Friends Like These

Walter Smith has confirmed in a statement that he is leading a new bid to buy RangersWell it’s been a fun few days in the Celtic blogosphere.

Let’s take the return – the welcome return – of RTC to Twitter.

The information he’s putting out there is, as usual, amazing.

The documents which show that Walter Smith had an EBT are not at all surprising, but they offer an insight into the Real Rangers Men which should intrigue everyone.

I wrote an article for this site last year called The Enemies of Rangers?. I made it clear who I believed those enemies to be; the people who’ve lied to their supporters over and over again.

Since that article was written, the inconvenient truth about Ally McCoist has seeped into the public domain.

When he said “we don’t do walking away” some of us realised he was talking about sticking it out on a huge and unjustified salary, that he was actually saying he’d be hanging in there as long as the terms and conditions were to his liking.

We tried to point that out.

Sevco fans didn’t listen, but they can no longer be in denial about what McCoist was; a leech, a fat, well fed leech who had every incentive to stay when others went.

He’s never going to come close to those earnings again.

Indeed, my prediction, made back when Sevco was born in the lower leagues, that he would never again manage a team in top flight football, anywhere, looks more secure by the day.

He and his predecessor, Walter Smith himself, did as much as any two people apart from Murray to speed that club towards the inevitable graveyard. They behaved with a selfishness that was, and still is, absolutely appalling, and yet their role in the downfall of that club remains largely unscrutinised except on certain blogs and websites.

Back in 2012, Alex Thomson broke ranks on this issue to become the first mainstream journalist in the UK to actually question the role played by Smith in what happened to Rangers.

It was commonly known, at the time, that the then boss was one of the loudest voices at the club raised against the austerity package Lloyds’ point man, Donald Muir, was trying to implement.

I think, to this day, that would have saved them.

What happened instead was that Smith went on the radio and told the world the bank was running the club, and in doing so he got the supporters behind a vicious campaign against them.

The banners, protesting against Lloyds, began to turn up at the ground. Impromptu protests sprung up outside the headquarters and at local branches. The calls came for supporters to start closing their accounts en masse.

Instead of offering a rousing chorus in praise of the one man on the board who was trying to enforce fiscal sanity on the rest – and the rest included Paul Murray and Dave King, let’s not forget – instead they were united in singing Money’s Too Tight To Mention.

Stop for a moment and ponder that for a second, the sheer insanity of what these people were doing.

Smith had said the bank was running the club. What he meant effectively was that Rangers existed at their indulgence.

Think about the idiocy, the lunacy, that’s required to actually spit in the faces of the people who are keeping your lights on.

The banks were the best friends Rangers ever had.

The nine in a row years would not have happened without them.

The club got to 2012 precisely because the banks were letting them spend far more than they ought to have. Forget EBT’s. This club was financially doped for years beyond count, before Murray ever embarked on that scheme.

Now we know that Smith was a recipient of one of those “trust funds”, thanks to what’s now in the public domain.

Aside from his own huge salary, he, too was taking a wee bit extra.

He spent years telling the world how committed he was to the club. In point of fact, the money was right and that’s what mattered. In fact, we can see, clearly, that there was barely an individual connected with the Ibrox operation who wasn’t sucking the marrow off the bones.

How tough must it have been for players and executives when they realised the gravy train was about to come to a sudden stop?

We’ve all been saying for a while now that the worst enemies of the club were the people inside its own walls, and that’s still the case today.

Only this time, there’s a new man at the helm.

I don’t have to tell anyone how I feel about Dave King or his alleged plans for the club. Nothing he says or does stacks up, and in doing a similar thing to what Rangers did over Lloyds – picking a fight with the people keeping the lights on – he’s dragged the club into a legal and financial dogfight against a guy with the means to shut them down.

Today Sports Direct released a statement accusing King of “misleading the fans.”

We’ve been saying much the same thing since he rode into town, and I understand why the supporters don’t want to hear it. There is no messiah on the horizon for this club, no-one waiting in the wings if King’s revolution upends and he’s forced to admit what we all know.

They’ve picked this guy. This is the last throw of the dice before hard times.

Those hard times are coming whether he’s there or not, but the truth of that will come down like an anvil if Ashley hammers him in court this time next week. God help them then.

In the meantime, King, like Murray, and like Smith, has his wee favourites and he’s not shy about promoting them.

Unlike those guys, King doesn’t choose them based on any skills they might have.

