24 Mar 2012

When succulent lamb is on the menu – serious questions are off

Right – let me make two things absolutely clear at the outset.

First, I am writing this imagining that one or two people outside Glasgow use the internet, so I might make some observations familiar to Clydeside surfers.

Second, this arises from my continuing investigation into Rangers which is still in early stages. That is to say, I am not investigating Celtic. If I were, rest assured RFC Bears – they’d get just the same treatment.

I’d expected the paranoia, insults, spin etc – hey – this is “fitba” after all and I welcome it good, bad and ugly, from fans within and without Glasgow. Indeed I’ve gone out and asked for it.

What I didn’t expect were the insults (and in at least one case a direct physical threat) not from fans but from Scottish journalists.

Sarajevo, Mogadishu, Kabul, Islamabad, Tripoli, Baghdad…I could bore you with more – in none of these places have I ever got this interesting reaction from local journalists.

Only in Glasgow.

So something’s up. Something’s different.

Something about asking questions about RFC clearly angers some in the Glasgow media in a way I’ve never seen in 25 years of global reporting.

Equally, a number of fine Glasgow journalists have been incredibly helpful, encouraging and agree there has been something deeply wrong for far too long in the culture of reporting RFC.

They know who they are, male and female, working in papers, radio and broadcasting and every single one has encouraged me to dig around in an area many cannot, will not or are prevented from, exploring.

I refer of course to “succulent lamb”. Graham Spiers, seasoned football writer in Glasgow was there the day it happened.

He and other reporters dined with Sir David Murray – then RFC owner, in the Channel Islands. Murray – as ever – was talking big on the Rangers dream-theme, laying out plans for the club that seemed to go well beyond the mere limit of the sky.

There duly appeared copy praising the “succulent lamb” that was eaten – the “fine red” that was drunk.

The food and drink were taken – so was this man’s dream of Rangers – all without much question in some quarters.

I make and imply no criticism at all of the reporters present – what intrigues as an outsider is how many people years later around Glasgow happily talk about “succulent lamb” journalism.

Let Graham explain – he was actually there, after all: “Succulent lamb journalism means a culture – and I hold my hand up here too – a culture of sycophantic, unquestioning, puff journalism that went on around Rangers generally and Sir David Murray particularly.”

Of course you’ll see it to some degree across sport, across football. But it was, many Glasgow journalists say, more damaging here.

“Look,” says Graham Spiers, “you are making a pact with the devil if you like. You get thrown the best scraps. You get something for the back page or whatever. But there’s a tacit deal. You don’t dig too deep. You don’t cause any trouble.”

So Big Dave’s dream was shouted across Glasgow. Fans loved it. It shifted papers. Everyone (in blue) wanted in, needed to believe.

So it went on – year after year. On one side the directors at Scotland’s football “governing” bodies didn’t ask much. On the other, large sections of Glasgow football journalism declined to delve.

How else to explain Ibrox’s boom to spectacular bust?

How else to deal with the fact that when Craig Whyte took over it was stories of a “billionaire” with “off the scale riches” that were pumped out?

Ten minutes on Google or in Companies House could’ve ended that. But no. It was dreamland the fans wanted, dreamland much of the media bought into and a club already financially crippled was about to be further injured.

Legions of fans sold out again, as it would turn out.

Succulent lamb culture has permeated to a degree that, as one prominent Glasgow tabloid journalist put it: “The press -a really critical check and balance in the normal way of things, had been more or less destroyed in Glasgow.”

So are things any better today? Is succulent lamb off the menu – replaced with humble pie?

I leave it to others to judge if that succulent lamb cozy Glasgow football culture has really gone away.

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255 reader comments

  1. Shooglenifty says:

    Journalism at it’s finest.

    1. Simon says:

      G.Spiers in The Times, 1 November 2009:

      “Come into the Celtic boardroom with me, as viewed last Wednesday lunchtime. The large oval table is set decorously for around 15 people and over in the corner a sumptuous buffet awaits. The great, the good, and the rank rotten of the Scottish sports media are here by invitation to break bread and share conversation with John Reid, the Celtic chairman, and Peter Lawwell, the club’s chief executive. And I kid you not — on the menu is succulent lamb.”

    2. Simon says:

      Hardly a ground-breaking blog !

      1. Who were you threatened by Alex ?
      Because if you don´t give details then some may believe you imagined it.
      There was a women character on an old Scottish programme “Chewing the Fat” who had an extremely good sense of smell !!

      2. Press go easy on XX for privilaged access.
      Wow, that´s amazing !

      3. Rangers and Celtic always have put effective pressure on the media. The difference being Celtic did it for the benefit of Celtic, whilst SDM and CW whilst in charge of Rangers did it for the benefit of SDM and CW and against the wider interests of Rangers FC.

      4. Spiers, previously guilty of SLamb and currently unemployed,..goes in the direction of attention and what he might perceive to be the future.
      Surprised ?

    3. Seanthesheep says:

      Simon or may i call you “Chick”.

      I hope the lamb was worth it!

      Article sounds bang on the money to me.

    4. James McSween says:


      The biggesr scandal at the moment is the fact that the SPL are not acting on the BBT payments to Rangers players of circa £100M over 10 years. These payments are discosed in RFC Accounts. They were not however disclosed in the Players registered contracts with the SFA. The SPL have instructed Solicitors to look into this but this is a delaying tactic as it is an open & shut case. The succulent lamb brigade are trying following a SDM briefing to confuse this issue with the tax case. Win or lose the Tax case Rangers have made payments to their players outside of their registered contracts. SDM has admitted this saying they were discretionary – so what it is de fact breach of the rules. There is no need for an investigation the evidence is in the public domain and on record in Companies House. Neil Doncaster is delaying on this and trying to buy time.

      It is not appropriate for the Administrators to try to influence this as prospective buyers should be made aware of the Guilt and Sanctions to be taken sooner rather than later – this is in the interests of all of the SPL and in particular Rangers so that the forward roadmap is clearer. Fiasc at SPL should be the headline. Interview Doncaster – put him on the spot

  2. Sandy, Paisley says:

    Well said Alex. It’s so bad up here that last year on BBC Radio Scotland, yes, that would be the national licence-payer funded broadcaster, “who is Chick Young “ and Jim Traynor, writer of the infamous “succulent lamb” article, had an argument live on air, with each accusing the other of being David Murray’s biggest cheerleader over the past decade. Now all of the Scottish media are falling over themselves to tell us that “Scottish football needs Rangers.” I’d suggest the UK state needs companies and individuals to pay their taxes more. And no, I’m not a Celtic fan.

    1. Willow says:

      Great point, Sandy, about the supposedly impartial ‘national licence-payer funded broadcaster’. It’s a real bugbear of mine how pro-Rangers they are.

      As for the spat, Young accused Traynor of being “Rangers’ puppet”, the reply to which was “Thats a direct quote from Rangers 20 year cheerleader”. Interestingly neither denied the other’s accusation.

      1. Big Al says:

        Willow, that comment does you no credit, and spectularly overlooks BBC Scotland’s documentary exposing Whyte’s takeover and Murray’s ‘blind eye’ to Whyte’s track record.

        Sure, Traynor and Young are out their depth but the BBC isn’t.

  3. I pay my tax says:
  4. iki says:

    It is good to hear you airing this betrayal of journalistic standards.
    I am surprised that you managed not to mention Jim Traynor and Keith Jackson of Daily Record.

  5. Janice Thompson says:

    You are doing an amazing job Alex, and I thank you for that. For too long we have been accused of being paranoid. Please watch your back though, these people are not averse to physically harming you and your family. Please check all your mail before opening it. The last thing I want to do is put you off, but I do fear for your safety.

  6. CKV says:

    Refreshing to read an “outsider” s view. Alex you have added credibility to years of complaints that have been smugly dismissed as paranoia by the same Hacks you mention in your piece.

    As a Celtic fan, all we want is fair press – not preferential treatment to Rangers, ourselves or anyone else.

    Well done.. Hopefully it’ll make some inroad to breaking up the Lamb cartel and lead to a healthier environment for all.

    1. Andrew says:

      For Celtic to claim that they are given a more difficult ride in the press than Rangers is laughable.
      The level of sycophancy towards both is ridiculous.
      Succulent lamb is served on both blue and green plates.

      1. Ethel Cardew says:

        how many reporters took note of the bile and bogotted chanting this past week or the previous 3 weeks that were heard clearly over the TV all over the world? NONE!!! Songs of hate and killing which have been deemed illegal by lawmakers and how many were arrested for it? well no one knows as SC Police only reported 17 arrests in and around Ibrox. How many papers /radio pundits were aghast that they heard Celtic fans chant a song that is not illegal by any stretch of the imagination. it was a 3 day debate on radio call ins. Now sorry but being upto ones knees in Fenian Blood or the famine song are heard by every viewer round the world. Why have the hacks not reported on it nor commented on the lack of progress made by the ibrox club in stamping out the culture of sectarianism and bigotry that permeates Rangers?

        yeah thats right? Sports editors of 2 of the papers are in fact admitted Rangers fans and regular consumers of the succulent lamb.

  7. scarlet says:

    Probably your best blog yet, Alex. No doubt it will upset the people who like to view the world through the succulent lamb coloured spectacles of the mainstream Scottish media. It doesn’t surprise me you were physically threatened. No-one is supposed to question the integrity or so-called freedom of the press in this little bigoted country of mine. If you take on Rangers you are taking on the establishment, and they will lash out like a cornered wild animal. Best of luck with your future investigations. I’m sure you’ve realised that the surface has barely been scratched so far.

    1. Fortune says:

      Well said. You also hit the nail on the head regarding the scratching of the surface. An explosion of worms that involves the whole of the Scottish establishment. Whoops, more paranoia.

  8. eoj says:

    This is fantastic journalism on a scale as Alex points out unheard of in our “Fair City”. I’m a Celtic man and obviously this interests me on many levels as it should our biggest rivals past accusations seem to be based on truth rather than fiction. All we ask for is impartial journalism in regards to our nations favourite sport hopefully this signals the beginning of this.

  9. Peter says:

    I have to say Alex, your assessment here is absolutely spot on.

  10. the_Torch says:

    Very good summing up of the situation over many years in Scottish football. Most people in Scotland knew it was going on – Celtic fans were mainly complaining about it – and Rangers fans were mainly using the old “you’re paranoid” tactic to either not face up to it, or deflect it. For the journalists part – the way some of them went after Whyte (and are now claiming to be the heroes of all that is right and good) are and were clearly acting out of sheer annoyance because Whyte treated them with the same contempt that they in turn have treated the fans for decades. They didn’t like being lied to, and THAT is the reason they are now hellbent on destroying Craig Whyte.
    They also see the benefit in doing this. Discredit Craig Whyte – and benefit Rangers. The way some journalists were triumphantly exclaiming that Rangers could possibly shed the Ticketus deal showed that they have lost their way. Nobody seemed to stop for a moment and realise how morally wrong that would be. They have forgotten that Whyte , rightly or wrongly , paid off the 18 million bank debt with the money he got from Ticketus. He did that acting for Rangers, and no amount of legal loopholes will ever change that. I am by no means a Craig Whyte apologist. But journalists and all Rangers fans would do well to accept that once he had been accepted to take over Rangers , he became Rangers problem. You can’t just say “he is a bad man, so therefor he is nothing to do with us”. That view taken by journalists is thoroughly out of touch and demonstrates that this “fight” to have fair and honest investigative mainstream journalism in Scottish football is not won yet. In saying that , there are some very good journalists out there, but it still feels like a machine against fairness at the minute. The more people that dig into this self preservation (we feed you nonsense,you sell papers- everyone wins, except the fans) , the more chance we have got of eradicating it for good.

  11. jinky67 says:

    I think I like this guy. I would invite him to my daughters wedding if she wernt already married.


  12. ParmaHamster says:


    The fact that a Scottish football churnalist (your research should explain how that term has came about) has seen fit to threaten you can be taken as a sign that the days of sycophantic reporting of all things Rangers as being gospel are doomed.

    If you really want to dig into how they’ve operated in the last few years, try investigating the role of PR companies in Scotland and in particular, MediaHouse – run by former Sun editor Jack Irvine – in how the Scottish hacks have gone about their business. Then try and discover when a sports journalist in this country actually last went looking for a story.

    1. joe strummer says:

      That would be the fanatical pro-Rangers Scottish Sun tabloid that for the last decade has deliberately fabricated stories in pathetic attempts to link Rangers to sectarianism and damage the club in the process ?

      Ludicrous tales for example that Eggs Benedict was being scrapped from the menu in the Rangers canteen at Ibrox as Benedict was the name of the new Pope ? Or that the Ibrox playing surface was designed to emulate a Sash worn by Orangemen ? Or that certain items in the club’s clothing range were priced at £16-90 ? Or that green and white straws in the Ibrox food kiosks were banned as being “too Catholic” ? Drivel and wanton lies like this have been peddled by the Scottish tabloids on an almost daily basis for donkeys years. Pro-Rangers media ? Hilarious stuff.

      1. thomas cochrane says:

        you dont half talk a lot of rubish

  13. Neil says:

    Why has it taken a journalist form outside of Scotland with no particular interst in Rangers or Celtic for that matter to begin to ask the questions that any self respecting Journalist should have been asking for years?
    The compliant and complicit Scottish establishment,including banks, media and football authorities have been hiding the truth for years.
    The questioning has only just begun I hope!

    1. Ethel Cardew says:

      Brcause there is no such thing a sports journalist in Scotland. Your a sports sycophant and if u dont want to be on the way out the door you dont write negative stories about Rangers. You would have a mass bloo mail campaign orchestrated for your ouster and the fear of reader alienation keeps the journo’s onside, as they know most Celtic fans dont buy the rags and in the paper business circulation is king.

      If this story had been in North American sports and the Journalists had acted like they do in Scotland they would be all have been fired and unemployable in the business. unless they were writing Podunk Iowa Press.

      1. Marty says:

        Someone who uses the nickname of a dead Rangers fan. Well, that’s an objective view.

  14. Marty says:

    “Succulent lamb”? Some Celtic fans seem to think this is some sort of magic incantation. It’s not, of course. Graham Spiers has also written about Celtic buttering up the media. One of the items on the menu was – yes, you’ve guessed it – succulent lamb!

    But innumerable organisations and individuals seek to manage the media. A sinister conspiracy or something of that sort? No, one of the routines of business. Some folk are better at it than others, obviously. Former Celtic manager Jock Stein is said to have been an expert at influencing the media….

