Yesterday, I laughed at Stuart McCall for his Rodney Trotter style solution to the tough task of catching Celtic.
Today it’s the turn of Walter Smith, given a full two days of coverage under Keith Jackson’s name. I commented on Jackson yesterday too, and his demand that King show his hand.
I would stipulate that he already has, and it’s empty.
Jackson’s intervention makes more sense when you read the nonsense Smith is talking today. I have never believed that Walter Smith was a good manager; he was, in fact, a very bad one who was lucky enough to have forged a career at a club which, by virtue of cheating both financially and procedurally, and with friends in the right places loomed over the others in Scotland. He was, and he remains, a bully with the whiff of bigotry swirling around him.
At Everton he was absolutely found out; his career should have been over then, but Scotland called and he was branded as some kind of patriot for riding to the rescue, only to leave again when the call of Ibrox came. It always grated at me how he avoided any criticism for that.
It was a disreputable act from a scoundrel whose country had saved his career and reputation.
He ought to have been hounded for it, but we know the media reserves that treatment for kids who decide that being ignored by the national team has gone on long enough and choose Ireland instead.
I believe Ally McCoist should hate him as well. Smith’s final years in the Ibrox hot-seat were the last chance the club had to prepare properly for hard times. The financial crisis of 2008 had removed the bank which propped them up. Lloyds had put their own guy on the board. Smith knew the days of spending were nearly at an end; he glutted on one last splurge and then passed on a wreck to his protégé. McCoist was a clown, but he deserved better.
It is incredible to me that Sevco fans pay homage to such a man.
He and Murray both knew the gig was up. Murray couldn’t wait to get out of the boardroom and Smith couldn’t wait to get out of the dressing room. They left a time bomb behind them, and they fled the scene knowing that’s exactly what they’d done.
The detonation levelled the club they both claimed to love, but they were miles from the scene when it went off, and so escaped blame.
It’s almost as if Smith wasn’t satisfied with helping destroy one club out of Ibrox; here he is offering the perfect blueprint for sending the NewCo down the tubes. And Jackson is printing all this stuff as if it were Holy Writ instead of Utter Shit.
These people should know better; the burned out remains of Rangers are still smouldering behind them and they are lighting the tinder of another bonfire.
“Spend more money,” is their refrain, like many who’ve sat on the side-lines and convinced themselves that it grows on trees. Ask them where it’s going to come from and see what answers you get. It’ll never be from their own pockets, that’s for sure.
None of these people has a clue where to even start. It’s easy to make demands, to talk tough, to suggest that fans won’t accept being second place … imagine the supporters of every club felt the same way? Is there a stadium in Scotland that would still be standing?
Smith doesn’t think there was a debt at Ibrox when he was there; that club was spending beyond its means for years and years and years. After the banks cut the cord it was only ever going to take one bad year when they were out of Europe early to bring it down. That’s a statement of fact and Smith can refute it from the safety of his retirement as much as he likes.
I know there are people out there who criticise this blog for writing as much as it does on Sevco, when it’s called the CelticBlog. You know what? They can criticise all they want; I don’t care. As long as I’m running this blog I’ll write what I like, whatever name it’s under. If they don’t like it, tough.
They are free to read it or not and they can pass whatever comments they like; I don’t have to respond to it and I have no intention of doing so.
If they don’t see the reasons why we need to keep our eyes on what goes on over there I’m not going to waste a second spelling it out, or debating the issue.
Everything that club does has one purpose; catching Celtic.
The means they use are our business.
The weapons they use are our concern.
The modern history of Rangers – the one written by men like Smith and Dave King – was a history of cheating our club.
They used influence at the SFA to break rules. They used the media to smear and unsettle our club, our fans, our players, our managers and even our directors like Fergus McCann. They waged unrelenting war on us, and they didn’t care how successes were won.
Anyone who thinks Sevco won’t do whatever it is has to, and that its allies won’t join them, is having a laugh and needs to go for a lie down.
But that club will never be able to outspend us.
Even if there were a director on their board with the means to play to the fantasies of every supremacist in their support by funding the next big push UEFA wouldn’t allow them to do it, a fact that Smith doesn’t seem particularly familiar with and that Jackson has no intention of bringing to his attention.
Aberdeen have been sitting in second spot for years; no-one has ever suggested they try to outspend us. No-one is suggesting that they have to outspend Sevco to stay there. The idea is preposterous and no-one would even consider it.
There are two scenarios which will play out here, and the Sevco fans are going to have to live with one of them.
They still have some choice in which it will be.
In one of them they are in our shadow for the foreseeable future, accepting that as the cost of wearing the name Rangers and of trying to be, whilst acknowledging what that club was. That will bring with it pain. That will bring with it torment and watching us rack up successes until a challenger emerges.
Perhaps it will be them, perhaps it won’t be.
In the other scenario their club is dead, having spent its way to oblivion all over again. Any success they have in that time will be measured against the enormous devastation it will have wrecked on their psyche and whether or not a third Ibrox club emerges.
The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between accepting their position or having no club to follow at all.
They better make the choice, fast, because the media is trying to bounce King and his board into the more extreme option.