His decision to promote Chris Graham to the board could only have come from someone rewarding sheer sycophancy, without a clue as to what that move represented. It blew up, spectacularly, when the “fan rep” had to resign within days.

Yesterday, he appointed John Brown as the club’s ambassador for a trip to Russia, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Moscow Dynamo tour of the UK at the end of the Second World War. I can think of few less credible people to be representing a football club in an official capacity, but this is Sevco, and there’s something almost beautiful about the decision.

This is the sneering, semi-literate halfwit who Hugh Keevins once famously said wouldn’t have green jelly at his table at a night out once. A complete muppet, a goon, right out of nutjob Central Casting.

The guy who once made headlines standing on a doorstep shouting about title deeds, in front of a howling mob, foaming at the mouth, will now be travelling to Russia wearing a club blazer and tie.

Ambassador John Brown.

Wow. Just wow.

Sevco fans don’t like me much.

That’s hardly a surprise.

But sometimes you need someone from the outside to tell you the truth a friend won’t.

When you consider who their idols are, and the way those people have behaved, they should be welcoming any advice that doesn’t come from the Real Rangers Men.

This is an absolute shambles.

That they don’t want to hear that is only one reason they’re heading down the tubes.

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James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Friends Like These

  • 26 November, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Are parts 3 & 4 still coming James?

    When you see that his ’employee trust’ was given to him while at Everton, coupled with Souness’s while at Newcastle, questions need to be asked and as usual the SMSM will do everything they can to avoid those questions.

    I’ve said all along that I don’t blame the fans for most of their troubles, but when I read articles like yours and others my opinion has certainly shifted! They are at least as culpable as DM,WS,AM,CW, CG!

    Keep up the good work James! HH

    P.S. I have a wee $20 on a 3-1 win for the Ajax game, got a feeling the new midfield will work ot our advantage! Enjoy the game anyway mate.

  • 26 November, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Yep Parts 3 and 4 are still coming mate.

    I have to take very good care on those cause of the legal cases going on.

  • 26 November, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Should that not be \”few less credible\” wrt Bomber?

  • 26 November, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Another excellent piece James as always. I discovered a right little gem when I found your writings recently. Long may you continue.

    Unfortunately I suspect your advice to the Sevco fans will fall on deaf ears as always. They will never believe the truth until it hits them squarely in the jaw. So they only have themselves to blame for the complete mess they are in and I suspect after Friday’s AGM it will be an even bigger mess.

    Especially if they vote in favour of the issuing of new shares to reward the directors that gave the club soft loans. How King is entitled to the proposed new shares I do not know because surely they must realise he borrowed the money from somebody else so that he could loan it to the club. Hell he couldn’t even buy his own initial shares that enabled him to take control of the boardroom. He had to borrow that money for those. Despite his claims of it coming from his children’s inheritance. That inheritance has long gone, if it ever existed in the first place. The South African tax authorities saw to that. The man is a complete and utter charlatan but let’s not forget he’s a real Rangers man and so therefore he must be trustworthy despite all the evidence to the contrary. If they allow him to double his shareholding on Friday, he will surely sell them to the first buyer he can find and make himself a few million quid in the process. For Mr David Cunningham King this has only ever been about making money from the Sevco support who blindly follow him like lemmings going over a cliff.

    If I didn’t despise them so much I might actually feel sorry for them. But then again the jelly and ice cream is calling.

    Hail, Hail.

  • 26 November, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    The sevco hoardes think they are the football funfare on the merry go round when actually outsiders see the reality of a club circling the drain.

    CG’s legal cost decision will help them out and frankly I am glad the shyster will be footing the bill himself. Then again he may not need the chateau and the thoroughbreds if he gets what he deserves.

  • 26 November, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    and you know James, his predecessor was also His MENTOR ! grooming him for the the ‘ultimate’ job in Scottish Football via a wee stint as an assistant manager for Scotland! (straight from the TV. studios) and after a 7/8 years apprenticeship he became the failure that he IS, An Expensive Failure! but outwith his inability as a football manager, to Me and I think yourself James, the guy and his MENTOR are just a couple of TURDS!

  • 27 November, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Spot on ive been saying for years about parasites like them, its beyond belief how people cant see through through imposters like them, they are at every big club.

  • 30 November, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Maybe Ra Bummer has gone to Russia to look for ” Ra Deedsh! “

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