    As for Scottish football journos, I see them as largely useless. They cosy up to big clubs in the hope of easy stories – though of course that isn’t confined to Scotland. Scottish football hacks are not very good at writing about actual football so why on earth should they be good at writing about tax and finances?

    1. Stuart says:

      Just to reiterate Alex’s opening words:

      “…I am not investigating Celtic”.

      1. Marty says:

        That’s up to him, of course. If you find it uncomfortable that I mention Celtic, too bad.

      2. Stuart says:

        Not uncomfortable, merely diversionary.

      3. Marty says:

        Call it what you want Stuart. I’m in favour of an open discussion. If you want to place limits on it, that’s your look-out.

      4. spitthedog says:

        Because if he did, would he need a very large rug and broom.

    2. scarlet says:

      Yes Marty, many organisations seek to manage the media. That is the job of their Public Relations department. The job of a journalist is to ask questions, not take Press Releases as Gospel.

      1. Marty says:

        Scarlet, I entirely agree. Sadly we live in a world where many people take the easy option and are otherwise not very good at their jobs. Indeed, as I indicated at first, some people are not very good at the basic elements of their own jobs let alone additional areas of expertise.

      2. Bruce says:

        Once again, Marty, you show an olympian ability to completely miss the point. Celtic are not under the microscope here, despite your pathetic efforts to make it so.

      3. Simon says:

        It´s about the media.

        The media do cover Celtic don´t they ?
        Mr.Lawwell does the donkey work and puts pressure on the media and make sure the they dance to his tune when need be.

        The difference is generally Celtic have used this as a tool to further interests (however questionable at times) of the club as a whole.

        Whilst Murray and Whyte were doing it for themselves.

    3. Ian says:

      Marty, If this story was in it’s infancy I would give the hacks a break.

      It’s not though, it has been denied, twisted, la la’d & the blame has been put onto everyone else.

      If a fan comments they are biased against Rangers, if the likes of Phil Mac or RTC write a telling piece they have an agenda.
      Alex brings a NEW angle to this.

      A pro, no baggage in favour of ANY Scottish team, he has made it plain that if he was investigating Celtic he would be as thorough.

      Like I said a Professional, acting like one.

      He has gathered info, seperated wheat from chaf, gave background blogs covering Celtic, Rangers & other fans.

      NOW he is getting into the thing as you would expect a pro to do.

      More power to him.

      This is NOT a story about the other Scottish teams, it is an ongoing developing story about Rangers & their current problems.

      So Marty, forget the deflections etc.they are not relevant to the story.

      1. Bruce says:

        Ah Simon, delusional doesn’t even begin to cover it.

      2. Simon says:

        Make an arguement rather than the blanket reply that says nothing !

      3. Bruce says:

        My argument was very clear and to the point. You do all you can to back it up.

  15. rb says:

    Brave journalism, i’m delighted you are scratching the surface of this corruptly run game.

  16. Peter says:

    When Rangers played in the UEFA Cup Final in Manchester, we all know what happened afterwards.

    I was in Spain at the time and the next day I read both the English & Scottish newspapers.

    The contrast in reporting was breathtaking. It was like reading about two different events.

    The last time an accurate statement made in a Scottish newspaper about Rangers was by Ian Archer from the Glasgow Herald.

    I’ll let you look it up.

  17. iki says:

    It is not just the print media, of course.

    BBC corresspondent Chic Young managed to speak with SFA President and former Company Secretary of Rangers and he reported that Campbell Ogilvie had not been in receipt of EBT.
    Next day, Ogilvie states that he did have EBT payments.

    Young reports that these payments amounted to no more than enough for ” a good night out.”
    Next day Ogilvie reveals that the sum total was £95000 !

    Succulent lamb produces so much mince.

    1. David says:

      The thing that sums up Scottish hacks is exactly this interview.

      Chick Young’s defence of Ogilvie when given a interview with him extended to the “thought” that Ogilvie did not have an EBT Why the hell did Young not ask him that question directly when he interviewed him, especially when Ogilvie and the SFA on finding out a English journalist was on the case made a statement the next day that he did indeed benifit from a EBT

      Mind boggling

  18. Marie in Motherwell says:

    Thank God at last we have someone reporting on football in Glasgow who isn’t – or has been – a David Murray lap dog.

    I reckon there’s a lot more to this story if you keep digging.

  19. jiky67 says:

    I liked the Scottish football “governing”didnt ask much bit. Whoever can he mean?

  20. Adrian says:

    The irony of it all is that the succulent lamb brigade ultimately aided the downfall of Rangers by avoiding the difficult questions for so long.

    How silly will they feel if they lose their jobs because there is no ‘old firm’ rivalry to report any longer.

    I wonder which journalist was responsible for the ‘direct physical threat’.

  21. Peter Clark says:

    A damning indictment of the Glasgow-centric sports journalism, which has backed the OF to the detriment of the rest of Scottish football for decades. I suspect that you may be an early runner for the Paul Foot award.

  22. Chris says:

    Bravo! Finally a light is shone on the dark secret of the Scottish press. Cowards, incompetents and fools almost to a man (and woman.)

    For decades they have been a disgrace to their profession.

    This has contributed in no small way to the blunting of the critical faculties of the Rangers support, who came to believe that the club they supported was untouchable.

    Thus, they questioned nothing, protested even less and ended up where they are now due to Murray’s hubris.

    Now, confronted with the awful reality of RFC’s plight, the RFC supporters blame not themselves, a complicit press, or a series of dishonest owners, but rather blame guess what? That’s right, a conspiracy by some non-specific Catholic or Celtic-minded cabal.

    1. Michael says:

      “some non-specific Catholic or Celtic-minded cabal.”
      paranoid ramblings of the carstairs brigade!
      ” the RFC supporters blame not themselves,”
      Why would they? They didnt sign off the accounts, they watched the football, payed their taxes and lived their lives. Why would they look the gift horse in the mouth? One things for sure they will ask a lot more questions from now on!

  23. jinky67 says:

    I liked the Scottish football “governing”didnt ask much part. Whoever can he mean?

  24. Markybhoy says:

    Bravo (as i stand applauding)!!

    About time Alex, i fell the worms you have released from a big can should go back to the dirt where they belong!!

    Cheers, Mark

  25. brunobhoy says:

    Journalistic standards in sport in Glasgow fell into a cosy relationship with itself a long long time ago. One Glasgow rag in the sixties, prior to Celtic winning the European Cup, quoted a current referee as saying Rangers WERE Scottish football.When the Daily Express disappeared there remained no reason to seek truth as the Record has always been a mouthpiece of the establishment club

  26. eoj says:

    Wee Chick the St Mirren fan surely not?

  27. jon southgen says:

    It is extremely sad,though not surprising, that it takes someone from outside the immediate sphere to highlight the gross distortion of actuality which masquerades as Scottish football journalism. Many people ,myself included, have tried at various times to debate our perception of imbalance generated by the mainstream media.For decades we have been told we are imagining things and suffer the disdain of those journalists ,with whom, we would dearly love the opportunity to present our ,alternative point of view. I wish you every success in your endeavours and look forward to your further revelations.

  28. Carntyne says:

    Alex, it is not just in David Murray’s time at the club that journalists have pandered to Rangers.

    The SFA did the same and had a revolving door through which Rangers directors became SFA dirctors

    While not everyone in the newspaper industry in Scotland are Rangers supporters, many many of them are.

    I first started going to football matches at the age of seven with my father, that’s over sixty years ago.

    No internet then and no way to contradict the positive spin for Rangers in our newspapers and the opposite for Celtic.

    Anything printed in our tabloids was accepted as fact, by most at least.

    When in the late sixties/early seventies football phone-in programmes became fashionable, there seemed to be a way for frustrated fans to attack the Rangers propaganda in the newspapers.

    However, all such opinions, mainly from Celtic supporters, were dismissed as paranoia.

    Along came the internet.

    The Rangers Tax case blog broke the story you are now ivestigating in March of last year, 2011, but it was refuted by our mainstream media.

    One Old Time sports reporter Hugh Keevins of the Daily Record, replied to a caller on the Radio Clyde phone-in regarding the blog by saying he ‘did not do the internet’ and that anyone spouting opinions on there were ‘bampots and idiots.’

    This in spite of his own newspaper having an online presence.

    When the Daily Record finally caught up with the story nearly a year later, Keevins, the same journalist, claimed that the Daily Record had ‘broken the story’.

    When last seen Keevins had his head up his rectum.

    A position that must be somewhat uncomfortable.

  29. gallagher says:

    Keep digging Alex i’ve a feeling your investigations will coalesce with operation hornet into corruption and fraud on a massive scale at the top of the BoS. Lots of interesting info awaits a determined and brave journalist. A case of mutton dressed as lamb if ever there was one.

  30. Serious war correspondent??? says:

    Why don’t you really add to the validity of your blog… drawing on your many years as a ‘respected’ war correspondent… and post pictures of your breakfast. You can even give the pictures funny titles! That’s what I do.

  31. charlie says:

    It goes much deeper than some football writers being wined and dined and buttered up by a past chairman-owner of rfc.
    The roots of the scottish media bias are in deeply ingrained sectarian bigotry attitudes. With a masonic twist.
    By the way BBC scotland (apart from Daly) are as bad if not worse than the newspapers.

  32. Marty says:

    “The SFA did the same and had a revolving door through which Rangers directors became SFA dirctors”?

    It’s worth looking at the number of Celtic people who have held senior positions at the SFA or SPL e.g. Jack McGinn, Eric Riley, Peter Lawwell. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se – it’s pretty much inevitable that folk at the governing bodies will have connections to member clubs. I merely mention it in the interests of balance and perspective.

    1. pat says:

      This is indeed true. Other clubs have also had employees take up roles within the SFA too.

      Though, in the interests of balance and perspective, it’s worth saying that it’s only the Rangers employees who may be implicated in rule breaking while holding said SFA positions.

      Not employees of any other club.

    2. ParmaHamster says:

      How many ex-Celtic players or directors have held the chief executive post of the SFA at any time, never mind the last fifteen years.

      Outside of Jack McGinn, who had the purely ceremonial position of SFA Chairman, name me one ex-Celtic player or director who has held any sort of executive post within the SFA, not simply a committee one?

      I, of course, also merely ask this in the interests of balance and perspective.

      1. Marty says:

        Jack McGinn was President of the SFA, same as Campbell Ogilvie (more recently of Hearts rather than Rangers of course). Again, there’s nothing wrong with McGinn holding that position. David Will held the same position but I’m not suggesting there’s a pro-Brechin City conspiracy or anything like that. It’s up to those who are alleging such things to produce the evidence to back them up….

      2. Ian says:

        Marty, did Jack McGinn or David Will enter into a situation where they “BORROWED” money from Celtic or Brechin City?

        Campbell Ogilvie has admitted that HE “BORROWED” £95,000 from Rangers. Did he REPAY this “LOAN”?

        If not, his position should be untenable, it’s as simple as that.

        No smoke or mirrors, denial nor deflection can change that.

        The President of the SFA “BORROWED” £95,000 from Rangers, how COMPROMISED is that?

      3. Marty says:

        Ian, Campbell Ogilvie did not borrow money from Rangers. You should check your information.

      4. Ian says:

        Marty, How disingenious is that reply.

        Rangers set up the EBT & put the money into it. Campbell Ogilvie took the money out, all £95,000 of it.

        They say an EBT is a “LOAN” so in effect RANGERS loaned CAMPBELL OGILVIE that money through a 3rd party.

        Rangers are in so much bother because they rely on a twist to justify their actions. As do their supporters it would seem.

        Campbell Ogilvies position should be untenable.

        If the man had ANY honour at all he would resign.

    3. __Celtic__ says:

      OK, and in the interests of balance and perspective; do we know how many Rangers people have held senior SFA or SPL positions over the same period as the three Celtic people you list?

      1. Marty says:

        I was merely providing a wee bit of balance and perspective in response to the allegation by Carntyne. If you want Carntyne’s allegation backed up you’ll need to ask him/her.

      2. __Celtic__ says:

        No – what I’d like backed up is your assertion that you were trying to add balance. You could have done so by listing Rangers people to put the names you mention in their proper context. As you’ve declined, I think it’s clearly an attempt to mislead rather than add balance.

  33. Ed L says:

    Graham Spiers – who talks a lot more than he seems to produce any meaningful journalism – holds his hands up to absolve himself so often it has been utterly tiresome.

  34. timabhouy says:

    who threatened you and why what did you say or do
    to recieve this action ?
    keep up the good work Mr.A. Thompson

  35. Al says:

    hold on here, these scottish journalists have told us for years that celtic supporters were paranoid, and all the time they were enjoying david murrays succulent lamb….

    tell us something we didnt know…..lol

    keep digging bud, ur on the right track, good luck

  36. Vandalgrease says:

    Celtic fans have long been tagged “paranoid” by the Scottish media, a clever piece of spin in my opinion. The paranoid tag allows the usual media suspects to dismiss legitimate questions of integrity and apparent bias towards one club.

    With every new allegation of: illegal player payments, fielding of ineligible players and illegal tax evasion; coupled with the cosy media relationship and apparent falure of Scottish Football governance that breaks on a seemingly daily basis – It now seems that Celtic fans were not “paranoid” enough.

    The question now is: Just how deep does the rabbit hole go?

    1. bigD says:

      totally agree vandalgrease too long have celtic fans been written off as being paranoid well done alex keep up the good work and keep digging this will blow up to be an absolutely massive story of corruption keep looking into the sfa and such there’s skeletin’s to be found in their cupboards

  37. Bob McKay says:

    Gosh, Alex, this is earth shattering journalism.
    Press in wined and dined shocker.

    Newspapers in Glasgow
    The Herald; chief sports writer Michael Grant and Hugh MacDonald, Celtic men
    Daily Mail (Scotland) John McGarry Celtic man
    Sun (Scotland)Kenny MAcDonald, John Greive, Roger Hannah…Celtic
    Daily Record Hugh Keevins, Mark Guidi, Anthony Haggerty, …all Celtic men.
    Any internet users can look at their online editions today, read the reports as neutrals and see for yourself the er…er..big Rangers bias?

    The Herald chief writers speculate that Rangers should have 13 trophies removed for using a trust fund
    The Sun (Always on the wind up )is about rubbing our bluenoses in it tomorrow.
    TV in Glasgow
    BBC Scotland edited an interview with Ally McCoist recently to switch one question with the answer to another question, making it look like he laughed about question on violence at football.
    Alex, you are not the messiah, you are just a naughty bhoy.

