By Craig Turnbull
Walter Smith says there will always be bitterness in Scottish football and at Rangers over the way the club were treated after the financial meltdown at Ibrox.
Rangers were forced to start off in the bottom tier of Scottish football in 2012 after clubs voted overwhelmingly against a ‘newco’ Rangers joining the top flight or being parachuted into the Championship.
Smith was speaking after Rangers secured promotion to the Scottish Premiership, ending four years of being in the lower leagues.
And, ahead of their Scottish Cup semi-final meeting with Celtic, the former Light Blues boss, who led them to nine in a row, says what happened to the club will never be forgotten and it will drive them on to be even better.
Asked if he thought the bitterness at the decision to put Rangers in the bottom tier would end now, he said: “No I’ll think it will always be there.
“There was no necessity for Rangers to be put down to the Third Division and I think that’s a thing that will always stay in Scottish football.
“I think there will be bitterness in the Rangers ranks that it’s happened. It will be a massive motivation for the club – it would be for me.
“There’s no doubt that it was the wrong move in my eyes.
“Scottish football has been worse off and a lot of the teams who were happy to see Rangers go down there have suffered and have found themselves relegated or are in the process of being relegated.
“I’m sure it will be a motivation for the club and now they are back in there it will be there.
“But how can they forget what happened to them? They can’t forget – nobody can forget that aspect of it.”