I had a good laugh the other day at who popped up in the papers; it was none other than Saint Walter himself, the man who’s “leadership” of Rangers led them to the very edge of the abyss. Any chance they had of avoiding it went when he signed off on his pal Ally getting the job after he left.
We all owe Saint Walter a debt of gratitude for that.
I call him Saint Walter because that’s how their fans think of him; he’s the guy who can do no wrong.
To some of them, he’s the Great White Hope; if Gerrard looks as if he might fail in the quest to stop ten, never fear … the glorious Cardigan is waiting in the wings.
There is no greater mark of their desperation.
I never cease to be amazed by Sevconia’s love affair with this guy.
I have never rated him as a manager because he’s never won anything without spending fortunes.
Give him a limited budget, or one that is limited in comparative terms to the clubs around him, and watch failure.
But he knows Ibrox, and there’s little doubt about that. He knows the Ibrox mind-set. He helped to establish it in an entire generation of fans and hangers on. He understands what an Ibrox club needs to exist at all; that old supremacist feeling.
Yet how can you wallow in supremacist feeling when you’re clearly not supreme? How can you cling on to fantasies of greatness and empire when you’re not that great and it’s the club across the city who are laying down markers to stand the test of time?
Nobody knows this better than Smith, and his interview was telling in that he didn’t try to deny Celtic their due and their ninth title; it was about trying to rally all at Ibrox to working to prevent the tenth. He sounded like a man who is scared.
He is right to be scared. The board at Ibrox are directors without a plan. They are playing an amazing game of bluff right now, and this includes the ludicrous deal to sign the Romanian dud. More on that later on. But reality always finds its way to Ibrox and it will here.
Smith wants minds focussed over there, focussed on halting our march towards the new record, our march towards the greater things that lie beyond … successes so great that would even overshadow the Survival Lie. If that lie persists, then what could be better for us than to render it worthless? Smith knows that more even than ten, that’s what’s at stake.
He once talked about fronting a coalition that was going to buy the club; he ended up joining the board run by Charles Green, and in 2017 said that he was embarrassed to have done so. Embarrassing for who?
Those of us who knew exactly what Green was thought it a hilarious pairing, one that should have left Saint Walter without a name.
His policy of “spend, spend, spend” is what sunk Rangers; it was his insistence on buying players even as the club was being held tight by the bank created the conditions under which they floundered less than a year after he fled the scene.
He somehow escaped the historical verdict from that.
But in giving legitimacy to Green at Sevco his sins may be greater still.
Smith is one of the people responsible for the mess that club is still in.
They had an historical chance to start from the bottom tier and build the club as they want.
But lunatics like this wanted to see the old empire of Rangers restored; madness.
No wonder he’s afraid. This is his legacy.
As their nine winning manager he’s also the guy who failed to get to ten.
He gifted the job to his pal, who blew it, and thus started our run.
He then leaped on board the Green bandwagon and got Sevco off to the worst possible start … Smith’s fingerprints are all over this disaster.
History will remember our ten as his true Ibrox legacy.
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