13 Feb 2013

Rangers: succulent lamb on the rack?

Channel 4 News understands very well that sportswriters need close relations with the football clubs they report on. But what follows stands out because of the culture peculiar to Rangers FC and the media during the reign of Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte.

It also stands out because it concerns a former reporter in that culture, who now runs the Rangers media operation.

In response to last week’s media coverage of Rangers’ disputed bills for £400,000 Rangers FC did not answer any of Channel 4 News’ questions directly.

Instead the club website – now controlled by Ibrox press boss James Traynor, attacked the media en masse, accusing them of being “at such a damning low”: “…it has become clear Rangers cannot rely on basic honesty, decency or integrity from enough of the country’s media…”

It struck many appropriate that Mr Traynor should issue such a rallying cry in defence of Rangers. For he stands as one example of the curious Glasgow concept of “succulent lamb” journalism:


(Daily Record – November 19, 1998)

Exclusive James Traynor

Rangers chairman David Murray opens up on the highs and lows of his decade in charge of Rangers and promises that the best is still to come…”

So ran Mr Traynor’s now infamously sycophantic article on how Sir David Murray would conquer the world with Rangers, building to those fateful lines:

“He was about to take in another mouthful of the most succulent lamb – anyone who knows Murray shouldn’t be surprised to learn he is a full-blooded, unashamed red meat eater – when he put down his knife and fork.

It was like a statement of intent and looking directly across the table to make sure I hadn’t yet succumbed to the wine, he said:

“Bring on the next 10 years, there’s more to come for Rangers.”

There certainly was more to come from Rangers: sold for a quid, put into administration, liquidated and lucky to be playing fourth-tier football.

And that “succulent lamb”? Well it’s so engrained as a concept in Glasgow’s media culture that these days it even has its own Wikipedia entry.

In the light of this, Channel 4 News can now reveal exactly what “succulent lamb” journalism means, from the hand of the RFC press supremo James Traynor.

Let’s go back just a short time to when the current Ibrox director of communications was football writer at The Daily Record and its sister paper the Sunday Mail.

Back in July 2011, there were searching questions to be asked of Rangers. Like just who was Craig Whyte? What was his business record and just what was really happening inside Ibrox?

But far from it.

In fact, at times, so unquestioning of Mr Whyte was Mr Traynor that we know of at least one occasion when he actually sent an article to Craig Whyte for prior editorial approval before it went into the newspaper.

July 14th is the day the French celebrate the overthrow of deference. But not in Glasgow where, on that day in 2011, James Traynor submitted an article due for the Sunday Mail, to Craig Whyte, with the following message:

14 July 2011 14:49

(Hi Craig, as agreed the following is what I think would cover the Sunday Mail piece. You’ll notice I start with the £15m but also that I haven’t quoted you on that amount. There might be one or two minor alterations between now and the deadline but these would only be cosmetic and grammatical once I’ve had a final look.Thanks, JT.)

He then submits his Sunday Mail article to Craig Whyte in full, for Mr Whyte’s approval, quoting the Rangers boss on grand plans in the transfer market and writing about the £15m to be spent buying the best.

Much of the article in fact is simply a string of quotes from Mr Whyte on his vision for Rangers after just a few weeks in the job.

The next day, Craig Whyte replies to Mr Traynor saying he’s satisfied the article can go in the paper, subject to a change:

Date: 15 July 2011 10:47
Subject: Re: Sunday piece.
To: jxxxxxx@xxxxxX
Hi Jim,

Only one thing – I’d rather not be quoted being critical of a particular player, ie. Danns. Other than that it’s fine.



Just four minutes later Jim Traynor is emailing Craig Whyte straight back to assure him the offending quote will not appear in the Sunday Mail:

Date: 15 July 2011 10:51
Subject: Sunday piece.
To: cxxxxxx@xxxxxxx

No problem Craig. It’s out. Thanks. JT.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s known as the “succulent lamb” in the world of Glasgow journalism.

In goes the article to the Sunday Mail, all about Mr Whyte’s £15m transfer treasure chest and all the rest of it.

Crucially, the glowing piece came after several months of doubt about Mr Whyte’s financial clout and willingness to invest his own money into the club.

The big spending promised in the article, approved by Mr Whyte, never did materialise.

One small episode in a greater scheme of things where – across all sections of the mainstream media – too few searching questions were asked about Sir David Murray and then Craig Whyte – successive owners who ultimately brought the club to its knees.

But there’s more.

Far from probing the probity of Craig Whyte, James Traynor was actually going on to probe him for a job at Rangers.

And here, for the first time, is your proof.

It comes in a series of text messages exchanged between James Traynor and Craig Whyte just a few months later in January 2012.

By now of course, the mounting problems at Rangers would have been more apparent and fans needed to know the full scale. But Mr Traynor had other things on his mind – a job under Craig Whyte. Here’s the text exchange:

6 JAN 2012 11.43
Hi Craig, haven’t been sacked, haven’t resigned despite all the rumours. However, I’m almost certain I can get out within weeks if I insist. Do you want to talk? JT

6 JAN 2012 16.07

Hi Jim, I’m back in Glasgow next Friday. Let’s meet up then and discuss. C.

6 JAN 2012 16.32

Okay, see you then.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong in looking for a new job – we all do it all the time. And of course we don’t know the preamble to these texts, but the curio here is merely the context that an experienced journalist should apparently be seeking a job from Mr Whyte, should want to be part of his Rangers operation. Channel 4 News understands they did indeed meet and discuss a job at the club. One month after that text exchange – one year ago this week –  Rangers filed legal papers at the Court of Sessions to appoint administrators.

