Why We Need to Change

ByTrisidium

Why We Need to Change

Over the past couple of years, we have built a healthy, vibrant and influential community which recognises the need to counter the corporate propaganda spouted by the mainstream media on behalf of the football authorities.

The media have, not entirely but in the main, been hostage to the patronage of those in charge of the club/media links, and to the narrow demographic of their readership. Despite a continuing rejection of the media’s position by that readership (in terms of year on year slump in sales) there is an obstinate refusal to see what is by now inevitable – the death of the print media. The lamb metaphor in fact ironically moving to the slaughter.

The football authorities in Scotland, once the country that gave the world the beautiful game, are rigid with fear that their own world will fall apart – because they are wedded to the idea that only one football match actually matters. To that end they will do whatever it takes to ensure that it continues. They have long since dispensed with the notion that football is an interdependent industry, and incredibly, even those who are not participants in that match follow like sheep towards the abattoir.

The argument is no longer that one club cheated and got away with it. The debate that we need to have is one about what is paramount in the eyes of the clubs and the media . Is it the inegrity of sporting endeavour, or box-office?

For out part, independent sites like this have accelerated the print media’s demise, and there have been temporary successes in persuading the clubs to uphold the spirit of sport. However our role has up to now been to cast a spotlight on the inaccuracies, inconsistencies and downright lies that routinely pass for news. News that is imagined up by PR agencies and dutifully copied by the lazy pretend-journalists who betray no thought whatsoever during the process.

Despite our successes, it really is not enough. We have the means at our disposal to do more, but do more we need to change ourselves, because the authorities sure as hell aren’t gonna.

We need to provide meaningful insight into the game that removes the Old Firm prism from the light path. We need to provide news that has covered all of the angles. We need to entertain, inform and energise fans of sport and all clubs.

We need to do that from a wholly independent perspective. None of this refusing to tell the truth about club allegiances. There is no reason why intelligent men and women can’t be objective in spite of their own allegiances (although the corollary absolutely holds true).  Our experience of the MSM in this country is that the lack of arms-length principles in the media has corrupted it to such an extent that they barely recognise truth and objectivity. We need to be firm on those arms-length principles.

In order to do that we have put together a plan (with enough room to manoeuvre if required) as follows;

We will rebrand and re-launch as the Independent Sports Monitor. We have acquired the domains isMonitor.co.uk and IndependentSportsMonitor.co.uk, and those will be the main urls after the re-launch, hopefully later in the summer.

The change in name reflects the reality of our current debate which is not always confined to Scotland or football. It will also give us the option in future of applying the success of our model to other sports and jurisdictions through partner sites and blogs. This should also help in our efforts to raise funds in the future. However any expansion outwith the domain of Scottish football is some time away, and will depend on the success we have with the core model.

Our mission statement will be;

  1. ISM will seek to build a community of sports fans whose overarching aim is the integrity of competition in the sport.
  2. ISM will, without favour, seek to find objective truths on the conduct and administration of sport. We will avoid building relationships with individuals or organisations which would bring us into conflict with that.
  3. ISM will provide a platform for the views of ALL fans, and guarantee that those views will be heard in a mutually respectful environment.
  4. ISM will also endeavour to inform and entertain members on a wide range of topics related to our shared love of sport.
  5. ISM will seek to represent the views of sports fans to sporting authorities and hold the authorities to account.

We have estimated our (modest) costs to expand our role as per recent discussions. The expanded role will take the form of a new Internet Radio Channel where we hope to provide 24/7 content by the end of the year. It will also see a greater news role  where we will engage directly with clubs and authorities to seek answers to our questions directly.  And we will seek to contact the best fan sites across Scotland with a view to showcasing their content.

We have identified individuals who we want to work (initially on a part time basis) towards our objectives, we have identified premises where we want to conduct our business, and we hope to move into those premises during this summer.

To finance these plans there are a couple of stages;

  1. Initially (as soon as possible) we need to pay accommodation and hosting costs for the first year. To do so,  we hope to appeal to the community itself. Our aim is to raise around £5000 by the end of August.
  2. There are salary costs (around £15,000) attached to our first year plan, but these have been underwritten by Big Pink, and equipment costs (est. £3000). These will be reimbursed if the advertising campaign we recently started bears any fruit (we will not know about that for a few months).
  3. It will not be too discouraging if we make losses in the first couple of years, so if necessary we will seek crowd-funding to finance our plans if the resources of the community itself prove inadequate to smooth a path to break-even point.

Our first year may be a perilous hand-to-mouth existence, but I am certain the journey will be an exciting and enjoyable one. We will also need to search our community resources for contacts at clubs; players, officials, ex-players, local journalists etc. Please get in touch if you have any in at your club.

We also hope to tap into the expertise of our community for advice, comment and analysis of developments, and we will be looking for any aspiring presenters, journalists, sound and video editors, graphic designers (and lots of others) to help us find our feet. Any offers of assistance would be gratefully accepted.

We mustn’t lose sight of why we are doing this. It is because we love our sport, because we want to be able to continue to call it that, and because the disconnect we find in Scottish football, that of the conflicting interests of the fans and the money men, will never be addressed as long as the fans are hopelessly split.

The ultimate goal is to allow sport – not our individual clubs – to triumph over the greed and corporate troglodyte-ism of those people who run it. I am confident that we as a community desperately want to be able to make a difference. That is why I am confident we can achieve our aim of becoming a significant player in the game.

 

About the author

Trisidium administrator

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.

3,978 Comments so far

Big PinkPosted on1:37 am - Aug 3, 2015


castaway says:
Member: (95 comments)

August 3, 2015 at 1:02 am

Big Pink on “banning the press”
August 3, 2015 at 12:22 am
What Rangers have done appears to me to be stupid and counter-productive. They obviously take the view, as Celtic do over the Keevins issue, that the reporting is inaccurate and untrue.
=====================
Am I right in interpreting that as meaning that what both Celtic and Rangers have done, Celtic in suspending Keevins’ freebies, Rangers in banning BBC cameras and personnel, is equivalent in stupidity and counter-productivity?

