Setting The Agenda

At this time of year we can look forward to more of the following genre of adverts that have become a regular feature at The Herald Group (The Herald, The Sunday Herald, The Evening Times):


Photo published for Danny Wilson: Rangers won't mind the gap as countdown continues to Scottish Cup showdown

There are two other boards at Auchenhowie that are rolled out to promote season tickets and ‘pay at the gate’. At The Herald Group every feature on a Rangers signing or a player renewing his contract is accompanied by advertising. What you will never see in The Herald Group is the following photograph from Getty images:

This was taken at The Scottish Cup Final. This must be what Chris Graham/ Mangetout Traynor were referring to as ‘restraint‘. We can but hope that the young poleaxed fan recovered from his assault.

Level Five set the agenda for The Herald Group. A programme of ‘indirect’ advertising does not come cheap. No-one should be in any doubt that the Herald Group’s main focus is the sale of advertising. Graham Spiers is more aware of this than most. His article that someone on the Rangers board was warmly disposed to a proscribed song, namely The Billy Boys, resulted in his freelance articles being surplus to requirements. The Level Five/Rangers Account and The Park Group Account are much more important than honest copy at these despicable organs. Chris ‘Union’ Jack, who runs his own Rangers fanzine within The Evening Times, has Craig Houston on speed-dial to solicit quotes from an organisation that openly advocates a return to excluding Catholics from the staff at Ibrox. I don’t anticipate Joseph Anthony Barton being on Mr Houston’s speed-dial as an after dinner speaker at a Sons of Strewth social event, where partners might well be referred to as ‘plus two‘ as they are subject to change.

If you are running for office, as is the case with Stewart Robertson, who better to turn to than Level Five and The Herald Group. Does anyone believe that all those images of the Rangers Managing Director, and all the corresponding copy, is little more than a blatant attempt to elevate his profile for a seat on The SFA Professional Game Board or to replace Eric Riley on the SPFL board? Mr Robertson would prefer that Rangers fans sing proscribed songs as opposed to attacking young Hibs fans, however he should have been condemning both. Mangetout Traynor has his feet in his mouth so often these days that his head is a ventriloquist’s dummy for his brown brogues.

As those who follow this site are aware, there is a plan to publish two advertising articles on Resolution 12. This is a crowdfunded initiative from supporters of CFC, Aberdeen, Hearts, Dundee United and other clubs.The SFA did well to avoid the fallout from the expose of their malfeasance in the TJN report, however they are not out of the woods yet.This initiative will question the decision by the SFA to allow Rangers to participate in 2011 UEFA tournaments despite having overdue social taxes. When the ‘Resolution 12′ newspaper initiative was announced, two newspapers were mentioned – one in Switzerland and the other based in England. The intention was to spread the message across Great Britain and also in Switzerland, where UEFA is based.

This initiative, which is being coordinated by Celtic Quick News (CQN), which I am led to believe is run by Paul Brennan, caught the eye of The Herald’s Senior Media Accounts Manager.He contacted CQN on the 19th May with the following e-mail:

“I appreciate you guys are running some advertising in The Guardian to raise the Resolution 12 matter & with this in mind I wondered if there was opportunity to take advantage of our portfolio of media brands can help to drive awareness. We have a successful track record of commercial success stories & over 4 million adults engage with our brands via print, digital or social media each month and on a daily basis we connect with over 400,000.”

It’s evident that grammar is not a strong point at The Herald’s advertising desk, but this did not deter the enterprising media accounts manager, who later that day followed up with:

“Would you be using the content from the Guardian advert? If so can you forward me this & I will check with editor & legal team etc”.

This is a reference to the legal team who approved an earlier CQN advertising initiative on 25th January, 2015, on the eve of the ‘first‘ match between CFC and ‘new entity‘ The Rangers Football Club. This led to numerous complaints to The Advertising Standards Authority. None of these complaints were upheld. The proposed advert was not ready for remittance at that time.