Did James Traynor simply not know things were amiss?

Craig Whyte was banned by the Scottish football authorities from the game for bringing it into disrepute after Rangers ended up liquidated. They fined him £200,000.

So there you have it. What so many fans long suspected is laid bare. James Traynor has since made it to Rangers under the new Charles Green regime on a reported six figure salary.

Today Mr Traynor, through channels at Ibrox, issued this statement to Channel 4 News: “These suggestions are malicious and misleading. Anyone who knows anything about events at Rangers knows that James Traynor, in his capacity as a journalist, was instrumental in exposing the activities of the Craig Whyte regime which are currently subject to criminal investigation.”

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113 reader comments

  1. Najeeb Said says:

    I feel so let down. James Traynor was my journalistic hero.

    1. The Abbey says:

      There was a time when JT had a decent enough reputation as a sports journalist. I remember enjoying reading Ian Paul and Jim when they were at The Herald.

      Now, any reasonable person would be forgiven for reaching the conclusion that anything he has written in the last 15 to 20 years is full of complete nonsense.

      I am very disappointed. Why anyone here is defending his behaviour and having a pop at the messenger defies belief. These snippets are clearly the tip of one very large iceberg, and we are left to ponder what was going on, back in the day, with the previous regime at Ibrox. All those back page stories about casinos and retractable roofs and war chests etc, etc. The mind boggles at how those exchanges went.

      Reporting news, commenting on events, is fine. Crafting the news, that is going way beyond the Job Description. Surely?

      1. Carntyne says:

        Not for Scottish hacks mate.

    2. Alan Thomson says:

      I cannot see how anyone could possibly claim JT as their journalistic hero! Think you must have spent too much time reading the Glesga tabloids!

  2. John Gallagher says:

    just wondering if you were fishmonger or butcher in former life , that’s best bit of filleting i’ve seen in years

  3. Mark says:

    “Bring on the next 10 years, there’s more to come for Rangers.”

    The above quote is from 1998 – 2011 is 3 years later.

    Why on earth SHOULDN’T a man be allowed to look around for a new role?

    If CH4 or any other broadcaster / companay went into administration and / or liquidation, I wonder if Alex Thomson would know in advance what it’s financial status would be before joining.

    Why is Alex Thomson spending so much of his time firing off at Rangers, when we all know that many other British clubs have been guilty of the same Tax (Big One) case as Rangers. Some have even admitted it.

    Craig Whyte is to blame for Rangers being in the 3rd division – FACT!

    David Murray and Jim Traynor are in the clear.

    Enough with the schoolboy slander – you never know when it will come full circle on you.


    1. I hate currant buns says:

      3 years later? Really!

    2. Pat Langlois says:

      To Mark, who said
      “The above quote is from 1998 – 2011 is 3 years later” Eh! no Mark, that would be 13 years later.
      It seems that there are some misconceptions here,
      James Traynor was first to break the news that Craig Whyte was about to sell off future season tickets, Eh! that would be another no, read Phil Mac Giolla Bhan
      What’s wrong with a man looking for a new job, nothing I suppose unless your current job expects you to write the truth regarding the company you’re applying to.
      This to me shows a couple of things, first thing which is quite obvious, Scottish based journalists have not, do not and will not expose anything negative re: Rangers unless they feel they must, witness the truth being written by an Englishman and an Irish based one.
      Second: as evidenced by the posts following this article, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and all the Rangers fans all of the time

    3. rabthecab says:

      “Why on earth SHOULDN’T a man be allowed to look around for a new role?
      If CH4 or any other broadcaster / companay went into administration and / or liquidation, I wonder if Alex Thomson would know in advance what it’s financial status would be before joining.”

      Only the Record wasn’t going into administration was it? Rangers was.

    4. NumberNone says:

      “Why on earth SHOULDN’T a man be allowed to look around for a new role?”

      No reason at all.

      But if that man was actively seeking a job from Craig Whyte while employed as a journalist to write about Whyte’s club, that man doesn’t have a leg to stand on if he subsequently complains about low standards of integrity from other journalists.

    5. THE FITBA FAN says:

      Wake up son .Same old story in Scotland but lets brush it under the carpet.Sir Murry has broken Scottish fitba and you all think its everybody against Rangers.FOUND GUILTY BUT DIDNT GAIN ANY SPORTING ADVANTAGE AND YOU BELIEVE THAT.O and by the way Lord Nimo said they ewre PAYMENTS AND NOT LOANS , SO YOU ARE SHAFTED.We will be taken our Titles and you will all have to deal with it because this is what happens when you get caught cheating.Well done on winning your 1st Title.

  4. Graham Wheeler says:

    I almost fell asleep reading your latest your latest “bombshell” article – you are just becoming boring now.
    Why dont you crawl under your stone and just go away, and leave Rangers and their fans to get on with living their lives and fighting their way back without all the pathetic noise you and your like make.

    1. Carntyne says:

      Aye Graham, that would be the preferred option for Zombie fans.

      It would somewhat relieve the excruciating pain being suffered by them over Rangers scandalous activities.

      Don’t see any rescue in sight though.

      Still enjoying the third division?

      Are we?

  5. Gary says:

    Lets forget that it was Traynor who broke the exclusive that Whyte had sold off future season tickets while the rest of the media stuck their heads in the sand.

    1. Iain says:

      No, it was actually The Rangers Tax case.

    2. hoops says:

      Was that because whyte did not offer job, and green did?