That’s me done. Tomorrow is here.
__________________________________________

Yes

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Bill1903Posted on7:19 am - Aug 3, 2015


Continuing the journalist theme.
There’s a thread on Rangers media bemoaning the quality of journalism in Scotland.
The only two non biased hacks are Richard Wilson of the BBC and the Evening Times Chris Jack apparently!! 😮

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upthehoopsPosted on7:21 am - Aug 3, 2015


Big Pink says:
Moderator: (332 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 12:22 am
==================================

That’s a very good summary of the here and now regarding the ‘bans’ from Ibrox.

Graham Spiers and Chris McLaughlin remain free to write about Rangers as they please, subject of course to editorial review. Hugh Keevins remains free to portray Celtic in the most negative way possible, and does so at every opportunity on Radio Clyde.

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TartanwulverPosted on8:22 am - Aug 3, 2015


Phil Mac interview with Jim Spence

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/interview-with-jim-spence/

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TartanwulverPosted on8:25 am - Aug 3, 2015


It slips my mind who they were playing, but I see no reason why the BBC should have not have shown highlights of the Peterhead game at the weekend, as far as I know they haven’t ‘banned’ anyone.

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yakutsukiPosted on9:01 am - Aug 3, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
Member: (259 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 8:25 am

It slips my mind who they were playing, but I see no reason why the BBC should have not have shown highlights of the Peterhead game at the weekend, as far as I know they haven’t ‘banned’ anyone.

=========================================================

I tried to watch the BBC highlights of that game (Just to monitor the progress of ‘The Journey’ of course!) It took me to the main football page.

I hope it’s not just a mistake and the BBC are at last standing up for something.

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yakutsukiPosted on9:08 am - Aug 3, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
Member: (259 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 8:22 am

Phil Mac interview with Jim Spence

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/interview-with-jim-spence/

———————————————————————–

Pretty good interview – a lot more forthright than most these days.

Good luck to Jim Spence with whatever path he chooses.

I had to laugh at the guy abusing him in the street then backing down when JS challenged him to settle it. I would have paid good money to watch that – brilliant!

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John ClarkPosted on9:16 am - Aug 3, 2015


Tartanwulver says:
Member: (259 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 8:22 am

‘Phil Mac interview with Jim Spence’
______
Thanks for the link to that revealing interview.
Jim Spence was still being circumspect, but even at that, BBC Radio Scotland is damned by its so-obvious moral weakness in supporting the quest for Truth when the ‘educated’, ‘cultured’ bully-boys in high places flex their thuggish muscles.

In my opinion, BBC Controller Scotland should resign for being so ready to sacrifice the integrity of investigative journalism by throwing courageous reporters to the wild animals.

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high beeswaxPosted on9:43 am - Aug 3, 2015


sportscene @ 40 had a couple of gems when douglas donnelly felt the need to explain his ” in all the years I’ve been coming to ibrox” faux pas and a very ‘ orange ‘ walter in his orangery struggling to explain how he couldnt possibly have been expected to get 10 in a row with all these ” players they couldnt otherwise have afforded “

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TheClumpanyPosted on9:52 am - Aug 3, 2015


Bill1903 on August 3, 2015 at 7:19 am says
Continuing the journalist theme.
There’s a thread on Rangers media bemoaning the quality of journalism in Scotland.
The only two non biased hacks are Richard Wilson of the BBC and the Evening Times Chris Jack apparently!! ?
_______________________
That may just be the funniest thing I have ever read!

Mr Jack is the absolute King (pun intended) of the Sevco fan-boys in our MSM! Who will ever forget his “The Rangers men have won” tweet when it became apparent that the old RIFC board was going to be removed by the EGM in March?

And as for Mr Wilson, I think his demeanour in the Sportscene studio after the Sevco-Motherwell playoff game tells you all you need to know. He doesn’t seem the most happy-go-lucky chap at the best of times, but on this occasion his anxiety seemed to have reached at least Level 5…

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StarmanPosted on10:07 am - Aug 3, 2015


Big Pink says:
Moderator: (332 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 12:22 am

Point 1 “Nobody is being ‘banned’ at all”.
Removing press access to specific reporters for the purpose of reporting is a ban in anyone’s language. The BBC rightly interpret the action as a ban: “We are ­disappointed that Rangers have decided to ban our reporter Chris McLaughlin from Ibrox.” The club see it as a ban. When questioned on the ban, a club spokesman replied: “It wasn’t taken lightly”. Graham Spiers sees his ban as a ban: “Backing from a Rangers fan re my RFC ban: “It’s terrible. Just terrible. Oh that’s terrible of Rangers…” (Betty Spiers, 85 yrs old today)”. It’s a ban.

The fact that Spiers and McLaughlin can attend the ground as paying spectators is neither here nor there – they can’t interview players or ask a manager a question from row Z; and to expect a reporter to do his job sitting beside other fans, typing up his notes, and on the phone to his editor, is silly.

It’s actually wider than removal of press privileges. Both Spiers and McLaughlin have been informed that they are “no longer welcome” at the stadium. Given heightened tensions as a result of this action who in their right mind would attend?

Point 2 “There is no threat to press freedoms inherent in not cooperating with journalists”.
There is a very distinct threat. In fact that is the whole point of the ban – it is a threat to the journalist and his employer to toe the line or else. Such was David Murray’s control over our media that the mere thought of exclusion from his inner circle was enough to deter most journalists from asking awkward questions or writing critical articles. The opposite happened. Succulent lamb produced churnalism. Bans, official and unofficial, are in reality a powerful threat to press freedom because they can quell critical comment.

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SmugasPosted on10:42 am - Aug 3, 2015


Just a point on the mechanics of the EBT mentioned yesterday. You are correct, the Trust is a separate entity to the company/club/employer so there is no question that that the company’ liquidators would, or could ask for repayment.