    1. jonsouthgen says:

      The Herald chief writers do not speculate that Rangers should have 13 trophies removed for using a trust fund. They speculate that if found guilty of breaking S.F.A.regulations,they were never entitled to be acknowleged as winners of those trophies.Yes journalists ,as in every city, will favour one football team above others. The point being made, and made well,is that the vast majority of football reporters published pieces,have been blue hued for many,many years. Denying this is your prerogative. We who read your denial will smile and nod. After all “there are none so blind as those who will not see !” I refer you back to the Scottish press` attitude during Celtic`s financial crisis in the mid-nineties as a prime example

    2. Bruce Harper says:

      I think you’re “paranoid” there Bob!

    3. SFTB says:

      Michael Grant is not a Celtic man. He is a Dons fan who wh has defended Rangers throughout this shambles and is one of the main reasons I gave up on The Herald last year.

      There are Celtic fans in all media outlets but only one club has had cracked crests (until very recently), headlines describing the players as Thugs & Thieves and had their main shareholder compared to Saddam Hussein.

      The press demonised Neil Lennon, who was attacked twice in the streets of Glasgow and once at Tynecastle during a match to the rapturous applause of three stands full of Hearts fans, and, as this was not enough to discourage him, he was sent viable explosive devices through the post. No such retaliatory acts have been made by Celtic fans on Rangers players and staff.

      Those Celtic men in media outlets seem to have little influence in developing pro-Celtic newspapers and nor should they. If only, the laptop loyal showed such understanding of their job.

      1. Marty says:

        Neil Lennon has had acres of sympathetic coverage in the media. Not that I’m suggesting he doesn’t deserve some sympathy, just getting things in perspective.

      2. BMCUWP says:


        Where was that?

        I must have missed it.

        Was it hidden amongst the “he’s a big boy,he can look after himself,he brings it on himself” comments that were rife at the time?

    4. John C says:

      How many of those reporters hold/held senior editorial positions within their organisations ?
      Editorial policy decides publication, no ?
      You have produced a list of reporters and their allegance, can you do the same for their sports editors please.

      1. Auldheid says:


        I know one Celtic supporting journo who asked his editor at the DR if they were going to print the Hately piece about tainted titles.

        He was told “Yes” and all he could do was shake his head in disbelief.

        Traynor’s yer man Alex but he is in OZ I believe.

        I do wonder if there was any gravy served with that lamb? The complete absence of forensic criticism of SDM by afore mentioned, not to mention (again) his absence, does make me wonder if the lamb was served dry.

    5. dqmail says:

      BBC Scotland did not edit the above interview. It was a BBC London based network interview and they duly apologised.Small detail, but important in post devolution, pre independence Scotland today.

    6. Ian says:

      Bob, I read Alex & LAUGHED, he summed up what I thought or suspected.

      It is NOT a matter of who the reporters support, if they do their jobs properly it doesn’t matter. It’s how things develop when they DON’T.

      The lamb story took place in the Channel Islands. How did they get there?
      I recall SDM had a private jet he used to bring in players & agents etc.
      Did those journos travel that way? Did they claim expenses? How long were they there?

      Was it a holiday? an interview takes how long? If it turned into a holiday ( more than an overnight stay) would it be a taxable item? If taxable, was it declared?

      Every wee lapse takes the individual deeper into the Cabal until it is easier to be a member who gets handed the stories rather than a working hack chasing a lead.

      Spiers admits it all led to good feeds, stories, not more lamb.

      How easy it is to sell your soul if the agenda suits you.

  38. Highland Mac says:

    Glasgow used to be a great newspaper town, the Scottish Daily Express, the Evening Citizen, the Evening Times, and the Glasgow Herald. That changed with changes of ownership, with the malign influence of the Sun, the decline of bona fide journalism,and a race to the gutter. No Scottish journalist saw the collapse of RBS, nor especially the Bank of Scotland, the latter the direct responsibility of Peter Cummings, MD for ten years of the BOS Corporate Division. Amongst other things Cummings was “Sir” David Murray’s personal banker. Murray achieved a rare feat, a knighthood for helping to bring down Rangers FC and via MIH helping to bring down the Bank of Scotland. He would be damned in any sensible country but was lauded in Scotland with the likes of Traynor, Spiers, Young and Leckie content to prostrate themselves before him hoping for a few scraps, of succulent lamb, from the great man’s table. Cringeworthy the lot of them and a disgrace to whatever is left of Scottish journalism.

  39. sixtaeseven says:

    Alex, all this is like a breath of fresh air.
    As others have mentioned, it’s not just the newspaper hacks who had wined and dined but their colleagues on radio and TV: STV who are virtually the PR team, Sky Sports News, and – incredibly – BBC Scotland.

    Last year, the world saw the “Arab Spring”.
    This year thanks to a few brave new media journalists and rare custodians of truth like yourself, we are seeing what I like to call the “Whyte Spring”.

    La plume est plus fort que l’epée!

  40. Free fitba from the OF says:

    The West Coast Media (WCM) exist for old firm fans.

    Old Firm fans see life through green/blue glasses – as do other fans in respect of their own teams.

    If the WCM don’t print stories positive about the OF, they don’t shift papers. If they print negative stories the teams boycott those papers.

    These half-truths, promotion of agendas and non-reporting of criticisms become the accepted truth.

    As the WCM has spread across Scotland, and local versions of papers/media are shut down or scaled back (see STV/ Grampian) the OF propaganda supplants coverage of local teams. Often on BBC in the North-east they only report OF scores, not even mentioning Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibs, Hearts, Caley scores. This is not public broadcasting but promoting commercial enterprises to the exclusion of others.

    Lowest common denominator journalism at the WCM is low risk, and few journos/editors have the ambition and job security to pursue anything else.

    Against the backdrop of the current financial climate and the old/new journalism baton change, this is the way of free market economics.

    1. There is a market for proper journalism. We buy it, read it, debate it. This is where new media blogs and podcasts have excelled in exposing the current Rangers predicament, and the SPL vote change.

    2. The majority of Scotland (excl. Glasgow) have no interest in football tied to 17th century Irish history or bigotry. We crave football for football’s sake and journalists that report that.

    3. These papers should not be portraying mistruths and misrepresentations as fact. This is not journalism but PR.

    4. The BBC as a public service broadcaster should not be polluted by the WCM. Shows like Off the Ball rise above it and are fantastic. However Sportsound panders to Traynor and Young’s (in particular) small minded OF-centric view of the world. I now no longer listen and follow my team through local commercial radio stations.

    5. For the good of our national league the WCM and BBC need a clear out of mouthpieces for the OF, and a return of balanced journalism.

    Alex – fancy a gig in Scotland?

    1. sandy says:
  41. Private Land says:

    Congratulations on a measured and even toned look at the Scottish (not merely Glasgow) press culture.
    The irony of it all becomes evident when one looks at the reporting 18 years ago when Celtic were in extreme financial difficulty. Then, the succulent lamb culture you describe was actually instrumental in saving that club.

  42. rod3mc says:

    Marty, Alex has wrote an article about Rangers not Celtic, the investigations of cheating, tax dodging and no doubts other type for skull-duggery.
    You talk about balance and perspective, you do realise the irony in your statement dont you? What was balanced about how Rangers have went about their business Marty?
    You want to make things fair? How about Rangers FC coming clean and apologising to the entire country? Not a chance, only deflection of blame, more smoke and mirrors as evidenced by your statements. Its alwasy soemone else’s fault, never Rangers.

  43. Tom says:

    Well done Alex on another excellent blog.Will it make one bit of difference i am not sure.
    The media in Scotland cant and will not change,

  44. Charlie says:

    Marty – your efforts at obfuscation are valiant.

    But when a total buffoon like Gordon Smith can seamlessly relocate from BBC to SFA to Rangers ad-infinitum, then I would say that the evidence of cronyism is very heavily pointing in one direction only.

  45. Paul McGeachin says:

    You Alex have been drawn into a non story. Most journalists report without fear or favour and allegiances to either half of the old firm are identifiable to most observers. Your criticism of Scottish sports journalism is insulting and Ill founded in the main. Do you really think you are covering new ground, that all your points haven’t been posed and answered. You appear to have been taken in by anti Rangers zealots who make it their lifes work to try and further damage the magnificent institution that is Rangers football club. Have a word with yourself .listen to any football phone -in in Scotland and informed hosts will answer all enquiries to the best of their knowledge,so it poses the question, what new ability does a has been war correspondant news anchor have to get to the “truth”. I feel your time at BBC Nothern Ireland may have coloured your judgement. There are real , important stories out there in the bigger world, instead of furnishing a football backwater with your perceived wisdom. The victim culture of all things”Celtic minded” have obviously got into your mind. Stick around longer and you will find their constant moaning and sense of injustice tiresome and puerile

    1. Ed L says:

      I’m still waiting for the punchline…

    2. pat says:

      Paul McGeachin,

      So Alex’s article about a lack of critical or quality journalism is an attack on Rangers?

      Is your real name Matt Lindsay?

    3. rod3mc says:

      Football phone in, informed hosts?


      Really, Hugh Keevins and co

      Your in fantasy land chief

    4. John Gallagher says:

      Paul McGeachan? Really?

    5. canamalar says:

      So speaks the voice of absurdity with dismissive and mildly threatening undertones.
      Stick around and watch the sense of injustice vindicated.
      Stupid huns

    6. Auldheid says:

      The only “victim” here is Rangers FC. Victims of their own behaviour.

      1. joe strummer says:

        There has only ever been one football club in Scotland shut down by UEFA due to their sectarian hooligan supporters and that was Celtic FC back in 1984. That Celtic supporters every week celebrate the IRA, open collaborators with Hitler’s Nazis during WW2, shows they have never changed their ways of sectarianism, racism and fascism. Indeed, UEFA are about to take action yet again against Celtic in the next few weeks for their latest mayhem. Their infamous IRA Neo-Nazi supporters bring shame on Scotland everywhere they go.

      2. Bruce says:

        Jeez, Joe….

        You forgot the floodlights guiding the Nazi bombers.

        Honestly, comparing the Celtic support in Europe to the Rangers support… are you sure you want to go there? You know you’re going to come out of it badly. Try your trip to Israel in 2007.

      3. joe strummer says:

        Do you seriously want to go there with Celtic supporters infamous and notorious IRA Neo-Nazi hooliganism in Europe ? Riots in Blackburn, Amsterdam, Vigo Airport, including attacking the air crew on a passenger flight which had to be re-directed to Cardiff Airport. With no sense of irony or shame, Celtic pleaded for and accepted an UEFA award for their fans ” good behaviour ” that season. I could also mention Celtic fans smashing up the Scottish media team bus in Milan and many, many more. Celtic FC – Unbeatable in defeat, unbearable in victory….yet always repulsive. They can’t even win a tainted title in style.

      4. Bruce says:

        Yes, okay, lets go there again. Rangers supporters giving Nazi salutes in Israel, Rangers supporters rioting in Barcelona in ’72, getting you banned from Europe IIRC, Rangers fans behaviour again in Barcelona – which prompted an editorial from a Barcelona newspaper urging you never to come back, Pamplona and the main one – Manchester. Scotland’s shame, indeed. Celtic supporters certainly haven’t always been angels on our travels – which support has – but there is nothing close to the litany of shame belonging to the Rangers support.

        Riots in Blackburn, Amsterdam, Vigo Airport? Don’t be ridiculous. Attacking an air crew? Have you read the reports of what happened. By your standard its a thin line between an attack and a tickle. Celtic pleading for an award – this is a lie. Simple.

        Do you know how much you show yourself to be a bitter, nasty, pathetic little individual with all this completely unjustified nazi nonsense?

        If any titles are tainted, its the ones Rangers have won in the last ten years, as you’ll soon find out.

  46. pat says:

    I hope the likes of this article can be welcomed by both Celtic AND Rangers fans.

    It’s in neither side’s interests to have the media operate in this way.

    The likes of Traynor et al. – aside from having little expertise or knowledge to comment on the game of football anyway – are an occasional disgrace and a permanent embarrassment.

  47. Mike says:

    Alex, great blog. It’s worth looking at the xenophobia directed at Vladamir Romanov, pretty much the only person who has been prepared to pump money into the Scottish game over the last 10 years, but who has now been hounded out for ‘not doing things the ‘Scottish way’ and daring to challenge the status quo. He’s pretty much said exactly what you have said over the last 7 years (although his words have been twisted by the Glasgow media and made out to be a loonatic!)

    It’s sad to see that he’s pretty much given up and who can blame him.

    1. pat says:

      Agree with that. The media coined nickname, ‘Mad Vlad’ tells you a lot about his relationship with them.

      His comments about the ‘Scottish football mafia’ were regarded as crazy by a lot of the press. It doesn’t really seem so to me.

    2. Marty says:

      There you have it. To some fans it’s the “Glasgow media” and the SFA are the GFA (Glasgow FA)….

      1. Mike says:

        The point you seem to be missing Marty is that this isn’t really a Rangers/Celtic thing, I’m sure Alex could write an almost identical blog about Celtic if he looked into them!). I do however applaud you for standing true to your old firm stereotype and trying to make it a rangers vs Celtic debate (yawn). From an outsider point of view the media seem to cosy up to both of the old firm equally if you ask me. The point of this whole blog is highlighting the unbalanced reporting of the media in Scotland due to this Cosy affair. I don’t mind that much but the BBC funded by my liscence fee seems to be the mothership for this and I would expect a far higher of actual reporting instead of the old boys club!

  48. Megz says:

    It isnt just just RFC that gets special treatment by the press, Labour also recieve similar treatment with papers like the scotsman (such a misnomer) have their usual headlines as The SNP Accused blah blah blah (i think they have that trademarked or something)

  49. Shug McCue says:

    Thank you for researching and printing this material. Unfortunately you will now be deemed part of a “timmy conspiracy” but I’m quite sure you can live with that.

    Word to the wise, though I am sure you already know this. At least one Rangers fan site has suggested that their fans should familiarise themselves with what you look like, and if they see you should let you know that you are not welcome.

    Please keep up the good work and thanks again.

  50. Gmcdowall says:

    I did say on your other Blog the journalists would come after you Alex. :)

  51. the insider says:

    Congratulations Alex. I spent years working in Scottish football and you have assessed well in 2 weeks the corruption that is endemic up there.

    You follow the set discourse or you get sidelined quickly by Rangers FC, the football authorities and the compliant media. As you have instantly discovered, it is such an accepted part of the landscape that when challenged the vast majority will scream in denial until they are blue in the face.