    3. Reality Sucks says:

      Actualy Gary if you had taken the blinkers off at the time that was exposed long before he broke the story.

    4. Stuart says:

      Gary, worth noting this: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/rangers-owner-craig-whyte-admits-1115406 ‘exclusive’ by Traynor was released on the 31st of January. Couple weeks after the text exchange promising to meet up, feeling jilted maybe?

    5. Carntyne says:

      Traynor revealed the season ticket scandal?

      No he did not!

      It was revealed on the RangersTaxCase blog months before Traynor copied and pasted it into his tabloid rag.

      Your grasp of the facts is woeful!

  6. Not for you says:

    Sorry if I’m missing something here but what exactly is the point of this article. It seems Mr Thomson that you are now clutching at the meagrest of straws in order to continue pandering to the neanderthals who seem to sing your name from the rooftops, for what reason I don’t know as all you have done is jump on the rangerstaxcaseblog bandwagon and look how far that got you, advocating a blog which tried to take factual info and twist it and manipulate it to suit their own agenda, and you are no better than that. One question, what sane person would be trying to get a job at a company if they had knowledge it was about to be liquidated? yeah I’ve got a nice secure job with the Daily Record but I know, Rangers are about to go down the pan, I want a job there because I’m sick of having job security or guaranteed income. How this excuse for an article ever got past any editor is beyond me but you Alex Thomson should be ashamed of yourself. All you do in this piece is try to talk about bad journalism yet the biggest irony of it all is that this piece demonstrates entirely how poor your own work is. I used to look at Channel 4 as the best of a bad bunch regarding news coverage, it always seemed less biased than the BBC but you singlehandedly have changed my opinion of the entire organisation. This will be the last time I go out of my way to read any of the drivel you pass off as journalism. Hang your head sir!

    1. Carntyne says:

      What a plonker!

  7. Darren Masterman says:

    Alex it often strikes me that you take a long winded approach to point making. Succulent lamb? If you are trying to discredit rangers, James traynor or anyone else it might have been prudent to have done it when you had an ounce of credibility and an audience who doesn’t now take everything leaking from you with a pinch of salt. I’m by no means overly intelligent so ill keep it short. Sour grapes and failure is all I seem to see when I read your posts. Keep up the good work.

    1. John G says:

      Agreed about the intelligent bit :)

    2. Niallio says:

      A pinch of salt? Why, don’t mind if I do. Salt makes the lamb even more succulent.

  8. Bert says:

    We already knew this for years, but didn’t have concrete proof. At least we now have hard evidence that not even the blinkered loyal can deny.

    1. Carntyne says:

      But they still try so hard!

  9. iain says:

    What exactly are you trying to imply…either mr traynor is inept at his job …..he is being fed a pack of lies to regurgitate…..or is sitting in a broom cupboard making things up ….I’m just joe bloggs on the street thommo but I find your fixation with all things rangers in danger of being exposed as borderline hatred for the club….I find it incredible that recent news stories such as the irish free state colluding with the catholic church to send vulnerable women to the magdeline laundries where they were sysematically abused by those whos help they sought in the first place doesnt even merit a mention from you …journalism with parameters is not journalism its called a comic strip …you fail

    1. Jack Kennedy says:

      case closed. this quote says it all for me. A typical quote from a Rangers fan

  10. Jim smith says:

    Is that really the best you can come up with Mr Thomson?

    An aticle from 15 years ago and JT maybe asking CW for a job?

    My god the man that’s done nothing but attack Rangers for the last 52 weeks solid accusing others in the media of working to an agenda??

    Oh the irony…..

  11. Bruce says:

    Succulent lamb skewered.

    Does anyone delude themselves that these were isolated occurences?

  12. Cammy says:

    What’s your point in this blog Alex? Do you prefer to misquote your sources prior to publishing or do you publish quotes that may be taken out of context or misrepresent whoever you are quoting?

    Are Rangers obliged to answer all questions directed to them by Channel 4 News? I certainly wouldn’t if I thought I’d be misrepresented, even if Channel 4 News throws its toys out of the pram.

  13. dodgydavereturns says:

    Great work Alex, anybody in the know up here in Scotland now knows(most already did know) why the Daily Record the length and breadth of Scotland is known as the “Daily Ranger”!!

    It’s little woder they are losing sales hand over fist, and to think the rubbish Traynor spouted on his final piece in the Record…………..cringeworthy!!

  14. mr.bojangles says:

    Traynor and sevco deserve one another. The media in Scotland are nothing but a P.R. dept for sevco !!

  15. jim craig says:

    I guess we didn’t need Cilla Black to tell us this, but it is nice to know that others might now see what all Scottish Clubs have been putting up with for God knows how many years…….. (Cue the music) Surprise Surprise, the (un)expected hits you between the eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. ROBBBO says:

    Your total obsession with all things Rangers continues, highly disappointing that Channel 4 continues to give you space to pursue your vendetta.

    1. Carntyne says:

      Ah!…The truth hurts…eh Robbo?

  17. Paul says:

    Glad you are still digging Alex. I argued right from the beginning that only an external (non-Scottish) journalist had any chance of finding and highlighting the sad demise of Scottish Football generally and the extent to which Murray had the press completely in his pocket. There’s still so much more to explore about the control he also had over the SFA.

    1. Martin says:

      Exactly, don’t get bullied out of pursuing this Alex. It happens to too many Scottish journalists have found the Old Firm too big a force to confront. It is a sorry state that Scottish football has got in to but it has been a ‘boys club’ for far too long.