A few days later The Herald’s Senior Media Accounts Manager was back in touch with CQN on 23 May . He wrote:

“Just had feedback from the powers that be & we are unable to run your proposed advert. Good luck with the coverage in the Guardian.”

In response to this CQN stated:

“The newspaper group that carried the ‘New Club’ Statement, that had actively canvassed for more advertising booking on this subject around the Scottish Cup Semi Final and had approached CQN specifically about running the ‘Resolution 12′ Statement had, without ever seeing the text for the Resolution 12 Statement, now decided that they did not want to carry this Statement on the issues surrounding Resolution 12”.

Is it possible that the ‘unseen’ hand of Mangetout Traynor is at work here? Did he remind The Herald Group of the commercial contracts that would be at risk if they ran with this advert?


25 thoughts on “Setting The Agenda”

  1. It will not matter a jot in a short while The Herald is dying , they are really struggling to sell copy at the moment therefore no -one to read it, I think it’s called suicide, dying on your own sword so to speak

  2. A newspaper funded by advertising that refuses a legally worded advert because it doesn’t agree with its content is anti-democratic but perhaps legally acceptable but the same newspaper refusing an advert it has not seen because it might frighten other advertisers is a breach of duty to be impartial and probably actionable.

  3. When you have made enemies of everyone around you, it is good to have a castle to retreat into. Pulling up the drawbridge may give a sense of superiority and security against the rabble encircling your god given land. But ultimately, when you’ve eaten all the dogs and all the cats and all the rats you will need to lower the drawbridge and face your foes in a greatly weakened state. Or you could eat a few minions ritualistically for strength before one last vain-glorious battle.

  4. The Herald is not alone in its efforts to control what people are being conditioned to as per the news. Can anyone show me that there was not a Scotland wide conspiracy with the TJN report? Make no mistake about it, James Traynor will answer for his part in all this.
    He is surely now the most repugnant person in Scottish football circles

    1. Where is James Traynor’s power generated? Most ex-anythings undergo a significant reduction in influence when they leave a job/public office/marriage etc. Mr Traynor’s appears all-powerful. Why?

      1. Drugs and the Olympics were taking priority on what is a very busy site Chas but I believe that time has now been found for our concerns.

  5. The Herald is a hopelessly conflicted dinosaur that continually fails to see that it is hastening a rapid decline where one day soon its declining advertising and circulation will just not add up.
    Can’t come soon enough.

    The whole saga surrounding your club is not a football story but a political saga that our mainstream media continually turns a Nelson eye to.
    The Glasgow based and biased BBC are in my view the worst culprits.
    I think we should collectively start to focus on our politicians.
    They don’t like straight questions and statistics that show they are not answering bona fide questions from the public.

  6. Everyone involved in news publishing knows that print advertising revenue is critical in an era of terminally reclining circulation – a vicious circle whereby falling (ABC) circulation ultimately impacts the rate at which adverts can be charged. – On-line advertising revenue is not yet as lucrative, although the “hits at all cost” mentality is prevalent and growing.

    However, those who discard all ethics/integrity in pursuit of greasy easy money from a “niche” market, will eventually lose the trust of the wider public and pay the price for that constricted demographic. It’s somewhat ironic that, if just one of these publishing conglomerates woke up to the fact that print media in Scotland is crying out for crusading, “real” investigative, journalism (of the independent, non-gutter variety), it could actually be the defining factor which makes them stand out from the crowd and ultimately saves them from the scrapheap.

    Unfortunately, it would seem the cosy blue brotherhood of the SMSM have gone too far down the road of moral bankruptcy to escape the inevitable dilemma of a choice between the fiscal variety, or out & out internectine warfare , as they clamber to avoid the fatal tipping point.

    1. Yes, with the current deafening collective silence they are all in the frame.
      Its about getting honest answers to questions that they are currently either not getting asked on a saga they are choosing to ignore.