Similarly you were correct in the payout mechanics. The ‘earnings’ (for want of a better word) go into the trust. The trust promises to pay out to the beneficiary on the player’s death. Meanwhile the trust loans the player funds. When he dies, assuming he hasn’t repaid the loan if course, he is in debt to the trust (hence the Secondary IHT benefit mentioned) and the trust is, essentially, in debt to the beneficiary. The two then cancel each other out.

BUT,

Don’t forget the practical mechanics. The trust can’t do anything, to beneficiary or player, without funds. It needs the initial non repayable funds to make all the rest possible. Hence the Poon analysis, the current (I understand) point of entry focus and the surprise by some that HMRC focused in on the loan, not the fundamental pump priming inward payment first time around at the FTT.

Sorry, just thought it was worth re-emphasising.

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scapaflowPosted on10:45 am - Aug 3, 2015


Starman says:
Member: (16 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 10:07 am

Bravo!

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scapaflowPosted on11:42 am - Aug 3, 2015


Jim Spence ‏@JimSpenceSport now51 seconds ago
@bigvid84 @Pmacgiollabhain speaking freely and earning a living might prove incompatible?

The whole banning journalists thing summed up in less than 140 characters.

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coineanachantaighePosted on12:13 pm - Aug 3, 2015


jimbo says:
August 2, 2015 at 11:16 pm
Coineanachantaighe, Couldn’t agree more my friend. Enjoy your titles no matter which division.

Btw, what does your moniker mean if you don’t mind me asking?
================================================================

I posted on RTC as Mr Bunny which seemed to bother some folk so when SFM started I became Monsieur Bunny which seemed to go down better. Later when the site upgraded I thought it would be grand to go Gaelic like some others on the site, hence there is still “a rabbit in the house”.

A bit bizarre you might think but then maybe so am I. Or perhaps it represents that I follow one of the “rabbits” of the league. 😉

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Corrupt officialPosted on12:21 pm - Aug 3, 2015


I’ve been reading there is no wifi at The Ibrox anymore.
TBH, If it is unaffordable, it is sensible that they go without, but I have no idea if costs are involved in terminating the contract….Anybody?

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John ClarkPosted on12:43 pm - Aug 3, 2015


coineanachantaighe says:
Member: (81 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm
‘. “a rabbit in the house”.’
_________
A touch of Albanian influence there, perhaps?
The Albanian guy at my ASDA checkout point this morning confirmed what I heard yesterday on BBC radio 4, namely, that in spite of decades of atheistic,materialistic Communism, the general population of Albania still hang furry (toy, I hope) rabbits and garlic on their houses to ward off evil spirits!
Having yourself in the SFM house might be just the very dab! 😀

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AllyjamboPosted on12:52 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Corrupt official says:
Member: (112 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Another part of the ‘big club’ veneer comes crashing down. A totally unneccessary expense to begin with, with it’s demise a greater embarrassment than any kudos it’s inception might have created. Regardless of any cost saving now, Charles Green will be stabling a few horses on what he’s already made from it :mrgreen:

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StarmanPosted on12:58 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Evening Times headline:

McInally reckons Rangers are ‘Premiership standard’ as Peterhead are put to the sword at Ibrox

What McNally actually said: “Rangers are probably Premiership standard”.

One statement has the weight of certainty while the other introduces doubt, but why quibble over words?

“Hi my name is Chris Jack and I am probably a journalist.”

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AllyjamboPosted on1:02 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Starman says:
Member: (17 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 12:58 pm

“Hi my name is Chris Jack and I am probably a journalist.”

_____________

No probably about it Chris, you are a plonker!

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ianagainPosted on1:35 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Its not the only thing not working at Ibrox. My mate reports on Sat. his Smart card to access the gate wouldn’t work. Had to queue with thousand others in same boat, missed first 15mins.

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scapaflowPosted on1:44 pm - Aug 3, 2015


highfibre says:
Member: (40 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm

such lease agreements tend to have onerous terms, for those who want to break them early 😉 The accounts may tell the tale, if they ever get an auditor :mrgreen:

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AllyjamboPosted on2:01 pm - Aug 3, 2015


I would imagine it’s possible that the wifi lease might continue but a saving be made on usage charges. A bit like having a phone that you don’t use, where there’s a monthly line rental, but no call charges.

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jimlarkinPosted on2:41 pm - Aug 3, 2015


scapaflowscapaflow says:
Member: (1370 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 11:42 am
Jim Spence ‏@JimSpenceSport now51 seconds ago
@bigvid84 @Pmacgiollabhain speaking freely and earning a living might prove incompatible?

The whole banning journalists thing summed up in less than 140 characters

…………………….

Is it not more of a ‘reflection’ on the employers/organisations and their editors ?!

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billyj1Posted on3:06 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Neil McCann is on Sky Sports. No reason to lift the ban on Keevins until such time as he issues an apology.

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alexander276Posted on3:35 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Picking up the trial by TV point we maybe need to consider the charge. I checked the wording and it is indeed loose – ‘obvious goal scoring opportunity’. Some observers are reading this to mean ‘there is certainty of a goal’. Some seem to consider nothing is certain in life and an eclipse, a kamikaze seagull of a large earthquake might intervene.

Personally I would stress the word opportunity. I do not think that justifies the mathematical analysis that a defending player is nearer the goal. An opportunity might still exist if an opposing player was on the goal line. After all most goals take place when there is a keeper who is allowed to handle the ball in the way. Is the argument that a penalty is not a goal scoring opportunity because a keeper is in the way?

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Kilgore TroutPosted on3:49 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Raymac @ 2:58pm.

I’ve been staying out of this particular debate but I feel a need to comment on the Keevins ‘ban’.

The action taken against Keevins was not as a result of comments on a footballing matter of the day.

The action was a consequence of an, at very best, insensitive comment a few days after the death of someone who was highly loved and respected within the club the had played and worked for a large period of his life.
These remarks also added wholly unnecessary extra grief to his widow and the rest of his close family.

The fact that these remarks were quickly shown to be inaccurate was, given Mr Keevins’s record, hardly surprising.
However, even if they had been accurate, their content was, at least to my mind, wholly mean-spirited and the timing was dreadful.