    I wish you well in your ongoing investigations. Please don’t let this go.

    Interesting that it once again takes an ‘outsider’ to begin to expose the reality of Scottish football.

    A poisonous culture of religious bigotry and corruption pervades – ‘governing’ bodies, media – BBC and broadsheets as well as tabloids, politicians, the police and the judiciary.

    I’m sure you’ve got better things to do with your time but there’s at least a career’s worth of stones to be unturned here.

  52. the insider says:

    Congratulations Alex. I spent years working in Scottish football and you seem to have made an accurate assessment in 2 weeks of the corruption that is endemic up there.

    You follow the set discourse or you get sidelined quickly by Rangers FC, the football authorities and the compliant media. As you have instantly discovered, it is such an accepted part of the landscape that when challenged the vast majority will scream in denial until they are blue in the face.

    I wish you well in your ongoing investigations. Please don’t let this go.

    Interesting that it once again takes an ‘outsider’ to begin to expose the reality of Scottish football.

    A poisonous culture of religious bigotry and corruption pervades – ‘governing’ bodies, media – BBC and broadsheets as well as tabloids, politicians, the police and the judiciary.

    I’m sure you’ve got better things to do with your time but there’s at least a career’s worth of stones to be unturned here.

    1. simpilmindz says:

      the insider 24 March 2012 at 3:36 pm

      “You follow the set discourse or you get sidelined quickly by Rangers FC, the football authorities and the compliant media. As you have instantly discovered, it is such an accepted part of the landscape that when challenged the vast majority will scream in denial until they are blue in the face.”

      Or perhaps blue in the nose? :-)

  53. J Maclure says:

    Alex, journalism and Scottish Football stood back when Rangers played the UEFA Cup Final.

    The SFA while the Scottish authorities made Rangers play 6 games in 12 days.

    Rather than help a scottish club win a European trophy, a rare event, the SPL clubs, Celtic to the forefront, preferred to display their own naked self interest.

    Meanwhile the Russian league cancelled League fixtures and gave the support to Zenit St Petersburg that they deserved.

    Only in Scotland would this have happened.

    1. JCD says:

      Have you forgotten that the league finished on a thursday evening?Is that usual Mr Maclure?

    2. Bruce says:

      This old one. It wasn’t really that simple, was it? First, the SPL was extended to help you. Maybe not by much, but really, what choice was there? No-one came up with a viable alternative. The last fixtures had to be played simultaneously. They couldn’t keep moving the cup final. Incidentally, didn’t Gordon Smith – in his SFA days – say he’d happily move the cup final without consulting the other finalists? Hmmmm.

      Moving the final league games even further back was a non starter – players had to be released for the European championships and it would have left a lot of players hanging on, trying to maintain match fitness, completely disrupting the plans of players who’d booked holidays, etc. So to say Rangers got no help is ridiculous. They got as much help as Scottish football could realistically give them.

      The Russian FA was in the middle of its league season, so they had a bit of wriggle room. The SPL didn’t.

    3. Ian says:

      It is a funny thing, memory.

      Rangers were helped by postponements, in fact the headline went something like Rangers asked & Got, Celtic didn’t ask.

      When Celtic were doing the same journey, through the Eufa rounds, they had to travel to games on their return.

      One trip to Invernness, was complained about & a point was made that Jock Stein never got a postponement & that Martin O Neill should just get on with it.

      Changed days indeed.

      Was the lack of support for Celtic not indicitive of a problem?

      Just think, if they had sorted it out THEN, you would not be moaning now.

      It’s actually the same with this Rangers situation, if the laptop had not been rife with Bullsh*t then maybe, just maybe, NAW heads are so deep in the sand that a Bikini Island explosion couldn’t move them.

      It is easier to blame everyone else, now THAT is a thing Rangers supporters excel at.

      Keep on whining & the rest of Scotland will keep on laughing.

    4. Colin, Paisley says:

      I’m sure a game with St.Mirren was postponed to help Rangers? In fact was the start of the season not delayed so the OF could play some ‘glamour’ friendlies,causing a pile up of their own making??

      Also did Rangers not have a free weekend that they could have played one of their postponed games, but they preferred the ££££s and played a ‘glamour’ friendly in Dubai or some such place? As did Celtic I believe. The OF Cabal won the day as usual. Then Rangers blame everyone else for their fixture Pile-up. ££££££££££££££s

  54. Kev says:

    Marty, your obsession with Celtic is quite entertaining! alex’s investigation is into the corrupt and morally bankrupt relationships built up and abused over the years by the mainstream Scottish media, SFA and rangers football club.

    I know it’s hurting you particularly bad, if your used to getting your ‘facts’ from the Scottish media hacks then all of this will be quite uncomfortable reading for you… Truth hurts as they say!

    1. Marty says:

      “I know it’s hurting you particularly bad”. Wow. Are you some kind of medical psychic?

      As for alleged obsessions with other clubs, it’s clear irony isn’t your strong suit.

      1. rod3mc says:

        Irony is not his strong suit?????

        pot kettle black comes to mind Marty!

  55. Tony Hendrix says:

    Before i make my point,may i congratulate Carntyne for his excellent post.
    Okay Alex,having read every blog of yours,and every reply on the blogs,i think you have a fine grasp of what exactly is going on in Scotland,Glasgow in particular.
    In a previous reply to one of your blogs,i did forewarn you of what you were getting into in your investigation and having read some of the venomous replies towards you,Mathew Lindsay in particular,you just haven’t opened a can of worms,more like a snake pit sadly.

    If by chance you ever get to listen to Radio Clyde’s Superscoreboard, particularly whenever Hugh Keevins is on the show,which sadly is quite often,then you will have a fair idea of the so called journalistic rubbish we have to put up with on an nightly basis.
    Anyway,enough of my ramblings,good luck in your search for the truth,whether you find it that remains to be seen,cheers.

  56. Raymac says:

    Referees strike—what for? Respect.
    Referee manhandled, ignored, by Rangers players.
    Celtic manager responds to what was obviously a very nasty remark.
    Rangers 10 red cards, three yellow.
    SFA investigate.
    Celtic manager gets 6 game ban.
    Rangers manager and 3 red-carded players walk out of Hampden laughing and joking.
    Am I paranoid or does something stink in that whole scenario?

  57. Raymac says:

    I would like to add that your time in N.Ireland would have been an eye opener in certain respects, and journalists there have lost their lives and been shot and threatened. I’m a Private Eye reader and even they have become aware of the state Rangers got them selves into. If we were in America reporters would kill for a story like this, eyeing up a Pulitzer. Keep it up.

  58. cardiffbhoy says:


    You make an excellent point about how the late great Jock Stein used to influence the press, I would suggest a read of Archie McPherson’s biography would give you more of a feeling of this. Jock felt it important that Celtic dominated the back pages of the newspapers.

    However Jock done this as an answer to what he believed to be a very pro-Rangers agenda in the press, which is understandable, given they were the biggest club in the country, pre-Stein. Much as Man U dominate the press in England , Rangers sold newspapers.

    I think what Alex is looking at now is something completely different, David Murray’s business practices and the sale to the Motherwell born billionaire display a level of ignorance and compliance that makes our press such a joke. They print lies and stand over them, even when they are disproved. Anyone who disagrees with them on their phone-in shows is mocked and patronised.

    There are young journalists like Grant Russell on STV website now showing the way though, engaging with the public and actively encouraging debate, as do the likes of Derek Rae so maybe succulent lamb will be off the menu soon

    1. Marty says:

      Cardiffbhoy, I’m not really concerned about what Stein might have believed or what his alleged motivation might have been. That wasn’t my point. Do you really think Celtic in general don’t try to manage the media? Peter Lawwell and John Reid more recently, for example? Stein was very good at it. I suspect Lawwell and Reid are good at it too (see for example the press pack guffawing obediently as Lawwell made a jibe at Rangers over a bid for Jelavic). Once again, Celtic are perfectly entitle to manage the media and it’s no surprise that journos who value the easy story (and there are many of them) will play along.

  59. McMIke says:

    Good work Alex,

    the “succulent lamb” story truly is a cringeworthy read for anyone who wants to seek it out on the internet. I believe it was the Daily Record that published it.

    After the dust has settled on the Rangers tax story, I hope someone looks into the role of BBC Scotland in all of this.

    While most have come to expect, and even accept, bias from most of the print media with regards to Rangers, that our national broadcaster also seemed to be complicit in this for many years is a major concern.

    If we can’t trust Auntie, who can we trust?

  60. patrick h says:

    Once again Alex well done and thank you for standing strong against those who call themselves JOURNALISTS Yet seek to hide the truth for fear of being denied a morsel off the masters table.
    We in Scotland have known who they are for years yet were convieniently labeled “paranoid”by the laptop loyal(succulent lamb gang) in the press, tv & radio,
    Each and every one of them knows who they are now you are beginning to expose them they will not take kindly to you, be careful Alex your crime in their eyes is to do what you are trained to do ie roport the truth are stand up for the right to expose wrong doing whether it be in a war zone,a community or an editors office.
    You are a breath of fresh air up here maybe just maybe you acting as a journalist and reporter should act ie doing your job, the path may open up for young enthusiastic men & women to start a fresh generation of truth seekers up here and for that you can be PROUD of yourself sir.

    1. Cesarean menotti says:

      Alex, doesn’t it even slightly concern you that you have so completely delighted Celtic fans? Fans of non Old Firm clubs despair of this stuff. This constant fir for tat, finger pointing whataboutery and obsession with the other team. These two clubs have cynically accused each other whilst sharing an interdependence on commercial grounds. It’s despicable, cynical hypocrisy. Do yourself a favour. Go on a Rangers board and you’ll see them ranting about the press being Celtic biased. What does that tell you as an experienced journalist? Possibly that the press are not as corrupt or biased as these people here would have you think perhaps? Celtic AND Rangers fans have chips on both shoulders. The papers bend over backwards to try to keep them both happy. But you can’t. Because their definition of ‘objectivity’ would not match that in the Oxford Dictionary. Let’s be honest, you’ve given far too much legroom to this. Go back to exposing despots and dictators – more reasonable people all round.

  61. Kenny says:


    A very pertinent issue addressed well. This is why it’s been left to the “internet bampots” to unveil the truth behind Rangers financial crisis. If nothing else is exposed (and I very much doubt that) your article represents an objective confirmation of what decent football supporters in Scotland have had to deal with. Keep looking.

  62. Radi Antic says:

    Alex, doesn’t it remotely bother you that you have attracted so much praise and delight in Celtic supporters? Or that your starting point was so utterly influenced by their desperation to shine a light on the obvious problems of Rangers? As a supporter of common decency and anti-sectarian initiatives it is my belief that Rangers and Celtic are two sides of the same coin. Two utterly reprehensible football clubs which have prospered on the back of a cynical exploitation of the bigotry of their supporters. Like two warlords prolonging the conflict because, without it, their existence would have no meaning. The Celtic supporters, like their Rangers counterparts, are deeply chippy and paranoid individuals. They hate journalists up here, partly – it’s true – because some were disgracefully subservient to David Murray. But mainly they hate them because they don’t understand what objectivity means. To them it means ‘biased towards Celtic’. That they think you have done a good job should, as a ‘proper’ journalist, worry you greatly. As should the fact that you came up here to shine a light on a national scandal and succeeded only in ripping off reheated newspaper stories, most notably on Hugh Adam.
    For a man who has investigated ‘real’ stories this seems to have been an inglorious episode. Stick to war reporting. Dictators and despots are more rational.

  63. paul martin says:

    i’m sure alex will be gutted
    chick – i never asked campbell if he had an EBT -young says he doesnt know who he is……

  64. Tony Bryson says:

    It is very hard to believe that even in belfast we never had a media that was as blatantly bias as that in scotland.

    A simple search through the net proves that celtic fans proved themselfs correct when the so called media branded them “paranoid” even graham spiers to his credit came in for some flak after condeming supporters of the team he also supports.

  65. joseph Rodger says:

    Thank you Alex for saying your piece/peace and I hope you continue in the same vain whether its Rangers or Celtic, its crucial we have fair and truthfull reporting. I am a Celtic supporter in exile but for sure I am sick of the racism in Glasgow, we are suppose to love the beautifull game and not just be tribal about it.

  66. Jim says:

    Alex, welcome to Mississipi circa early 60s. Many have clearly warned you what to expect – look no further than current trial at High Court. I’m sure you will be onto this but many would like to know just how many journalists in Scotland have an EBT courtesy of Sir Minty? After all, the SFA President feels able to declare he still has one – you think he might be shamed into actually paying back the “loan” and the tax now that he has been forced to declare it. Alex, I’ll give it a week before you get accused of being paranoid!

  67. falkirkbairn2012 says:

    Now go open up the can of worms even further. Scottish football is rotten to the core and will die a slow death unless we take this chance to shake it up.

  68. The bhoy done good says:

    Excellent investigating Alex.
    About time someone uncovered the dark secrets of Scottish football.
    I await the investigation on how Celtic FC managed to aquire land surrounding Celtic park for one pence from the Labour (Celtic supporting) run council.

    Dermot Desmond allegedly paying for star players like Keane,Ljungberg etc,dual contracts anyone?

    On how Celtic have never had a Protestant on their board!

    How Celtic’s greatest ever manager never informed the police of systematic child abuse of kids,later on in time it took a very brave Alan Brazil to come forward and get a conviction on the perpatrator of such a heinous crime!

    Come on Alex let’s blow this football backwater called Scotland apart!

  69. Pauline says:

    The media in Scotland are finally getting exposed for the pro-rangers bias that thay have spewed for decades, only this time they cannot dismiss it as ‘paranoid Celtic Fans’

    The ironic thing being that with all the revelations emerging out of Rangers and the higher echelons of Scottish football, it seems the Celtic fans may not have been paranoid enough.

  70. Harry says:

    Murray has lots and lots and LOTS on all these hacks!

    Wonder what it might be? :)

    The days of lamb are long gone, yet they dare not cross, or be seen to cross him and his agenda..

  71. tambo says:

    Alex, I hope you dont let the threats and insults put you off from what has been poisoning Scottish Football for decades. Stewart Regan seemed decidedly uneasy at your questioning and often wouldn`t let you finish asking your question.

    Yet Stewart Regan is only fresh into the job so what is it that he is clearly frightened of when questioned by yourself ? Scottish footballing fans outside Ibrox have for years claimed that the SFA were in the back pocket of Rangers as were the SPL.