  18. FrankieB says:

    Mr Thomson gives only part of the picture at best. Jim Traynor criticised Rangers many times when he was working as a journalist, sometimes vehemently. Indeed Celtic fans have frequently been quoting him recently!

    Of course, the Parkhead Paranoia brigade will seize on it. Mr Thomson’s selectivity mirrors their own. Do they believe their own club doesn’t manage the media, including by feeding their faces etc?

    1. Carntyne says:

      If you compare the good news stories about Rangers with the bad news stories about Celtic over the years, its plain to see whose pocket Scottish hacks are in.

      “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”…Just an example.

  19. GoofyBhoy says:

    yet another great story from the best journo in Britain , keep up the good work Alex we rely on people ff your caliber to keep us informed on these important issues , tyvm , cheers !!!!!!!

    1. Carntyne says:

      Heh! Heh!

      I read that in a hurry and thought you meant Traynor!

  20. Keith says:

    Very interesting article and totally unsurprising to anyone that reads Scottish Newspapers.

    Sadly, Oldco or Newco, nothing has changed. Pronouncements from Ibrox are still printed uncritically in the Scottish Media, basically as if The Rangers had paid for full page press releases on condition no part of it would be critically examined and counter arguments discussed.

    Meanwhile, Craig Whyte is the Pantomime bad guy that single handedly brought down Rangers and duped such wise luminaries as Sir David Murray by his treachery and evil cunning. He alone can be called any kind of scoundrel in the Scottish Press whilst the current and previous owners must remain uncriticised.

  21. Martin says:

    Not a surprise. Long has it been said there is an Old Firm bias in Scottish media and I’m sure there are a lot more journalists with ties to boths side of the Old Firm that are far beyond professional. The tabloid press are awful and listening to BBC Scotland on radio and watching their SPL highlights is laughable. (Traynor worked for all the above)

  22. ReadyMKDonGer says:

    What a story !!! or as one relatively famous sports radio show might blast “what a waste of ink” in this case viewing time also. I mean, come on, Mr T is allowed to tout himself to anyone anywhere, as you state, we all do it some time.
    In my opinion, and I am allowed one here, he has spoken on many many ocassions versus the normal accepted “Rangers” opinion, he was entitled to his opinion, over the years I have not agreed with easily the majority of what he has written or siad live on Radio about Rangers, however accept it.
    He now has a different role, and with that a different agenda, and so he should, guys like me pay his wages, so I will be expecting him to act in Rangers best interests going forward.

    The Craig Whyte texts and e-mails… big deal, youre not telling me thats not the norm, the newspapers are a dying media, however the big clubs, Rangers and Celtic, down south all Premiership and Football League clubs are allowed an outlet via their local hack, where’s the story… absolute garbage, I Googled Rangers and followed this link for the 2nd tine in a couple of weeks to find this…. I cant believe you think anyone is really interested other than the other lot doon the road.

    Further when he met with David Murray and as you state
    “Bring on the next 10 years, there’s more to come for Rangers.”

    There certainly was more to come from Rangers: sold for a quid, put into administration, liquidated and lucky to be playing fourth-tier football.

    Always looking on the negative side unfortunatley, there certainly was more to come… more titles, more cup finals, more and more wins home and away v Celtic, Nacho’s winning penalty in the EUFA Semi-Final, and a UEFA Cup Final… all memories, stored forever, Thanks Mr Murray, there certainly was more to come… only mistake, passing it onto the man you did.

    Jim all the best in your new role, Im sure you’ll do yourself and Rangers proud.

    1. rabthecab says:

      “Jim all the best in your new role, Im sure you’ll do yourself and Rangers proud.”

      Done them proud in his article of 13th June last year didn’t he?

      “Rangers FC will slip into liquidation within the next couple of weeks with a new company emerging but 140 years of history, triumph and tears, will have ended. No matter how Charles Green attempts to dress it up, a newco equals a new club. When the CVA was thrown out Rangers as we know them died.”

      1. ReadyMKDonGer says:

        rabthecab 13-Feb-13at

        “Jim all the best in your new role, Im sure you’ll do yourself and Rangers proud.”

        Done them proud in his article of 13th June last year didn’t he?

        “Rangers FC will slip into liquidation within the next couple of weeks with a new company emerging but 140 years of history, triumph and tears, will have ended. No matter how Charles Green attempts to dress it up, a newco equals a new club. When the CVA was thrown out Rangers as we know them died.”

        As stated previously…. I and a huge number of our supporters haven’t agreed with the majority JT has written or spoken about Rangers… for many many years… what ? you think we might agree with what he’s saying that….? he’s trying to sell Newspapers, the other half were the only ones buying into this crap for the duration. Anyone that believes he has had a Pro-Rangers agenda for years is dreaming.
        And oh look its still Rangers, we still have 54 titles… HMRC have wasted my money and yours, Appeal to save face, go on, what a waste of more money, all of the cheatmongers have changed their stories now to some other nonsence about texts and e-mails to and from a man that doesn’t exist…a winding-up order…£80M owed to HMRC, and on it goes, the milk money hasnae been paid, cos the guy collecting the money broke down on the way tae Murray Park…..just total garbage. Easily the vast majority that are reading and getting excited about this crappy story are from everywhere else other than the Blue Half of Scotland… easy to tell, anything thats written with even a slighty negative slant with reference to Rangers from I dinnae like the blue track around the pitch at Ibrox, cos its blue, to, “what a scandal, this tells me everything I need to know about journalism”, have a word with yourselves, look at the likes v dislikes, huge majority v the rangers view..speaks volumes, I am certain that if there was a positive good news story out of Ibrox, like the Foundation work for instance, it would be distorted so badly it would have 5 likes 369 dislikes…. before anyone says it, yeah JT would be putting it out there… looking forward to reading it shortly.. Good work Jim.