If, heaven forfend, I ever found myself in a position where I had acted in such a way I would not be in the least surprised if I was no longer welcomed by those whom I had hurt.

The very least I would have done was apologise.

I sure as hell wouldn’t have started bleating loudly about it to anyone who would listen and still be portraying myself as some sort of martyr to the journalistic cause.

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jimlarkinPosted on4:13 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Airdrieonians v Rangers !!!

I wonder what the programme will say about the visitors ?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airdrieonians_F.C.

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CastofthousandsPosted on4:18 pm - Aug 3, 2015


John Clark and Woodstein, you have mail.

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Big PinkPosted on4:47 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Starman says:
Member: (18 comments)

August 3, 2015 at 10:07 am
__________________________________

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on both those points.

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tayredPosted on4:54 pm - Aug 3, 2015


jimbojimbo says:
Member: (52 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 2:19 pm

I can’t see any reason why they shouldn’t report on Celtic in a fair and unbiased way. So why don’t they?

——————————————————————-
Maybe’s they do? Try judging how you perceive the treatment of Celtic against how the press treat the other 40 clubs. Leave TRFC out of your argument for now.

Do you still believe Celtic to be poorly treated?

I think if there is any bias it is in that TRFC get preferential treatment rather than anything else.

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StarmanPosted on5:14 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Big Pink says:
Moderator: (333 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm
Starman says:
Member: (18 comments)

August 3, 2015 at 10:07 am
__________________________________

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on both those points.

Cool ?

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alexander276Posted on5:19 pm - Aug 3, 2015


I used to be annoyed that my preferred club got overwhelmed in press coverage by the big Glasgow teams of the day. Frankly it is getting more attention these days but I realise it is just brown nosing tosh when face to face (or otherwise) with players and snide comments when not. I never did read the pages given to the big boys: I suspect it was as anodyne and asinine as the stuff I now flick over… If Scottish journalists were trapped on an iceberg I would be burning as much carbon as I could afford.

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jimboPosted on5:22 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Tayred, As I mentioned, I’m not praising their treatment of other Scottish clubs, quite the opposite.

I agree with your opinion that The Rangers get preferential treatment (for odious reasons in my honest opinion).

So that leaves Celtic.

I’ll give way on a couple of points.

In the immediate build up to Seville I thought the Scottish media done a very good and supportive job.

‘Headlines’ are deceiving. I don’t understand the workings of journalism but sometimes a headline will say something provocative in bold print, then when you read the article it’s not that bad. I believe it’s two different tasks – the article & the headline. It’s the headline which goads the Celtic support, just like in the old days when there used to be ‘old firm’ games – every Friday without fail a negative headline! (Towards Celtic).

Some articles were pure nonsense as well, sadly, often from ex Celtic heroes. Shame on them.

Not sure about the authenticity of it, but seems there was a running joke amongst football journalists in Glasgow – lets see who can get the biggest reaction from Celtic supporters. The idiots have failed to realise that very few Celtic fans buy the DR anymore! Probably their wives/ partners for non football reasons. Clever journos!

I will give you the benefit of the doubt being a distance away in Tayside! LOL 😀 (Don’t know if you are from Dundee, but had many, many happy days there through my work. Worked at Dryburgh Ind. Est. besides the Kingsway)

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jimlarkinPosted on6:04 pm - Aug 3, 2015


They’ve still ‘got it in’ for Jim Spence

http://www.thecoplandroad.org/2015/08/jim-spence-needed-more-room-to-tell-lies.html?

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Danish PastryPosted on7:01 pm - Aug 3, 2015


SoS Craig Houston on Sportsound. ‘Rangers found guilty of nothing by HMRC’. Unchallenged.

Now attacking Tom English. It’s all outrage and anger. A very bitter man on a mission. If he gets off with this performance the BBC Scotland sports dept. might as well shut down tomorrow.

Richard Wilson thinks issues should be kept between individuels (jings x 3). Aye, ask Jim Spence about that. Upbeat note, Friday’s match not being broadcast. Finally someone has a pair of baws.

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castawayPosted on7:02 pm - Aug 3, 2015


There’s nothing new under the sun. Somebody has put up a link to the PMcG blog 8 Oct 2014. All the stuff I’ve posted above is on there already, more or less. Talk about a day late etc.

It’s the old argument. Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Should journalists be permitted to go where they like, and to say and write what they like.

Everybody connected with journalism thinks yes. Everybody familiar with some results of the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution, where it’s possible now to say virtually anything you wish true or not about any living person regardless of damage caused, thinks otherwise.

I believe there have to be checks and balances. Others think differently. It’s a pity old Solomon (the man noted for wisdom, not builders’ instruments) has passed on.

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jimboPosted on7:18 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Tom English is a journalist I used to like. In the print media he used to come out with some juicy stuff. Now, he is a parody of his former self. Cow Towing to his masters. Tries far too hard to be neutral to the point that like many before him, he brings shame to himself. Keep reporting on golf
and rugby ‘Tam’ leave football alone. For his own self respect at least. His opinions on Saturday were worthless. (In my humble opinion of course not that of the site or the moderators).

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scapaflowPosted on7:46 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Nice to see a white collar criminal going down for 14 years, on the same day that Fred was told he couldn’t be removed from the defendants list. I bet it will be used to concentrate a few minds :mrgreen:

Edit

1st Amendment is a squirrel, we don’t have any such protection in the UK for journalists. Journalists have a public interest defence, which is no where near the same thing. Journalists are bound by the libel laws the same as everyone else. Whenever rights are undermined, its always in a good cause, and will only ever apply to those bad people over there. Then the boundary around those bad people over there grows wider and wider, see abuse of RIPA for example.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:48 pm - Aug 3, 2015


jimbojimbo says:
Member: (55 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Tom English is a journalist I used to like. In the print media he used to come out with some juicy stuff. Now, he is a parody of his former self…
———–

Was that panel loaded or what? I thought Tom stood up well to the ‘ambush’. Richard Wilson was an utter, utter disgrace. Lickspittle.

