In Walter Smith we trust?


What words can best describe Walter Smith? Rangers legend, a Rangers man through and through, arguably the greatest Rangers manager of the modern era?

Even non-Rangers fans laud Walter Smith and what he has done at Rangers and even during his brief stint at Scotland.

Now that Walter Smith is on the board at Rangers as a non-executive Director, Charles Green will have Mr. Rangers to talk things over with and what road to take Rangers down – which will be in the best interests of the club and the fans. Right?

Even Charles Green said it when Smith joined the board, officially on 7th December, he said: “As head of the executive team at the club it is extremely important to have a board that has the respect of investors and Rangers supporters.

“The consortium I led to buy the club are not Rangers people but there could be none better than Walter and Ian [Hart] to fill that void and we are delighted they have agreed to become non-executive directors to broaden the skills and qualifications of the board.”

Now regular Scotzine readers and commenters would agree that there has been a healthy and not so healthy debate on Rangers, their history and if the club in the Third Division is the same club or if it is a new entity.

Since Walter Smith returned to Ibrox in his new capacity, all the talk has been of Rangers this, Rangers that, no mention of new Rangers in any of his comments. Why would he given that he is Mr. Rangers and is a man who the Rangers support trust implicitly.

In his two stints at Rangers he amassed 21 trophies, a record that cannot be discredited or ignored. If anyone’s word is to be believed then it is Walter’s.

Fans were even going to march on Ibrox back in the summer, in support to a Walter Smith-led consortium. Rangers Supporters Trust chairman and Follow Follow head honcho Mark Dingwall, was quoted at the time, saying: “The fans are sending a clear message – we want Rangers fans in charge at Ibrox, not speculators. This is not an anti-Green rally, it’s a pro-Walter Smith rally. We are politely asking Green to step aside and allow Rangers supporters to take over the club. It is nothing personal.

“We think that Green should do the honourable thing and we don’t see why he should make a profit. Walter Smith is the right man for Ibrox and I cannot see any way that Green can ignore this huge groundswell of opinion from the fans.”

Soon after the ‘In Walter we trust’ march was cancelled as Walter’s consortium dropped their bid for the club as Green wasn’t for selling. It is interesting to note though Smith’s comments thereafter.

Note that the following comment is from Walter Smith and was said a full week after Rangers under Charles Green saw the CVA rejected by creditors – a decision that Charles Green had stated previously would end the history of the Ibrox club.

“We wish the new Rangers Football Club every good fortune.”

A comment that was broadcast, that was printed worldwide. Yet many seem to ignore now, just like that of Charles Green’s and new Head of Communications Jim Traynor’s past statements on the clubs history.

Of course Walter Smith will not veer off from the party line now that he is on the board with a £50,000 a year wage – plus all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses – it would be biting your nose to spite your face.

Now all those non-Rangers fans and anti-Rangers internet bampots are vilified and labelled bitter, even tagged with the word of the moment – bigot – for claiming that Rangers’ history ended in it’s 139th year. Everyone at Rangers is correct as we are told, we have club officials publishing the ‘Rangers now, Rangers then and Rangers forever’ line. We are pointed towards the Scottish Football League website time and again as the proof to end the history discussions. But when a former Rangers manager states it, when a Rangers legend states it then is it a statement that can be ignored, that can be rubbished, that can be deemed as said in the heat of the moment?

Will Walter stick to what he said all those months ago or will be do a u-turn on them now? Is he om the board of a new club as he said back in June or is he on the board of the same auld Rangers he knows and loves?

If Green, Traynor and Smith called a spade a spade back in the summer and now called that spade a fork – what would the Rangers fans believe?


About Author

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and Women's Football Weekly. He produces the Scottish Football show The Final Whistle for Pulse 98.4FM and is the ESPN blogger for Celtic FC. He works on a freelance basis and has contributed to the Daily Record, The Scotsman, the Daily Mail and also blogs at Huffington Post UK.

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