      2. rabthecab says:

        So you’re happy having such a hypocrite “running the meeja” on behalf of Sevco? A man who lauded SDM while he spent money he never had & sowed the seeds of RFC’s destruction, had nothing bad to say re Craigie Bhoy until bloggers pointed out what was going on, only a few months ago declared “Rangers are dead” & is now singing the praises of Green & the miraculous “ressurection” of a dead club.

        And who’s recent “statements” on the TRFC blog read like they were written by a greetin-faced wee lassie? They will be taught in media studies nationwide, as a perfect example of how NOT to do it.

        You’re welcome to him.

    2. listenteyerda says:

      YES! They Both Deserve one another!

    3. Reality Sucks says:

      I realy would have thought that any decent person would want to forget the EUFA
      final. NOT something to be proud of, even by your old clubs standards.

    4. Carntyne says:

      “I cant believe you think anyone is really interested other than the other lot doon the road.”

      Every football fan in Scotland is interested in this Rangers scandal.

      Except the Zombies.

      I’m sure its because the truth of the scale of offences committed by Rangers is to painful to endure.

      Man up!

  23. Stevie Mac says:

    Many Sevco fans say they are tired and bored of reading Alex’s blogs and that people should move on. The fact is this is the story that keeps giving and deserves to be exposed.

    Too much has gone on to simply sweep it under the carpet. Why should it be forgotten what this now defunct club and their owners did to the Scottish game?

    People want to know because it has all been denied in the past. Lies, deceit and more lies.

    Keep doing your stuff Alex. The public demand it even if ” ra people ” don’t.

  24. Jimi says:

    “Vendetta” “Obsession” “misrepresent”

    Really ? Reporting news items is a vendetta ? This is what happens when you’ve succumbed to the “succulent lamb” journalism , real news seems strange and uncomfortable . The fact that there seems to be no good news emanating from Ibrox concerning The Rangers Football Club is lost on some people . As a quality news reporter , what are you meant to do ? Fabricate stories about warchests ? Tell the world about how great Rangers are , when they don’t even exist anymore ?
    Personally , I’ve found your reporting on these particular matters to be as refreshing as they are accurate . The people who come on here to berate your efforts , in my opinion , have an “Obsession” or a “vendetta” and are using the classic “self-projection” behaviour , that fills your comments sections on the blogs , with gusto . They always get in there early too , they must be hanging on every word , despite their protests .
    Anyway , another erudite and enjoyable blog , thank you ,Alex .

  25. Maggie White says:


    The movie will be epic LOL!

  26. Harry says:

    Hi Alex,

    Amusing and accurate article. I thank you.

    That last press release by Mr Traynor was so amateurish but also so childish I wonder how long he will keep his well paid job.

    For a professional journalist to pen such a petulant, hypocritical, and frankly bitchy official statement on behalf of a supposedly great sporting institution in Scotland says it all. The man is it would seem totally unfit to call himself a professional nor a journalist and the Daily Record and RFC II really needs to take a look at themselves for hiring someone so emotional and potentially dangerous. All this ridiculous angry rhetoric (from Traynor and Green) is only leading to one thing, someone getting hurt.

    That last press release is like it is written by a an angry 15 year old posting on a football message board, instead of a late middle aged professional with supposedly years of journalistic experience behind him.

    It is a shocking bit of work from Mr Traynor and he humiliates himself and RFC II and Scotand with this laughable and embarrassing rant.

    This was the second biggest club in Scotland and now it is beahving like a wee girl who has had her pigtails pulled, it is pathetic Alex.

    Yours ashamed,

    A Scot.

  27. ricky says:

    well done Alex, you must be astounded at the number of “bears”who would rather shoot the messenger than consider the prospect that they have been done again

  28. Mooter says:

    Celtic fans obsessed…… yawn………Alex vendetta…….yawn……….attacking oor club……..yawn. When will supporters of rangers, sevco, the rangers, etc, ever learn? Why not question the issue at hand rather than lashing out at anyone ‘daring’ to publish anything negative about your team? Sleepwalking into oblivion AGAIN!!! Is there any journalist on the planet who wouldn’t be accused of having a timmy agenda or a beef with ra bears if they published anything which questioned the extremely dubious goings on at ibrox?

  29. aldo says:

    Once again it takes a true, non Scottish professional to expose the toxic relationship between the media, the Scottish football authorities, the dead Rangers FC and the new business which trades under a similar name.

    Sadly, in this backwater of a country there remains an influential number who grimly cling to prejudices which should have no place in a civilised, progressive society, so Alex, I doubt your work will stimulate a more honest, unbiased media and the society it influences. You are giving people beyond the influence of Scotland’s MSM and your fellow English journos the bizarre truth of the reality up here and one would hope that might shame your Scottish counterparts into doing their jobs properly, but shame is an alien concept to the apologists who have dedicated swathes of their careers into whitewashing the darkness that has permeated Ibrox for a century.

  30. Albert says:

    It is evident from the the comments above that ‘The Rangers’ and their fans will attempt to belittle you and slander you.

    It is a tactic they have used repeatedly in the last year.

    Do not bow to their incessant bully boy threats.

    As we all know, bullies don’t like to be confronted and tend to surrender just like this mob would if challenged through rational thought.

