3 May 2013

Banning journalists? It’s time for football clubs to grow up

I am not a football journalist.

But because of the slightly random nature of my job I am familiar with how Nato handles journalists; how the Syrian Arab army does media; how Hezbollah work their PR thang; or the Serb warlords and Tamil Tigers of yesteryear; the MoD and Pentagon of today do so.

And when I’m in the UK I am also increasingly aware of how big football clubs do it. And big football managers. Big football managers who seem to think they are now Very Big Indeed.

But no – I am not a football journalist.

So I look in from the outside with a different perspective on how international organisations of killers (legit and less so) handle their media relations – and how big football in the UK does so.

And I’m increasingly astonished at the casual brutality and slimy sycophancy which characterise one particular aspect, one particularly miserable little scene of British football journalism. It reminds me that I’ve seen this kind of paranoid bullying of a cowed and terrified media elsewhere in the world from people who wear khaki, not tracksuits. But the pathology is similar.

It’s this bizarre thing in British football where reporters or even entire organisations are banned (i.e. censored) for doing their job, in a way which would surely never be tolerated in any other media field in Britain.

This is what the nastier and more corrupt regimes around the world do – pick on individuals and organisations, safe in the knowledge that the rest, the herd, are far too cowed and terrified to do one goddam thing about it.

So after Syria, corrupt West African despots and so on, I see something similar in the way big British football handles its craven media.

I refer to the practice of football clubs simply banning any journalist, paper, broadcaster who dares write something seriously critical about a club.

There are some long-established abusers of press freedom. Cities where this is as accepted a part of life as rain. Celtic and Rangers share a shameful pedigree in this: for years they’ve felt able to ban reporters with impunity and nobody seems to lift a finger in protest.

In the psychotic world that has been Rangers in recent years, I was last year invited to a “press conference” at Ibrox where questions were banned. Yes, really. And nobody thought that odd. Ratko Mladic, the Serb General currently facing a war crimes indictment once did this near Sarajevo I recall – but I digress.

A prominent, respected Glasgow football writer of many years experience is currently banned from Celtic for doing something to upset some thin-skinned pansy or other up the East End.

I don’t know what he did or why. And you know what? I don’t care much either. Because it doesn’t matter. If you don’t like what someone writes as a club, you sue them or you take it. That goes in other walks of public life and it should go in sport too – God knows, they get enough taxpayers’ money in the form of BBC rights.

Time to grow up

This has gone on for far too long, and the Glasgow football media have taken a stand flat on their collective back on this issue as the Parkhead and Ibrox bootboys monster them at will and continue to do so.

Not just them. Oh no. Down in Manchester life is equally dismal. The Great Sulker himself, Alex Ferguson, notoriously banned the BBC for pricking his oh-so-delicate skin.

And guess what? Yet again nobody did a thing about it – the media (BBC included) just trotted on with their creepy Yes Siralex, No Siralex, Three Bags Full Siralex thing as if nothing had happened and for years you got Mr Notsiralex interviewed on MOTD and everybody pretended this was totally acceptable -normal – in modern Britain.

So now we have the club I’ve supported all my life, Newcastle United FC, banning the Telegraph’s man in stottie-land Luke Edwards.

As he told a somewhat nonplussed Peter Allen on BBC Radio 5 last night, he’d been called on a day off by a source inside the club.

He’d then backed his source’s story up and he’d the shorthand note to prove it all and wrote his piece for the paper. And what was the banworthy bombshell? Nothing more, he says, than a well-sourced statement of the bleedin’ obvious: that all is not well in Toonland and the club is on the verge of a damaging internal split.

On the verge of, note, not even actually happening.

Once again a ban. Once again no noticeable protest from his colleagues. Sure, they’ll no doubt sling Luckless Luke the odd quote as he sits disconsolate in the Bigg Market, sundered from the hallowed words of Mr Pardew.

What did NUFC think people were going to write after Liverpool’s six nothing dismantling of the Gallic Geordies at Not Fortress St James’s? Plucky Display By Unlucky Mags?

What’s more dispiriting even than that game is that the bovine north-east press pack (just like Manchester and Glasgow) simply appears to accept this state of affairs.

Where’s the boycott of Old Trafford, St James’s Park, Ibrox and Celtic Park? Where’s the solidarity? Where’s the sense that a free and fair media matters a hell of a lot more than a bunch of football managers who think they can come over all Stasi because they’re so damned precious they can’t take any stick?