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StevieBCPosted on7:51 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Good luck to Jim Spence in his new endeavours.

And I wonder if he is considering publishing his own take on the RFC/TRFC saga ?
It would be interesting, IMO, to read about the SMSM behind the scenes – from a journalist’s perspective…and one who ultimately ‘stepped out of line’.

It could also be helpful to fill in some blanks from the Bampots’ perspective wrt the lengthy, glaring disconnect between what we knew, and what was/was not appearing in the newspapers.

It would be fascinating to read about how the SMSM twisted and turned to avoid mentioning the stories being openly discussed on RTC about the imminent demise of Rangers – when the journalists themselves must have known that a massive ‘U-turn’ in their reporting was just ahead.

Looks like the bears are not of a forgiving nature with Jim Spence, so mibbbees he has nothing to lose by ruffling a few more feathers ?

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jimboPosted on8:00 pm - Aug 3, 2015


DP, Tom English has a problem in the detested ‘open all mikes’ format on BBC Scotland. He is shouted down so often, with folk like chico who gets ever so excited about a corner. Tom speaks in a more measured, considered way which does not lend itself to this yankee inspired, trying to be groovy, hipster style of broadcasting. However there are occasions when he gets a chance to speak fluently, and if he wanted to do so, he could wipe the likes of Richard Wilson and Liam whatshisname off their desks. But he doesn’t. That’s my point.

Or it might be like when Charlie Mulgrew was up against McCann on Saturday with McCann’s INTERPRETATION of the rules re. Craig Gordon. Bullshit baffles the brain.

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upthehoopsPosted on8:05 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Sportsound tonight was utterly bizarre in my view. What we had was a Rangers fans spokesman who was allowed to come on and basically control the show. It was very much a case of ‘if you’re not with us then you’re against us’. I think Graham Spiers or ‘Spence’ as he was referred to more than once might have been more forthright in their responses compared to those in the studio.

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jimboPosted on8:31 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Starman, you were swearing at me! 😥

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HomunculusPosted on8:32 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
Blog Writer: (1331 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 7:01 pm
SoS Craig Houston on Sportsound. ‘Rangers found guilty of nothing by HMRC’. Unchallenged.

————————————

Well there’s the c£3m (small tax case that was accepted but never paid). Which HMRC had to go to Court over and get arrestments on the Rangers bank accounts. The Court even sent Sheriff’s Officers to Ibrox re that debt.

There’s the millions in EBTs that the tribunal ruled in HMRC’s favour. Which I believe were accepted.

There’s the c £10m that Rangers didn’t pay (and accepted they hadn’t paid), leading to administration and ultimately liquidation.

So let’s say roughly £14m if memory serves.

Or is it the new Rangers he is talking about, the above was all the old one of course.

At least Craig Houston must be accepting the difference now. There’s nothing else which makes sense of his position.

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StarmanPosted on8:51 pm - Aug 3, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (57 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm
Starman, you were swearing at me ?.

Definitely not jimbo ✌.

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justshateredPosted on9:13 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Homunculus says:
August 3, 2015 at 8:32 pm

RFC owed £2.4M for the wee tax case and with penalties and interest it morphed into £4.2M.
RFC then collected and did not pay National Insurance, VAT, and I think PAYE totalling slightly more than £16M.

The there is the five cases that were lost to HMRC in the FTT; the cost of which I don’t think has been disclosed.

The fact that the SFA were aware that there was going to be a financial collapse at RFC the October before Administration is, in my mind, the real danger for the powers that be. They allowed other clubs to be placed in jeopardy by a reckless financial mad house.
The question I think should be asked is could RFC have seen out the season if they had entered Administration in October/November?
I believe the answer would have been a resounding no.

That leaves the SFA in the dock for going along with a plan to defraud the tax payer as well as spinning out a process until the seasons end to enable them to put their plan into practice.

But to get back to the main point Houston is talking mince!!

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Danish PastryPosted on9:15 pm - Aug 3, 2015


jimbo says:
Member: (57 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 8:00

DP, Tom English has a problem in the detested ‘open all mikes’ format on BBC Scotland…
———–

I quite like Open All Mics 😛 Is Tom E. on it often? I don’t hear it every week.

Richard Wilson, on the other hand, did little to defend his fellow journalists or his employer, imo. He should have been supporting Tom. Along with Graham Spiers, English has come across as a conflicted character on the TRFC story. They both blow hot and cold, but at least they attempt, at times, not to have their intelligence insulted. To be fair though, Tom is not a native Scot and as a foreigner you need to be a little more circumspect in any criticism of your host country, in my experience at least.

Amazed that not one person, including Houston, knew if there had actually been any arrests of TRFC fans at Easter Road. Didn’t stop Houston from decrying the reporting of it by CM though. Listening tonight, I thought for the first time, that there is actually no hope for Ibrox or the people who fréquent it. It’s one crank after another living in denial defending the indefensible. If they went bankrupt tomorrow, I expect it would evoke just one long collective sigh of relief

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HomunculusPosted on9:24 pm - Aug 3, 2015


justshatered says:
Member: (143 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for putting the accurate figures in.

Re the SFA. Given that they gave Rangers the licence to play in European football when the small tax case was confirmed and as such millions in social taxes were unpaid they are capable of pretty much anything as far as I am concerned.

The rules meant nothing to the SFA where Rangers were concerned.

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redlichtiePosted on10:04 pm - Aug 3, 2015


One of the issues that always struck me about the EBT saga was that a loss making company would continue to send millions of pounds to an offshore trustee with no apparent guarantee that said trustee would grant loans to specific persons/players. All apparently out of the good of their hearts towards employees (and an ex-employee too).

In any “normal” company, directors like SDM and DCK would be seeking to reduce spending and, unfortunately, discretionary expenditure like this would be first for the chop

Unless, of course, such expenditure was contractual and key to maintaining on the pitch performance.

Is there even an argument that the directors were reckless or derelict in their duty by maintaining such ongoing payments?

