About five minutes after I finished my last article, and just before I posted it, my old man drew my attention to the latest manifestation of the Survival Lie. I had mentioned it in the piece, at the way the media pushes it. It’s one of the reasons I view them with such contempt.
I blame them for much of what has happened to discourse in Scottish football.
They are culpable for more than just pushing that lie themselves; they allow others to do it with impunity instead of being robust and challenging it. If Scottish football is a bastion of ignorance – as they appear to believe whenever they engage with fans – it’s largely their fault.
But some of the people who push the lie are not in the media and when they trot out this nonsense it really does make you want to bang your head against a wall. The latest of them is Paul Lambert, who gave an interview to an obscure click-bait site in which he talked about the “mistake” Scottish football made in “relegating” Sevco.
Is he just ignorant of the facts or too stupid to fully comprehend them? I understand that he once thought he was hot-stuff and he’s still pursuing a career in England and probably without giving as much as a second thought to life up here, but if you were at all sentient you could not have missed all that was happening in 2012. How is it that some people so thoroughly and completely misunderstood it or swallowed whole the bullshit that was being laid out at the time?
There was no “mistake” here, except by those who thought that debt dumping on a grand scale and the shafting of hundreds of creditors great and small should have gone unanswered and without any consequences. There is no error in thinking here except by those who use words like “relegated” in full ignorance of the fact that the clubs did not have the authority to relegate any team and that the governing bodies didn’t either.
They were asked to vote on whether a brand new football entity could be put in the top flight, and they balked at the idea and all its implications and resounding voted against it. The vote ought never to have been called, as many said at the time. It created an artificial situation and put the onus on club chairman when the SFA and SPL itself should have taken a decision that was consonant with what was in the rulebook; new clubs start at the bottom.
This is a structure that is widely understood and accepted all across European football. We do not have “franchise clubs” here. We do not allow individuals to buy bits of dead clubs and glue them together and start anywhere in the system they please.
Sporting integrity demanded that they be treated like every other new entry to the league. Without that our sport would have swirled down the tubes with Rangers. Only the colossally ignorant – only the wilfully ignorant – do not know and understand this. Only they have failed to grasp it and the significance of pushing lies about it into the public sphere.
I never thought of Paul Lambert as an ignorant person, but he is talking the most absurd nonsense in this case. I don’t know how someone who seems so intelligent could be stupid enough not to know this or not to understand it … so I am forced to confront a more unpalatable idea than any of them; that he does know what happened here and is lying about it, to himself perhaps, but most certainly to every single person to whom he feeds this rubbish.
Paul Lambert’s comments are a disgrace. But he’s not the only one.
A lot of our ex-players, a lot of ex-players at various clubs, believe this or claim to.
We have a responsibility to the sport to challenge this reprehensible slur on our game.
We ought never to let anyone away with it, no matter what shirt they once wore.