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Scottish football was the victim Walter not Rangers

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Former Rangers manager Walter Smith seems to have got a wee bit senile in his old age as he claims that blocking Rangers’ entry in the SPL back in 2012 was wrong.

Smith, who had two spells as manager at Rangers, claimed that there will always be a bitterness at Ibrox over the way the club was treated following their liquidation in 2012 and that his former side will use this as motivation going forward into the Premiership next season.

Speaking to the media days before Rangers face Premiership side Celtic, Smith said: “I think it [ill feeling]will always be there. There was no necessity for Rangers to be put down into the Third Division.

“I think that’s the thing that will always stay in Scottish football, I think there will be a bitterness in the Rangers ranks that it happened. It will be a massive motivation for the club, it would be for me.

“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. So there will be that bitterness.

“How can they forget what happened to them? They can’t forget that. Nobody can forget.”

Hawd oan a second Walter…. Scottish football has been worse off? The stats state differently.

Speak to the clubs who have secured European football due to Rangers’ financial suicide. Tell that to the clubs who have won domestic cups over the past few years including Aberdeen, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, St.Johnstone and Ross County. I don’t see these clubs crying their eyes out at Rangers being out of the top echelons of the Scottish game when lifting major silverware.

inwalterwetrust1As for ‘no necessity for Rangers to be put down into the Third Division’ – first off they are a new club as you said yourself when you wished them well so how were they put down into the Third Division? They started life in the Third Division – after all, it wasn’t Rangers that played Brechin City in July 2012, but Sevco. The same Sevco who had to secure a temporary license from the Scottish FA to play in the game as the actual license was still with the liquidated Rangers.

Just for a bit of relevance – Livingston were demoted to the Third Division in 2009 for breaching insolvency rules – but they weren’t liquidated, unlike Rangers. So Livingston were the same club unlike Rangers.

Smith added: “I think Rangers being out of the top flight has in many ways caused problems to quite a number of the teams that have been there and Celtic are one of them in the sense that they’ve been left more or less alone to win a championship.

“Aberdeen put up a great fight over the last couple of years but it’s very difficult for the provincial teams to match Celtic or Rangers, when Rangers are at the level they were at five years ago.

“I think Celtic have had a problem with their own motivation in terms of going into games, I think that’s a big, big thing.”

What clubs have seen problems arise with the demise of Rangers? Any club who’s business plan revolves around an opposition club deserves to go out of business – but not one club has. Funny that despite Smith’s claims of problems among them.

So while Scottish football has been told to move on by Rangers, Walter Smith has now come out and said that the club and their fans will always be bitter about the reaction to them breaking SPL rules over the use of EBTs, side letters not to mention failing to pay tax and money owed to creditors to the tune of tens of millions of pound.

If anyone should be bitter about the whole fiasco – then it is Scottish football as well as those creditors that Rangers have not paid back.

Rangers were held accountable for their actions, for breaking the rules of the game and for mismanagement by a succession of owners. For every fiver Celtic spend, we will spend a tenner. Remember that Walter? Your career at Rangers saw Murray splash the cash he did not have and what Rangers didn’t have as they were propped up by bank loans from his ‘acquaintances’ – all because you were chasing the glory of silverware, specifically trying to match Celtic’s European Cup success of 1967.

Only in Scottish football would the perpetrators of ‘rule breaches’ claim victim status. And only Walter would be given a platform to spout such waffle and not be challenged over it by the mainstream media.

Rangers as a club and their fans can be bitter all they want, but they will forever be remembered as the club that were liquidated because of their own fault no one else. Scottish football will always remind them of that fact till they are blue in the face – pun intended – much to our enjoyment and their misery.

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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