    How can it be possible that illegal EBT`s have been up and running since the very inception of the SPL in 1998 only for the SPL to claim they did not know anything about them.

    Surely they are not trying to claim that Sir David Murray “duped” the SFA and SPL year after year after year !

    PLease keep up your good honest work Alex.

  72. amac says:

    Good article and I agree that the Scottish media have been negligent in their coverage of Rangers so as to keep onside with David Murray. IOne small point though. The quote you use from Graham Spiers sounds familiar to me as it sounds very similar to a quote he gave on one of the many TV appearances he’s made over the last few weeks. Can I ask if that is a direct quote to you or did you take it from another interview he did?

  73. Thomas Moore says:

    How refreshing to see such honest journalism. Well done Alex, you are boldly going where no journalist has ever gone before and if you succeed you should be given a knighthood.

  74. Jim McLaughlin says:

    Keep digging Alex. Your work is very important.

  75. gandalf says:

    Hi, it not just football up here that could do with some decent investigative journalism… I’m sure c4 would find rich pickings… Glasgow council, purcell, labour links within BBC Scotland, jobs for the boys etc etc

  76. sligobhoykds says:
  77. bhoyohbhoy says:

    It is good to see these things start bubble out of the wider National Media. But, succulent lamb was a fair few years ago now – you’ve still got a lot of ground to cover, but be sure it’s there to cover!

  78. Ian says:


    You certainly have found the “flavour” of the story.

    I’m looking forward to you bringing the rest of the UK up to speed on the various elements of the tale & then taking it forward.

    The more I read the more unbelievable it gets & if only half of it is true it is a major Sports scandal.

    I am still amazed at the support given to RFC by the Scottish media.

    I am reading/listening/seeing, scandal, double dealings, possible illegal shinanigans at the highest level… then I read the lamb mob & it is ALL ignored. We need Rangers… end of. No morals, no scruples, just an agenda.

    I wish you all the best in untangling this mess & making the blame stick where it belongs.

    I hope UEFA start taking an interest in your reports as this story could reverbate throughout Europe if proven.

  79. john clarke says:

    cardiff bhoy’s mention of Archie Macpherson reminds that the said Archie confirmed in his book his experience of the virulent anti-Catholicism of Peter Thomson, the head of Sport in BBC Radio in the fifties and sixties. That wicked man was never challenged by senior managemers in the BBC.

  80. G Robertson says:

    Alex, please please please, keep up the good work. As a Glaswegian living in England I despair of the Scottish media. As someone who entertains ideas of Scottish independence, I despair of what that could possibly look like in a country with such a retarded media. The problems within Scotland and the blind eyes that are turned within the media are truly staggering. The more things change the more they stay the same. The nasty parochial side of Scottish life can only truly be view from the outside looking in.

  81. Simon says:

    Hardly a ground-breaking blog !

    1. Who were you threatened by Alex ?
    Because if you don´t give details then some may believe you imagined it.
    There was a women character on an old Scottish programme “Chewing the Fat” who had an extremely good sense of smell !!

    2. Press go easy on XX for privilaged access.
    Wow, that´s amazing !

    3. Rangers and Celtic always have put effective pressure on the media. The difference being Celtic did it for the benefit of Celtic, whilst SDM and CW whilst in charge of Rangers did it for the benefit of SDM and CW and against the wider interests of Rangers FC.

    4. Spiers, previously guilty of SLamb and currently unemployed,..goes in the direction of attention and what he might perceive to be the future.
    Surprised ?

    1. Carntyne says:

      You really are a tosser Simon.

      1. Simon says:

        Try adressing the points instead of abuse.

        As far as AT is concerned he´s already misrepresented my words in one of of his blogs.

        When I e-mailed him on the issue he said that he didn´t agree with my opinion that media manipulation by Murray was principally for Murray´s benefit and not Rangers. He thought it was for Rangers and for that reason he´d changed what I wrote.

        The problem was though, that the blog was supposed to be about the opinions of Rangers fans.
        He decided to change my opinion to suit his blog.

        So with that in mind, I´m not going to believe that type of claim about the threat of physical violence from a journalist without coming out with the details.
        It smacks of embellishment as it stands.

      2. Carntyne says:

        It’s pointless addressing your opinions.

        You just ignore what you don’t want to discuss.

        You really, really are a tosser Simon.

    2. diegodargo says:

      A stupid tosser at that

    3. Ian says:

      Was there a point to this Simon?

      I found the “Chewing the Fat” remark funny, no not Funny, FKN amazing.

      For years we wallow in MSM Bullsh*t & you are content.

      Alex scrapes the surface & hey HE is wrong.

      As for the Blog, do you believe in development?

      This story has a long way to go & as I wrote earlier, I am glad a PRO is on it, with a wide audience & a checkable provenance.

      Go read how his other stories developed & worry.

      Hiding places will be few & far between.

      There is a song in my head tho I can’t remember who sang it. It is becoming a Rangers Anthem.

      The song is “It wasn’t Me”

      1. Simon says:

        “PRO” journalist !

        1. He deliberately misrepresented my words on the “Rangers fans have their say” blog (see post above 10.22pm).

        2. He put up a blog last week that included “Rangers and Celtic” had a cozy relationship with the press.
        It was edited within minutes.

        3. He gets some of his script from the movers and shakers of Celtic political community.
        See Tony McKelvie/twitter.
        See also last week “Loyal club routinely at odds with HM….”.

        4. The claim about the physical threat on the above blog is nothing more than imaginary embellishment if he doesn´t give further and precise detail.

        5. His material WRT “exclusive nature” is coming and has been supplied by afore-mentioned Celtic´s political community.

        6. This material has been available for months yet now, when Rangers are in administartion it is used.

        7. AT has been spoon-fed the angle and is being led by the hand.
        Good easy exclusive = good for career.

        8. Hugh Adam, has known what he has known for how long ?
        But now is when he comes forward.

        I don´t pretend RFC haven´t done anything wrong and we await due process to run it´s course.

        However the Celtic-Minded want more and this is what the current orchastrated campaign is about.
        To maximise damage on their main rival.
        Forget all the talk of the moral highground, it´s balderdash….it´s tied up in hate.

        There are many other clubs, who if their accounts are examined forensicly will be in trouble.
        Cast your mind back to the Hugh Adam interview when he was trying to make clear that “football” was guilty of not doing things by the book.

      2. Ian says:


        IF ALL THIS INFO was in the PUBLIC DOMAIN, long before Alex came up & REPORTED it in the MAIN STREAM MEDIA, why then did I not read it in THE SCOTTISH PRESS?

        That is the whole point about the Succulent Lamb Blog. It would appear that you have taken a personal dislike to Alex & what he has written.

        Too near the bone perhaps? Is the TRUTH hurting?

        See also last week “Loyal club routinely at odds with HM….”. What is wrong with THAT observation?

        Seems to me he hit the nail right on the head. Forget FTT’s, EBT’s, Big Tax cases & Wee Tax cases. Just look at the 9 months before Administration.
        Rangers MONTHLY failed to make their VAT & PAYE returns, in effect they did not pay between £9m & £15m during this period.

        £9m to £15m in UNPAID tax & you seem to feel that Rangers are ill done by because a REPORTER dares to report it?

        Amazing thought processes there.

      3. Simon says:

        1. The info I refer to that will provide Alex with his “exclusive” hasn´t yet been in the public domain although rumours of it have been there for precisly 366 days. It will or probably has been provided to him by RTC.

        I do agree with the MSM not having covered themselves in glory and have already stated this.

        2. Nothing personal with AT.
        Simply read the points I make in the post @ 10.45am.

        3. “Loyal club routinely at odds with HM…”
        That was a line supplied by those helping him with material and background. Those who are supposedly “not involved”.

        4. 15M PAYE, NIC etc., we haven´t paid them and that was reported weeks ago.

  82. bryan wylie says:

    Surely Chick Young, Jim Traynor and Hugh Keevans are past their sell by date in Scottish football. Its time for a new younger breed of reporters not afraid to upset the so called establishment. Good luck Alex.

  83. john says:

    campbell olgilvie, double contracts, murray international metals, due diligance etc i look forward to observing traynor, young et al attempting to cover all this in the coming weeks, months and years while covering their own arses over their pathetic fawning coverage of rangers generally, and david murray particularly,over the past couple of decades.
    as much as i admire c4 news, especially its coverage of the iraq war, which was the best prolonged piece of journalism in my lifetime, i can’t help feel embarassed that in a country which could be independent in two years we don’t have a decent journalistic culture to investigate the likes of rangers and the sfa (perhaps people like hugh macdonald and graham speirs excepted)and that we’re reliant on alez coming in and shining a light on the gloom of scottish football and scottish society.

  84. old codger says:

    The relish in which Celtic fans are all over this blog only highlights the level of vigour, akin to bloodlust, in their support. At the moment Rangers are rudderless offering an ideal opportunity for their enemies to finish them off. All this clamour for truth and justice is just a co-incidence. I think not.

    1. Auldheid says:

      Och just put it down to hunger for something that has not been on the menu before.(as opposed to succulent lamb)

      1. Simon says:

        If we´re talking media then if it was Lamb from Murray, what did DD and/or Lawwell feed them ?

      2. Auldheid says:
      3. Simon says:

        I thought it might be steak pie at Parkhead but that´s only when it suits !

        Same as not needing Rangers,….when it suits Mr.Lawwell ?

        Lawwell/Celtic are going to do an about turn which means many of you righteous ones will have to give up following your team if you stay true to your word.

      4. Carntyne says:

        ….. you righteous ones will have to give up following your team if you stay true to your word.

        We at least will have a team to follow next season.

        Rangers fans have still not accepted that they most certainly won’t.

        Bye, Bye Rangers.

    2. Ian says:

      Old Codger, I disagree, I find it more like a Revolution.

      Yesterday they couldn’t, today they can.


      Freedom of Information, or in this case, exchange of facts between knowledgable people.

      Previously the MSM viewpoint was the “fact” cos it was in the papers, so it must have been true.

      I have become active in reading blogs & I find it amazing how many MSM “EXCLUSIVES” I have already read in the previous weeks/months ONLINE.

      I am more amazed at the number of denials, by the MSM, on a STORY which is later claimed as one of their exclusives.

      I think the “bloodlust” is justified.

      All I seem to read is that no matter what, WE need Rangers.

      I read tonight of Killie’s Owner being willing to sell his club’s soul on the alter of RFC survival… for a price.

      If I were a Killie fan I would not be a happy bunny.

      Does his statement not bring his position on the licencing board into disrepute?

    3. Carntyne says:

      Yep, Old Yin, we can’t wait for Rangers to perish.

      Sooner the better.

    4. Bruce says:

      ‘All this clamour for truth and justice’

      How very sinister.

  85. Hack says:

    Alex, I fear you are being mischievous in the extreme here. In fact, I suspect you’re ‘aving a larf.

    You were alerted to the Rangers story by Celtic bloggers who insist there is a story of Watergate dimensions to be found that is being suppressed by a pro-Gers media. Fair enough. Certainly worth checking out. Absolute nonsense, mind you. But, hey, you’re not to know what gives in Jocko Land.

    So what have you found in the week or so you’ve been on the case?

    Well, you did a TV interview with Hugh Adam. Which you should be ashamed about. Clearly this is a frail, elderly, ill – and kindly – gentleman who should not have been exposed to viewers. Anyway, he merely confirmed what he’s been claiming in the Scottish press for the past two years.

    And today you ‘expose’ the compliant media up here by quoting from Graham Spiers and claiming you have been physically threatened by some of them.

    On the ‘physical threat’, I assume you are referring to David Leggat in his Leggoland blog. This is a semi-literate buffoon who clearly has ‘issues’. Leglessland would be a more apposite title for his inane and insane blog. Let’s just say he is a laughing stock among the media, more to be pitied than scorned. His words carry no weight whatsover. And that is me being kind to him…

    I’m told he penned this little charmer about you recently – “Check him out on Twitter for identification purposes should he try his wee sleekit trick anywhere where he isn’t welcome. A polite, you’re not welcome here, old chap, please leave, should do the trick.”

    Is this the threat you refer to? If it is, then you have absolutely nothing to fear, believe me.

    If there were other threats – and I don’t believe for one minute there were – then more detail would be useful, if just to keep your credibility intact.

    As for Mr Speirs, his niche is the fair-minded, middle-class nice guy among the cynical, hairy-arsed working-class football hacks. Has to be said though that since becoming freelance he’s learned to suck-up to former foes in the press pack. Right now, he’s having to take a piece from anybody’s door – a Scottish saying, Alex – and your door is as good as anyone’s.

    Will bet, though, that these remarks are something he will regret in the fullness of time when he discovers how shallow your ‘investigation’ turns out.

    So what have you revealed thus far? Nothing that hasn’t been in the Scottish media ad nauseam for more than a year.

    I have worked on news and sports desks of many national titles in Scotland – broadsheets, mid-markets, tabloids – and never once witnessed any agenda being played out. Oh, and I am a Celtic fan.

    As you are, no doubt, finding out, there is a deep bitterness among many fans of the clubs that brings shame to Scotland.

    Both sets of supporters insist their club is discriminated against by the authorities, the SFA, SPL, referees, the media etc in favour of the other side.

    It is, of course, absolute nonsense. Well, they can’t both be right. Can they?

    Let me point something out. There is no bias towards either of them. None.

    Now to ‘succulent lamb’. You should know how the game works. Seems you don’t though. Maybe you – as you like to point out frequently – have been in too many war zones where things pan out differently.

    Anyway, a quick lesson. The Celtic bloggers should tune in carefully too.

    Football is showbiz. The game needs the media and the media needs the game. Simple really. Showbiz. That’s why the big clubs employ PR staff and contractually insist that players and managers do interviews – to maintain a flow of info to the media that keeps them in the spotlight. Also keeps the sponsors happy, ensures ticket sales soar, that papers get sold. Everyone’s happy.

    Cosy relationships are formed on both sides and indeed there are even drinks and dinners where contacts are forged. As Jim Traynor, author of the ‘succulent lamb’ article, recently pointed out, that meal was vin ordinaire and he’s had much better fare at the tables of Celtic ‘s high heid-yins.

    This idea of ‘agendas’ is simply perpetuated by fanatics because they get some sort of kick from being on the receiving end of a bigoted media – as they see it.

    Scottish football may be in crisis but any failings by the football authorities are due to acts of incompetence rather than anything sinister.

    If Rangers go down the plug it will be because David Murray gambled and lost on a dodgy tax scheme then stupidly sold the club to a con man. That’s it. Not because the SFA and the media were involved in some massive cover-up conjured up in Masonic lodges.

