The facts don’t back up the viewpoint
When Walter Smith speaks, the Scottish media listen and the Rangers manager was holding court today. We agree with his opinion that a play-off to decide the destination of the league title would be an absolute farce. If the SPL is seriously considering a 10 team league, we have an idea of a play-off system for them.
The top 10 teams play each other four times, two at home, two away and the team with the most points after these 36 games is deemed to be the champion. That is the sort of play-off that fans are likely to be interested in. However, a ten team league fills us with dread about the boredom that could arise from it.
So yes, we agree with Smith and Neil Lennon in their comments against a play-off title decider. However, we cannot agree with everything that Smith said today, especially his thoughts about plans for a league extension.
Smith is no stranger to fixture backlogs and he still remembers the end of the 2007/08 season with obvious disdain.
“There was only one team going to benefit from the season not being extended then and that was Celtic.”
That is such a strange way of putting it and quite frankly not the truth of the situation at all. Every team that wasn’t called Rangers could claim to benefit from the season not being extended; this is because the extension was only of benefit to Rangers.
Of course, the brilliant thing that Smith and the media seem to forget is that the league campaign was extended.
WeKnowSFA cannot claim to have first hand memories of every Scottish league campaign but we’ve been at games since the early to mid 80s….and there haven’t been too many Thursday night finales. In 2008, the league was extended; the only problem for Rangers was that it wasn’t extended long enough for their liking.
Never mind that every other club would have been sitting around with dead time and therefore every other club would have suffered because of the extension, Rangers wanted it their way.
And they got it.
Whether the split was of the length that Rangers were hoping for or what they were deserving of is a matter of opinion and can be argued with endlessly but the fact remains:
The SPL campaign of 2007/08 was extended
Walter Smith is clearly doing everything in his power to influence the situation in favour of his club and again, that is what a manager should be doing, so there is no problem with that.
However, the media should not be so compliant in agreeing with Smith or overlooking the factual inaccuracies in his comments. Not when they are so quick to slate other bosses for speaking their mind about how the game is run or organised.
Let’s not forget that Smith has been on record this season moaning about the SPL and their inability to assist Rangers in their European campaign. Smith moaned that the SPL have never supported his club when they are trying to do their best to help the nation. When you consider back to the 2007/08 season, Rangers were afforded a blank weekend before they faced Lyon with their away game against Gretna being postponed.
Again, Rangers were assisted by the SPL but it seems to have ignored or forgotten about by many in Scottish football.
Smith may be the most revered manager in the Scottish league at the moment but that doesn’t mean he is always spot on with his comments.