    Expose the cabal for the crooked and immoral behaviour that it has used to quell people who question a club that has bullied and cheated it’s way for years. More power to you.

    1. Albert says:

      UPDATE: Just as predicted, Traynor attempts to belittle you for exposing him as a man of highly questionable morals.

      These latest implausible denials are the desperate ramblings of someone who knows they have been exposed as completely untrustworthy.

  31. Ed says:

    Hmm, Mr Traynor’s rebuttal stinks of a man who’s been caught good and proper, and is trying to save his own skin by claiming “oh, I knew what I was doing all along”


  32. Fat nan the boxer says:

    Is this not getting a bit repetitive? Really, is there nothing more interesting to talk about? There are some shady characters in football and Rangers have more than their share of them. We get it. Move on. This is getting a little dull …

    1. Bruce says:

      If it bores you so much, then why did you open this page and read past the headline?

    2. tccokey says:

      So you think enough has been said,about the cheats.???????

  33. Bill says:

    Amazing how sensitive and thoughtful Rangers fans become when they even sniff some criticism. Too bad they didn’t pay their debts. But hey ho they are too big for that. Well done Mr Thompson – expose them for what they are and what they have done to Scottish footbal!

  34. A Macdonald says:

    Alex Thomson, once seen as a credible journalist, is now an absolute joke with his year long anti Rangers bias, merely pandering to the Celtic support. Channel 4 News are a joke for letting him continue with it.

    1. Bruce says:

      Can you come up with one good reason why an English journalist, with no history of or previous interest in Scottish football suddenly acquire an anti-Rangers agenda and pander to Celtic fans?

      1. Carntyne says:

        He’s an undercover pape.

        Workin’ fur the vatican.

  35. Craig says:

    Another tiresome blog which reveals genuine desire for journalistic limelight. Every time a new blog post is placed just further confirms the sheer obsession with this particular sporting club. The club should be hugely flattered with the scale of the attention. Only two other clubs, Barca and Real could command same….

    1. Carntyne says:

      You’re right, but only the Zombies are a third division club.

      They’ll be lucky to get to the end of this season.

  36. Cameron says:

    Sadly Mr. Thomson displays another example of a journalists being selective in their presentation of evidence to suit a narrative. Unlike Mr Thomson, I am a follower of Scottish football for over 30 years. Jim Traynor has been critical and sycophantic to both sides of the Old Firm as I suspect you have had to charm your way into getting information in the past.

    While the spotlight should remain on Rangers and they certainly need to build a solid foundation for the future based on good values, the way you appear to be playing to the gallery is frankly distasteful and sensational.

  37. John says:

    The phrases “tip of the iceberg” and “a whole can of worms” spring to mind. How long and whencefrom has the pernicious influence of those connected with the former Rangers FC existed ? What exactly did the threats of “social unrest” entail ?
    When is a journalist not a journalist ? When he’s a pedlar of surreptitious propaganda.
    How far and how deep into Scottish society has the rot seeped ? You won’t find the appropriate investigations or answers in a Scottish newspaper. Why not ? Let’s not forget that those involved in the Rangers downfall did not expect to get caught and up to the last they had the First Minister pleading that they were a special case. Some things never change.
    Why is Mr. Traynor lecturing the public on such themes as decency, honesty and integrity ? It’s not even laughable any more. The once “succulant lamb” is now rancid meat rolling off a shaky table.

  38. rob cameron says:

    What on Earth are channel 4 paying this idiot for, he has spoke of nothing but Rangers
    for over a year. Talk about constructive journalism.
    For the love of god talk about something else.

    1. John G says:

      A pity you missed his revealing reporting from Syria, you might have learned something. Maybe it’s you who can only read about Sevco/Oldco whatever they’re called, and don’t notice anything else?

    2. Carntyne says:


      Painful, is it?

      Rangers dirty little secrets being exposed?

    3. Prince Charles says:

      Think you mean typed about the The Rangers.
      “Speaking”is something you do with your mouth,typing is a finger activity.

  39. Roky says:

    Tired of reading this so called journalists anti Rangers dross…..Not a jot of whats been written here will bother JT……Thomsons a little man…..this “blog” proves it…..get a life son.

  40. gerry m says:

    i can’t except sevco fans getting so upset by any articles written about them if they think it’s not true, or are they hoping it will all be forgotten

  41. Mac Tomas says:

    The most satisfying aspect of this latest piece of damning evidence, is, that at last we can put the characature of the paranoid “fenian”, malcontents to bed. The vibe coming off the comments attacking the piece is, please stop picking at this it’s too uncomfortable for us to hear, rather than challenging it’s validity.
    Traynor, to my mind was a hack who was short on credibility, and a figure attracting ridicule. Is now a figure of contempt.

  42. Brian says:

    Ye ha Alex keep up the good work.

  43. HackedOff says:

    I’m not a fan of any Scottish football club, but I’m absolutely astounded that any journalist would request approval of an article from anyone other than his desk or his editor. How can you possibly trust someone who does that!
    The basis of honest journalism is the trust of your reader/listener/viewer and once that is lost then you might as well get your coat and hat and find another job.
    All the other comments here seem to miss this, and to my mind that is the whole point of this blog post.
    Traditional journalism is under threat from all angles – blogs, tweets, anyone posting whatever they want without any verification or proof – so mainstream hacks doing this sort of thing is just sticking the knife into honest, decent journalists who are trying to fly the flag for their trade.
    This had nothing to do with Rangers or Celtic – or even football. This has everything to do with real journalism. As a fan of great writers like the late Frank Keating and Brian Glanville I’m both saddened and appalled in equal measure. Thank you Alex for exposing this. I’m sure Mr. Traynor couldn’t care less with his six-figure salary, but he should hang his head in shame for doing what he did.

