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. jimtim on 13th April 2016 1:10 pm



    Can’t disagree with a word you say.



    Motivation to play for Celtic is a given….if not then off with you.



    Interesting reading Craig Burley’s comments earlier about his move simply being a career path move and that we should all understand that. It showed in many of his performances as there are days at work where I really wish I was elsewhere. Likewise with him. Sorry excuse for a player in many games.



    Hopefully Brown finds that spark but focusses on owning the midfield (instead of posturing) along with Nir Bitton and Stefan Johansen. I think then you could have Roberts out on the right or indeed Commons who has the experience and craft to release Leigh to damage TRFC’s defensive setup. Would prefer we played two up front to keep them busy at the back. Christie and Allan could easily get a go as subs but can’t see RD pitching them in from start. Likewise I wonder if Rogic would be a better option than Kris of Paddy.



    Defense I reckon Lustig and Tierney are a stick on with probably Boyata and Mulgrew if Sviatchenko doesn’t make it. The lack of pace in the middle of our back line is a concern.

  2. HUNTLYBHOY86 on 13TH APRIL 2016 1:21 PM



    If the club didn’t think it was a new team, do you think they’d have stopped using ‘Old Firm’. Or was that merely an acknowledgement of the fans’ feelings on the matter? Is there any difference?

  3. Speaking to a few sevcoites a few weeks ago they weren’t all to complimentary to them . After drawing with Alloa . All there new found confidence has came from them hammering Dundee , and us only managing a draw since . I must admit I expected Dundee to take care of them , but Sevco looked very sharp that night . Sunday will mean celtic will have to score at least a couple of goals as they will get set pieces in area,s they are good , free kicks and pens . They will be coached to go down at the merest of touches . And you can take that to the bank . If they get to the final . I can’t see any of the other two beating them , so it’s celtic who stand between them and European football , which is a must to them to survive . All the SFA hand up to them ,is geared to getting them into Europe . IMHO as with last years sc semi final , we won’t be allowed to beat them . That’s the influence the mibs have , that decision meant celtic didn’t go two goals up . That decision meant celtic weren’t playing against ten men . Why celtic directorship can’t see and act on what everyone else see is cowardice and disrespectful to the tens of thousand of faithful fans





    English is bottling it by suggesting that as a reason for going along with the lies of the last four years and beyond.



    What has happened is that no-one had the baws to put a stake through them when they were in their grave-after all,why kick a corpse?



    It allowed The New Narrative to take place,and dissent was shouted down in ALL media fora. Including those which employed English.



    And when I say dissent,I refer of course to anyone who dared to attempt the truth on a newspaper website or radio phone-in.



    If the Huns have a certain idea fixated in their heads-I hesitate to call it a perception for obvious reasons-it has been fed by English and his colleagues. And their employers.

  5. HuntlyBhoy86



    I like your list but for me, being able to accept draws and defeats can mean just as much.



    For me, Seville 2003 will likely, forever rank at #1. I’d feel a lot different about that game had we not scored, but given how competitive we were against the best team in Europe at that time was incredibly satisfying.



    I’d also have the 3-3 v oldco, 8-1 v Suduva, 4-0 v Kilmarnock, 2-3 v Stuttgart from the Seville season and the 0-0 v Bayern the following season.



    The difference in the professionalism between the team that won 8-1 and now means I also find myself agreeing with Burley, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  6. Big Swee on 13th April 2016 1:28 pm



    Tavernier and Kiernan are both very poor defenders, I would actually like to see Patrick Roberts played on the left wing for this game. Would also stop Tavernier moving forward.

  7. WEEMINGER on 13TH APRIL 2016 1:23 PM



    The line that I got from a lot of them was. Why should we the supporters suffer because of the misdeeds of the people running the business side of the club. They are under the impression that the football club is separate.

  8. Gooooooooooooooooooooooooood
















  9. eddieinkirkmichael on

    I asked the Royal Horticultural Society what their thoughts were re laying a pitch and playing 11 a side football on it within 7 days, this is their reply-



    The RHS ‏@The_RHS · 1h1 hour ago



    @edwardrice1 It wouldn’t be a great idea, the turf will have not rooted and could be a trip hazard :(



    As Camalar said a while ago who is responsible for Health & Safety at Celtic Park, someone could be injured.

  10. WeeMinger



    I feel that the club, rather than trying to show solidarity with the fans are instead simply avoiding the whole issue. I don’t think it bothers them too much that people everywhere are billing this as an Old Firm game. However, they are fully aware that if they themselves use the term “Old Firm” then all hell will break loose.



