Without Fear or Favour?

The concept of a free press in Scottish football reportage is something of a misnomer. From 1988 to 2011, Rangers escaped scrutiny in the Scottish media. It’s interesting to note that Graham Spiers was one of the journalists who was invited to attend the succulent lamb banquet in 1998 at David Murray’s Jersey Estate. As Traynor, Spiers and Forsyth dined from the crumbs off SDM’s table, he set in train two tax avoidance strategies and an excessive loan culture that resulted in the demise of the club. The media should have been keeping an eye on Murray, not jockeying for positions for his latest PR directive.

The print media are in decline. The Herald relies on advertising revenues to balance their books. The news that two directors of Rangers withdrew a £40,000 account from The Herald, as reported on January 11, has caused considerable concern to the beleaguered broadsheet. The Sports Editor was evidently under some pressure to issue an apology in regard to an article by Graham Spiers, even though the veracity of his comments has not been questioned. The current regime at Rangers have done nothing to curb the offensive anthems at Ibrox, but they don’t want this to be in the public domain.

The ‘red tops’ confine themselves to acres of print in regard to the latest player targets for Mark Warburton, but fail to mention that Rangers are running on fumes and that any available funds have been ring-fenced to pay for King’s litigation costs. Not one journalist from this sector has paused to ask why any Rangers chairman is engaging in so much litigation. To do so they would have to confront the fact that this is a premium that Rangers must bear to allow a career criminal like King on the board. His claims of appreciable wealth are built on sand. As we have seen with Allan, Diagouraga and O’Halloran, we clearly cannot compete to land any player that commands a fee of upwards of £200,000. CFC buy players for £millions, blood them in UEFA tournaments where they are watched by English Premiership scouts, and sell them for eight figures. Rangers are signing out of contract players from the lower echelons of English League One. Where is the £30m that they heralded to the fans when King was seizing control. He apparently slipped into Glasgow last night. Are they planning a short trip to the five star Mar Hall to buttonhole him on his broken promises and lies? They would not begin to even consider this. They would prefer to talk about  £5.75m of loans that are awaiting the recompense of equity and ignoring the commercial terms of the £5m loan that was raised to pay off Ashley.

Waging war with the Herald and the BBC is a flawed business strategy. Chris McLaughlin’s ban was temporarily revoked to take advantage of £400,000 of BBC broadcasting revenue, then reinstated with indecent haste. As for the Herald, Chris Jack has provided tens of thousands of free publicity for Rangers ST sales and pay at the gate revenue.

One of the best attended games in British football will be the Rangers v Falkirk game on Saturday.  Even with Halliday’s ban, I predict that Rangers will prevail and that Waghorn will score from the penalty spot. My predictions for games at Ibrox have been unerringly accurate. We should be promoting this game via the state broadcaster, not banning journalists for accurate reports of arrests at the game when Hibs were the visitors.

The new regime at Ibrox have been given an easy ride by the media. They paid Level 5 handsomely for propagating innumerable puff pieces. Rangers are by far the biggest story in the Scottish press. Would it not be preferable if this was for the right reasons?

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50 thoughts on “Without Fear or Favour?”

  1. Mr Park can put his money where he chooses – if he decides not to find a paper that prints fibs then that is his choice whilst Scotland is still a free country.

    Mr Spiers should publish the evidence or be damned – the speed at which his editor has dropped him is informative.

    1. he insisted yesterday in a statement saying “the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe..
      Pressure from who.?

  2. Why does anybody buy a paper nowadays,when the real stuff is written on these blogs.I think back to when I was a youngster and my club was being fleeced and jumping from one shambles to the next.Matt Mcglone got all the fans under one banner and that made sure the fans were listened to.Surely fans reps as they are saying they r can put personal agendas to one side,for the club they luv.We are talking about generations of families that always put up their cash,go week in week out,thru good times n bad times,all for the luv of the club.I just can’t get why this King is getting an easy ride.Why r these fans groups not grilling this King.The word rats was being used to describe all that was around the boardroom before .King just says what he wants and nobody calls his bluff on it.Hopefully one day the truth will come out and we can get back to giving each other pelters about the fitba.Maybe sum of the people that were shouting about rats should look at themselves and the role they r playing in this ongoing craziness.super blog pal,keep asking the questions

    1. The Easdales were real Rangers men. They put their money where their mouth was and paid their own travel expenses. They were vilified. Ashley gave us loans and loan players. Vilified. Bill Millar, vilified. Sarver, vilified. The Bully Boys have created a rod for their own backs. I think they are incapable of consequential learning.

