated by most fans.  Newco may never win a top flight league.

But the question was not whether to impose a trauma on ‘Rangers’ or allow everyone to carry on as we had before, this was not an option. It was whether to allow the existing rules and processes to stand, allow responsibility for the enormous mismanagement of Rangers to be carried primarily by Newco, and have other clubs deal with the fallout, with or without a ‘Rangers’ club in the league.

Whyte’s plan replicated what he’d done in other industries, but it would have devastated Celtic in particular. We were beaten for years on the field by a team who could not pay their bills or correctly register their players, then we would be beaten again as they walked away from debts without consequence, which is why I wrote this article in October 2011 on the Prepack route for Rangers Newco.

Pretty much all of what I wrote about in that article came to pass, it had to be stopped (and you’ll never know the key movers in doing so).  Smith should consider if the boot was on the other foot, if he would be happy to allow his club to be subverted in the manner he suggests would be good enough for others.  It was simply never an option.


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  1. I spend most of my time being pretty much ambivalent to the appearance of TRFC in the top league. Then occasionally I have the irrational urge to see us take 20 goals off them next season to show them who we are, and what they are.

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    You expect these sort of lies from clowns like Souness and Smith. What’s worse is the media allowing the lies to pass un-challenged.





    Proud of you,bud. Not always easy being a loud and proud Tim in some parts of Ayrshire!



    Dunno sometimes how my Dad and I get away with it in Kilwinning-Guardian Angels doing double shifts,I expect.



    I look forward to having a hootenanny at yer club’s 50th celebrations,haha!!



    You are spot on mate . Raman had an open goal when smith said that the magic hat , had to get backing from the directors ,the same backing he got from his directors . Raman should have jumped in and asked if he was advocating using EBT again .

  5. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    I believe his younger brother was even better. So he tells me!








  6. West End of East End on

    huntlybhoy86 – Thanks for that, just spent an enjoyable early lunch reliving some of those memories, cheers

  7. HEBCELT, tell your pal to make his way to “Malones”. Small but welcoming, good crack venue in heart of Aberdeen.




  8. HEBCELT on 13TH APRIL 2016 11:57 AM



    Malones is a safe bet, just make sure wherever your pal watches it, there are no zombies, they don’t do losing very well!

  9. I always remember the loyal cardigans bitter growl at spiers in the presser one day after he [spiers] had come out against the sectarian signing in spain

  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Just re-read that 2011 article, Paul. Cap doffed. Very well researched and written. And VERY prescient!

  11. What if Smith’s dangerous talk is actually meant ot boost ticket sales at the Celtic end?


    There have been posts on here suggesting his comments should be pinned to the Celtic dressing room wall, so why couldn’t his rant motivate Celtic supporters to buy tickets?



    Also, the last few articles refer to a Newco; aren’t they a New Club?

  12. Huntlybhoy86



    Excellent post and also your precise summation of the O’Neill/Strachan periods comparison.



    In MO’N, we had the right guy to fight fire with fire but we realised that the kitchen was getting too hot and got out before we got burned to a cinder. Unlike others.



    Many thanks for your contribution.

  13. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I remember this from the time:



    ” Whatever part of my club is dependent on Rangers I am willing to lose.”



    I liked it then and still like it now.






    PS…..and we might not have lost any part of our Club but we did lose Rangers!

  14. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on




    Ma Cameron’s, Malone’s or The Holburn depending where he’s staying. I usually just go the Bieldside inn which is close to my house. I would have hooked up with your pal but my son is playing at Kaimhill ( beside Asda) against Deveronvale at same time so I’ll miss the first half.



    He should be fine wherever he goes as while there is generally no great love of Celtic in the City, there is a distinct anti Rangers vibe. Celtic fans generally viewed as the lesser of two evils and sometimes even allies in the anti Hun movement.






  15. HamiltonTim, West End of East End, Hrvatski Jim,



    Glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the kind words.

  16. GERIHATRIC on 13TH APRIL 2016 11:52 AM


    If your still about, the Excelsior Club, 177-181, Lytham Road, Blackpool. It’s the old St. Cuthbert’s Club, next to St. Cuthbert’s Chapel. Got the details from Ton Che Dan.


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  17. Cultsbhoy thanks for your reply, he is staying a stones throw from Pittodrie, if that helps. H H Hebcelt

  18. LENNYBHOY, you should have an email now, I won’t be around this afternoon but I will check tonight, thanks in advance

  19. Hi Paul67,



    Must say, although I haven’t read all the detail, as we approach this weeks semi final I have been really disappionted by the mutterings of the Scottish Football Legends.



    Walter Smiths remarks however are a complete disgrace.



    Glad you reposted that excellent piece from 2011, I was going to post and coment on something from the piece, but reading through see TBB beat me to it…



    Still well worth an echo.



     “Whatever part of my club is dependent on Rangers I am willing to lose………..






    Hail Hail

  20. Paul67,



    Very good blog today!






    I’ve been meaning to say for a while how much I enjoy your blog and your take on Scottish football. You do a terrific job in challenging the big lie, thanks for your continued efforts!

  21. onenightinlisbon on

    Smith embodies the bitter, hurting Sevconian. Playing to the gallery and stoking up the hatred is nothing new to the likes of him. The hordes love it and I genuinely fear for the safety of our supporters and anyone else who unfortunately gets caught up in it on Sunday. It’s a pity we don’t have the press in this country to challenge him on this , such as it’s always been…..