    A simple statement of a few sentences that challenge the big lie (just as Winning Captains and all who contributed did with the Sunday Herald last year) would actually unite us all more than ever.



    Perhaps they feel that they can make more money if they keep quiet and wait for the full houses that will come next season on the back of their promotion.



    The thing is, the stadium will likely still be full whether they comment or not so why don’t they just do it? All the supporters who are staying away because there has been no challenge or because they miss the poison will return in droves and the supporters who are staying away because the club haven’t challenged the lie will also return. No?



    What are your thoughts?

  11. Delaneys Dunky on




    I think like us that the hun know that club and company is the same thing. They are all living the lie, as living the truth is not in their nature. The huns I know have stopped looking in mirrors, with a couple of exceptions.

  12. glendalystonsils on

    One of the problems ,or conditions of being a WASP supremacist ‘peepul’ is that you simply cannot put yourself in the shoes of another club or try to see things from a different (or neutral) perspective.



    Letthemeatcake csc

  13. Walter mittys recent tirade of inaccuracies is nothing more than the bitter, pathetic musings of a man trying to protect what’s left of his tarnished legacy.



    Sad & Dangerous all the same.



    The Old Firm is Dead

  14. TIMJIM on 13TH APRIL 2016 1:36 PM



    And to an extend that’s why a Govan team will always exist, because there’s at least 20k folk that want to support a team that matches their ‘values’ on a week to week basis.



    I imagine their custodians are secretly hoping we will remain apathetic about them because if we do they can match our attendances and therefore the financial gap gets smaller. If we do start pulling in closer to 55k (or more) it keeps us far ahead.

  15. celt55 on 13th April 2016 1:35 pm – I would actually like to see Patrick Roberts played on the left wing for this game. Would also stop Tavernier moving forward.



    Not seen him played there but reckon he has the skill alright to cause damage in that final third. My only concern would be it meaning the two young lads being on that side. With Tierney also encouraged to get forward at every opportunity we could be exposed to a quick counter which we are notoriously bad at defending against.

  16. Bob O’Baldy,



    Some very valid points there that to be fair are hard to argue with. Thanks for responding.


    I suppose it’s a great thing to be able to write about 30 games and yet have 30 more that you could make arguments for!



    I wonder if any of the remaining games we have left of this season might cause me to review the list before August, here’s hoping!

  17. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Stick the development squad out and if they cant take care of them, pump the lot ans start again

  18. The Resolute Mr Pastry on

    HUNTLYBHOY86@1:21 – You make a number of excellent points – it would appear that our minds were working in parallel in the last few minutes.



    Where we differ, and where I seem to differ with many on this blog, and receive large amounts of ‘stick’ for it, is the position of the Celtic CEO and board on these issues, over the past four years.



    In my opinion the time is not right to issue any definitive statement on Celtic’s view and the consequential damage and lost opportunities this farce has visited on our club, shareholders and supporters, over the past twenty-five years.



    There WILL come a time, and at that time, we must be one hundred percent sure of our ground and have hard evidence to back it up. To ‘jump in’ as many on here would have the board do with allegations, half-truths, hearsay and a narrative where ‘blanks’ are filled in with convenient circumstantial evidence and rumour, is NOT the way to proceed. If we get even the smallest detail wrong, it will be ‘pounced on’, exaggerated and used to undermine our credibility.



    The HMRC case at the Supreme Court is key – if , as I expect, they agree with Graeme Souness, that the EBTs were used as remuneration for services rendered, i.e. wages, and futhermore that they were used as a vehicle for tax evasion, the knock-on consequences proper to SFA rules and regulations will be enormous.



    Let’s be interested and vigilant parties, but ‘keep our powder dry’ at the moment.

  19. That mob are always……………………….












    Felt hard done to……………………………..




  20. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    you still spouting shite about circumstantial evidence, I mean how stupid are you that you cant understand plain english

  21. HUNTLYBHOY86 on 13TH APRIL 2016 1:44 PM



    Well I certainly believe a lot more people are looking forward to the games and will return than those that will boycott due to the club not speaking up.



    At the Hearts game there were 2 guys around about two rows behind me in block 143 discussing the TRFC squad on a player by player basis and what challenge they might present. Do they have that knowledge of other Championship teams? I doubt it. I’ve also heard enough talk about missing the games to know that CP will sell out or be very close.



    Do I think the club are being hyper-subtle about it? No. I think it’s ‘safer’ for them to try and ignore it.

  22. The whole idea of this vile assortment of scum (whatever we call them) visiting Celtic Park next season turns my stomach. I for one did not want them back and it has been a pleasure not to have them anywhere near the last four seasons. I can honestly say I will not be at any games involving them.

