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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    Those 30 matches you listed were so good, that I read it twice!






    My late dad told me that some of the best Celtic games he attended were in the late 1930s and early 50s! The 40s were best forgotten, including 1940 when he was sent to an internment camp for ‘aliens’ when his country of birth, Italy, entered the war!




  2. I am glad its Teirney Tavernier is up against.He is dangerous going forward.A few of the now famous “Sliding tackles”will make him take notice.


    Have a feeling this could be a sensational day for Wee Paddy.This Hun defence has never played against anyone like him before.


    Again an old phrase from the immortal “Dads Army”.”They dont like it up em”.

  3. traditionalist88 on

    weeminger on 13th April 2016 2:22 pm



    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.





    Simples – because they take some grief in the ticket office and to cover themselves from moaning feckers and make sure those that wanted them and had been to most away fixtures were given first refusal.



    No point being in denial about it – they fielded some amount of calls about this game also.



    But they will have been well aware that we took ~24/25k to the semi final last year, we have less tickets this time, so to avoid potential fallout they done the right thing.

  4. The Good Ship Celtica on

    I think everyone is missing Weeminger’s point about ticket sales.



    Our allocation was not sold out immediately. Not everyone who got first dibs took tickets. That’s folk who are season ticket holders and home cup ticket members. I received 3 reminder emails that tickets were on sale. That is unheard of for anything the supporters consider a big game



    I don’t think they even sold out on the next round of eligibility and only recently has the whole allocation been taken.





    Sailing On….

  5. If you are fed up with the build up to the semi then you had better book a holiday when the first league game comes around.


    I reckon that it will be at Ibrox.


    Celtic will not have to tiptoe around things when producing the match programme.


    Newclub will be in charge of all the prep and presentation ……… the flags, the nine in a row heroes, the marching bands.


    If Newclub ask for it the date will be adjacent to Remembrance Sunday.



    Personally, I have refused ticket for the previous semi, the upcoming one and very likely all future ones unless there is a huge change in circumstances.


    In fact, my ST lies in the balance.

  6. traditionalist88 on

    weeminger on 13th April 2016 2:24 pm



    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.






    But the ‘most dedicated/hardcore’ snapped up all but 500 of a 21k allocation?

  7. I’m actually leaving the country on Sunday.



    Genuinely couldn’t have planned it better!

  8. The Resolute Mr Pastry on




    From our perspective we know the overarching and relevant issues:



    1) Rangers were approved for a Euro-Licence in 2011.


    2) There was an outstanding tax bill that should have prevented this happening


    3) Res 12 asks our board how this came about and seeks to have it addressed.



    What we don’t know and would have to prove is:



    4) Did Rangers mislead the SFA about the tax bill?


    5) Did the SFA mishandle the issue and fail to implement their rules through maladministration?


    6) Did Rangers and the SFA enter into a conspiracy in order to ensure that the licence was approved?


    7) Did the SFA and Rangers engage in an elaborate cover-up?


    8) Were Celtic aware what was going on at the time and could they have intervened?


    9) Did Celtic collude with the SFA and Rangers to ‘bury” the matter?


    10) Why would Celtic want to be involved on a cover-up?



    The above are all material circumstances of which we don’t have definitive answers and/or evidence – therefore pronuncements on them are, by definition, circumstantial and speculative.



    Moving to the EBT issue – until we get a ruling from the Supreme Court which tells us unequivically that these payments were wages and should have been subject to tax – we cannot make a complete case on fraudulent registration of players with the SFA and the ‘financial doping’ issue which undermined sporting integrity and fair play.



    I know we have the ‘wee tax case’ details – but why would you pursue a case with this when you can get ‘chapter and verse’ on the whole sorry mess?

  9. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:33 PM



    See Goodship Celtica’s much more coherent response. :)

  10. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    I think the supporters who were offered tickets and knocked them back should have taken them and sold them for a few bob more and made a killing, the glory hunters would have gladly paid the extra. I would advise anyone offered next season to do this.




    Tsk! Exploiting your fellow supporters ;)

  12. TIMALOY29 on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:33 PM


    I’m actually leaving the country on Sunday.



    We’re the same, we are going to Seaton Sands Holiday Park :0)

  13. traditionalist88 on

    weeminger on 13th April 2016 2:37 pm



    I understand all that. But the club were correct to allocate in stages the way they did, given the grief they encounter for any game there is larger than usual demand.



    The fact is, all but 500 were gone, before the allocation process reached those ST holders who didn’t initially qualify.

  14. Maybe one of our resident Sevco fans can help with this one but surely James Tavernier is nothing more than a free kick specialist



    enjoy the silence!

  15. Walter could be bitter because he has just been cited with a Tax demand from his EBT or he is just bitter.

  16. The Battered Bunnet on

    As Barcabhoy pointed out elsewhere, Walter is one of only 3 people to have held Director positions at BOTH Rangers plc and Rangers International Football Club plc.



    The other two are Paul Murray and Dave King.



    He keeps Quality company…



    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.






    Dangerous grass at the fitba???