    1. Mac Tomas says:

      Hacked off, Your point about the slipping standards of journalism are well made. However this story is about more than just the failure to get to grips with the demise of a football club through disinterest. It is a story with ramifications in the West of Scotland & Northern Ireland. Unfortunately the club in question has an affiliation with the political & journalistic establishments in both jurisdictions. The culture of “protection” afforded Rangers & now Sevco are the story here more so, than simply poor journalism .

    2. Bruce says:

      ‘The basis of honest journalism is the trust of your reader/listener/viewer and once that is lost then you might as well get your coat and hat and find another job.

      All the other comments here seem to miss this, and to my mind that is the whole point of this blog post.’

      No, I think we all got it years ago. But we were usually called paranoid.

  44. rossco says:

    looks like Mr Traynor has owned you in his retort to your recent mischief making attempt. He was pretending to look for a job with Whyte to extract info and his employers were WELL AWARE of this. Alex Thomson….the phrase succulent lamb is more and more becoming associated with yourself.

    1. GerryJ says:

      …..So we can expect a writ for libel from Traynor over this scurrilous attempt to blacken his name?

      I for one, won’t be holding my breath

    2. Bruce says:

      Its posts like this which make you realise how easy it has been for shysters to take the Rangers/Sevco support for an absolute ride.

  45. John marron says:

    How the truth hurts

  46. Richard Muir says:

    Alex, isn’t time you concentrated on some real news. Investigate alleged doping and betting scams in the English game perhaps? …..Time to move on sir. Richard

  47. Colin says:


    He “broke” that particular story some weeks after it was old news from a variety of other online sources.

    Alex blog here is relevant. The medias role is to inform the public, Alex is highlighting that in some forums of news, the media are more concerned with self-serving their own careers to the point where they will gladly put out any jibberish these awful characters (Whyte, Murray, Green) want them to so that they can nurse their careers from them.

    If journalists do their jobs right they should ruffle the feathers of their subjects, not cosy up to a job offer from them.

  48. john says:

    i know rangers fans are blind to contridictions ..but its funny to see them all argue that traynor can tout himself to whom he wants..when traynor is saying that he wasnt touting himself LOL..its a bit like rangers fans saying there is no winding up order where just this week green is saying there is a winding up order..or traynor saying a month after the share issue that only £10 million was raised not the reported £22 million…all these things are let to pass without question…they are so forelock tugging its scary.

  49. tcup2012 says:

    The fact that the SO CALLED MEDIA in Scotland left this whole mess to be reported by SO CALLED sports journalists says it all :(

    Why weren’t finance journalists and investigative reporters from all Scottish Media not looking into and covering this Scandal ? :(
    No we had to wait till tomo stumbled on it while up here looking into something else :(
    Reporting the truth in Scot is null and void Has been for years :(

    As for those on here having a go and slanting tomo’s piece If you don’t like what he writes or REPORTS then DON’T COME ON HIS BLOG!

  50. Dave Donnelly says:

    I should imagine by now Alex that you have a fair grasp on how things have worked in Scotland over the years.
    The hostility you encountered from sections of the Scottish Press when you first cast your eye on football north of the border was no accident.
    Traynor and co had been printing pro-Rangers propaganda long before Craig Whyte appeared with “wealth off the radar,” and interference from an outsider,regardless of reputation and respect in journalistic circles, is just not tolerated.
    Please continue to shame those that have put personal feelings before principle.
    Traynor is only the tip of a ‘Titanic’ iceberg.No pun intended

  51. Arm says:

    Why don’t you go back to your job on euro trash rectangle heid.

  52. happytobeblue says:

    A so called chief correspondent , war reporter obsessed with a Scottish football team , your a laughing stock among real journalists , a nothing story , your getting boring infact I can’t even be bothered writing any more .

    1. Carntyne says:

      So why did you, dipstick?

  53. Gerry says:

    I think what this highlights is that ‘Scotland cannot rely on basic honesty, decency or integrity from enough of the country’s media’. But sadly most of us have known that for decades.

  54. Cluster 1 says:

    What can you say ? If you have read his article on his last day at the Daily Record, You can see the way he was going…Succulent Lamb indeed. But all celtic fans knew were his loyalties lay

  55. Shug says:

    Think it’s. Great we have a voice now ,great blog ,I just can’t get enough

  56. jjbhoy says:

    Well done again Alex! Honest, investigative journalism at its best and there aint a thing they can do to stop you as you have clout from outwith this”gentlemens club”and by god they despise you for it and no matter how well you write an article or how many plaudits you receive from your peers,it wouldn’t matter,you spoke out against the institution and that,quite frankly,just disnae happen up here. mair power tae yir elbow,you are a breath of fresh air. jjbhoy.

  57. brayrfc says:

    once again alex your obsession with rangers carries on only sad pacific shelf followers read your articles you can keep dragging up more crap 1 year on we are stronger and getting stronger everyday and that is what yoiu all fear most of all rangers then rangers now rangers forever WATP

    1. rabthecab says:


      “only sad pacific shelf followers read your articles”

      Why are you on here then?