  22. If Walter Smith’s comments do not unify Celtic supporters (and those of other clubs) to unite, nothing will.

  23. Paul67:



    I always thought there was one part of that article, in particular, which spoke louder than any other, not just from yourself but from all of us in the blogosphere and history has shown you were, in fact, speaking the words that were in our own hearts.



    ” Whatever part of my club is dependent on Rangers I am willing to lose.”



    Not one of us would disagree with that at all. In fact, it’s the overwhelming sentiment that still makes a lot of us angry about the press’s pitiful attempt to repackage this weekend’s game as an “Old Firm” match.



    I really did hope we were past this crap. Alas, we’re not.



    For once I find myself agreeing with Craig Burley … yes, I know, I know …




  24. Afternoon all. Some good reading today.



    I am genuinely apathetic ahead of the game this weekend. We should expect to win the game but the Bhoys on the park need to focus and I do wonder if our midfield will cope with the faster flowing football TRFC are likely to bring to the party.



    Would love to see Roberts get a chance to go at them ala Jinky and hope that the man in the middle responds as needed if the cluggers attempt to stifle his creativity unfairly.



    Too much to hope for :)

  25. BIG SWEE on 13TH APRIL 2016 12:59 PM



    Totally agree re our midfield , and as I said a few days ago , all depends what celtic turn up . Not one player pulling on the hoops on Sunday should need anything pinned to a wall . If they are not motivated enough to get into that mob then they shouldn’t be pulling on the hoops .

  26. At times like this, I am always reminded of Radio Clyde building up to the game.


    For a week the station blasted out ” When Two Tribes Go to War” and Peter Maguire et al slobbered on about Radio Clyde coverage.


    After the game, the same people were only too willing to condemn the misconduct.



    Parasites then, Parasites Now.

  27. The sad thing is they really believe they were hard done by. I say they and that now includes people who I would class as friends. I now refer to them as huns, like the rest of the scum that supports Sevco. If I am in their company ( hun friends ) football is never mentioned now. They blamed everybody else especially misters Green and White ( nice sounding names.) I have never heard any of them bad mouthing Murray, Smith, Sally, etc. Now it is the fault according to the scriptures of Saint Walter the rest of Scottish Footballs fault. We really have to give them a good humping this Sunday to put them in their place as far as playing football is concerned. Who is the ref on Sunday, probably between Thomson, Madden or Maclean

  28. davebhoygreen on

    Smith is at best a fantasist, at worst a bitter sh#t stirrer still living in the 90’s when believing the entitled myth.

  29. James Forrest,



    I think you’re blog is spot on! The media seem to have this bizarre notion that when we say we don’t miss them whatsoever that we are all lying!


    I watched Colin Hendry and Gordon Strachan on Goals on Sunday and Kamara and Shepherd couldn’t get enough of the “Old Firm build up”. They just about managed to mention the other semi-final before they moved the discussion on (someone must have been in their ear pieces reminding them because it definitely seemed they’d forgotten).


    WGS managed to deal with the questions ok. Hendry of course was in full entitlement mode.



    The thing I can accept is that there will likely always be a club hailing from Govan. I can even accept their own deluded support claiming that it’s the same club etc (of course they would, they’re in permanent denial).


    What I can’t accept is for history to be rewritten by people who should know far better and who have a responsible to deal in facts (journalists amongst others).


    It makes sense for Sky and BTSport to promote the myth because they see money being made. Unfortunately our spineless SFA and SPFL assume the same. Hopefully if the lie isn’t challenged strongly enough (especially when The Rangers finally win a major domestic trophy and try to add it to the dead club’s list of honours) then fans from all other 41 clubs can come together in the same way that they did in 2012.


    I think our own club would be so much more united if the board would come out and release a simple statement challenging the lie. This would give the support a huge boost and would help put the MSM in their place.


    Many of us have been waiting for almost 4 years now and it seems that it’s just not going to happen. It won’t stop me from supporting the club but it’s extremely disappointing nonetheless.

  30. TIMJIM on 13TH APRIL 2016 1:17 PM



    The one’s that understand the truth are out there. While most of them still try and peddle the same club nonsense I did end up in a conversation with a few at a bbq last summer. They were still raging at DM et al.



    Whether the fact that they were all business owners and therefore understood the implication of the handshake banking etc had any bearing on it I don’t know. I was left in no doubt as to who they blamed and none of the ‘legends’ came out of it well.

  31. The Resolute Mr Pastry on

    Tom English really summed up the attitude of those few members of the press who have expressed some incredulity in the past regarding the whole demotion and same club issue.



    These journalists and commentators have now adopted a position, to paraphrase Tom English, of the realisation that the Ibrox supporters have a perception that cannot be changed – their perception is now their reality, and it is futile to continually argue against them/ it.



    In one way this is true, but only when those arguing with the Ibrox occupants are their direct opponents, usually Celtic fans – we know that they will never accept our version of events, no matter how much hard evidence and reasoned argument we present to them.



    Nonetheless, it is incumbent on a free press to pursue and state the truth, no matter what certain vested interests perceive or believe. Of course there are Scottish journalists who have actively peddled the ‘we were unjustly demoted’ tripe from DAY TWO, after proclaiming “Rangers are Dead” on DAY ONE.



    Basically it appears at the moment,all the SMSM have ‘given up the ghost’ on the pursuit of the ultimate truth in this long-running farce – that said, things may change after the Supreme Court ruling and also when the ‘rotten’ Sevco 5088/Sevco Scotland/ TRIFC ‘onion is peeled’ as the Fraudco cases come through the courts- we can but hope.





    Or,alternatively,he’s just a c…



    Which he is.

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