    Are you listening DD??





    Didn’t want to play them again (even though it’s just the 2nd time)



    But we have to. So let’s do it right. Controlled, ruthless, devastating, unrelenting.



    HH jamesgang



    I think the supporters who were offered tickets and knocked them back should have taken them and sold them for a few bob more and made a killing, the glory hunters would have gladly paid the extra. I would advise anyone offered next season to do this.




    Strictly speaking, the profit would become taxable income unless I secreted it in BVI.


    Or, just called it a loan.

  19. I had planned to come over to Scotland this week, but have delayed it until next week.



    Glad I won’t be there on Sunday.



    Will watch the game here in Italy.




  20. IKI on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:29 PM



    “If you are fed up with the build up to the semi then you had better book a holiday when the first league game comes around.”



    That is not a very nice thing to say. Don’t you know that a build up to a semi is all some of our more experienced folk, on this forum, have to look forward to.




  21. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    we only need to know that the SFA did not properly acquit their responsibilities to ensure rangers had no outstanding tax bill, they did not do that, everything else you mention is as usual is obfuscation and an excuse to try and make it more complex than it is.


    Remember I read the correspondence between the Plc and the SFA, football rules are not the res12 guys bread and butter yet we drove a bus through the SFA’s responses.



    Now I don’t expect you to accept any of that because you’ve accepted nothing you’ve been told so far but that is the case.


    The bit that still rankles with me is that if the Res12 guys could drive a bus through the SFA’s responses from the SFA using only the UEFA/CFCB rules of licensing, what does that say about the competence of our Plc who are PAID to know the rules ?


    Why would the Plc declare res12 unnecessary then change their mind after we drove the bus ?


    You really rimind me of a rangers supporter with your unquestioning loyalty

  22. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH APRIL 2016 2:42 PM



    OK. The first wave could have potentially taken the whole allocation. If there was strong demand from that group, or their mates. It wouldn’t have reached the 2nd group. Similarly onto the 3rd.



    I’m all too aware that among the wider support this game, and those next season are anticipated. I’ve regularly stated on here that I think anybody that thinks they aren’t (primarily next seasons) is delusional.



    I remember doing ticket ballots when I worked in the TO. High demand games never got beyond the 1st ballot. That’s what I’m talking about.

  23. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    they are old firm supporters, there’s a difference, they are happy to buy into a corrupt game then the cost wont make much difference now, will it.

  24. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    thinking first bus as it had never been driven before :)

  25. Marrakesh Express on

    Smith’s comments exuded the crass arrogance we’ve come to expect from many of that mob. He’s the daddy of them all. Confident he’d be accountable and answerable to no one, the lead hun would have been just as well coming out with ‘listen timmy we rule this place so get to the back of the bus while we take our (misplaced) vengeance out on Scotland.


    Many an inflammatory and irresponsible comment has come from Ibrox over the years , SDM, McCoist etc., but this one takes the biscuit.




    Sorry. I’m having a slow day at work. Probably passing comment where none is required (as usual).

  27. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    what possible objection could people willing to fill the pockets of the SFA and sevco have to good tims giving up their tickets and making a bob or two towards their season ticket ?

  28. traditionalist88 on

    weeminger on 13th April 2016 2:55 pm



    True, but all tickets were sold to ST holders, one way or another.



    Any time we have qualified for the Champions league, a similiar tiered allocation of packages is made available – ST holders, ST holders right to buy extra packages for non ST holders, General public.



    You’d be surprised how many times there are some left over for general sale, yet we could sell the ground twice over for many games.



    Just saying its hard to read too much into the ticket uptake – the sales if we have to play the new mob at CP will be more indicative

  29. Geordie Munro on




    I think we need to know how many are on hcts to get a better idea.



    I know there was many levels in qualifying for tickets but it’s not as if tens of thousands will have been eligible after the first prerequisite.



    Away Ties against EK and Stranraer probably had the majority of the same fans at both ties.




  30. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    call it a loan but make sure any side letters are destroyed :)

  31. Canamalar



    I doubt yours was the first bus driven through it, it’s just the one they had no choice but to get on or that bus would have driven them somewhere they did not want to go. Although they did assume the position of taking it for a mystery ride for a while IMO in thevein hope you may drop them somewhere pleasant, blue with no further stops or Euro trips to speak of. Idon’t think expected a few formula 1 race drivers to be guiding the bus though.




  32. Tallybhoy,



    Glad you enjoyed the list! Hoping that Sunday forces me to do a re-draft!

  33. The zombie PR machine in full force aided and abetted by the succulent lambs on the Scottish press.



    For those going to watch Celtic on Sunday let’s show them that we refuse to go to the back of the bus or bow down.



    Let’s represent our team and culture with everything we have.

  34. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    We only got the wheel at the start and end of the race, so it wasn’t the drivers that were formula 1 it was the pit stop team, the number of time the bus had to change tyres because the drivers kept driving over spikes thinking the race was up. The pit stop put it all back together again and the drivers had to really work hard to cause damage.

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