The Real Battle Begins?

The increasing attacks on social media by the main stream press, fuelled in some respect by David Murray’s vague threats of litigation against bloggers, has brought into sharp focus the challenges facing the Blogosphere. It also brings into even sharper focus the prescience of Stuart Cosgrove’s assertion that this summer’s ‘epistemological break’  had begun to marginalize the Scottish sporting wing of the MSM.

The reality of that assertion is embedded in the misreporting of the FTT decision as a victory for RFC, falsely alleging that those who operated the EBT scheme had been exonerated, that RFC had ‘done nothing wrong’, and consequently accusing ‘vindictive anti-Rangers bloggers’ of playing a part in the downfall of that once great Scottish institution. It is also evident in Tom English’s rather bitter and one-dimensional anti-RTC polemic today in the Scotland on Sunday. Had it been entitled “Self Preservation”, it may have rung a few more truth bells.

I am not of the belief that the MSM is an instinctively pro-Rangers estate, but I do think that their reportage of the FTT is more geared towards discrediting the newly emergent forces in the social media area than it is towards rehabilitating the public image of RFC or David Murray.

However despite the contempt in which many people here hold the MSM and Murray, English does have a point that we would be foolish to ignore. No-one can deny that we do have a duty to ensure that we are responsible in how we present ourselves to the public. Now that our (and others’) success as a real and creative alternative has spurred the MSM into action, we are subject to greater scrutiny than at any time in the past. Our view is that we have to be pro-actively engaged in setting a standard for ourselves that is above those that the MSM have set for themselves.

We have on TSFM an audience exponentially greater than the number of posts. That presents us with a great opportunity to get our message across, but it also burdens us with an increased responsibility not to fall into the trap which has besought the Succulent Lamb Brigade.

We are a very different animal from RTC. RTC him or herself had information and insight to bring to the table that the administrators of this site do not. The founder and former admin of TSFM had the idea that the talent available from posters on the RTC – not just RTC himself – should continue to have a forum in a post-RTC world, and that those talents could be used to challenge the myths regularly represented as facts by lazy journalists in the MSM.

We have at our disposal on this blog forensic analysis of legal, media and corporate matters. We have an abundance of creative minds, all passionate about the game of football AS WELL AS a partisan love for their chosen club. With all that talent and expertise, we can make an impact on the agenda by challenging the misinformation and substandard journalism of the MSM, and our finest moments are when we do that. We lose authority and influence when the debate is impeded by bald accusation or innuendo backed up with little more than an historical view of our country.

Our biggest impact (and largest audience) is to be found when when our experts have collectively torn apart those myths presented as truths by the MSM, and when we have asked the questions that the MSM either can’t or won’t ask or answer. Those are the things that have driven the traffic to this site, and many of the emails we get congratulate us on that.

Our credibility plummets though when we go down the partisan path. We also get literally hundreds of emails from fans who ask that we cut down on the comments of those who are merely venting outrage at how they see the game being mismanaged (mainly so they can access the important stuff more quickly), and from fans who are just fed up with the constant name-calling – almost exclusively aimed at Ally McCoist and other Rangers figures.

If we claim to be an intellectual and journalistic rung or two above the likes of the Red Tops (not to mention to be decent and respectful of others), we need to refrain from the name calling and accusatory culture. We can ask questions, put items for debate on the public agenda, point out apparent irregularities and anomalies. In rushing to judgement of others from the comfort of the glow of our own laptop screens, we are guilty of the same lazy journalism we see in others. Name calling (all good fun of course on a fan site) is just a lazy thought process and as English says, comes across as “nasty”.

We never saw RTC as a fan-site. The original administrator of this blog never saw TSFM as one either, and nor do we. In order to succeed properly, we need sensible fans of ALL clubs to be comfortable and feel secure in our midst. Of course we are not breaking any laws, but can anyone honestly say that we have evolved into a welcoming place for Rangers fans?

TSFM is not about hounding any one club out of existence or into shame or infamy. In the Rangers saga we have sought to ensure that the football authorities play fair with everyone and stick to their own rules. One well kent RTC contributor, and no friend of Rangers, often said that if the FTT found in favour of Rangers we should move along and accept it. Well they did find in favour of Rangers in the majority of cases. That may not suit many of us, but we are the Scottish Football Monitor, not a Judicial Watchdog. We can say why we disagree with the decision, but criticism of the process through which the decision was arrived at is beyond our purview.

Since the accusation is often made in the MSM, we should state, unequivocally and unreservedly, that we are NOT anti-Rangers. Their fans face the same issues as the rest of us and they are welcome here. We are however, equally unequivocally against the gravy train journalism of the Scottish Football Wing of the MSM (with one or two honourable exceptions).

If the Anti-Blogateers in the press are correct, the popularity of the TSFM will recede as the Rangers Tax case reverts to the back pages before disappearing for good. However I do not believe that they are correct. I don’t believe that Scottish football fans are only motivated by either hatred – or even dislike – of one club. I believe we are more concerned with the game itself than the pot-stirrers in the MSM would have us believe, because we understand the interdependence of football clubs.