It’s pathetic. It’s inexcusable. It’s another reflection of the tawdry morality in modern British football. And the media from Sky Sports (with their oh-so-cosy first question in the press conference) and the BBC to local papers should call time on this. Where is the Football Writers’ Association? Next time this happens wouldn’t it be a fine thing if there was nobody at the manager’s press conference and no cameras or radio at their match?

Banning reporters should become a breach of contract and regulation which it is the clear duty of the FA to impose upon the game which looks more powerless and weak every time this happens.

Papers terrified of circulation implosion are not going to stand up and be counted. The BBC has never taken a stand on this. Sky? Dream on. Over to the FA blazers then, to act I’m afraid and if they do it in London they’ll do it in Glasgow the next day.

It’s time clubs who ban journalists were forced to grow up a wee bit  – and well past time that football journalism and the FA stood up for the game and not the money and put a stop to this nonsense.

Just do it.

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42 reader comments

  1. David Mackenzie says:

    Absolutely spot on.Hope this stirs up a change.

  2. James Mitchell says:

    I agree, but journalism in Scotland has to raise it’s standards and move on from it’s agenda at times. It should be truthfully reporting or speculating based on fact, too often in Scotland so called journalists have been trying to create situations rather than reporting on them and they have shown themselves to be abysmal at investigation apart from very very few

  3. TheWrong StIgnatius says:

    Of course one of the nasty regimens notorious for banning journalists for asking awkward questions or publishing pieces which embarass the administration is based in the White House. Football clubs, however, should hold themselves to higher standard than international war criminals.

  4. Paul N says:

    As a Celtic fan I would love the press to boycott Celtic park, we don’t need them , most Celtic fans boycott the Sun and Daily Record ( biggest publications up here) due to their constant attacks and derogatory attitude to our club.
    Unlike a certain other group of fans , we don’t take what our custodians say as gospel either and are probably the biggest critics of those in charge.
    We get our news from the Internet, respected Celtic blogs and great forums, usually days and in some cases months before the Mainstream media get a sniff. In fact look at any of the tabloids in Scotland and most days they will have lifted a story from the forums or the bloggers.
    Guys like Keevins , who is banned from Celtic park, constantly denigrate our club both in print and on local Radio, so hell mend him. He should have been banned decades ago.
    Maybe Alex , you should research his articles and go back 20 years and tell me if this numpty has had one positive thing to say about Celtic.
    He wasn’t banned on a one off.

  5. Philip Edwards says:


    Loved the “Siralex” crack.

    On a (relatively) more serious note….do you think it matters more than a row of beans if a football club bans footie journalists? Football is a game and should be treated as such – it isn’t, or shouldn’t be a mere excuse for such journalists to kid themselves they are anything more than cheer or jeer leaders. You only have to read your average match “report” or column to see how self-important and pompous too many of them can be.

    You won’t find many fans shed a single tear over a club ban on the occasional journalist. They’re far too interested in how their team performs.

    Of course a genuine investigative journalist won’t be deflected from exposing financial or cheating corruption. But that’s a world away from the cheap gossip, artificial hysteria and hype that disfigures ALL professional sport.

    In other words, a sense of perspective is in order.

  6. Aidan says:

    As far as Celtic is concerned, with two honourable exceptions (Jim Spence of the BBC and Alison Robbie of Radio Cyde) the mainstream Scottish media are not journalists, they are Rangers supporters with laptops. The Loyal Laptop, poodles to a man with regard to everything Rangers-oriented…..

    I would ban the lot of them from Celtic Park, Alex. Walk a mile in our shoes mate

  7. Andy Gale says:

    I wholly disagree with your view on this. I think you should be banned from writing about anything football related.

  8. damian says:

    not sure what you mean by “pansy”?

  9. Barry Sullivan says:

    I think your wrong on this Tomo.

    If we take your stance the Hacks can write any rubbish they like ……. with impunity. There is no REAL right of reply for the Clubs/Individual.

    Suing is not practical for pieces which are opinion pieces.

  10. Grant Wragg says:

    Well said. If mainstream media stopped talking about a major club due to a journalist ban, the pressure from fans on club and the (S)FA would soon force change.

  11. Alan McKenna says:

    Thank you Mr Thomson for a well-overdue rant. Couldn’t agree more

  12. glasgowdave says:

    I have to agree with you Alex, even though some of the banned, peddle their own agendas.
    We should let them speak,and if they print untruths, then challenge them in the courts.