    I reckon that in a couple of months you will look back on this ‘story’ as a complete waste of your time.

    I also suspect, if you are truly honest with yourself, you’ll realise you were duped by deluded hordes into believing some monumental Watergate was about to unfold for you.

    The real story, in fact, is the depth of the hatred, bitterness and delusion between the warring tribes. But then that’s not as sexy.

    I wish you well in uncovering some smoking gun because, as it is, your reputation is taking a bit of a beating. Let me leave you with an earth-shattering exclusive – Scottish journalism is among the best in the world and your cheap shot, or woeful ignorance, does you no favours whatsoever.

    Finally, no-one will be happier than me if you do get a result – and I’ll happily treat you to a very splendid lamb dinner washed down with some vintage Chateau Lafite.

    Alas, tail between the legs and back over the border is how I see it all panning out for you.

    You have a lot of work to do so I’ll leave you to it.

  86. Simon says:

    “Come into the Celtic boardroom with me, as viewed last Wednesday lunchtime. The large oval table is set decorously for around 15 people and over in the corner a sumptuous buffet awaits. The great, the good, and the rank rotten of the Scottish sports media are here by invitation to break bread and share conversation with John Reid, the Celtic chairman, and Peter Lawwell, the club’s chief executive. And I kid you not — on the menu is succulent lamb.”

    G.Spiers in The Times, 1 November 2009:

    1. JMCSMS says:

      Bit out of context Simon but you’re a stranger to ironic counterpoint aren’t you? Anyhoo, see your quote and raise you with:

      “The most succulent facts about this tale are still to be revealed” RTC, March 2012.

      Fat lady takes deep breath.

    2. Bruce says:

      Maybe Lawwell and Reid were making a point.

      1. Simon says:

        Yes, of course old John Reid would never have dreamed of tried to spin a line.

        He, alongside Blair was obviously totally innocent when he made the case for invading Iraq with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        If the Celtic support begin to think that CFC don´t hold great sway in the media then you are naive to the extreme or easily blinded.

        As I´ve pointed out, the undoubted influence that Murray held within media circles was to the detriment of Rangers FC and it´s support.
        Look where we are today.

        If there is anybody who has a right to be unhappy with the way the media have done their job it is us.

        Your extraordinary celebrations are in part down to the media and the issues that are brought up.

      2. Bruce says:

        Simon, are you suffering from a form of Tourettes? You seem to have no control over what you write.

        Still absolutely no sign that you lot are prepared to face up to the conduct of your club.

    3. Ian says:

      Simon, Are YOU really this THICK? or is this just a continuous deflection?

      What did Celtic WANT in return? Publicity, What did they get?

      What did SDM want & get? His MOONBEAMS spread across the papers like Factual reports, the deeper the Sh*t, the bigger the story.

      What did Whyte want? He got it, reports of his Multi Billions being off the Radar. This lead to a clean run at screwing Rangers.

      What did the Rangers support get? Screwed for years by their owners & so much bullsh*t from the MSM that they will not look a fact in the face.

      1. Simon says:

        Thick ?….At least I can read !

        You actually
        agree with me WRT to Murrays influence and the effect it had on the club and it´s support.

        It was “smoke and mirrors” from Toxic Jack that were for the benefit of Murray.
        They were designed so as to keep the support sweet and in the main unquestioning.

        So in the long-term they were to the benefit of CFC, look at todays situation.
        Just as the general perception amongst Rangers supporters that the Mark Daly documentary on CW was against the club (CW manipulated the situation/ again Toxic Jacks work) when in actual fact it was anti-Whyte and for good reason.
        You could say similar in principal re. the RTC blog.


        As for Celtic´s influence in the media….Do you not think they have any ?

      2. Ian says:

        YEP Really thick!


        JESUS H CHRIST, there is delusional & plain Fkn mad.

        Let me get this right, Rangers Cheat, their owners SCREW their supporters, the PR mob run riot & support the owners, the press print MOOMBEAMS & BILLIONAIRE STORIES which the Rangers fans LOVE.
        THEN it all crashes…

        THEN they publish MORE PR SH*TE, MOONBEAMS & an ongoing pile of manure about all the bids & deals.

        SO MANY TYCOONS FIGHTING TO BE THE NEW OWNER OF RANGERS. WHY? cos HMRC are going to settle for FA as will all other right minded creditors?

        CHEATING on Licencing, EBTs, DOUBLE CONTRACTS, MASSIVE TAX DEBTS? no problem, the white wash is almost ready, I mean, it is for the good of Scottish Football.

        WE all need Rangers, don’t we? so NO sanctions allowed. Business as usual.

        Then it all crashes AGAIN.

      3. Simon says:

        I´ll give you the benefit of the doubt and let´s say you´d had a few drinks last night.
        I´ll even try and make it easier for you to understand and we´ll number bullet points, so as you can reply to each point and explain why you disagree.
        Then you can answer the question i set below.

        1. Murray, (using Toxic Jack Irvine) employed spin / moonbeams / smoke & mirrors (call it what you will) in a effective manner.

        2. It was mostly directed at the Rangers support.

        3. The intention was two-fold.
        Firstly, to dupe, confuse and/or placate the support in moments of difficulty or interest in on and off field matters.
        Secondly, to preserve, enhance or limit damage to Murrays reputation / ego. This was very important to Murray.

        4. After two decades of this, much of the support lost it´s critical awareness and this allowed CW to come in, manipulate the media (Toxic Jack again), creating common enemies to unite much of the support behind him, whilst he run the club into the ground.

        5. The result of the above is now plain to see.


        So Alex Thomson is right when he says the media have played the game with Murray….but it was in the main for his benefit and to the detriment of the club´s long-term interests.

        It also has to be said that the “spin-culture” that is so prevelent to day WRT the media isn´t restricted to Glasgow. It is now a part of the scene and the reason why the likes of “Media House” do so well.
        So you have companies who in essence are “professional misleaders of any given target market”.
        That can be a clubs supporters or the electorate of a country.

        We´d be doing well if this business activity was examined more closely as they get away with so much, almost without anyone noticing,…isn´t that right Toxic Jack Irvine ?

      4. Ian says:

        Simon, I will ignore your cheap jibe about drink, if either of us appears to be abusing substances, going by the tripe you write, I would think it is you.

        READ THE BLOG. It is about the Succullent Lamb Journos.

        RANGERS paid PR experts to come up with crap & the MSM in Scotland reported it as FACT. Rangers supporters swallowed it, hook,line & sinker for YEARS.

        If anyone said different THEY were Paranoid or Bampots etc this from the lamb eating Media. The Rangers supporters LOVED it. Paranoia became their answer to everything.

        Now WHAT EXACTLY is your point? Alex seems to have got a grip on the MSM in Scotland quickly & accurately.

      5. Bruce says:


        ‘Thick ?….At least I can read !’

        Wanna bet?

        ‘That is to say, I am not investigating Celtic.’

        Again, all this Celtic do it as much as rrra berrrz stuff is just so much deflection. Actually try reading Alex’s blog. Once you get past the quote above, notice that he’s not particularly having a go at Rangers for trying to manipulate the Scottish media – as you say, Celtic try to do it too. He’s criticising the Scottish media’s soul-selling compliance. Away and read Keith Jackson’s account of how Whyte came to be referred to as a billionaire. He’s criticising Scottish media’s response at the prospect of being exposed to their..er…peers.

        Read it again, then come back and brag about your reading prowess.

        ps – wee challenge for you. Do you think you can get through an entire post without mentioning Celtic? And typing ‘Yes’ doesn’t count.

      6. Simon says:

        You say…
        “he’s not particularly having a go at Rangers for trying to manipulate the Scottish media – as you say, Celtic try to do it too. He’s criticising the Scottish media’s soul-selling compliance”

        At least that´s a start.
        If it´s (blog) about the media and you say Celtic do it aswell then why is it prohibited to mention Celtic ?

        Do we live in Burma/1998 ?

        You go on relentlessly about the billionaire line.
        Less was made of the 45 minute line re. justification of Iraq invasion.

        Most of the Celtic support have now been “morally brainwashed” into righteous upstanders of Her Majesty´s “rules and regulations” now that it suits !!

        The “New Media” as any other media can be used in a way that helps agendas in an unbalanced way.

        Control of the agenda, it´s timing and speed by one side of the fence isn´t healthy.


      7. Bruce says:

        Oh, for crying out loud…Once again, slowly…just to help you, Simon.

        Its a blog about the media’s treatment of Rangers. Alex doesn’t want to go into Celtic, I suspect, because he’s getting wise the ways the likes of yourself use whatabootery to bog down any discussion and deflect from your team’s conduct. Although I wouldn’t rule out sheer bloody minded stupidity on your part.

        If you’re going to start drawing fatuous and moronic comparisons between Scottish football and Burma or Iraq, I suspect you’re doing it in the wrong blog. Alex Thomson might just hand you your arse on a plate.

  87. joe strummer says:

    So let me get this right, Alex. After two weeks in Glasgow speaking to a multitude of paranoid Masonic Illuminati-obsessed Rangers-hating journalists, ironically disproportionally employed within the supposed Rangers-biased and anti-Catholic Glasgow media, and not including ex-Rangers director Mr Adam and Mr Spiers who both have long running personal vendettas with Sir David Murray, you’ve came to the conclusion that the Glasgow media favour and protect Rangers ? Is this what passes as serious journalism on Channel 4 ? Try living in Glasgow and reading both the serious and tabloid football reportage every day for even a month and you’ll discover for yourself the reality of the situation. I’m sorry, Alex, you’ve been stung and suckered by some seriously hateful and deluded individuals.

    1. Bruce says:

      Joe, you’re a comic genius.

    2. Carntyne says:

      “I’m sorry, Alex, you’ve been stung and suckered by some seriously hateful and deluded individuals.”

      No he hasn’t Joe, you don’t fool him one bit.

  88. malkybhoy says:

    please investigate why a charity match in aid of UNICEF has now suddenly been turned into a benefit match for rangers f.c.as they are now to recieve the share of the charity money collected by the rangers charity foundation on behalf of UNICEF…i personally find this shameful that a corrupt football club should benefit at the expense of a childrens charity…..

  89. joe strummer says:

    Where is the empirical evidence, even one definitive scrap,to suggest that the SFA / SPL / Glasgow media are ” owned ” and always have been by Rangers ? There must be tons of the stuff out there if it were true, but there isn’t, which says it all. It is just so laughable that quite rightly no-one apart from the Glaswegian equivalents of David Icke takes the premise seriously.

    1. Ian says:

      Joe, is that not because the laptop tell us we MUST wait for proof, EG the result of the FTT?, or things Can’t be discussed for Legal reasons?

      How much serious REPORTING has gone on since the Rangers problems were first highlighted?

      What is YOUR serious assessment of the current RFC situation? What do you base it on?

      If it is the Scottish MSM then God help you over your shock when it happens.

      1. joe strummer says:

        Ian, the premise is that Rangers have ” institutionally owned ” not only the Scottish football authorities but also the media, which is simply insane. The glee and lynch-mob feeding frenzy of both the football authorities and the media towards Rangers current situation should end that myth one and for all, apart from of course, certain bigoted crackpots.

      2. Ian says:

        Joe, the only person I have read who makes the premise that Rangers have ” institutionally owned ” not only the Scottish football authorities but also the media is YOU.

        Alex talks of the compliance of the Scottish MSM in this by taking Rangers PR products & using them as factual stories & this is true.

        All the Moonbeams, £700m Casino/Hotel/ floating pitches in the 2nd biggest, most modern stadium in Britain. It seems the bigger the crisis the bigger the bullsh*t.

        Same with Whyte multi billionaire whose wealth is off the radar & PR to choke a horse, all more bull but published as fact.The press up here were reluctant to print Anything bad about Whyte & he was able to do what he wanted unhindered.

        Even now the crap being written is unbelievable.

        I asked already for YOUR take on the Rangers situation. Do YOU believe that various tycoons are vying to buy Rangers, that a CVA for pennies in the pound will be agreed, that any & all wrongdoing will be put aside & Rangers will continue in the SPL or a Newco will take their place because SCOTTISH FOOTBALL NEEDS RANGERS?

        That is what I am reading in the Scottish press.

        My take on things is:

        No serious bid can be offered while the situ is in flux. FTT result, Ticketus? debt or not, 2nd contracts, HMRC’s attitude towards their outstanding tax issues? Too many unanswered questions & OUR press aint asking them.

        How much money are Rangers spending per week, how long can it last? Are the Administrators handling things properly or just adding on fees.

        From what I can see Rangers fans support the Blue Knight bid, the administrators don’t seem to want it to win. Do they know something we don’t? Again why is OUR press not on this issue.

        Is Ticketus a debt or not, the Administrators will decide if it becomes unsecured debt. Ticketus would apparently work with the Blue Knights, providing finance in expectation of their deal being honoured over a longer period. That is MY understanding of the arrangement between them & Paul Murray. Yes/No?

        If yes, then the Administrators actions are weird as a Ticketus £24m unsecured debt dilutes any offer that can be made to HMRC? Why does this not matter? Is it a case that HMRC will NOT accept a CVA? If so fees are being ran up until liquidation becomes the only way out. Again NOTHING from the Scottish media.

        If No, then WHAT IS the arrangement which will make accepting all the debt a viable option? Once again SILENCE from the lamb munchers.

  90. John C says:

    Whats the chances of Simon, Marty, old codger and joe strummer all being attached to Scottish media or PR companies ?

    1. joe strummer says:

      Yes, John C, the Illuminati Masonic conspirators have already disposed of all the ” evidence ” of Rangers ownership of Scottish football and the media. They’re always up to something, those Masons, to do down Celtic.

    2. Ian says:

      NO CHANCE, they are just hitting out cos they are hurt & will blame any one … except their own. They have their heads buried in the sand.

      Do You know the old joke about sand? Actually it’s sh*t but both apply to Rangers supporters.

      There is BAD news & GOOD news. The BAD news? they are no longer up to their knees in Fenian blood, all this bad publicity has put them up to their knees in Sh*T.

      The GOOD news? They are doing HANDSTANDS cos the press will save them… BOOM, BOOM !

      1. joe strummer says:

        Ian, interesting that you quote ” all this bad publicity ” that Rangers are currently receiving. According to the Rangers-obsessed Celtic fans on here Rangers owned the media and were indeed protected by them ? You prove my point for me that the club aren’t protected by anyone, never mind the media.