But we also understand that the people who run football clubs do not always run their clubs for the benefit of the fans. In the business world, that may not be out of the ordinary, since businesses are run for the benefit of shareholders.
However football reserves for itself a special place in the hearts of people in this country. If the people who run football clubs want to retain that favourable status, they have to be accountable to the fans.

The difficulty in holding them to account though, is that the cosy relationship cultivated between club directors, managers and players and the press renders the access to information a closed shop, and the information itself is heavily filtered and spun.

As long as we keep asking questions in response to the fruit of that cosy relationship, we will be providing people with an alternative angle and viewpoint, allowing them to come to their own conclusions, and not the one the MSM post-presser huddle delivers to us wrapped up in a bow.

For the SFM specifically, we believe that to have any influence, we need to enable the expertise at our disposal to flourish. It is also vital to our project that Rangers fans are included in our dialogue. We just can’t call ourselves the Scottish Football Monitor if they are largely excluded from participation because they feel they are being treated disrespectfully.

We can’t tolerate the accusations and name calling. We need to stick to what we have done best; factual analysis, conjecture based on known facts and on-line discourse leading to searching questions being asked.

One of the things we are looking at for the near future is to set up some kind of formal and transparent channel of communication between the SFM and the football authorities. Being truly representative of fans will make that easier to achieve.

The MSM will continue to attack the social media outlets. In one way you can understand it. Their jobs are at stake. The business model of the print media in particular has changed massively over the last five years, manifesting itself mainly in increasingly under-resourced newsrooms. Consequently it is besought by increasingly unreliable and under-researched journalism, even to the point where much of it is no longer journalism at all.

By comparison the Blogosphere has access to greater human and time resources, is able to react to unfolding events in real time, and crucially (because it has been eschewed instead of embraced by print media proprietors) has been occupied by ordinary folk with little or no vested interest.

We are still in position to provide a service in our small niche of the on-line world. We have rights to publish and speak freely about our passion, but we also have to live up to the attendant responsibilities, and thus the appeal for discretion on posting comments.

Where Tom English got it completely wrong (in the uniquely ironic way the MSM have about them), is that his industry has mistaken the rights others have earned for them as entitlement, and ignored almost completely the responsibility they had to act on behalf of those who pay their wages.

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About Trisidium

Trisidium is a Dunblane businessman with a keen interest in Scottish Football. He is a Celtic fan, although the demands of modern-day parenting have seen him less at games and more as a taxi service for his kids.

3,018 thoughts on “The Real Battle Begins?

  1. doo do, doo do, duppity doo do (countdown theme tune!)

    shops shut, lets count the takings

    £2.1M (200k from RST) is my guess

  2. Regarding Greens comments in the record, I find his justification for the timing of the share issue hard to believe. In my opinion they either wanted it to bomb for whatever reason or they are desperate for cash. Happy to indulge in whitabooutery, maybe some other individual or institution was promised money by this years end rather than his excuse that he didnt want to break his promises to the supporters.

  3. Charles blaming HMRC and the printers for a lack of committment from the bears is quite simply bo**ocks..

    Minty managed to squeeze £1 million from the SEVCO fans on the last attempt at a share float….and that was when times were good…no recession…no Christmas on the horizon…not a 1 week shotgun style offer…

    He has with all his might tried to sell this share issue and get as much cah he can with as many persuasive comfort blankets as possible…

    Operation cash for nowt..

    Present as many big investors as possible…(forgetting to mention they all have links in one way or another to Octopus)

    Not convinced..

    Roll in the cardigan…(tell everyone he is now a director…although legally he isn’t and knew he wasn’t)…he’s one of you guys…big smilie Yorkshire face…

    Still not with it…

    Arrange an STV interview with staged questions from social media…provide any old cobblers in response to the questions…said cobblers goes unchallenged and left as fact by STV interviewer..

    Shares still not shifting…

    From way out in left field…a statement suddenly appears from a private members club called ECA…that states despite the legal facts they will still believe its the same club but under Swiss law you need to apply for a new membership? (who else thinks the original was massaged with prefered wording by the time it arrived at the STV?)

    Why are these shares not shifting?

    Right Traynor get Jangles on the case….cue cover story but try and imply a thought process that calls into question their supremacist beliefs with how only £1.5 million worth of shares sold…and look at Celtic their fans bought £10 million…and if you can add a bit of spice about certain dishonest applications all the better…

    In short if only 1200 fans care enough to cough £500 from a worldwide fan base of 500 million why bother?

  4. By appealing to the baser element has Charles shot himself in the foot?

    A societies underclass do not hold its purse strings. They may make a lot of noise about traditions, culture and conspiracies but are financially neutered.

    Have the better educated and more moneyed bears simply given this a giant swerve?

    If you are planning for £10M but take in 2 or 3, that’s a giant hole in the budget.

    It will be very interesting what the final figure is and how it breaks down by fans v institutional(ised) investors.

