I am in two minds whether to retain or trash the previous article. It was only read by 6,624 individuals, which is inordinately low for this site. If it had not been for 33 comments, my decision to remove it would have been somewhat easier. A strong case for trashing the article has been made by those who choose to support their site by making donations. As they withdrew their support, should I follow suit by withdrawing the article? If I’m quick to criticize what masquerades as journalism in the SMSM, should I not apply the same standards to my own output when my ‘sales‘ have reached an all time low and my ‘sponsors‘ have decided that this article should wither on the vine?
At the end of every week I review my statistics. In the period from 19 September until today, this site received 139,792 views. In the previous week the figures were significantly superior with 169,702 views. This drop of 29,910 readers has been reflected in a significantly downward trend in donations. If the latter was my only benchmark, I would fold the site and not just retire one article.
Having reviewed this article I have come to the conclusion that it’s a little mean-spirited. Derek Johnstone is a buffoon but he appeals to the simple-minded Bears who call in to Radio Clyde to hear his: Rangers then, Rangers now, Rangers forever narrative. This modern-day myth is a comfort blanket for the majority of the Clyde demographic, which indubitably helps them rest easier in their beds. The activity of Lord Hodge who put the corporate body and club that was Rangers into liquidation, is dismissed as the folding of a hitherto unknown holding company. Rangers, to many of DJ’s listeners, is eternal. They cling to this belief as vehemently as Roman Catholics believe in Papal infallibility (on matters that are ex cathedra, i.e. dogma). Derek Johnstone is the high priest of the great liquidation lie in which Rangers disposed of their debts and tax responsibilities but curiously retained their historical titles. When the CVA was dismissed by the creditors, bringing the corporate curtain down, Rangers, the son of God, rose from the dead but demurred from taking it’s spiritual place at the right hand of the father. It chose to grub around on Edmiston drive with occasional forays to its own Mount Calvary, which has been renamed just as Rangers were prior to liquidation, to Mount Florida. This is the gospel according to Derek Johnstone.
Should I choose to respond to the overwhelming empirical data by burning the vanity that was my previous article, I will run in to the burning edifice of failed copy to retrieve the following comment by Don Gordon:
“The only thing that’s astonishing here is that Derek Johnstone is even mentioned in the same breath as ‘journalism’, far less have it described as his profession. For the truth is, he’s as much of a journalist as he was a footballer, i.e., he’s not very good at either, but he knows an easy ball when he sees one. The only reason the Rangers fans took to him is because he’s always been seen as a ‘Real Rangers Man’, except, as someone pointed out earlier, he was raised a Dundee Utd supporter. But he remains in the news because he personifies the oldco’s (simple) mindset. He never was any more than a totem to their collective gullibility and only ever had the wit to be a half decent poacher, at best. Maybe this is why his equally biased, but slightly more ‘journalistic’ colleagues, let him take Sutton’s roasting for so long. They’re probably as sick to the back teeth of his stating the blindingly bleeding obvious as all the rest of us.”
If Don Gordon, which is a pseudonym, had made a donation to this site I could have made a more educated guess that he was an Aberdeen FC supporter. But why should he be the exception to the pervading rule? In defence of my poorly read and supported article, I could point out that I attempted to broaden its scope to highlight the Press Charity Lunch and the current rather poor crop of young journalists. But as the main thrust of the article is inferior to the comment by Mr Gordon, I will save his comment for posterity and put my article into room 101. I have also deleted the Twitter link to this article. If I continue to write poorly supported copy this site will be retired in one week.
A mere two thousand Rangers supporters are travelling north to Pittodrie as I write. I have only been to this ground on one occasion some time ago. I don’t recall the game but I have a vivid memory of being inordinately cold in what was paradoxically called The Beach End. The beaches I prefer have temperatures expressed in two digits. I guess I would probably be regarded as a soft Lowlander, even though I have run marathons in similarly cold conditions and at one time trained for The Mount Everest Marathon. If I had been allowed to run around the track I might have had a much more memorable experience.
One of the finest midfield players I have ever seen, Ian Durrant, had his promising career cut short by the 17th worst tackle ever in the opinion of the influential football blog, 90MiN : www.90min.com/posts/133254-the-worst-20-tackles-ever
“Neil Simpson – Aberdeen V Rangers, October 1988
The tackle that incited the rivalry between Aberdeen and Rangers that still boils to this day. The tackle is quite literally horrific. High, studs-up, premeditated, leaving Rangers player Ian Durrant unable to play for the next three years. Yet the tackle transcended boundaries between pitch and stand. It survived generations and is still an area of severe unrest between the fans of the rival teams 28 years on.
Durrant eventually sued Simpson for damages in relation to the incident. Simpson, in the face of much hostility settled with Durrant out of court and the man few had known about resumed his unspectacular career. The world was different though and the name of Neil Simpson will not be forgotten in Glasgow and beyond, for a moment of madness that he has lived to regret.”
I chose a social media report as invitations had already been extended to a dinner date that resulted in the advent of succulent lamb journalism. Jim Traynor, whose career as ‘churnalist’ is on a par with that of Derek Johnstone, went so over the ball in his praise of all things Rangers that he would have pride of place in my top twenty of the worst reportage that I have ever witnessed. Traynor’ protegé, Keith Jackass, heads this list with his copy & paste of PR in regard to Craig Whyte.
However this incident only explains the enmity of the Rangers support. Why do the Aberdeen FC support despise Rangers? To my mind this is partially due to these fine football supporters having more spine than their self-serving chairman. David Murray was allowed to cheat and run roughshod over the aspirations and dreams of the Aberdeen support. They are not minded to forgive the manner in which Rangers achieved their ill-gotten gains. They have the good Highlands common sense to recognize that the Lowlanders in Glasgow are trying to pull some blue wool over their eyes. They have a proud history of being wary of snake-oil salesmen from the South and are not swallowing The Great Liquidation Lie Moonshine. They realize that the complicit SFA will never address the cheating of Rangers and they have seen through the LNS commission recommendations as the whitewash that they clearly were.
Aberdonians don’t suffer fools gladly. To their minds Rangers did the crime and now must do their time as a new club with no claim on the historical titles of the old club. With no claim on the historical titles, Aberdeen are only second to Celtic in terms of achievement. They are Scotland’s second club with a proud history of a UEFA Cup Winners Trophy from 1983 and a UEFA Supercup Trophy from 1984. The renascent Rangers are met with the suspicion shown by Highlanders to The Jacobites.
The majority of the Aberdeen support are giving the big-time continuation Charlies from Glasgow the same short shrift that was reserved for the eponymous Bonnie Prince Charlie. To their mind the renascent Rangers are a Young Pretender.
I’m indebted to the minority of readers who have chosen to support their site with donations, but should I continue when the overwhelming majority expect my thousands of dedicated hours for free? The UK Football Blogging Awards could present the perfect send-off for this site. Those wishing to vote may do so by following the enclosed links:
Those on Twitter can revert to:
I apologize to readers that I don’t have the hypertext links that can be found on the excellent The Clumpany site. With only 6,426 readers and a dearth of donors I am under no illusions that this site will be nominated. CFC supporters have made their support of the Phil Macgiollabhain/The Clumpany axis well-known. Despite my best efforts this site will always be in their shadow. Only 6,426 readers will care, and only a minority of them will vote. In so many ways, this sums up this site.