This is my first blog of 2016 and as has so often been the case in 2015 what passes for the press in Scotland should be subjected to some scrutiny. An article by Michael Gannon, where he created a fictitious game of 5-a-side, could have passed for satire had it not been so bereft of insight and intelligence. The 190,000 who actually pay to read this red top rag are described by its Trinity Mirror parent as being part of modal Britain. A critical mass of the intellectually challenged would be a more apposite description. Had Mr Gannon been a guest contributor I would have recommended that he did not give up his day job; he is alas a staff writer in what must be one of the worst sports desk of any title in the Trinity Mirror stable.
The award-winning Twitter correspondent, Keith Jackson, has a challenging year ahead of him. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, the source of so much of Mr Jackson’s ‘reportage’, has announced his retirement from commenting on the debacle at Rangers. I realize that this will be celebrated by many Rangers fans and the current board. However the inescapable conclusion is that Mr Jackson’s output will lack substance and will have significantly less credibility, if that were possible, in the coming year. We can but hope that he does not plumb the depths of Michael Gannon’s article.
A far more interesting article, but no less inaccurate, was penned by a journalist who has adopted The Kicker as his soubriquet in The National. This addition to the Scottish newsprint canon is the first daily newspaper in Scotland to support Scottish independence.It is a sister paper of The Herald and the Sunday Herald. It was launched on a five-day trial basis against the backdrop of a general decline in newspaper sales, with an initial print-run of 60,000 copies for its first edition, but by January 2015, daily sales had fallen to below 20,000. It is essentially an SNP forum that has been nicknamed McPravda.
The Kicker attributed some quotes to a good friend of this site, Bill McMurdo. This shoddy journalist appears to have lifted Bill’s comments from this site to form the basis of his article. Perhaps we should apprise this journalist that Bill is the son of the famous football agent, not the agent himself. Be that as it may, we can state, with no fear of contradiction, that Bill junior will have an almost peerless awareness of the dark arts of transfer dealings.
The Kicker advocates that the SFA declare an amnesty on all the dodgy dealings of the past, including the DOS/EBT schemes, so as to advance transparency and a level playing field in the Scottish game. At this point the 20,000 of this fledgling title’s demographic who voted for the economic suicide of independence must have taken pause. It’s no secret that the majority of CFC supporters voted for independence. I would not presume to put words in their mouths, but from the comments on this site I would posit that any proposal to sweep the systemic tax avoidance/evasion at Ibrox under the Hampden carpet, would not be well received. A cynic might suggest that The National is attempting to garner interest from the Rangers support who buy The Daily Record. As sales plummet inexorably towards four figures at McPravda, has The Kicker decided to put a finger in the dyke?
We can have little doubt that an amnesty would be welcomed by Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster and Two Hats Topping who run Scottish football. All three were apprised of the financial crisis facing Rangers in November 2011 and decided that a Craig Whyte administration was preferable to an HMRC administration. They could have blown his application to the Court of Session apart with a carefully placed leak to one of their friends in the press. By allowing Whyte to run with administration. they permitted the conditions that gave us Charles Green and a criminal trial that will resume in four days. The same venal cabal were behind the approval of a career criminal as the chairman of Rangers.
Sir David Murray introduced two illegal tax avoidance/evasion schemes in the full knowledge that he had the press and Scottish football governance in his pockets. His systemic twelve years was not as crude as stuffing bank notes into manila envelopes, but it had the same effect. David Murray introduced the black economy to Rangers and was aided and abetted by Dave King and Paul Murray.
Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer to see all six of these individuals banned from Scottish football for life. They are two sides of the same corrupt coin. We don’t have the FBI pursuing them as is the case at UEFA and FIFA. We don’t even have the support of Scotland’s allegedly biggest club, CFC, who seem to be sweeping just as vigorously as the curlers at Hampden.
The only individual who is prepared to expose the corruption in our game is Mike Ashley. This is why King was summoned to Hampden. Doncaster, Two-Hats and Regan urged King to pay Ashley and gag him. A judicial review will expose all three and take Murray and King with them. The hearing in April, if it goes ahead, is the last hope for those who want honesty to be introduced to the lexicon of football governance.
Regan, Two Hats and Doncaster are the Rangers fire service. The towering inferno that was EBT was doused by an LNS foam hose. Those who think it was a whitewash are no longer a minority.