One wonders who is responsible for writing the Stock Exchange releases for Rangers. I have mentioned before the fact that, in every LSE statement, there is mention that the “Club” is managed by Ally McCoist “who is still the Club’s all time leading goalscorer”.
One wonders if they will ever mention his managerial skills, which might seem more relevant for investors reading the releases.
One also wonders if the people who write these statements on behalf of Rangers realise that there is such a thing as “over-egging the pudding”.
Yesterday’s statement contained a masterpiece of the art. Did you spot it?
It was this line:-“Walter Smith is widely acknowledged as the Club’s most successful manager.”
Now, nothing I say here is intended to detract from his undoubted managerial achievements. There is no doubt he was a very successful manager – no doubt at all. He took Rangers on from the heights achieved by Graeme Souness and reached the “nine in a row” pinnacle.
He then came back and steadied the ship after Paul Le Guen’s stewardship, winning more titles before passing the baton to Mr McCoist.
But the statement said that he was “widely acknowledged” as Rangers best manager – almost as if those who write the statements need Rangers always to be at the very peak – perhaps exemplified by the numerous “world records” claimed by the Club as it passed through SFL3.
The point of this post is to look at what is meant to be an official statement for the purposes of the stock market and investors, and see how overblown it became, thanks to a couple of ill-chosen words.
I hope that some of the Rangers fans who read this might contribute their thoughts too, and I trust that those who are not Rangers fans will be polite in discussing the issue. This post is not about the suitability of Mr Smith to be the chairman of a quoted company – that comes next, but is focussing on the “advert” which consists of the Stock Exchange announcement.
There would be little to complain about if the statement said that Mr Smith was “arguably” or “possibly” or even “seen by some as” Rangers’ most successful manager. Or even if he was described as “one of the most successful manger”.
But to say that he is not just widely regarded, but “widely acknowledged”, seems to be elevating him above the pantheon of great Ibrox bosses.
Better than William Wilton – founding manager and winner of eight league titles?
More successful than Bill Struth – winner of 18 leagues and 10 cups in his 34 years (and of more of the War years are included)?
A better boss than Scott Symon – winner of 6 leagues, 5 cups and 4 league cups in a career diminished only by coming up against Jock Stein at Celtic?
What about Willie Waddell, who in the midst of Celtic’s nine in a row, won Rangers its only European title?
Or Graeme Souness, who took over after Rangers had won only 3 leagues in over 20 years, and promptly changed the face of Scottish football, and dragged Rangers back to the top?
If one looks at winning percentages too, which are by no means everything, but which mean something, what do we find?
In descending order, the winning percentages for Rangers bosses (ignoring caretakers) runs as follows:
67.53 66.83 65.96 65.78 65.52 65.34 65.25 64.84
64.03 63.32 62.86 56.49 52.08 51.61 43.65
I am sure that there are some who could rhyme off which managers owned those success percentages, but for those who can’t, the list, from highest to lowest, is as follows:-
Walter Smith (1st spell)
Jock Wallace (1st spell)
Walter Smith (2nd spell)
Paul Le Guen
Jock Wallace (2nd spell)
I must confess to being rather surprised by some of the statistics – Advocaat and McLeish so highly ranked, and Smith so lowly (in comparison). And Mr McCoist in mid-table, although having SFL3 opposition will have helped the percentage somewhat!
None of which suggests that Walter Smith was not a successful manager – as I said there is no doubt that he was, but to say that he is “widely acknowledged” as the most successful manager …
To use a good Glasgow phrase … gie’s peace!
Posted by Paul McConville