  13. Peter Campbell says:

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s something not right with the banning of journalists from any football club’s press conferences or media related events, including with my own favoured club, Celtic. Yes, it’s definitely censorship.

    However Alex, you yourself criticised Hugh Keevans live on radio, so you must have a degree of empathy with how your average fan feels about him and the rubbish he seems to continually spout. Artur Jorge anyone?

    I agree 100% that society needs a free and fair media but I would also add responsible to that list too. How can we ever trust a media, in general, to not hack the phones of murder victims in the future, in this post Gleeson world?

    1. Peter Campbell says:

      Oh dear looks like my predictive text changed Leveson to Gleeson!

  14. Jim says:

    Indeed you are quite right. As a supporter of one of the clubs mentioned I think it does a disservice to the fans and the institution of the club to ban reporters and questions from press events.
    Although I find it stretch to say the SFA would follow the FA’s lead in punishing this kind of behaviour- they can’t even agree on how to organise their leagues in the next season or two.

  15. Murray Kerr says:

    perhaps the problem is that you are not dealing with athletes, you are dealing with ego and/or accountants

    Lance Armstrong was pretty good at stonewalling journos, before his fall

  16. Michael McAlister says:

    Alex….. banning ‘anything everything’ at a whim is, to use a footie phrase ‘part and parcel’ of the game. the days when michael parkinson sat with a guest and just threw ‘all sorts’ of questions in his ‘flirty bertie bassett style’ have long gone….. it’s all manufactured and processed and evaluated and focus-grouped…… AND….. it’s tedious…
    i am with you…. football clubs that ban journos need to grow up and lose that sensitive side that they cling to in times of need.

    it will take ALL media to stand firm and say to celtic and rangers et al…. “next time you want to promote something via us….. we will not be there”…

    to those toons who are so ‘tuff’ as to be bare chested in minus 3 degrees, watching overpaid prima-donnas run around, ask yourself WHY sections of your club management are so thin skinned and precious….
    ooops that’s me banned….

  17. Bruce says:

    Alex, you’re only half right on this one and, after your recent dealings with the MSM, you should know this. Of course, if a journalist is doing his/her job, asking awkward questions and digging up some difficult truths then of course they shouldn’t be banned. But the reason why your input has been so necessary is that the sports media in Scotland rarely does that. That’s why the work of outsiders like you and Mark Daly has been so appreciated and why the sports media up here squirms at the embarrassment you’ve both heaped on them. Keevins and his paper have a long history of antagonistic coverage towards Celtic often spilling into outright lies. In this case Keevins and his paper didn’t use sound journalistic technique to shame Celtic, they simply printed a lie, claiming that Celtic had snubbed a major figure in the club’s history when they didn’t do so. He has blustered ever since, trying to paint himself as a martyr to journalistic integrity. But its nonsense. I don’t like banning journalists either, but I have sympathy this time.

  18. Michael McAlister says:

    on a funny note…… i had to read and re-read the ‘siralex’ a few times before i realised it was Sir Alex and not sir-a-lex.
    i kept saying to myself what the hell is sir-a-lex…… but i got there in the end.

    Let journos write whatever they want to write… if they write garbage pieces the readers are intelligent enough to move on to someone else….. they don’t need prompting from the ‘wings’ or the ‘touchline’ or………..

  19. John Greer says:

    Seen this blog on CQN thought it might interest/ be a challenge for you as Scottish jurnos don’t seem to interested when itsHere is the reason there will be no Sevco licence withdrawal….it would be global news.

    That move would be unprecedented and bring journalistic attention from all around the world. If you were in the SFA would you want to answer any of the following questions from journo’s who have not sold their souls like ours have?

    1) What was in the 5 way agreement?
    2) Why did you bypass your own rules to award Rangers a licence in the first place?
    3) Who was the architect of the plans to bypass sporting meritocracy and place Sevco higher in the league structure, once the decision was made to bypass your rules and award a licence?
    4) What information were you given on Charles Green and his consortium?
    5) What checks did you carry out on Charles Green and his consortium?
    6) Why were the FIFA laws on recourse to a public court for footballing matters not applied to Sevco?
    7) Why is your heavily conflicted chairman, former RFC company secretary, still in post?

