Former Celtic captain Paul Lambert is another one who seems to believe the re-written history of Rangers’ demise as he claims that the Ibrox side’s ‘demotion’ in 2012 ‘wasn’t good for the Scottish game’ and that it was the ‘worst decision’ made.
Despite Rangers breaching SPL rules on a number of counts, Lambert believes that Scottish clubs should have ignored the laws that every other club is governed by and given the new club playing at Ibrox a place in the top flight.
Speaking to beIN Sports, Lambert claimed: “I think it was the worst decision to demote Rangers three leagues. It wasn’t good for the Scottish game, the Scottish league and certainly not for the national team.
“Celtic and Rangers, in years gone by, provided a lot of players for the national team and it’s mainly Celtic now. That’s the bigger picture and people hadn’t really thought it through. Nobody thought, ‘Well how is this going to affect Scotland, the league itself, Glasgow as a city?’
“I think it was the wrong decision to put them down three leagues.”
Re-writing of history
The former Norwich City and Aston Villa manager fails to realise [or maybe he doesn’t want to know] that Rangers were not demoted, they were also not held accountable for 11 years of financial doping and tax avoidance – except for a paltry fine from the league. They breached insolvency rules by entering administration and were handed a points deduction and a transfer embargo – despite initially going to court to overturn the ban. When the club’s creditors rejected a CVA in the summer of 2012, they entered liquidation proceedings managed by BDO and no longer existed in a football sense.
Despite months of threats, according to the late Raith Rovers owner Turnbull Hutton, from the likes of the Scottish FA and league bodies as they tried to broker a move for Club X [then renamed as Sevco, before taking the name Rangers after Charles Green bought the assets of the old club] – this new club secured a place in the Third Division ahead of clubs like Spartans and a number of other non-league sides who for years have been trying to secure entry to the Senior game.
It’s a shame that Lambert failed to show the same level of support for his former side, Livingston, when they were actually demoted to the Third Division for breaching insolvency rules of the now defunct Scottish Football League in 2009.
Not only did Lambert fail to acknowledge that Rangers breached the rules of the game, he also failed to highlight the 11 years of tax avoidance the club concocted to buy their way to domestic glory and finance their failed attempts to secure European success by signing players they would not have been able to afford otherwise.
What was the impact on Scottish football and the national team in regards to over a decade worth of dodging tax and breaching football rules. Rules that they knowingly broke to keep at the same level or better city rivals Celtic. As admitted by former manager Alex McLeish.
Rangers finished second in the Scottish Premier League in 2012, but with liquidation that summer owing around £134 million in unpaid debts, the new club run by Charles Green bought the club’s assets and transferred the Scottish FA membership over with 25 out of 30 Scottish teams voting the new club into the Third Division – after attempts by the some figureheads at the SPL and Scottish FA trying to threaten clubs into accepting them into the top flight. New Rangers [formerly Club X & Sevco] took four seasons to secure promotion to the Scottish Premiership. During these four years
Impact on the Scottish national team
Lambert claimed in his ramblings that the ‘demotion of Rangers’ impacted on the national team. Again he fails to mention that Scotland has failed to reach a major tournament since 1998 when he played in the World Cup in France. Since then Scotland has failed to reach a single major tournament. Is this because of Rangers being ‘demoted’ as he claims? Definitely not.
Just two years after Scotland played in the World Cup in France, Rangers began their 11 years of tax avoidance with the EBT scheme – on the advice of a lawyer turned pornstar. Surely dodging tax to pay wages under the counter to a majority of foreigners to the detriment of developing Scottish talent had as big an effect or greater than what Lambert is claiming?
Surely what has been detrimental to the national side is a line of successive managers selecting out of form players simply because of who they are and how loyal they are to them? Surely it is detrimental to select strikers in the English Championship who can’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo for their club, yet are given the nod ahead of a striker plying his trade in the Scottish game and in the Champions League. Surely it is simply down to the players we have at our disposal as a nation rather than Rangers being held accountable for breaching the rules of the game?
For the good of the game?
Flat-earthers in our game [and those covering it] would have you believe that a strong Rangers would turn around the fortunes of our game dramatically. Again, just like Lambert, they fail to realise that our game was in decline before Rangers was liquidated. Having one or two clubs dominating the game in Scotland may be great for those supporting those clubs or financing those clubs, but how is that beneficial to Scottish football as a whole?
How is what Rangers perpetrated – in breach of the rules they signed up to – good for the game domestically and at international level?
Maybe it is time that individuals, like Lambert, stop reading PR bullshit being rolled out by the mainstream media – in the wake of new Rangers entering the Third Division and claiming to be the same club [despite failing to pay off the £134 million debt owed in the process] – and look at the cold hard facts of the whole fiasco.
It was a fiasco and a scandal created & perpetrated by Rangers Football Club, David Murray, his dodgy lawyer turned pornstar and weak leadership and snowflakes in our governing bodies who did everything in their power to try to safeguard their own commercial interests rather than the interests of sporting integrity in our game.
The EBT scheme was not created for the good of the Scottish game, nor to uphold the integrity of our game, and our governing bodies trying to force the new club on the rest of the teams in the face of blatant threats and bribes was certainly not in the best interests of our game. So why was was it the ‘worst decision’ to uphold the integrity and rules of our game in the face of a club who believed they could get away with it and that they were too big to fail?
Rangers are not the victims and never have been. They were the perpetrators in this whole scandal, yet individuals like Lambert and lickspittles in the media love to peddle the notion that the Ibrox side were. The victims in this sorry state of affairs are the businesses that are owed £134 million in unpaid debts and Scottish football as a whole with clubs losing out on silverware due to Rangers’ cheating.
But hey let’s all move on – until another unemployed manager wants to secure a gig in the media.