  3. There are none so blind……
    This story, the comments and the unexplainable rise/popularity of “The Donald” over here really do call into question the mental capacity of millions of people worldwide.
    It has to be the education systems
    Flabbergasted
    The fence is definitely wobbling, be careful

    1. Don’t think it’s anything to do with education Bronx, there will always be those in the lower end of the intellect scale in any society, and unfortunately in Scotland, they choose football as their chosen outlet.

    2. Denial is not a trait confined to those of low education or intellect. In fact it is more evident in those who are smart enough to know better. It’s a social/behavioural phenomena, not linked to intelligence.

  4. Any system that allows effective checks and balances to fail will eventually spin out of control and destroy itself– whether it is the global banking system or a Saturday afternoon past-time that is ultimately of little consequence to the universe. In the case of Rangers:

    • The SFA/SPFL failed to apply its own rules, UEFA rules and the rule of law to its favoured club. In fact to contrived corrupt all three.

    • The fans failed to question or resist a vain glorious business model that spent double and accumulated huge debts for marginal, fleeting advantage – followed by faux billionaires and a cavalcade of caricature ne’er do wells

    • The SMSM failed to perform their fundamental function to question, analyse and comment

    • The Police failed by ignoring routine mass illegality for the comfort of an easy life

    • The politicians hid from red hot business and social issues including threats of violence against the media and massive tax fraud.

    • UEFA failed by turning a blind eye to a clearly dysfunctional governing body.
    The result has been Armageddon inflicted on Rangers by Rangers – no-one else. One could argue that the other 41 are carrying on unmoved and are actually prospering. But that may be short lived as more and more paying customers understand the depth of corruption in their beautiful game. The failure of Rangers is just the first nasty wobble of the Scottish football system – the Lehman Brothers if you like.

    Until at least a majority of the above checks and balances are restored, no recovery of normal service is possible. The chink of light at the end of the tunnel is the blogosphere – which has completely replaced the moribund SMSM for anyone with an enquiring mind. As for the others, I see little sign of change or acknowledgement of the need to change. The five year and ten year prognosis for Scottish football is not good – not good at all – prepare yourself for desperate times – or just take up fishing, crochet or base jumping to fill your leisure time and leave the whole sordid mess behind you.

      1. Auldheid

        Very perceptive – but has anyone ever made a Mobius strip by accident when trying to make a functional hierarchy of governing bodies 🙂

        ps we need a Mobius emoticon !!!

  5. Is the Parks Group heavily indebted each year in their accounts? Do they declare profits or losses? Did they borrow many many millions from BoS same as SDM?
    Funny that Craig Whyte also got a 110% mortgage to buy castle Grant, yes you guessed from Masterton’s BoS too.
    I was told five years ago that Cala Homes was stupendously indebted to BoS too having taken advantage of Masterton’s paly ways with other people’s money.

  6. Why is it that the police continually act like ‘protection money’ enforcers, going round the houses and warning journalists that, if they don’t take such & such measures, ‘Bad things might happen’, instead of arresting those they know to be preparing to carry out such threats of violence?

    This pattern has been endemic for years and, for the police to claim that they know these threats are being initiated, yet refuse to take any action by arresting the guilty, also throws their alleged impartiality into doubt.

    I’m sure I’m not the only Scot to know that the police and the criminals, particularly the hardcore loyalists, have very blurred lines between them, lines that often lead to similar ‘lodgings’, as it were.

    These are the medieval realities of ‘modern’ Scotland, a cute little backwater where a certain group of elite and their lackeys have manipulated so much in their own favour down the centuries.

    And it will be these dark practices which will keep Scotland as an unenlightened, deluded backwater, cheated and lied to by its own media in favour of these few, should they be allowed to continue undisturbed in their deceptions,

    For who, outside of China or North Korea, would believe that the entire nation’s police force, the judiciary, the local FA, the main Football League body AND the entire print & online media would all do so much in deference to, and in secret favour of, one single football team and the unhinged paramilitary section of its support ?

    Who would ever believe that this is happening in modern Britain, yet the UK media refuse to even consider it, far less report on it ..?

    I suppose this is because such damaging behaviours are endemic across the nations, as the merest flick through any unbiased British history book will testify.