    Those are the questions a real journalist would ask after only a few minutes of reviewing the Rangers story.

    There is no way a beacon for real journalists will be put up.

  20. thomas cochrane says:

    Perhaps you have a point,I think sometimes reporters get too personal, you are always going to cry press freedom.and hide behind the law(sue me).Even the radio guys say to difficult questions Oh ! we cant answer that…..hiding ( it seems )behind Libel /slander laws.Is it illegal to put out a disclaimer before broadcast ,or is it a vehicle to dodge tricky situations .No matter how you put it ,the Media want their cake and the rest can ….Just sue…Warlords/Football guys ….I do grasp the principle ,but the world,s changing all the time.A free press I,m all for that ,but the press also must be more responsible …….Look at the totally bias press we have in Glasgow,in Bonnie Bigotland……Reasonable HHmmm Radio ! the same..A level playing field would be very refreshing for starters……..You may perhaps have a word in the Union,s shell like……Thank you.

  21. Drew Hillier says:

    As a financial journalist of many years, one of the consistently sniffy organisations with which I’ve had problems in regard to press conference ‘vetting’ is by far and away the Bank of England. The Governor’s regular pressers are often so heavy-handedly overseen by the Old Lady’s superciliously liveried majordomos – done up as they are in some sort of preposterous 19th century coach driver-cum-posh hotel doorman’s outfit – that the usual protocols of the press being able to report on significant democratic issues that pertain the UK’s economy can be seriously impaired.

  22. mick c says:

    I have admired your journalism for a long time Alex and particularly enjoyed your football contributions for the last while. I think in this case you are guilty of wanting your journalistic cake and eating it. It’s not that long ago you slaughtered the Glasgow journalists that you now seek to defend. I am a Celtic fan and back the club’s decision to ban the Record journo. We have seen some despicable treatment of Neil Lennon by hacks, in some cases trivialising death threats. The journo In question who was banned by the club is a known fan of the club but he crossed the line with a disgusting inference about the club in its treatment of Sean Fallon. Shameful tabloid drivel. Until the press can be properly and independently regulated and made fully accountable for their words then I fully endorse their right to suspend those who fall way below the standards expected. You are wrong.

  23. Macca says:

    Paul N is your typical delusional fan. Not everyone has access to Internet and newspapers still sell. Clubs like Celtic and Rangers need the media – how else do you explain the constant press calls where they want to advertise something? If Paul N doesn’t read the papers then how does he know where the stories come from? He hasn’t a clue and is generalising. Media will never be banned Paul so stop peddling your propaganda! Just another paranoid know it all fan.

    1. Paul N says:

      Funnily enough as a Celtic fan I have been labelled paranoid on many occassions, Macca.
      Turns out I was right to be Paranoid.
      As for “knowing where stories come from”.
      These Scottish tabloid hacks get referenced plenty on the forums and blogs, for their hatchet jobs on my club, so have plenty of access to their articles.
      I am all for a free and fair press, and am happy to read and accept criticism of any aspect of Celtic , as long as its accurate and justified.
      Accurate and justified is an alien concept to almost every Scottish hack when reporting on Celtic.
      Petty , spiteful, fabrication and bias are more apt descriptions.

  24. loadofmalarkey says:

    “I don’t know what he did or why. And you know what? I don’t care much either. Because it doesn’t matter.”

    Really, it doesnt matter? You have no idea why he was banned but because he is a journalist it should not be allowed. Again, really? Do you not see a problem here Alex?

    Why should football clubs, managers etc not be allowed to determine with whom they answer questions from. You cry censorship? Again, really? They are not censoring the reporters that they refuse to speak too. The reporter can still write about the club/manager, they are just not getting the information first hand, and the subject will have no way to suppress or remove any unacceptable part.

    Reporters think they have a divine right to be able to invade the lives of any person or business and demand answers to their question. Why? If the subject is willing to talk, fine, no problem, but if they are not can you really cry censorship, especially if it is just one person/media outlet etc. I think not!

    Alex, why would you attend a press conference that didn’t allow questions? Surely that is not a press conference its a PR release.

    1. Zootopian says:

      You seem to have missed the point. If the reporter wrote something inaccurate or libellous, the club has legal recourse, such as suing.

      If it is something they don’t like just because they don’t deem it very nice, then they should just take it on the chin and stop being so precious. Large companies/organisations attract interest, and that interest leads to scrutiny.