      2. mick says:

        Joe,the internet is the instrument of openness which has led to the collapse of the MSM. Myself and others have ignored their ramblings for many a year now.Ian mentioned ‘bad publicity’ but not from which media,so I guess your assertion that he ‘proved your point’is invalid. Have a good day, but not as good as mine!

      3. Bruce says:

        No. By and large, the villain of the bad publicity is not Rangers. Rangers are protected. Its Whyte who gets it in the neck with an occasional grudging acceptance that Murray must bear some responsibility.

      4. Carntyne says:

        Calm down Joe.

        Very soon there will be no Rangers to become obsessed about.

        Get used to it.

      5. Ian says:


        ALEX, PHIL MAC, RTC etc have all provided facts which the MSM have not or have belatedly reported.

        The Scottish press have harmed the ordinary Rangers fans by their obsessive following of the RFC Club OWNERS PR line.

        First old Minty & his Moonbeams then the Motherwell Born Billionaire whose wealth was off the radar. Years of fantasy & bullsh*t dressed up as facts to protect RFC OWNERS position.

      6. joe strummer says:

        Ian, I wouldn’t take the wish list and fantasies of clearly mentally-ill lunatics on Celtic fan websites as “being outside the MSM ” and as any credible proof of anything. Their small man-syndrome towards their Ibrox superiors is also embarrassing to observe.

        Even these Rangers blogs by Alex Thomson contain more Celtic fans than Rangers, which only confirms my assertion of their Rangers obsession. I posted last night asking for even one piece of irrefutable evidence that the SFA / SPL / Scottish media are “owned ” by Rangers. Yet still nothing appears……..

    3. old codger says:

      john c
      now that is just plain daft, listen to yourself

    4. Carntyne says:

      I don’t think so John.

      Although not too bright they are not nearly stupid enough to get a job as a Scottish sports reporter.

  91. Charles Lewis says:

    Alex, your comments are essentially accurate but by being focused solely on Rangers you are missing half the story and giving a misleading impression to your readers. The reality is that a sycophantic Scottish press has never seriously questioned the rich men who own our clubs whether it be a Murray, a Thompson or a Desmond. The brown stuff really has to hit the fan for the Scottish media to sit up and take notice. We don’t know what skeletons are sitting in their closets but we do know that the Scottish press are not looking.

    At the same time, this same media has gone after ordinary supporters with a vengeance. They have stoked up controversy where it didn’t exist and created a whole new industry around solving a ‘problem’ that was quietly disappearing anyway. But ordinary people have no clout with the media and lack the financial means to ‘influence’ the media whether it be by excellent meals or by the ability to withdraw advertising.

    If you want to be taken seriously, I suggest that you take your ‘investigation’ beyond the easy low-hanging fruit. There is nothing in your blog that I could not have written myself. Frankly, we expect better of a professional journalist.

  92. Martin says:

    You do need to go to Lithuania and speak to Mad Vlad. I am sure he would pay for you to go and see him and eat some Lithuanian lamb.
    You and this blog were brought up at length on Radio Scotland’s your call tonight http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01dtjyx/Your_Call_with_Jim_Traynor_24_03_2012/ listen 20 minutes in. Just the usual denials etc from Young and English.
    The old firm are at it and its going to take someone from the outside to prove it. Why do the SPL and SFA take no action against the sectarian singing of both Rangers and Celtic fans.
    I am sure lots of people will tune in to tomorrows #bigotmania 2012 but not to watch the football but for everything that will happen off the park. The old firm = Scotland shame.

  93. Stuart Bell says:

    I initially welcomed the news you were investigating the issue.

    As a Rangers season ticket holder and shareholder I feel that any suggestion of wrongdoing by the club with regards ‘double contracts’ or ‘side payments’ should be investigated fully.

    I will also say that I would fully accept the appropriate punishments should these accusations prove to be true(the fact that the club is being investigated, not by the SPL itself, but by Celtic’s very own lawyers on behalf of the SPL while the club is in administration is a different argument for a different time though).

    That said, I can’t shake the feeling you’re now just attempting to justify your decision to invest time and resources on this issue, by scrambling for the hint of a story anywhere you can find it.

    Is the promised fantastical story of all-encompassing corruption at the highest level designed to handicap one club and one section of Scottish community perhaps not there after all?

    The ‘revelation’ from a former director that he was ‘sure’ side payments had been made by Rangers two weeks after the exact same story had appeared in the Daily Mail certainly adds to this feeling.

    The fact that this director waited until he was away from Ibrox for over a decade before talking, is well known for his dislike of David Murray, can offer absolutely no proof (or actual instances of when) these payments were made, admits that he had no real powers of decision making or policy implementation during his time under Murray, and goes on to say that ‘everybody in football is doing it’ doesn’t help either.

    This latest piece on the Scottish press just reads like something we have come to expect from the growing number of Celtic-minded online bloggers whose current influence far outweighs their actual standing.

    Did David Murray have his lap dogs in the Scottish press then? Absolutely!

    Does Peter Lawwell have his lap dogs in the Scottish press now? Absolutely!

    By focusing your investigation on this particular issue to RFC only you are, in my opinion, limiting yourself to such a degree that it renders it all a moot point.

    I’m sure if you were to speak again to the “thoughtful” Rangers fans you’ve encountered recently they will be happy to point out to you the numerous examples of the stranglehold Peter Lawwell and Celtic currently have over the Scottish press.

    Did the Scottish press miss out on a huge story regarding Craig Whyte? Absolutely!

    The million dollar question is why this happened…

    Ignoring the arrival of a crook like Whyte hardly seems like the actions of a compliant and sycophantic media eager to enhance the fortunes of its favourite club does it?

    As Rangers and Celtic are very much ‘two cheeks of the same a**e’ I can assure you that press manipulation is very much a two way street, and is an issue which should be closely, and fully, examined…in the interests of fairness of course!

    I understand that this investigation is still in its early stages and that there may be some genuinely earth shattering news to come. As I mentioned at the start, all facts will be welcomed.

    My fear is that you are drawn down entirely the wrong road in search of some great conspiracy that doesn’t exist by a cabal of perennial victims (in defiance of the facts) with a blind, obsessive, albeit articulate, hatred for Rangers.

    1. pat says:

      Stuart Bell, I see you are another who is missing the point and bringing Celtic into the equation.

      Murray is criticised – “what about Lawwell?”

      This is a waste of time. Lawwell may or may not have media ‘lap dogs'(debatable) but his club are not in a perilous situation. He has not been aided by a compliant media to mislead people about his club’s financial situation.

      “By focusing your investigation on this particular issue to RFC only you are, in my opinion, limiting yourself to such a degree that it renders it all a moot point”

      – not so. Hate to be a broken record but it’s Rangers who are in admin and might go bust. By focusing on RFC’s relationship with the media it is one possible way of establishing how RFC are in this predicament.

      Celtic are in no danger and so there is little need to look into what is going on there. If the main crux of the investigation was just into the standard of the Scottish sports media then by all means Celtic’s relationship with them should be examined. Just as it should with every other Scottish club, but again, your whataboutery only includes Celtic. Funny that.

      1. Charles Lewis says:

        You don’t know that Celtic (or any other club for that matter) are in ‘no danger’ precisely because a compliant media will not tell you until it is too late. The Rangers situation has laid bare the failure of a sycophantic Scottish media. It would be prudent for all supporters to consider that this failure may not just be limited to one club.

      2. Ian says:

        Celtic have published their AUDITED annual results on time every year. These show that Celtic would appear to be a well run company.

        Can you tell me which item or items within these AUDITED accounts that would cause you to doubt the club’s viability?

        You say that the Rangers situation has laid bare the failure of a sycophantic Scottish Media & this type of reporting may not be limited to just ONE club.

        Away & boil yer heid, the same numpties who were covering up for Rangers were ripping HEARTS apart & SUPPORTING action against them.

        Rest assured, if ANYTHING was wrong with Celtic or their accounts, it would be on the FRONT page, the BACK page & a few in the middle.

        I feel I am justified in saying that the Scottish press were SYCOPHANTIC to ONE club only, RANGERS & it is coming home to roost now.

      3. pat says:

        Thankyou Ian, that’s pretty much what I wanted to say.
        I will add though that I must apologise for in my post I wrote “compliant” when what I meant to write was “complicit” – the media have been complicit in Rangers’ downfall.That was the point of Alex’s article.

        To reiterate, he is establishing all of the factors that have lead to Rangers’ current predicament. That is the primary aim. It is not a full scale investigation into media standards.

        Even so, Charles Lewis tries to deviate from the pressing issue of Rangers’ precarious future – and how the media played a role in it – into a side discussion about Celtic and other clubs’ finances. As Ian pointed out, we are well aware of Celtic’s accounts, not that it has much relevance to Alex’s article.

        As I have said elsewhere, Rangers are the story. It’s not called ‘Rangersgate’ for no good reason.

  94. jonsouthgen says:

    Joe, sometime in January (i believe)a popular newspaper ran a column by J.Traynor questioning seriously, for the first time, C.W.`s actions. The content of the article consisted,largely,of material covered on line for many months and which had been denied,vigourously, night after night, by the “professionals” on the phone -ins.The following day a rival publication gave Mr Whyte space to reply to these allegations. Since then the tone of coverage in all Scottish papers has changed entirely from previous. This sea change has,in the opinion of many, been brought about by internet analysis (some perceptive,some purile) of the RFC/Whyte/SDM/Ticketus/dual contracts/ebts/etc. debacle which has brought the club to the position where the administators of RFC,currently trying to avoid liquidation, are asking the SFA/SPL why they are investigating the club at this time!! Would all of this have been available to the fotball supporting public ,through the Scottish media, previously ?. I could be wrong but i honestly don`t think it would. In fact should fans of RFC not have been questioning the football pundits as to why they did`nt cover this momentous story openly,until practically forced to. I do not consider myself to be “obsessed” by anything other than the blowing away of the vile “we arra people” mentality which has blighted Scotland for far too long.

  95. rod3mc says:

    Timmy conspiracy, Irish Mafia, Celtic, Neil Lennon, the Celtic fans, DD,the BBC, RTC. it was all they’re doing, If it wasnt for them Rangers would be champions as always.

    Seriously, thats all Ive heard since Rangers went into admin.

    Then come on here and split my sides reading through Simon’s Joe Strummers, Marty’s comments. “It wasnae Rangers fault! Get a grip eh

    You guys really want to to take a step and read the crap that your leaving on here.

    The most ironic thing Ive seen in last month or two is the bears calling the Celtic fans “dhims”, hilarious considering David Murray conned them for so long and brought their club to its knees, and if that wasnt bad enough, they were suckered by Jackson and Traynor in regards to Whyte. “Wealth off the radar” and all the guff that they naively swallowed hook line and sinker, “In Whyte we trust” is what the cry was.

    You couldnt make this stuff up

    1. Simon says:

      You should try reading the posts properly Rod.

      Then instead of the sweeping generalisations, debate the points brought up.

      No-one seems to go deeper into the points I´ve brought up and do you know why ?…It´s because you´re arguement wouldn´t hold-up.

      You´re so used to reading your new-media that you lose the capacity for independent thought.

      Brain-washed in a different way.

      1. rod3mc says:

        Like you did mine when I challenged your posts earlier?

        Ok, lets go back to that, you were saying you would liek things to be fair and balanced.

        What was fair and balanced about how David Murray and Rangers went about their business?

  96. Philip Edwards says:


    Great piece.

    But if you think Glasgow football journalism is putrid…….try London’s Arsenal-Spurs cesspit with a leavening of other “smaller” gangster run clubs.

    Glasgow’s an easy target. Try doing the same number in England’s unloved capital and see how far you get.

    Rangers appears to be a particularly bad example of what has gone wrong in football worldwide. However, I am willing to bet it’s NOTHING compared to what is going on in London and England. The recent QPR documentary showed how rotten to the core it is.

    So I dare you to have a go at London and English football in the same way. After all, as a Newcastle supporter you’ll have plenty to go at.

    1. Bruce says:

      Maybe, but what happens in Scottish football is bad enough to warrant investigation. As we’ve seen today.

  97. Simon says:

    I hope Alex enjoyed today´s game.

    Shh…listen….I hear that bottle smashing once again.

    Just aswell you´ve already won the Scottish Cup or Hearts might give you a game !

    1. Carntyne says:

      How many trophies have Rangers crashed out of this season?

      Oh! I remember now.

      Every one.

      Bye, bye Rangers.

      1. Bruce says:

        Well said, Carntyne.

  98. joe strummer says:

    I don’t know which melted quicker today, the ice cream held by Celtic’s Nazi supporters chanting their anti-British racism in the Broomloan Stand or their useless team bottling it in the bright ORANGE sun at Ibrox. Tainted titles mean nada. Enjoy !

    1. Bruce says:

      Joe, do you realise how bitter and how stupid you sound with posts like that? And just how much of a bigot you are?

    2. Simon says:

      It´s apparently what they want more of !
      ie. the one-horse race,…gives them a chance.

      How much merit do you deserve for winning a one-horse race ?

      1. Bruce says:

        So you agree with that post, Simon?

  99. rod3mc says:

    and here we have it, Wondered how long it would take one to revert back to type and start the Orange crap!

    Well done Joe, way to undermine your team!

    Why not enjoy the win, instead of starting the bigot stuff?

  100. Tony B says:

    Alex. Good to see an impartial reporter taking an interest in what is going on in this bigoted little country. Keep up the pressure.
    The response from a so called journalist shows how worried they are that they are being exposed.

    Here’s another example of the culture in Scotland.

    Neil Lennon the Celtic manager was sent off yesterday by the “referee” but was prevented from watching the game in the stand due to concerns for his safety.

    Such an occurence is unprecedented in football and says more about this country and its anti Irish Catholic culture than any amount of laptop loyal obfuscation can conceal no matter how concerted their efforts may be.

    There will be more about this in the coming days since I’m sure Celtic will want to take it further but you may want to highlight it yourself.

    1. Marty says:

      Hysterical, agenda-peddling nonsense. Why would Celtic take it further since it was Celtic’s own security people who advised Lennon not to sit in the stand? Maybe they were just being careful but in any case you can’t condemn a whole country because of the advice of Celtic’s security people.

      And Lennon has sat in the Ibrox stand before with no problems.

  101. joe strummer says:

    rod….you haven’t obviously read your new found friend Alex’s blog from Ibrox yesterday where he mentions the ” great big ORANGE thing in the sky “. Is he now a bigot ? Paranoid Celtic fans are tremendous fun.

