kick someone down the ladder

kick (someone or something) down the ladder

To force someone or something into a lower, or more basic position or status, especially wherein they or it will have less opportunities for success, profit, advancement, etc. They may be at the top of the league now, but a few losses will kick them down the ladder just as fast as they got up there. My promotion to management lasted less than a month before they kicked me back down the ladder. Originally meant to be a full-fledged film with a theater release and all, it was eventually kicked down the ladder to a TV miniseries.
See also: down, kick, ladder

kick someone down the ladder

reject or disown the friends or associates who have helped you to rise in the world, especially with the idea of preventing them from attaining a similar position.
See also: down, kick, ladder, someone