    For British history is nothing like what they told us at school and this saga is merely another reflection of how this small group have been conning the British people for many, many centuries.

    If we truly are ‘awake’ now, these practices will be brought into the light, acknowledged and properly dealt with, rather than kicked into the long grass, shoved under the carpet or ignored for a minute longer.

    Only through the acceptance of this knowledge can anyone, or anything, hope to ‘move on’.

    And not in the way the SFA mean it.

  7. Funny how King gets his legal fees paid but Charles, creator of SEVCO Scotland does not. The founder of the very CLUMPANY CC KING is now a fit and proper chairman of.

    Doing over Charles like this will result in the greatest of losses. Talk about backing the wrong horse and probably getting what you deserve.

    1. Well said, every point right on the button. From the top to the bottom the establishment here have no appetite too ask any searching questions. It appears the only question ever asked is ” how do we get around this one”

  8. I get confused when this comes up because commentary regularly refers to a minority underclass at the same time as recognising 10’s thousands singing. Who are the Rangers supporters??

  9. “I’m Not One For Panic Buying Says Rangers Manager Mark Warburton”

    http://www.insidefutbol.com/2016/01/28/im-not-one-for-panic-buying-says-rangers-manager-mark-warburton/266821/

    Well, what can we say about that statement….. “Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Warburton said: “We’re relaxed and won’t be forced into panic buying.”

    And the next news update is that we are signing Billy King from Hearts on LOAN until the end of the season…you couldn’t write the script haha, wonder if he is any relation to our CCC, or did we just sign him for his name….., no doubt our CCC was in to break the bad news to Warbs that his transfer fund was rapidly diminishing because these judges don’t award costs!!!!!

    Not long to go now, and already the rhetoric is starting about why we didn’t sign anyone of note……WAKEY WAKEY guys….some are blind and others can not see.

    GSTQ

      1. Two remarks on myopia…

        “In the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is King.” (Sorry I just could not resist it,

        “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

      2. Robbie Neilson has come out saying he’s using The Rangers as a training club for Hearts to give his loan-ee game time he cannot get at Hearts. Bringing the lad back more experienced.
        Can TRFC spin that differently?

      3. Good job it’s nearly over then. We’ve have now moved on to a PR disaster involving MSM lack of support for “off-message” journalists.

        Despite the copious amounts spent on PR there seems to be a real issue with winning friends and influencing people.

        The outrage that the treatment of the 2 journalists has caused will spread outside of the parochial Scottish press and has the potential to cause real damage. The bullies can’t silence and threaten everyone.

  10. I wonder how the ordinary Scot felt when he read that Scotland was at the forefront of the Age of Enlightenment.

    “That bloomin Adam Smith and David Hume, what do they know about being enlightened?
    And as for Jimmy Hutton and his Siccar Point, I can tell him where to stick his point.”

    Maybe we are in a New Age of enlightenment.

    But as Lord Broadfoot of Mount Florida might say…

    “We’ll only know when we look back afterwards.”

  11. Caught Dazzy on SSB on the way home tonight.

    Following the party line to the end in response to a Rangers fans question as to the whereabouts of King’s money. It’s the question that if ever asked just can never be answered ………honestly.

    Despite the evidence in front of his face, ie. the Billy King loan from Hearts, Dazzy opined that a deal may already have been done with St J for O’Halloran but was being kept secret till St J got their semi final out of the way on Saturday.

    You know something Dazzy may well be correct………….though if he is correct I suspect the buying club is situated in the East of the city.

  12. If your source was the Barton Main Twitter account, you have been misled. There was a bit of mischief going on with some fabricated HTML code. That is not definitive proof that Gary Ralston is not the phantom however.

  13. JJ has I AM THE SFA ‘ S legal bods been on your case yet re your challenge on his claim about legal advice they had taken on the OC/NC debate?
    It crossed my mind that perhaps the legal advice taken on King’s F&P status might have came from the same source?

  14. JJ…I see you state that “He (King) apparently slipped into Glasgow last night…” My recollection was that he used to “jet in”…is this indeed the sign of the CCC accepting the austerity regime required?

  15. SDM was the ultimate chancer. I can recall being invited to a CL game at Ibrox around ten years ago. The Thornton Suite. I said at the time, ‘this club is stuffed’. I was accused of being an English eccentric. I was spot on but two years out in my prediction. SDM was as bad as Whyte and Green. Dave King is even worse. At least SDM was capable of duping the banks and just this side of the law.