  58. Sid says:

    One would think with all that’s happened and all the Sevco blame being thrown at Whyte- that Mr Green might be surprised to know just how cosy his new ‘Media Guru’ actually was to Whyte- right up til’ the end.
    Green would surely want to distance himself from Traynor- unless the rumours about Whyte still having a major role are true- given the above texts etc, it almost looks a bit like Whyte could have actually instructed Green to put JT in the job – “being the loyal sycophant he’s been over the years.”

  59. scott says:

    Alex, has Craig Whyte himself sent you these texts? I figure that you wouldn’t be so stupid as to break the law hacking Whyte’s mobile phone (or stealing it) and you wouldn’t accept forwarded texts that are easily fabricated so that leaves one option, in my mind….

    Anyhow, if the emal and texts are real then James Traynor could not be objective writing about Rangers in the Record, not when he’s actively seeking work with them. The Record’s chief sports writer appears to have been selling the punters Pravda-like propaganda…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Jim used his leverage to suppress other negative Rangers stories, given he was allegedly touting for work with them.

    Before the Rangers fans get antsy I will state I despise the knuckle draggers on both sides of the Old Firm and I can see that Celtic also get an easy ride from the Record. For example, what reportage was there in the Record re the fan’s behaviour the day after Celtic’s night of shame wrecking/ urinating in Tannadice? Only Tam Cowan had the bottle to castigate the animals in his weekly column.

  60. Carntyne says:

    “I’m by no means overly intelligent.”…….

    That’s quite clear Darren, but its honest of you to admit it.

    As for Alex ‘discrediting’ Rangers.

    No need.

    They are perfectly able to do that on their own.

  61. Prince Charles says:

    are you checking up,with Sky Sports,on my last post?
    Or did I press the wrong button?
    HRH Prince Charles.

  62. Fra says:

    I would assume with CWs business history, he was open to sailing close to the wind and he covered his tracks. Now for Jabba, it must be squeaky bum time if CW has more of these up his sleeve. I would assume CW has given Alex access to these texts and conversations. We await more to be disclosed in the coming weeks because this is the story that keeps on giving. You really couldn’t make it up and I’m loving every salacious detail.

  63. James dunphy says:
  64. scott (again) says:

    I include excerpts of an article James Traynor wrote on Rangers.co.uk in direct reply to this blog, with my own comments:

    1. “Thomson publishes the content of emails in which I make it clear to Whyte that a story about his spending plans will start with the figure of £15m for new players. It was necessary to let Whyte view the piece so that it would be difficult for him to try to deny it later. Of course he did try just the same but he knows he said it. I know he said it and so, too, should Thomson”

    – these paragraphs damn Traynor immediately. To get this straight: JT sends an email to Whyte containing the value £15m to ensure that any reply from Whyte confirming as such would be used against him (Whyte) if necessary. JT then says Whyte tried to deny the £15m value anyway…. and what happened JT? Nothing. “Whyte knows he said it” ? Why didn’t you prove it then at the time by publishing the email yourself, Mr Traynor?

    2. “This blogger conveniently forgets to mention it was my work, along with that of the Daily Record’s Keith Jackson, which finally exposed Whyte and brought him down.”

    How can that cretin have the audacity to spout such a blatantly obvious lie? Rangerstaxcase (RTC) had the info before Traynor & Jackson (he of “wealth off the radar” fame) even looked at Whyte’s dealings more closely.

    Look at the date and times on RangersTaxCase posts, compare to Traynor and Jackson’s, do the math – what was posted later? As an example: the RTC blog post “the deceptive Craig Whyte” was posted 25th May 2011, whereas in September 2011 JT (according to Journalisted.com) was posting “Craig Whyte – sorting Rangers financial woes is most unique challenge I’ve ever faced”

  65. tambo says:

    And now Charles has threatened Sevco supporters by walking-away now too.

    Did Traynor not know about Charles` imminent threat either.

    Sevco fans must be wondering what his reported 6 figure salary is paying for.

  66. tambo says:

    I remember standing on the wind chilled terraces of Scottish football grounds with a wee trannie stuck up to my ear listening to comments about Rangers and how their game was getting on.

    Now, today I hark back at all the lies, deceit and nonsense we were being told on a regurgitated, repetitive basis.

  67. johncfearon says:

    Well done on your recent award and keep up the good work, there is still much to uncover.
    Once again, congratulations

  68. Market Square Hero says:

    Sad to read on Twitter that you now intend on ‘walking away’ from the whole Rangers story Alex, your reporting of it for the past months has been a breath of fresh air away from the stifled, lazy work of most of the MSM up here. You challenged established perceptions and half-truths, stood firm in the face if outrageous personal and professional attack and brought the unpleasant questions, not just about RFC but about Scottish Fitba and its’ society into the open.

    Who knows what lies ahead for Scottish Fitba and the whole RFC saga over the coming months. One thing is certain though, we are unlikely to see such insight and objectivity again as so called ‘journalists’ revert to filing bland and unquestioning copy which panders to the masses, keen to swallow all their own club spouts and wallow in any negativity towards the other.

    As for me? Boydy is back (maybe, if I believe what I’m reading today) at Rugby Park, so ‘MON THE KILLIE!

  69. baxterboy says:

    just love your objective reporting Alex.

    can’t wait for your investigative report on the biggest scandal in the history of scottish football.
    y’know the one, alex, just like jimmy saville and the bbc scandal:

    the complicity of celtic fc in the coverup of the paedophelia crimes of torbett, and the travesty that neither the sfa or the scottish legal system have made this team accountable for their complicity in torbetts disgusting crimes.

    look forqwward to your investigation Alex andknow that your journalistic integrity ensures that you will go after celtic with the same enthusiasm that

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