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Are there two Walter Smiths?

It’s the only conclusion I can come to. Under three years ago, whilst manager of Rangers, he couldn’t wait to get out of Scottish football. He would do it with a clear conscience though. He said that he had no fears for the wellbeing of the clubs Celtic and Rangers would leave behind in the SPL if they did move on to help form a new league.

In fact, he was adamant that other clubs having an increased chance of winning the national title for the first time since Aberdeen back in 1985 would result in vastly increased gates and general renewed interest.

And yet here are Wattie’s latest thoughts on an SPL without Rangers.


The Stretford End?

So this Rangers newco is trying to get their SFA membership. They have to satisfy certain criteria and are doing their best to avoid sanctions as part of the deal to include the stripping of various trophies from the records because of fraudulent conduct.

You’d think that they would be doing everything to make sure that their operation was, at least in appearance to the outside world, squeaky clean.

And now they’ve hired Paul Stretford to “assist” with signing players.

Here is an excerpt from Stretford’s Wikipedia entry: (click on it to view)

Sacre Bleu!

You couldn’t make it up (Part 1690)

The Rangers newco story rumbles on.

I see from this report that Sevco have accepted the 12 month transfer ban which they initially successfully challenged in court.

I was quite amused to learn that this ban kicks in only when the transfer window closes on September 1st, i.e. when everyone is banned from signing players!

That said if the ban is for twelve months then they will not be able to sign anyone in January or next close season so they had better choose their signings wisely.

I see too that before giving their approval to the newco to get SFA clearance, the SPL are demanding further sanctions against Sevco and a share of any SFL income from TV derived from ‘Rangers’ presence!

I can’t help but agree on this occasion with the rather shifty Newco chairman Malcolm Murray when he says:

“We regret that the any agreement with the SFA appears not to have the support of the SPL and, as such, it still wishes to impose further sanctions on the club for the actions of previous regimes despite already voting us out of its league.

“This is truly astounding to everyone at the club who is now in charge of rebuilding Rangers from Division Three, particularly as the SPL are still trying to benefit from our media rights.”

On interesting aspect of all this is how many of the Ibrox legions will ‘do walking away’. One imagines a third division league game at home to Elgin City on January 5th with Sevco possibly undefeated and carrying a twenty point lead or thereby. I wonder how many supporters such games will attract?


From yesterday’s Mail Online:

And from today’s:

Whether Sporting Integrity?

It was a neat trick last week for the SPL chairmen to appear to piously refuse Rangers newco’s application for the oldco’s membership to be transferred. This was particularly so because several of them, notably those at Celtic, Aberdeen, Motherwell and Dundee United (although not limited to these clubs) had been left in no doubt by their supporters that the consequence of any acquiescence towards Rangers newco would result in a fans’ boycott. The decision was a financial one, nothing more nothing less. A fans boycott would cost more than losing Rangers (for a season).

I nearly laughed out loud when I read Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston’s comment that the Self Preservation League chairmen had made a ‘brave’ decision. Or maybe he was being intentionally ironic.

Actually what is really happening would put Niccolò Machiavelli to shame.

Having passed the steaming foetid parcel to the SFL clubs to deal with, you’d think that the SPL would now take a step back. After all they had done their bit for sporting integrity, now it was the SFL’s turn. It’s a simple open and shut case – send Sevco to begin life in division three.

However the SPL (and the SFA) have clearly intimated to the SFL clubs their preferred outcome, i.e. Rangers newco to be allowed to start life in the SFL first division. In return for this the SPL would graciously offer to continue settlement payments to SFL clubs, there would be an additional promotion place available each season through play-offs and a one season TV deal.

This option clearly hasn’t gone down well with the fans. “Sporting Integrity!” they cry. “Send them to the third” “Get them to re-apply!” “Turn down their application!”. Reading the forums it seems that to be with the Zeitgeist in Scottish football, you are required to hate Rangers newco more than you support your own team. Anyone who steps out of line is sent to a proverbial Gulag. The irony here is that the Rangers fans themselves seem to have accepted by a majority that the newco should start in the third division.

Meanwhile there are whispers that the notion that Rangers newco will play in the second tier is a “done deal”. I use the term second tier rather than first division because there is an implied threat from the SPL that should the SFL clubs vote no on Friday to the SPL/SFA proposal, the SPL, in the interests of sporting integrity you understand, will step in and invite clubs, including Rangers newco, to a new SPL2.

In such an event it will be interesting indeed to witness how Partick Thistle, Morton, Falkirk and Raith Rovers will stick to their guns.

Will they follow the money or proudly stick with the diddy clubs? What do you think?

I don’t expect that my own club, Dumbarton, in the first division through sporting merit, would receive an invite from on high to SPL2. I doubt whether Cowdenbeath would either. That is why both of these clubs would be likely to vote yes to the SPL/SFA ‘proposal’.

Stenhousemuir have been widely vilified for this article on their website which clearly presents the financial implications for that club resulting from a yes or a no vote.

I happen to think that if Rangers newco went to the third division, it would render the coming season’s third division championship, and the following seasons’ second and first as nul and void. Where is the sporting integrity there? and where is the gain for the wee clubs (other than a couple of big crowds on the way through)

Scottish football and society would undoubtedly be a better place without the Old Firm. However, even with one of them in the critical ward, the money they generate has been thrown into sharp focus.

Sporting Integrity?

It’s become an oxymoron in Scotland.

A bit like Civil War.

Unintended Irony

There’s hardly a day gone by since February that the gates of Ibrox haven’t featured in the newspapers or TV.

However this one I spotted yesterday has a wee bit of unintended irony added.

I’m thinking of the sign bottom left.


And having followed the ongoing soap opera that has become Sevco 5088, Dumbarton supporters have been reflecting on the bullet we dodged having had John “Bomber” Brown in charge as manager for a mere 2o minutes before Clyde came in and offered him a wad more cash he decided he couldn’t take the job after all due to family circumstances.

I’m sure there is some explanation for Bomber assuming the demeanour of a psychotic fulminating social misfit who shouts at people on street corners, the other night.

Or maybe he’s just a psychotic fulminating social misfit who shouts at people on street corners.



Rangers – The end game?

You know I just can’t see any way that Sevco will have a club/team ready to compete in whatever league will have them. Charles Green seems delusional at best.