  23. The Resolute Mr.Pastry



    I agree with you to a certain extent however the sad thing is I don’t believe our board will EVER say anything about it (although I sincerely hope I’m wrong).



    One further point, many of the issues you’ve discussed are subject to further investigation and so on.


    However, the issue of them being a new club is surely not up for debate, it’s a FACT. I don’t see what damage could come to the club for simply stating a simple truth.

  24. Wattie Smith’s comments are the mad ramblings of an obsessed, angry, bitter hun.



    He should be brought to book, but, of course, he won’t.



    Horrible individual.




  25. WEEMINGER on 13TH APRIL 2016 11:32 AM






    Hopefully our slow sales for Sunday will finally make the SFA wake up to the fact they backed the wrong %-age.



    As Capt. Mainwaring used to say to Corporal Jones “I think you are entering the realms of fantasy here,Jones”.Not a ticket to be had Wee man.Unless you know better,that is.

  26. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Celt55, Tavernier can’t defend he’s been getting slaughtered for it all season. Good going forward and could cause us a few problems but think he’ll be to busy at the back to think about going forward.



    Big Swee, Boyata has loads of pace.

  27. TURKEYBHOY on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:10 PM



    The fact that they eventually went on sale to ST holders with no away history shows that demand wasn’t as strong as anticipated.

  28. Walter Smith’s lack of football business awareness and his role in the part of the demise of his club, that he says will be a cause of bitterness, is astonishing in awareness terms  in view of his part in the cause  of that demise.


    The transfer dealings at




    show that Walter brought in £19.5 M in August 2008 but at same time spent £17.4M on buying players, leaving a £2.1m surplus. Bloody good dealing on the surface.


    However when you see from this list that a) he was a recipient of an ebt and HMRC had served a determination in Feb 2008 against it and that there were a host of other determinations arriving at Ibrox between Feb 2008 and March 31st  2008




    then the wiser course would have been to save that £19.5M to cover the cost of the determinations served on RFC by HMRC.


    The advice of SDM no doubt was that these bills would never be paid (and he was right in that RFC would never pay them)because legal advice was that an appeal would be won, but there in 2008 when Walter Smith and Sir David Murray took the decision to spend on the team that won three titles from 2009, they made RFC’s future survival totally dependent on winning the Scottish title to gain access to the CL rewards. To be fair the credit crash of later that year they could not have foreseen.


    When a club’s survival becomes that dependent on CL money then anything can happen within the Scottish game to ensure nothing, including unpaid tax, prevents that club winning the title and getting a UEFA licence.  If only Malmo (or the match referee) were Scottish.



    Again to be fair to Walter Smith has anyone pointed out to him his part in RFC’s demise or even asked him what the ebt he received was paid in respect of? 



    I saw Tom English criticise Walter Smith on Twitter for fronting Charles Green, which is a start of enlightening, but until our media do anything to expose the full consequences on our game of the decisions  taken by a number of folk at Ibrox from 2000 to 2012 and the SFA’s failure to properly question or address those responsible over that period, then that same media will have contributed to any sense of grievance that fuels the bitterness.


    Then again perhaps that is perhaps more than their job’s worth, eh BBC/Clyde SSB?

  29. traditionalist88 on

    weeminger on 13th April 2016 2:17 pm



    That was less than 500 tickets,and they sold in under 2 hours. But lets not forget we took a large support to the semi final last season. More than the 21k that will be there on Sunday.



    Celtic fans support the team.



    ‘They’re there and they’re always there’

  30. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:20 PM



    Makes no odds how many it was, or how quickly they went. If they club didn’t anticipate strong demand, why place relatively stringent conditions in the 1st place? Which were relaxed and relaxed again.

  31. eddieinkirkmichael on 13th April 2016 2:16 pm




    Celt55, Tavernier can’t defend he’s been getting slaughtered for it all season



    That was my point, I think Patrick Roberts would run amok down their right.

  32. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:20 PM, TURKEYBHOY on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:10 PM



    Just to be clear, this is not to suggest there’s not high demand overall. There clearly is. Just not among the most dedicated/hardcore supporters.

  33. AULDHEID on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:17 PM



    I’m not sure if you’ve seen but I’ve had some response from David Conn regarding Guardian coverage.



    I mentioned to him the Sounness story and he said:



    ” Yes, am keen to do it; can you send a link to Souness statement please?”



    I then forwarded it to him. He’s thanked me and Favorited the tweet.



    I believe you had previously been in contact with Mr Conn. Have you heard anything?

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