  5. The SFA does not carry out fit and proper persons tests. SR confirmed this.

    Such tests are now explicitly the responsibility of those selling the club. Green’s was carried out by D and P (standing in for Whyte) so the fit and proper tests by the SFA has been delegated by them for the purposes of this share issue to Green himself. So when he says the SFA fit and proper persons’ test has neen carried out, he is technically correct – for the purposes of the SFA the person conducting thosde tests is CG himself.

    Now that’s what I call governance!

  6. angus1983 says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:32

    Unreal, how thick can you get

  7. angus1983 says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:32
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    From RM … how to quickly double the money you extract from simple bears:

    “No biggie . . . but i went through the online payment there to make a £500 payment, when i got to the end it said ‘payment was unsuccessful, please return to Rangers website’ (or thereabouts)

    so i did it again, this time it took me to the final page and payment was accepted, all good.

    just checked my bank there and it looks like it took £1000 (fly bassa Charlie) but my email confirmation is just for £500 (confused), don’t mind if it ends up being £1000 but i’d like some sort of confirmation.”


    Maybe explains why Green is uncertain as to the final take…

    It’s been unsuccesful try again…
    It’s been unsuccesful try again…
    It’s been unsuccesful try again…

    £2k later…thanks

    How many will ask for their cash back?

  8. Now that the deadline has passed
    Shirley we must hear from MBB ???…………been awfy quiet recently

  9. Oh no, just noticed the time. Looks like I’ve missed the boat on the investment opportunity of the year. Better transfer that £8m back to my bank in Zurich.

  10. ianagain says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 13:10

    The London stock exchange appear to have the wrong nake for the football club listed?

  11. Araminta Moonbeam QC says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 13:22

    Oh no, just noticed the time. Looks like I’ve missed the boat on the investment opportunity of the year. Better transfer that £8m back to my bank in Zurich.


    Don’t worry yoursell….there are some institutional investors that will happily punt you a few at a reasonable cost…hing oan i’ll get Charlie’s number fur you!

  12. ianagain says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 13:10
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    Current position.


    London Stock Exchange allowing Chuck to fly his fairy story kite about “world’s most successful club, 54 league titles, 1972 ECWC blah blah” under “Description of Business”

  13. Neepheid says: “Definition of goodwill

    2 the established REPUTATION OF A BUSINESS regarded as a quantifiable asset and calculated as part of ITS VALUE WHEN IT IS SOLD.”

    That is exactly what I remember being taught 40+ years ago (which is a relief!). JUST AS GREEN ACQUIRED THE FIXED ASSETS (property) AT A HUGE DISCOUNT, he also acquired the intangible assets (intellectual property and goodwill) AT A HUGE DISCOUNT.

    Green did not purchase a business.
    Goodwill can also be the INFLATED difference of a purchase price. Green certainly didn’t pay out an inflated price. So it CANNOT be classed as goodwill if it is purchased at a discount. If Duff and Bluff had asked for a tangible inflated price for the goodwill, Chuckles could claim to have purchased it, as it cost £1, whatever Chuckles thinks he bought, it was not and could not in any way be described as goodwill.

  14. Araminta Moonbeam QC says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 13:22
    0 0 Rate This
    Oh no, just noticed the time. Looks like I’ve missed the boat on the investment opportunity of the year. Better transfer that £8m back to my bank in Zurich.


    you could always give it to the RST, for your £8M you will get 1 vote (along with all the bears who put in £125) to say how it should be run.

    They will then buy £8m worth of shares in the open market – which by lunchtime tomorrow should be all the share capital and £7m in change as the price hits the floor

    then, with the RST owning the club, mark Dingwall will get to be chairman and mouthpiece for The Rangers…..and that’ll be funny as feck!!

  15. redetin says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:30
    11 0 Rate This
    smartbhoy says:
    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:36

    I still can’t get my head round the institutional investors, surely these men/companies, whoever they are, are experienced investors and would not touch this with a barge pole. Unless there’s been nothing near to £17m invested and there’s no way they’ve paid over 35p a share.


    Because…Capital losses can help cut your tax bill!

    There’s nothing wrong with losing money on some of your shares. You just set it against gains you make on other deals. If you sell at a loss at the right time you can get quite a reduction in your tax bill.

    (David Low hinted at this on Radio Scotland this morning in relation to the RIFC offering).

    If that was the case and I’m not saying it isn’t, then everyone would intentionally buy shares they know are going to go down in value because they’re going to get quite a reduction in their tax bill.

    It must mean that the money they lose investing in a failed share issue is less than the money they save on their tax bill? That means basically you can never lose when investing then, it’s a win win situation in my eyes. You have your gains and the reduction you get on your tax bill from your Capital losses is more than your losses.

    Doesn’t make sense.

    There’s something seriously fishy going on and there’s a lot of smart gentlemen on here who’ll eventually find out……….

  16. It must mean that the money they lose investing in a failed share issue is less than the money they save on their tax bill? That means basically you can never lose when investing then, it’s a win win situation in my eyes. You have your gains and the reduction you get on your tax bill from your Capital losses is more than your losses.

    Doesn’t make sense.
    This has been put forward as an excuse before, and like you I can’t make any sense out of it.
    Perhaps we are back to the wishful thinking, no?

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