Scottish Football needs more Jim Spences.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on10:30 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
Blog Writer: (1332 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm
Listening tonight, I thought for the first time, that there is actually no hope for Ibrox or the people who fréquent it. It’s one crank after another living in denial defending the indefensible. If they went bankrupt tomorrow, I expect it would evoke just one long collective sigh of relief
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Comment of the year

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StevieBCPosted on10:32 pm - Aug 3, 2015


“Manager Barry Ferguson takes positive after Clyde’s double cup exits” [The ET]
================================================================================

Actually, there might be some method in Bazza’s madness to maintain his focus in his DR column on all things The Rangers… 🙄

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BroadswordcallingdannybhoyPosted on10:56 pm - Aug 3, 2015


If we really had sports journalists would there have been an RTC?
If we really had sports journalsts would Auldheid’s work on Res. 12 be needed?
If we really had sports journalists….. the list is endless.

Sports journalism in this country has become a permanent embarrassment and a level 5 disgrace.

Apologies to IA, but it is in defference to him and others like him, sadly gone, that I intentionally misquoted.

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scapaflowPosted on10:57 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Ok Kremlin Watchers what does this tell us?

“RANGERS International Football Club PLC announces that Douglas Park has decided to step down from the Board and also the Board of The Rangers Football Club Ltd.

Mr Park feels he cannot at this time make a full contribution to the running of the Club and Company because of other commitments.
The Board thanks Mr Park for his valuable contribution which helped ensure Board room change earlier this year.
Mr Park’s place on both Boards will be taken by his son, Graeme.
Mr Park said: “I would like to put on record that although I held the position as Director for only a short period of time it has been an honour and a privilege to serve the Club and I will always be proud of the part I played in bringing this great institution back into the hands of those who have its best interests at heart.
“I am confident that going forward the Club is in good hands and will offer all my support to the Board in pursuing what is best for the Club. Rangers is hugely important to me and my family and I am delighted that Graeme is joining the Board.””

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jimmciPosted on10:57 pm - Aug 3, 2015


Like many others I’m sure, I was staggered listening to Sportsound tonight.
Kenny McIntyre and Richard Wilson were hopeless with their colours firmly tied to the mast.
I was astounded that the BBC gave air time to Craig Houston in the first place. A man who, a long time ago, lost all credibility in my eyes. ( seeking a blazer too hard methinks.) with his rude and arrogant comments.

His rudeness in trying to put down English at first shocked me. The fact that BBC colleagues Wilson and McIntyre seemed more sympathetic to him rather than English was not far from astonishing and showed these two in their true colours.

To suggest the losers in this are the poor St Mirren supporting licence payers on Friday beggared belief. Wee Chick should be, but of course won’t, be feeling awfully conflicted.

Senior management at the BBC would do well to listen to this broadcast again. Having done so, if they believe Wilson and McIntyre behaved as professional journalists, they are a disgrace and not fit for purpose.

Is it any wonder Jim Spence walked? Their comments on the reaction to his situation at the BEEB, was perhaps the most embarrassing of the show, such was all of BBC’s men efforts to try not to talk about what was really said.

Incidentally, two discussion items from Houston went, unbelievably, unchallenged by anyone, including English….
EBTs….we were not guilty!!!!!!
The arrests at Easter Road. Are they fact or fiction? That this was not even discussed.

Amazing in some respects and to think the Rangers fans believe BBC Sport has an agenda against them????? Deluded does it no justice whatsoever.

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John ClarkPosted on11:44 pm - Aug 3, 2015


scapaflow says:
Member: (1372 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm
‘Ok Kremlin Watchers what does this tell us?
“RANGERS International Football Club PLC announces that Douglas Park has decided to step down from the Board and also the Board of The Rangers Football Club Ltd…”
_______
Kremlin watching was relatively easy compared to watching the comings and goings of RIFC/TRFC board members.

Could it be just as ‘trivial’ a matter as Park making Paul Murray’s “no contracts for directors’ other personal businesses” make the whole bunch look utterly self-condemned as no more than chancers?

Have they heard the mocking laughter at their hypocrisy and double-speak, and decided that old Douglas had led them into not so much making liars and hypocrites of themselves as being CAUGHT being liars and hypocrites. And got him to get the hell out, while allowing him to have his boy put on both Boards?

Or perhaps Ashley has berated them for being such arses!

Who knows? Who cares if those Board members savage each other like piranha fish in a feeding frenzy?

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high beeswaxPosted on11:49 pm - Aug 3, 2015


that wee dick wilson only merits the off switch on the radio or the mute on the tel down our way after grovelling around last seasons playoffs highlights to find a motherwell tackle that deliberately split open a trfc players eyelash…. just inside the box too…. that would have changed the 6 oner…. dick the old ach lost 6-1 mum but it was 5 offside goals and a breakaway that did us is much more becoming…..

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Anglian BhoyPosted on12:05 am - Aug 4, 2015


Just listened back to BBC Sportsound there. Listening to Richard Wilson makes me just want to cancel my subscription with the BBC. If only that was possible without a criminal record for my Mrs. Houston made Tom English sound like Bamber Gascoigne.

I note that Graeme has taken over from Mr Park. I would be worried about my inheritance too.

More to follow me thinks.

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scapaflowPosted on12:09 am - Aug 4, 2015


John Clark says:
Member: (1042 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

Park was probably the one guy on the board, that all the fan factions thought well of. Whatever his reasons for going, (and they may be health related), this is news that King & Murray could have done without.

How this develops over next few days will be very interesting

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CastofthousandsPosted on12:38 am - Aug 4, 2015


Danish Pastry says:
Blog Writer: (1332 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 7:48 pm

“Was that panel loaded or what? I thought Tom stood up well to the ‘ambush’. Richard Wilson was an utter, utter disgrace. Lickspittle.”
—————————-
Ooft! Your normally calm demeanour was obviously brought up short by this listening experience. Your disgust encouraged me to hunt down the podcast, the link to which appears below.

I think the point from the Ranger’s fans perspective was that following a magnificent win it was rather ungracious of Chris McLaughlin to highlight the sectarian singing arrests. I can understand this perspective.