    2. Eyes on the prize, finger on lips.

      If you insist on making habitual petty digs at those with common purpose then the larger purpose will be lost.

      When the prize is won then enjoy your petty jibes – if you still have no respect for those with common purpose.

  7. A good point made.
    At what time does this corruption become a Poltical topic? So far this subject has been limited to the environs of some web based bloggers albeit with some decent following but has not seen daylight in the mainstream media.
    At what point do the Polticians get involved? Is it time for the inhabitants of Trumpton to get involved?
    Pugh, Pugh, Barley, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Gruff? Where are you when we need you? 🙂 Stand up now and be counted!! No? Only in Scotland………

  8. There is no doubt a sinister controlling aspect to Mangetout Traynor, he is well known as a flat track bully of the ilk of SDM in his prime and succulent lamb days. Would be great if the Craig Whyte recording pen could be utilised for some of his threatening telephone calls.
    There is also the aspect of Level 5 writing the copy and the SMSM simply cutting and pasting so there is a an easy convenience for the lazy hacks who can fill some inches with Level5 constructed copy, we see already the drip fed ” Rangers and Celtic fighting out for the signature of XXXXX” – Completely made up and stockpiled for low news days!! 🙂 Only in Scotland!

  9. I love the fact that the Herald’s accounts manager says, “Good luck with the coverage in the Guardian.” An advertisement is not “coverage”–quite the opposite, in fact! Unless , of course, the Herald is accustomed to working on some other Level.

  10. I’d suggest there has always been a symbiotic relationship between the media and your club which ‘didn’t’ serve the fans but the custodians. The SMSM parasites let your club go to ‘rack and ruin’ at the hands of SDM and they done nada, zilch, nothing, not even their jobs. They then fawned over Whyte, Green and now King to an extent that left you wondering why RIFC would need to employ a PR company, whose sole objection was to fill the fans head full of ‘moonbeams’, although their tone has taken a rather sinister turnaround recently. Is this really all to do with selling season tickets, then why would Level5 be looking also to protect the SFA and not protect the governance of our game. Unless, obviously if Mr Traynor, through Level5 were ‘extorting’ cash from them also. Pay up unless you want to be on the front pages.

  11. Wasn’t it the herald who printed celtics spin about their new manager being appointed as a result of celebrating rangers directors?

    1. It was the Scotsman. The following week choirmaster Robertson confirmed the truth of the Ibrox directors “exuberant” celebrations in the Record. In the same article he also confirmed that the Ibrox team were still operating at a loss every week with very little in the kitty.

    2. The latest update to the ‘rumour’ is that the same Director that Mr Spier referenced in a recent article, was actually singing the sash in the boardroom. Which I personally find really funny and I would also wish to thank him as it would appear he has ‘awoken’ Mr Desmond out of his slumber. Why should the CFC Board of Director be spared of the bigotry, as they’ve sat in silence for over a hundred years.

  12. Crowd fund constant adverts that supply more revenue than level5.

    Failing that, buy the newspaper group. Sack the guilty, employ good guys, get the message out.

    How much is herald group worth? Who owns the shares?

    1. Yes, true Rangers men such as Spiers and JJ penning the copy should up circulation numbers and restore quality and respectability.

  13. Does the SFA AND RIFC have contracts with Mr Jabba? Cosy?

    Does the cash rich SFA ( not enough money put into youth development) pay Jabba for pro RIFC work? Does invoicing hours get jumbled and confused on Jabba’s desk?

    Who audits SFA accounts? Who checks them? UEFA? Can the paying fans interrogate accounts and ask questions at an SFA AGM? Ditto SPFL? Who are these organizations accountable to?

    1. Foo, you should pose this question on this page and any others you visits until you get a reply.

      Jj, are you aware of the complex complicity of such a tangled arrangement and do you know who audits the SFA’s accounts?

      That would be the motherlode.

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