    1. Bruce says:

      No, you are. Glad to clear that up for you.

  102. pat says:

    I am quite taken aback by the levels of stupidity displayed on this blog recently. There are some people on here who just don’t seem to get it.

    I shall explain. The purpose of Alex’s investigations are to find out just how one of Britain’s best known and most successful clubs got into the state it now finds itself: in administration, under investigation for possible rule breaches and with a real possibility of liquidation.

    That club is Rangers, not Celtic or anyone else, just Rangers.

    To find out how Rangers got into this mess, all the strands – of which there are many – have to be considered.
    This is includes reckless financial mis-management, possible rule breaking, media compliance and the role of the governing bodies and their relationship to the club.

    It is not an attack on Rangers, if anything Rangers fans should be glad that someone is trying to uncover how exactly they are where they are. But instead all many of them on here want to do is say, “what about Celtic” (not any other club I might add).

    Celtic are not the story!Celtic didn’t jeopardise their future for the sake of winning trophies. Celtic are not in administration, under investigation or likely to go bust. Is it that difficult to grasp?

    1. joe strummer says:

      pat, the EBT legality issue surrounding Rangers, which in turn spurred on the lunatic cheating allegations, stripped titles nonsense, etc, will also affect most major clubs in the UK, especially the top-tier of the English Premiership.

      This widely used tax avoidance employed by Rangers, as with other large companies, was also not uncommon at the time. Those tax schemes are indeed worth investigating by Alex, but the quite mental fantasies linked to this story that the SFA /SPL / Scottish media all ” conspired ” to protect Rangers has brought out the space cadets in the Celtic support with their usual crackpot theories.

      I can recall quite clearly in 1994 when Celtic were hours from going bust, the collective cry from the Scottish media was that ” Scottish football doesn’t just need Celtic to survive, but a strong Celtic to survive. Anyone who thinks otherwise must be doing so for reasons other than football. ” Not quite the same reaction towards Rangers from the so-called ” Rangers media “, eh ? They’ve loved every second of what’s happening now.

      1. Charles Lewis says:

        EBTs are not, in themselves, illegal. The issue is whether they were improperly managed at Rangers thereby nullifying the tax advantages they conferred. And lets be clear. Businesses use legal tax strategies all the time and there is a constant game of cat and mouse between them and the revenue. For example, only a few years ago, Celtic used a tax deferred asset as part of their financial strategy.

        Some may find tax avoidance morally unpalatable. But, the truth is that we either all do it (via legal deductions) or we would do it if given the chance. So there is, in my opinion, a good amount of humbug amongst many of those who have rushed to take the high ground over the EBT case.

      2. Bruce says:

        EBT’s may not be in themselves illegal, but its wrong to paint a picture that EBT’s were uncontroversial at the time. Celtic took a look at them and decided they were dodgy and really not worth the risk.

      3. Charles Lewis says:

        I don’t think EBTs were controversial. This controversy is relatively recent. That Celtic decided they were not worth the risk does not mean that they were controversial or illegal. It just means that Celtic took a different and more conservative approach to their tax planning.

        I don’t find it surprising that Brian Quinn took this approach. Given his background with the Bank of England and especially his role on the fringes of the BCCI scandal, I should imagine that he would have wanted to avoid risk at all costs. David Murray is a very different individual and, in my view, a natural risk taker. People like Murray are always just one deal away from disaster.

      4. Ian says:

        I haven’t found this.

        I have read a bit about it & the emphisis has been on the ABUSE of EBT’s not the USE of them.

        That is the basis of the HMRC assessment & the resultant FTT.

      5. pat says:

        joe strummer, I am aware that the EBTs part of the story will have implications for other clubs or businesses. I am also aware that each other strand of this unfolding saga may also have a wider impact.

        In my post I was pointing out why Alex’s blog’s focus is on Rangers, and why responding to this with comments about Celtic is missing the point.

      6. Ian says:

        Joe, I lived abroad when the Celtic thing happened & got the Scottish papers sent out, I Cannot for the life of me remember ANY media outcry for Celtic’s survival never mind a STRONG Celtic. Can you give some examples I can look up & read?

        I remember, RIP Celtic, Hearses & an in depth anti McCann examination which found out he emigrated owing his travel club a few shillings.

        I remember thinking at the time Celtic were finished & the Scottish Media were helping them on their way. I seem to recall Rangers owner being VERY enthusiastic about their demise.

        I can recall the Scottish press being VERY vocal when Celtic was on the way to 9 in a row. Scotland NEEDED a strong Rangers.

        I was back in the UK when Rangers were going for their 9 & I cannot recall any outcry for a strong Celtic, in fact it was Rangers having TWO teams, one for EUROPE & one to beat the Scottish numpties, a strong Celtic was superfluous to the master plan.

        The master plan is now coming back to bite Rangers.. Big Time.

  103. Colin, Paisley says:

    Alex Thomson. A plea.

    As can be evidenced by all the above, tit-for-tat, repetitive, “Your worse than us” nonsense, the Old Firm are self obsessed. Please, please do not be influenced by their bigoted goading of each other.

    The fans of the rest of Scottish football have had to put up with THEM (the Clubs. the SFA, the Media for many, many years). WE ALL KNOW that part the Governing bodies are corrupt. WE ALL KNOW that the Scottish media in general are OF obsessed.

    If Rangers are found guilty then let them be punished to the full extent of any laws/rules that they break. No favours, no special case. If that means their demise, so be it, their Legions of Bigots, Gloryhunters and their Media lackies will hopefully no longer have a voice.

    Then, you and hopefully a cleaned-up, uncorrupt governing body, will turn your/their attention to Celtic, and again IF they are found to have broken any laws/rules, then they too must be punished to the extent of the law. THEN ALL the other Clubs MUST be investigated, with the same outcome if any guilt is found.

    Do not trust what either side of the Old Firm say. They are Masters of deflection, they have been practicing it for a Hundred or more years. Conduct your investigations and name the guilty parties.


    After the present investigations, if Rangers ceased to exist, so be it. WE WILL ALL be happier in the knowledge that Celtic will – eventually – lose its appeal to IT’S Legions of bigots and gloryhunters, leading to a more level playing field and a competitive league.

    1. Bruce says:

      ‘Then, you and hopefully a cleaned-up, uncorrupt governing body, will turn your/their attention to Celtic’

      Colin, why do you want Celtic singled out for investigation? Do you have any reason to think Celtic merit investigation? Or is it just hate on your part?

      1. Colin, Paisley says:

        “THEN ALL the other Clubs MUST be investigated, with the same outcome if any guilt is found.”

        Do youi have word-blindness? Did you not read the above which is in my post? Apparently not and it does not surprise me.

  104. the_Torch says:

    Lots of good points specific to the original post. There was indeed a very different agenda being pursued when Celtic were floundering in 1994. Rangers were in the 9 in a row period by this time and the press were having a field day. Not one mention anywhere of the need for a “strong Celtic”. Despite the strong smell of irregularities at the time , and even now. Thank goodness for the internet , which had the effect of making it impossible for journalists alone to hold back the pungent smell of wrongdoing. I dread to think how all this Whyte/Rangers current stuff would’ve been buried or spun if it wasn’t for rangerstaxcase and other people. People who haven’t forgotten what investigative journalism means.
    I can understand some Rangers fans thinking everyone is against them. But the truth is that they have just had the truth so badly hidden from them for so long , that it MUST feel bad to have all this exposed all of a sudden. But that doesn’t change the fact that in sport, if one team disregards the rules and regulations , then there might as well not be a competition at all.
    Here is concrete proof that most of the journalists in Scotland don’t care about our game – where is the talk about A)- what happens to fans of every non-Rangers team if Rangers pay a percentage of their dues? How do they react to the news that Rangers need only pay 10% of what they pay? and how does that effect season ticket sales/attendances and the future of Scottish football? and B)- why is nobody with any influence in Scottish football talking about the real problem – a poorly constructed league with too many head to head fixtures that sees all of our young talent willing to drop down to the Championship in England due to a fresher and less tedious fixture list? I haven’t read or heard one journalist or pundit campaigning for league reconstruction. That tells me that what they want is Rangers back in business and the status quo firmly in place to safeguard their salaries for the forseable future. Which in itself is farce in my opinion , since as I’ve outlined , Rangers slipping out of this without fair punishment will result in a huge knee jerk reaction from the fans of all other clubs.
    Rangers over extended themselves during the glory years and crucially – didn’t reign things in when it was becoming clear that everyone had to “cut their cloth accordingly” in Scottish football. The owner , the board , the fans and the journalists are all complicit due to their lack of action when it would’ve mattered.

    1. pat says:

      Well put. There are many who have contributed to Rangers’ current predicament. As regards to this particular article, the complicit media certainly played their part.

      It is a real shame that some of these usual suspects have the gall to tell us what is good for Scottish football and still have the power to set agendas.

  105. pat says:

    I very much urge everyone to read this article on the media coverage of Rangers’ troubles – http://www.twohundredpercent.net/?p=18005

    It is well-informed and written with balance. And for suspicious Rangers fans, no, it is not from a ‘Celtic minded’ site.

  106. Tony Hendrix says:

    Joe Strummer,i think you must have selected hearing in a similar way to when Kenny McAskill said of the 25 k Rangers fans at last season’s League Cup final when he told the daily rags you were brilliant,mmm,like then as was last Sunday’s match.littered with the most obscene utter filth towards Tommy Burns,Jock Stein,The Pope,Bobby Sands and ANYTHING Celtic.

    Tell me something Joe,do you actually have ANY songs about Rangers,please let me know what they are because i never heard any,unless The Sash,The Billy Boys,No surrender,etc etc constitute Rangers songs.
    I await your imminent fall to Division 3 and with any luck at all,you will be down there with the minnows for many a year to come.

    1. Charles Lewis says:

      “CELTIC have been punished for the fifth time in as many years by Uefa for the conduct of their supporters, taking the total amount of fines imposed on the club by European football’s governing body in that period to over £100,000.”


      You know what they say about throwing stones in glasshouses.

  107. The Bee says:

    Same old point scoring from the old firm supporters I see.

    Youz done this but youz done that blah blah bore.


    But no… you don’t …. and why is that?
    That’s one question none of you ever answer honestly

    1. pat says:

      Completely agree. The tit for tat arguments just go round and round and get nowhere. They don’t have relevance to the article and I don’t see them being of much interest to those who don’t support Celtic or Rangers.

      It is understandable that some Rangers fans would start this off, anything to get away from the fact that their club is up a certain creek without a paddle. But I really don’t see why Celtic fans would bother to reply.

      And I have no problem with you suggestion that people should support their local club. I’m from Glasgow – though currently live in England just now – so by supporting Celtic I’m doing just that.

  108. Tony Hendrix says:

    Charles Lewis,does Newcastle,Sunderland,Tranmere,Birmingham,London,Portsmouth and Manchester ring any bells?
    Ask the good people of these places what they think about their cities,glass houses,nah,more like glass bottles flying through the air.
    I won’t even mention European cities though, because even Adolf Hitler would struggle to keep up with the Gers fans in that department.

  109. rodmc says:

    Glass houses??? not like Rangers can shout from the rooftops about fans behaviour is it

    Manchester, Villareal, Eindhoven, Bucharest etc etc

    Glass houses indeed! Engage brain before typing in future perhaps?

  110. BillyBhoy says:

    When Craig Whyte handed over his pound coin to Sir David Murray, the fawning laptop loyal ( Rangers’ supporting journalists ) heralded him as the Messiah; the self made man who would see off the big, bad taxman, and lead Rangers F.C to the promised land and glories new.

    With the honeymoon period over and the Emporer’s new clothes becoming fully exposed – and with the prospect of Rangers F.C. going into administration – those same journalists would now treat him as if he were the anti-christ.

    Whyte must be demonised and Rangers must be saved, seemed to be the mantra. Let the character assissination start and let the spin begin !

    That poster was right, there was no sympathy and tears for Celtic back in 1994 when the bank came calling: no Alex Salmond or media support for them – oh no, they could go to hell in an old green and white hand cart as far as the pro-Rangers press was concerned. But thanks be to Fergus, they are still alive and kicking.

    No, Alex Thomson, something is clearly rotten in the state of Ibrox, and all power to you sir, for helping to expose just some of the rancid mess that lies within that tainted ” big hoose ” in Govan.

    I wish you good luck !

  111. pat says:

    The original ‘succulent lamb’ article can be found here – http://rangerstaxcase.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/succulent-lamb1.pdf

    It’s beyond parody. It’s like reading a send up or spoof… except it’s the real thing.

    Some of the quotes are gems, particularly in today’s context.

  112. Joe says:

    The scottish media and the radio phone-ins continually ridicule the conspiricy theory of the celtic fans. Then why is it that the orange order sent a threatening letter to the royal family preventing them from marrying a catholic, why is it that a catholic cannot be prime minister, why cant a catholic be allowed to manage scotlands football team. Rangers FC is the epitome of all that is bigoted in the british establishment, hence all the underhanded shananigans going on at ibrox are in effect, being smoothed over and indeed being hidden from the public by so called investigative journalists

  113. spitthedog says:

    Poor Alex, Little do you know of the game that the old firm play, have you not been warned by other journalists to stay away from it. The very man who asked you to investigate us is not who you think he is. You will find that out, hopefully before your damage your reputation.

    1. Charles Lewis says:

      Sadly, his reputation is already damaged as evidenced by ‘the Hack’s’ excellent post above. Alex has played the role of the ‘useful idiot’ manipulated by Phil Gillivan and Graham Spiers although each had their different reasons for so doing. He is a mere pawn in the current round of the propaganda game being played amongst supporters and, having served his purpose, is no longer of any real use in the debate which now rumbles on in time-honoured ‘whataboutery’.

  114. willie thomson says:

    outside rangers tax case website the most informative article on rfc and there current self-inflicted plight. The poor response from ALL sections of scottish media has been embarrassing and a sad reflection of where journalism is in this country. To quote ‘O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.’

  115. Neil Philip says:

    Hi Alex – situ re Scottish FA Cup Semi Finals (should be played at a neutral venue) Rangers are “given” a home tie vs Dundee United by SFA to be played at Ibrox – is there any way you can get an interview with SFA President Ogilvie (you won’t get CEO Regan he is on holiday for a month!) absolute scandal . Never mind FIFA & Qatar/Jack Warner , we have a scandal right here in our back yard see TSFM for further info/comment re SFA + LNS judgement also trending at mom Thanks Neil Philip

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