I hadn’t gained any particular impression about CM’s reporting style but the militant Rangers tendency have obviously gained the impression that he has an inherent bias. This comes across in the exchange.

I can see the BBC point of view that they want to stand up for their journalist and not be dictated to by clubs as to who should report on what match. This should be the duty managers job, not the clubs. Perfectly logical.

I did get the impression that CM was being singled out for special treatment and perhaps this forced the BBC’s hand in having to act decisively in this matter. Again, logical.

I can see the Ranger’s fans perspective that the BBC have decided to ‘grow a pair’ in an issue affecting their club. This could easily be interpreted as a further sign of bias. However I think the singling out of a particular journalist by fans, however justifiable they might perceive this to be and having their impression subsequently backed up by their club management team has perhaps forced the BBC’s hand. Perhaps CM should have shown a bit more proportionality but arguably so could Rangers.

As I said, I haven’t gained any particular impression concerning CM’s reportage. The whole situation does appear a bit out of control.

I thought Richard Wilson tried to act as peace maker and in the process failed to fully back up his colleague Tom English. I’m not sure English was ambushed. I think TE is capable of looking after himself and did make the points he needed to make.

Anyway, here’s the podcast link. Craig Houston arrives on the scene at 12.40 and the discussion ends at 45.30. Make up your own minds.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02yr1wz

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Big PinkPosted on1:14 am - Aug 4, 2015


Broadswordcallingdannybhoy says:
Member: (24 comments)

August 3, 2015 at 10:56 pm (Edit)

If we really had sports journalists would there have been an RTC?
If we really had sports journalsts would Auldheid’s work on Res. 12 be needed?
If we really had sports journalists….. the list is endless.

Sports journalism in this country has become a permanent embarrassment and a level 5 disgrace.

______________________________________________________

If you substituted the words “sports journalists” with “at least one club committed to fair play over money”, I believe the answer to those rhetorical posers would be the same.

The press have the power to persuade or to choose to expose wrongdoing or not, but the clubs actually have (since the licensing issue unfolded through to the administration, mis-registration and liquidation of RFC), had the power to change things should they have chosen to do so. They did not.

The MSM are craven in this regard, but the clubs are cynical – and to me that is a far more serious issue.

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John ClarkPosted on1:43 am - Aug 4, 2015


Castofthousands says:
Member: (275 comments)
August 4, 2015 at 12:38 am
‘..I thought Richard Wilson tried to act as peace maker and in the process failed to fully back up his colleague Tom English. I’m not sure English was ambushed. I think TE is capable of looking after himself and did make the points he needed to make.’
________
Wilson betrayed what I consider was the kind of hubristic attitude shown by the old dead club under SDM, when he opined that what you do when a journalist is off message is ‘you call him in’.

And by that one phrase he summed up the whole ‘succulent lamb’ brigade’s readiness, individually, to meekly ‘obey’ a ‘calling in’ from the great man, and accept a brotherly word to toe the line….or else.
Tom English, unsupported by an excited and excitable McIntyre ( utterly useless as a ‘chairman’), McCall and Wilson, did a pretty good, gentlemanly and courteously demolition of ranting Houston.
In my opinion.
And thanks for the link, btw- I missed the live version and thought I had missed it for good, being non-tech savvy about whatever it is that lets you hear programmes that you miss!

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TallBoy PoppyPosted on2:03 am - Aug 4, 2015


Wilson’s less than enthusiastic defence of his paymasters at the beeb will have been noted. Another coward not fit to call himself a journalist. There’s a list at the NUJ of nearly forty journalists who have been threatened by people associated with Rangers and the list will only get longer. Time to make a stand.

In other news, I’ve so far managed to get into double figures the number of companies that have had joint brokerage arrangements with The Rangers new advisors Peterhouse and their former brokers Zeus, of Imran Amhad fame.

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John ClarkPosted on2:20 am - Aug 4, 2015


GoosyGoosy says:
Member: (430 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm
‘..Comment of the year’
________
Indeed, DP’s comment ‘.. If they went bankrupt tomorrow, I expect it would evoke just one long collective sigh of relief ‘ sums up the feeling of quite a large swathe of Scottish football.

But, perhaps, the sigh of relief would be the catalyst that frees up the rest of our clubs to sort out their elected/appointed officers who so clearly misled them with predictions of ‘armageddon’ and bullied and harassed them into an unwilling acceptance of a brand new club.

The death of TRFC/RIFC , if such were to come about,would show clearly how a conflicted SFA had endangered all other senior professional clubs by its reckless support for a cheat( as justshatered alludes to,
August 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm)

The really big sigh of relief will come when sporting justice is restored, truth told, records of achievement appropriately adjusted, and we can all begin to glory in an untainted sport, and an untainted, unconflicted,honest, governance of that sport, which has both moral and sporting integrity at its very core.
We simply have to nail the idea that we can ‘move on’ on a basis of untruth and sporting irregularity.

That kind of attitude of accepting cheating is simply not on, as being the very denial of what sport is about.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:05 am - Aug 4, 2015


Castofthousands on August 4, 2015 at 12:38 am
———-

Picture of serenity, me 🙂

I got the Henry Kissinger act from Wilson, but imo, that was not his job. I noticed he was declared the fans’ favourite recently. To me, he came across as a non-BBC employee. But perhaps he did attempt to defend CM? I didn’t hear too much of it, though.

Houston was boorish, discourteous, and dare I say it, a little obsessed. He seems not to have noticed the wall-to-wall positive coverage his club his getting. But worst of all, if I understood Wilson right, he wanted the conflict individualised, in other words, wanted to avoid a conflict between ‘institutions’ — by which, I take it he meant Ibrox and the BBC. Did he mean that CM should be left to sort out his own disagreements/conflicts with any number of fan groups? Throw him to the mob? It took the BBC far too long to back up Jim Spence.

Most normal fans expect no more than fair-minded coverage from pundits and journos but it appears that Houston and his ilk are not satisfied unless the media remains an extension of the club’s PR machine.