  16. I apologise for going off topic JJ but in the article you say “From 1988 to 2011 , Rangers escaped scrutiny in the Scottish Media”.
    Some of those years, as you know, predate the Independence vote, SNP dominance and even the advent of Holyrood.
    In your article 1984 the inference is that we have somehow dodged a bullet from a dystopian state and qualified this with “In the U.K, I thank everyone who like me voted to continue to be part……”.

    Is it really fair to imply that with Indy this Rangers debacle could or would have been any worse?
    After all, Rangers are a quintessentially British Club destroyed by the (in part) decision making process of a U.K Government and duplicity from the same Media that overwhelmingly supported the Union.

    Great blogs though.

  17. Is Mr Park the same gentleman, despite a board statement saying that there would be no future conflict of interest on the new board, left the board took on a contract to supply travel services and then re joined the board?

  18. In five years time:

    Will the paper and ink SMSM still exist – currently declining at over 10% per year – no chance – and it will be a pleasure to watch their demise

    Will RIFC plc have amassed another £37.5m of debt – currently £7.5m per year – only if underwritten by a sugar daddy so – debt shedding admin event(s) required.

    Will Ashley stilll be milking the merchandise deal – well yes – the notice period is 7 years. Has it started yet?

    Will the provenance of RIFC assets have been settled definitively in court – maybe – but maybe not

    Will the SFA/SPFL have undergone a FIFA style purge following criminal court revelations – quite possibly – I certainly hope so.

    Will sponsors and broadcasters be fighting for SFA/SPFL deals – only if hell has frozen over.

    Will the fan in the street have renewed faith in the future of Scottish football – I”d like to think so – I really would – but I’m cursed by logic – cursed by experienced and expect fans will be sick to death of it all.

    If like me you love a bit of political intrigue and business skullduggery, it will be five great years. However if your main interest is in football as a sport in the accepted sense – may I be the first to offer my commiserations.

  19. Big storm. Seventh of the winter. Are the asbestos roof sheets getting blown hard and rubbed against their fittings causing asbestos open wounds and dust fall into the terraces? Have fans to sit under it?

  20. JJ we are all wrong.

    The money is there for transfer fees as Warbs confirmed with DCK yesterday, it’s more a case of seeking value for money, not paying over the odds and,God forbid,not overinvesting or paying whatever it takes.

    The latter two quotes are of course courtesy of Messrs King and Murray.

    Changed days indeed when Hearts are using Rangers to give one of their youngsters game time. Not quite a feeder club…..yet.

    This is a 5 month deal with no option to buy. Hearts want the boy back and loaning him to a Championship club seems the best solution for Robbie Neilson.

    If indeed, as suggested by SSB pundit, Gordon Dalzell that a deal has been done for O’Halloran to be confirmed after their semi final tomorrow, then all hail the King.

  21. When we look at the SMSM in this country, and regarding the “special” treatment RIFC receive, from SDM time in charge right through to the present time, they have done more damage to RIFC (RFC) than anything HMRC could possibly do ? They failed to report the facts when SDM was at the helm of the sinking ship. They then failed to report the truth regarding Whyte, Green and NOW TGSL ? Failure to report the facts and figures, the truth and the lies, have allowed con men, charlatans, spivs, and wannabes to rape and pilfer a football club I believe they ALL support.

    Now take how they reported on the Celtic situation in the 90s, they sent a hearse to Celtic park, they reported EVERYTHING , they even had a mobile van situated outside Celtic park, with Mr Keevins camped inside. If it wasn’t for there 100% exposure a lot of what we were told and was reported hourly , we would have been as blind and ignorant as most of the RIFC fans are at present and where / are pre-liquidation.

    So what I am saying is, thanks to the SMSM, CFC was saved, LOL, even though they were laughing, sneering, deriding, and giving it big, they actually saved CFC by there coverage.
    And a 100% censorship on all things RFC, RIFC and Sevco (pick 1) has resulted in there beloved club being in the state it finds itself,

    Astounding and tragic,

  22. All over the world when organizations receive justified criticisms, they listen and change to improve and be all inclusive.

    Take the USA motion picture academy today and the criticism of non race inclusiveness. Wil Smith discusses the issue with intellectual balance. From being a member of the Academy. The Academy has sworn to change.