      The fact the club has not done the former suggests it is the latter. That’s why it doesn’t matter what the reporter wrote – it’s not serious enough for the club to deal with it properly, ergo it’s not serious.

      Seeing as the clubs are supposedly products of their communities, the press has every right to ask questions of them – unlike normal members of the public. The press just so happens to have a bit of clout behind them and the ability to highlight bad decisions, mistakes or anything worse that is going on.

      By shutting them out (or by condoning that decision) you leave the club at the mercy and whim of faceless individuals. Portsmouth fans long bemoaned the local paper for not being supportive enough of the club when things were going well. When it all began to unravel, the paper was moaned at for not digging deeper and uncovering the scale of the problems that had been building.

      As football fans, we can’t have our cake and eat it, but until supporters as a whole manage to grow up and view the clubs as what they are – companies – and not have to take a transfer rumour as a personal slight or evidence of a media-wide conspiracy against them (how many fans believe Mark Lawrenson hates their club, just because of his weekly predictions, for example), they’ll get what they deserve from the clubs – contempt.

      My club banned the local paper. Has been going on for about three years. It’s pathetic as the club can’t give an actual reason for it. All the while, rumours and whispers circulate about what is actually going on behind the scenes, as the paper can’t get near anyone to actually find out – staff are banned from talking to the reporters. The papers website is even blocked inside the stadium! I’d prefer to have the paper fighting for the interests if fans, but as so many want to believe the club is infallible you get childish mudslinging, and the paper is paralysed by lack of access and falling circulation. The BBC and Sky provide minimal coverage and no one else cares. I fear for what the future holds, but I also think football fans get what we deserve.


  25. Twm says:

    Cardiff City recently ran a poll on its website “What is your preferred source of Cardiff City news?”. The only three options were a) club website b) club online video player c) matchday programme.
    Former manager Dave Jones also banned at least one South Wales Echo reporter from attending his press conferences.

    Paul N’s point about fans not liking mainstream media outlets and believing they have an agenda against their club is repeated by fans of many clubs who often cite fan run blogs, forums etc as more reliable, trustworthy news sources – which are often first with the news as well. I suspect some of their successes in breaking club news can be attributed to reporting gossip, which fortunately for the publisher, turns out to be true.

  26. Jenn says:

    Journalists need to grow up a wee bit too. They nitpick every little thing and blow it out of proportion. Start reporting things correctly and maybe you guys won’t be getting banned.

  27. Bill Fraser says:

    The day clubs wake up to the reality of the freedom of the press will also be the day they will wake up to the idiocy of paying mental deficients millions of pounds to kick an inflated pig’s bladder around a field. It’s, unfortunately, never going to happen. Still, the idea is nice.

  28. Kev says:

    Would you of disagreed had Celtic banned the ‘Succullent Lamb’ reporters during Sir David Murray’s tenure at Ibrox? You by reportage agreed that there was a culture of reportage favourable to Rangers FC 1872 before their eventual demise. Some of that particular fawning reportage contributed to the denial of financial trouble down Ibrox way. Celtic fans grouped together and removed the board. Fans of Rangers FC 1872 stood back while their ‘Club’ crashed and burned.

  29. Stevie Maley says:

    Sorry Alex,
    As much as I admire your reporting, given the phone hacking scandal of murder victims the press need to be shown that the crap that some write has to be shown up as mince. Hence the rotten reporting in Scotland for the last 20 years.

  30. stan wages says:

    As a football fan I think it matters little that clubs ban certain journalists or organisations from time to time. Sky sports news etc peddle negative sports coverage on a daily basis and it would seem that the majority of media outleta are playing catch up in the tawdry gossip stakes.

    Football fans can get their hands on any amount of information these days and it’s up to the news organisations and journalists to up their game and give interesting copy, not lazy cliched drivel like most football reporting has become.

  31. Daniel Baguley says:

    Along with your commentary on Syria and the Boston bombings, you really are putting out some refreshingly good stuff. Please keep this up.

  32. Coyler says:

    In the case of Celtic, the reporter told a lie and his paper refused to retract or apologise. Neither would they publish the statements from the club or the family confirming it was a lie. They did not ban him from the stadium, merely withdrew his free entry to the pressbox – he could still pay in – fat chance!!

    What would you have them do?

