Walter Smith, one of the men who did as much as anyone to consign Rangers Football Club to the history books, has given a quite scandalous interview to the media today, where he talked about how the “bitterness” over what happened in 2012 will “always remain” at Ibrox.
This is ridiculous, and his comments are an insult to everyone in the game.
“I think it will always be there …” he said. “There was no necessity for Rangers to be put down into the Third Division.”
Eah? What? I must have missed that.
For one thing, Rangers died.
They were liquidated.
Smith himself accepted that when he wished the “new club” well at the time.
His rewriting of his own history is fascinating and offensive, and the contention that there was “no necessity” to what happened to the club conveniently whitewashes his own part in it. Because if it was someone else’s fault then it wasn’t, in any way, his fault, was it?
What happened to Sevco was very necessary, and what Smith is doing here is not simply feeding the Survival Myth, which is bad enough, but he’s stoking the Victim Myth too. This noxious combination has contributed to an astounding level of hate inside Scottish football, as his former club’s fans – now following Sevco – have yet to let go of this nonsense.
He further stoked the fire with comments directed at Hibs and Dundee Utd, comments which show just how backward and ego-fuelled he still is.
This is a guy who the media gave an unbelievably easy ride whilst he was at the Ibrox helm, and they continue to give him an easy ride today. Not one of the hacks asked him if he takes any personal responsibility; not one slammed him for the sheer irresponsibility and malice he displayed.
“There’s no doubt it was the wrong move in my eyes. Scottish football’s been worse off and a lot of the teams who were happy to see Rangers go down there have suffered and found themselves relegated or in the process of being relegated …”
First up, Hibs relegation was nothing to do with what happened at Ibrox. Dundee Utd’s fall from grace is a consequence of poor decision making within the club. Clubs get relegated every year, because they don’t win enough games. Smith’s dancing around the fallen Easter Road and Tannadice clubs is unedifying and sinister.
His own hate – his own bitterness – has always been what best defined him.
And he has some balls. He really does. To sit in front of a hack-pack who I’ll just bet never asked him if he’s heard from HMRC over his EBT, and to moralise … this, the guy who spent the club to the brink of death and then ducked out to leave his best buddy McCoist with his hand on the tiller when the ship sunk, only to return in the employ of Charles Green, legitimising a share issue that’s now in the province of the courts.
Ill judgement, anyone?
Does he get called on it?
Of course not.
Of all the interventions prior to this semi-final, his is the most unwelcome and filled with bile. This is a guy who’s culpable in every part of Scottish football’s spiral to the edge of the abyss. He betrayed his country when he walked out of the national job and he is personally responsible for the final splurge of spending that sunk Rangers like a stone, then he gave political cover to men like Charles Green and then walked away without a backward glance.
Much of what befell Rangers, and then Sevco after them, can be traced right to his door.
Yes, it’s easy to see why he wants someone else to blame.
The media won’t call this one like it is, but they don’t have to.
Everyone knows what Walter Smith is, and what Walter Smith did.
History will not be as kind to him as the present sycophants in our press rooms.