In other news, King’s co-investors (or fans, as they are usually called) have ‘snapped up’ shares almost at the same time as Mr Park leaves the board. So mystery solved as to the big transaction.

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upthehoopsPosted on7:11 am - Aug 4, 2015


Re Sportsound last night. One of the most perplexing comments for me was when Craig Houston referred to Tom English as being ‘from the other side of the fence’. Tom English for years in print and on air has gone to great lengths to state that him being Irish does not mean he is automatically a Celtic fan. He has often stated his favourite team as he grew up was Liverpool. Only Craig Houston can fully explain his comment and sadly no-one challenged him to do so. Tom English began to intervene, Craig Houston demanded he be allowed to finish, and Kenny Macintyre backed Craig Houston. I could be wrong but I believe Tom English was tarnished because of his nationality. The BBC still have some way to go in my view.

On a wider note when are some fans reps of other clubs going to get on to BBC to air subjective views which go unchallenged? By my reckoning Craig Houston has been on 4-5 times now. What does he really add other than a publicly paid for platform to air subjective views he does not need to back up, because it still appears the BBC dance around such views rather than face them down with the facts available.

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Danish PastryPosted on7:34 am - Aug 4, 2015


upthehoops says:
Member: (813 comments)
August 4, 2015 at 7:11 am
——-

Good question UtH, what on earth did he mean? And what were Wilson, Kenny Mac and even Stuart McCall thinking? No response. No challenge. It appears you can say what you like on the BBC these days if you wear union jack Y-fronts :irony:

Sad as I am, I took the woof for my usual late-night stroll and gave the SSB podcast a spin. To be honest, it wasn’t bad. Although that might be because Sportsound was so abysmal. Keevins was all positivity about Scottish football. Call of the evening was from an eloquent (though doon in the mooth) Killie fan in the 2nd half of the show.

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neepheidPosted on8:19 am - Aug 4, 2015


http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/13527219.Rangers_First_eye_further_Ibrox_share_deals_after_six_figure_swoop/?ref=mr&lp=1

Chris Jack reporting that Rangers First bought the large parcel of shares that changed hands last week. And if you think that’s a puff piece, he can do so much better, try this one for size-

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/rangers/13527226.Neill_relieved_Rangers_fans_have_reasons_to_be_cheerful_ahead_of_new_Championship_campaign/

Just an observation- is Chris Jack paid by the Evening Times or Level 5 PR? Or is that a distinction without a difference?

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Danish PastryPosted on8:45 am - Aug 4, 2015


neepheidneepheid says:
Member: (710 comments)
August 4, 2015 at 8:19 am
———–

Regarding that second piece, why would a fans group even need to ‘sponsor’ the manager?

It’s hugely admirable if they are paying his wages but if that is the case, whither the war chest?

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AllyjamboPosted on8:53 am - Aug 4, 2015


neepheid says:
Member: (710 comments)
August 4, 2015 at 8:19 am

From that Herald piece:

“The biggest investors this summer have been the fans by going out and buying more than 30,000 season tickets,” he (Ricki Neill of Rangers First) told SportTimes.

Swallowed hook line and sinker.

Not just supporters like the rest of us, but ‘investors’! You have to hand it to Dave King, he could sell snow to Eskimos…as long as they were of the gullible variety!

Makes you wonder why they’ve never been the targets of some snake-oil salesman, or some shyster who makes a living from telling lies, before!

There will be no need for the board to paint the resignation of Douglas Park as a positive with this example of blind faith by their self-styled leaders. They already believe that absolutely everything is a step forward, and all part of a plan that only they are wise enough to see.

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neepheidPosted on9:05 am - Aug 4, 2015


A link to the Clumpany’s latest regarding last night’s Sportsound fiasco-

https://theclumpany.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/sportsound-a-look-ahead/

Note for the Mods- I rarely post links to other blogs, but this seems entirely relevant to a current discussion on here.

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bfbpuzzledPosted on9:09 am - Aug 4, 2015


I guess that I am on the other side of many fences from Craig Houston for which I can only be grateful. I would hope that the net balance of response to his comment is revulsion, he certainly plays to a particular demographic which is increasingly bypassed economically and educationally.

He functions as a lest we forget figure on one side of his fence and a do not let them forget on the other. He is an archetype for a passing age and that passing accelerates the more often he appears.

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ChristyboyPosted on9:18 am - Aug 4, 2015


Can I ask what exactly happened that required a comment from Craig Houston? I mean did they wheel him out for a specific view on something and then let him go off on his own ? Does this mean that the SFM can get a seat at the table when it comes to opinions ? Why not ? I would pay a lot of money to have one of our guys at the table, who is not confined to a party line, to pose a few questions to Mr Houston et al. Know it wont happen – I vaguely remember Chris Graham complaining about the choice of panelists on Radio. If our own media guys wont challenge blatant untruths, who will?

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GoosyGoosyPosted on9:29 am - Aug 4, 2015


scapaflow says:
Member: (1373 comments)
August 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm
Ok Kremlin Watchers what does this tell us?

“RANGERS International Football Club PLC announces that Douglas Park has decided to step down from the Board and also the Board of The Rangers Football Club Ltd.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Sounds to me that Park wanted distance between himself and King and decided to get out before Ashley turned up the pressure
He may have traded the rollover of his interest free loan for a long term bus contract

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jimmciPosted on9:31 am - Aug 4, 2015


Castofthousands says:
August 4, 2015 at 12:38 am

Anyway, here’s the podcast link. Craig Houston arrives on the scene at 12.40 and the discussion ends at 45.30. Make up your own minds.

———–

Thanks for link and timings.

after a thrilling opening weekend in the Premiership, and with Celtic and Aberdeen both in competitive action in Europe later this week, am I the only one astounded that BBC Sportsound can somehow spend 33 minutes, more than half the programme content, talking about a row between themselves and a second tier team.

Said it before but BBC senior management, not in Pacific Quay, should have a listen and take action on McIntyre, Wilson and the show’s producer. If they can’t run a show professionally ship them out.

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