  33. mancman says:

    This is definitely a two way street. If journalists didn’t dream up so many fairy stories to fill column inches I would have more sympathy with them but day in day out they fly kites in the hope that occasionally just one of their ‘exclusives’ comes off and they can then crow how great they are.

  34. Derek Kelly says:

    “Next time this happens wouldn’t it be a fine thing if there was nobody at the manager’s press conference and no cameras or radio at their match?” … and wouldn’t it be an equally fine thing if fans, instead of wearing silly scarves or instead of getting their children to use computers to make signs saying ‘Rafa Out’ – wouldn’t it be a fine thing if fans simply didn’t turn up when they was a genuine grievance in their eyes? Deny the club your money and your presence .. let the Sky advertisers see rows of empty seats during the broadcast of a Super Sunday match and watch them take their business elsewhere .. watch the Sky schedulers hastily re-organise the choice of matches to show .. and, just after the oinking sound of a pig fly-past, watch the clubs listen to their fans.

  35. richard says:

    It is widely accepted within the Scottish media and by supporters that Hugh is a Celtic fan through and through, so, it was surprising to see HIM banned. However, not surprising to see the Celtic CEO banning another journalist. This was no shock at all to any fan in Scotland given Celtic’s influence over the media, SPL & SFA.

    Celtic exert their influence on the media up here through heavy sponsorship and commercial tie ups with a number of outlets, notably the Daily Record and Radio Clyde.

    The BBC even have had to apologise on a number of occasions to rivals Rangers for what was viewed as biased reporting. THE BBC Scotland HQ is jokingly called “The Pacific Quay Celtic Supporters Club” in Scotland and was a main voice in shaping public opinion RFC were guilty of tax evasion before the courts even heard evidence. RFC were later found innocent of these malicious allegations.

    It is also no surprise that this comment section would be overrun with CFC fans, as the blog author alienated the majority of Scottish Football fans by embarking on a campaign to smear Rangers and it’s fans over the last 12 or so months. Alex’s campaign does seem to have stopped rather abruptly since a particular C4 executive handed over his responsibly for sports output recently.

    1. Bruce says:

      ‘This was no shock at all to any fan in Scotland given Celtic’s influence over the media, SPL & SFA.’

      If Celtic had the kind of influence to infer then the LNS verdict would have awarded Celtic the titles where Rangers broke the rules, it would have got its way over league reconstruction, The Rangers would not have gotten to start life in Div 3 and Keevins would have been quietly shunted aside by the record without the need to withdraw his privileged access. Do you actually think about what you’re writing or just mindlessly regurgitate garbage from FF?

      ‘THE BBC Scotland HQ is jokingly called “The Pacific Quay Celtic Supporters Club” in Scotland’ Errr, no they’re not. When you’re in the Louden, maybe, but nowhere else. I’ve worked for BBC Scotland, so take it from me, you’re talking nonsense.

      ‘as the blog author alienated the majority of Scottish Football fans by embarking on a campaign to smear Rangers and it’s fans over the last 12 or so months’ Possibly the highest pish to word ratio I’ve read in a long time. The majority of Scottish football fans are not the Rangers supporters, very far from it. And AT has been very complimentary, naively complimentary in my view, about the the Rangers support. Perhaps you could produce one single example of him smearing them?

  36. Andy says:


    I have read some garbage written over the years by Rangers fans but your above comments stand so far out there on their own for their complete detachment from truth and reality that they truly beggar belief. These claims of ‘widely accepted in Scotland’ and ‘alienated the majority of Scottish football fans’ are complete fantasy and you know it. Who exactly are you trying to kid with this nonsense.

    The truth is the majority of Scottish football fans believe your club systematically broke the rules for over a decade and that their friends within the SFA and the Scottish press/media not only tried to bury it, but actively used their positions to influence the outcome of the investigations into these infringements and limit any punishments due.

    The SFA, led by none other than former Rangers Secretary Campbell Ogilvie, even broke their own rules creating an escape route to Division 3 for your new club for God’s sake! And that was after they tried to bully Division 1 clubs into accepting you. The only club that has undue influence over football governing bodies or the press is whichever one that happens to be operating out of Ibrox stadium.

    For a Rangers fan of all people to have the brass neck to accuse any club of having undue influence over press and media is such an astounding level of hypocrisy that I’m sure the majority of Scottish football fans who read your comments thought for a minute they were living in some sort of alternate reality.

    I’m sure the irony of your comments will not be lost on ANYONE outside the Rangers support.

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