    In contrast, we Scots are lumbered with the SMSM, SFA, Police and Scottish Government where ‘same club’ law breaking and sectarian bigotry law breaking persists, poisoning society and propping up thugs who walk around like brown shirts, in the knowledge they will never be brought to law.

    Tens of thousands singing sectarian bigoted songs in front of hundreds of police officers with immunity from the law.

    Only in rotten wee Scotland.

  23. “The news that two directors of Rangers withdrew a £40,000 account from The Herald, as reported on January 11, has caused considerable concern to the beleaguered broadsheet…..”

    Instead of buckling to this the Herald needs to flex and start suggesting its a new club. Or attack King and transfers, or funding, etc…That’ll get the amateurs at Ibrox heads back in the right place. Or even put two investigative journalists on the Park Group?

  24. “Mark Warburton insists he trusts Rangers chairman Dave King to deliver on signings”

    I thought our criminal chairman had flown in for something…..so fckin predictable getting Warbs to come out and pin his faith and try to discredit Boydie…..and to deflect from the truth that we cant buy a player for 300k coz we is skint…and that’s the truth.

    http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2016/01/29/mark-warburton-insists-he-trusts-rangers-chairman-dave-king-to-d/

    GSTQ

  25. Regards the £40k Parks account at the Herald my information was that the directors had previously initmated such on two previous occassions. The first was on the Heralds’s creation of The National and the second on the Herald’s appointment of Angela Haggerty. Take of that what you will.

    Perhaps the directors should look into creating their own national newspaper, it worked well the last time (The Sunday Scot!).

  26. Without Fear or Favour?
    What has been constant in this fabled tale, that has permeated every crevice is ‘Favours Without Fear’ and there is still a long way to go. Keep shining the torch, for if Mr King doesn’t come up with the required fund before next season, ‘his tea has surely got to be out’.

  27. Hi JJ – Hope you’ve got plans to write on the disgraceful treatment of Angela Haggerty soon. Really is mob mentality allowed to run unchecked. I’m honestly in shock that not only would a newspaper fail to support a journalist who could back up the honesty of his writing, but actively castigate those with enough morals to offer him support. Its a sad day for the freedom of speech.

    1. My focus this morning has been the Green appeal. I will turn my attention to Angela Haggerty at a later date. Ms Haggerty was the editor of Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s book Downfall. The continuation jihadists pursued her so vehemently that she was forced to relocate from Glasgow to London. There have been convictions and the imprisonment of individuals who persecuted Ms Haggerty. Her appointment on The Sunday Herald was predicated on her merits as a commentator. However, it would appear that the threat of withdrawing lucrative advertising accounts by directors of Rangers have led to an abrupt end to Ms Haggerty’s appointment.

      1. The even sadder thing about the treatment of Miss Haggerty, is it will be used as evidence by the unhinged to “prove” her bias and poor character in the same way as the original poster on this thread i.e.

        “the speed at which his editor dropped him is informative”

        All it is informative of, is the level of cowardice at the Herald and that bullying and thuggish behaviour from those associated with Rangers will be indulged.

  28. The Herald and Evening Times are on their deathbed.

    The lack of support for a senior employee and the sacking of another one will hasten their demise.

    They will not be missed.

    Speirs and Ms Haggerty will have their day in court and if there is any justice in our country the Herald will pay a momentary price far in excess of an advertiser withdrawing it’s business from them.

    The Billy Boys anthem has no place in Scottish football. Following the Hibs match there was no condemnation from the Rangers board as thousands gave it laldy.

    Of course Billy Fullerton the self styled leader of the thugs was a bigot, racist, fascist, a member of the Ku Klux Clan, and a convicted wife beater. The authorities however were not above hiring the same thugs to break up and disrupt the meetings of striking workers.

    If Spiers version of events is correct then the Rangers board member who allegedly expressed a favourable opinion of the ditty, either had no idea of the source of the song or maybe he did.

    Back to the Herald……….if the Editor has acted on orders from above he should walk and also have his day in court.

    If the decisions were his and his alone then he should hang his head in shame. Feeding the mob is not a long term solution to any issue. It emboldens them and their appetite increases, ultimately they will be feeding on the corpse of a once proud newspaper.

    This attack on free speech has already gone viral, the damage to the Herald will be irreparable and will not reflect well on Scotland as a country if people reading this story arrive at the conclusion that the Herald is representative of the views of the Scottish people.

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