12 Oct 2012

Threats and silence: the intimidation by Rangers fans

As I’ve said before my interest in Rangers stems purely from the standpoint of it being a spectacular example of a corporate omnishambles: British mismanagement so profound and bewildering it veers between performance art and social car-crash. With the loyal Rangers fans left mugged in the middle.

It’s still happening. Past mismanagement matched by the odious behaviour of a no-doubt small minority of Rangers fans apparently hellbent on proving the new Rangers will be like the old.

An element of the Rangers customer base remains out of order and neither Rangers, nor Scotland’s football authorities, nor the police appear willing or able to do much about it.

I’m talking intimidation.

Of the legal profession. Of football’s governing bodies. Of football club executives. Of publishing. Of bookshops. Of newspapers. Of TV stations.

Tellingly, in Glasgow this will come as news to nobody. Which should tell anybody half awake how sick things are in this singular aspect of that great city.

Outside Scotland people may legitimately wonder how or why this is tolerated? Or simply gawp in astonishment that such things go on almost daily this year.

And it is arguably getting worse.

Consider the following brief summary of just some of what’s happened in Glasgow since Rangers’ downfall began, not a year ago.


In April a 3 man Scottish FA Tribunal dared punish Rangers for bringing the game into disrepute (so seriously it was deemed just short of match-fixing).

Gary Allan QC, Raith Rovers director Eric Drysdale, and former commentator, Alastair Murning had their identities disclosed as well as private details with threats so serious the police advised all three on security measures.

Their identities became public after the Rangers manager no less, Ally McCoist said: “Who are these people? I want to know who these people are.”

The Scottish FA was left, not for the first time, wringing its corporate hands, saying: “We are deeply concerned that the safety and security of judicial panel members has been compromised by a wholly irresponsible betrayal of confidential information.”

And: ” all three panel members have reported intrusion into their personal and work lives, including abusive and threatening communication”.

Yet the manager of Rangers itself, a man steeped in the ways of Glasgow football, was instrumental in this chain of events, knowingly, or not.

Hardly an episode of corporate social responsibility.

It has continued. In the past few weeks Scottish Law Lord and former Supreme Court Judge Lord Nimmo-Smith actually had to put out a statement pleading for his independence to be recognised as he embarks on yet another investigation of the fallen club.

Again – the sheer weirdness of this to outsiders, passes almost without comment in Glasgow.


Like anybody prepared to challenge or ask questions or charged with passing judgement on Rangers, both Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League directors have had a torrid time of it.

In the case of SFA boss Stewart Regan, there were death threats.

The SFA have said publicly this year that private details of SFA directors have been published online.

The SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan has said:

” At times, that does make you wonder whether it is going to impact on your family and your personal life.
But it’s never once made me think about walking from the job.”

Incredibly, to those outside the Clyde Cauldron, the SFA boss said he’d had to speak to Counter-Terrorism officers over the nature of the threats and the security response.

Yes – Counter-Terrorism police officers.

This revolting behaviour from a minority continues to spike in activity when those running the game are forced to take action to try and clear up the Ibrox mess.

Nobody, but nobody, should have to put up with this in the course of doing their job. But in Glasgow football it is dangerously close to being accepted as part of the job.


There has been just one book published on the Rangers. As you’d expect it’s gone through several print runs in the few weeks it has been out. But for daring to print a factual account of the Ibrox meltdown, the publisher, Bob Smith of Frontline Noir speaks of having to deal with a catalogue of abuse.

It had a potentially serious affect on customers and shops buying the book ‘Downfall’ he says:

“There was definitely pressure applied and there were certainly some wobbles along the way from shops and customers. But we got through and in the end people were supportive.”

Material was published online to identify where at least one person lived who worked on the production of ‘Downfall’.

The abuse I received for simply writing the forward to this factual account of the Ibrox debacle was routine for me – for publishers unused to it, the experience was frightening.


Those outside Scotland will find this hard to credit, but several shops including major chains like Waterstones and WHS were unable to display the book openly in some shops because of reported threats and actual abuse of staff.

For selling a work of non-fiction and journalistic enterprise!

In at least one store copies were ripped up. In another Glasgow shop an angry individual wearing a Union Jack repeatedly entered the bookshop to scream at staff to send the offending tome back to the publishers.


As I write a colleague at STV in Glasgow has received threats for successfully doing his job. This person wishes to keep a low profile on police advice and is constrained to say nothing at all about it.

NUJ officials say currently around 25 journalists have been threatened recently for attempting to tell the truth about Rangers.

Understandably most feel they cannot discuss it openly. As one told me in a Glasgow hotel this summer: “I’m not paid enough and I don’t feel I have bosses who’d back me up if it came to it.”

Silence…hoping it will all go away…totally understandable when you live in Glasgow. But it isn’t going away, is it?


Enter Raith Rovers and their redoubtable chairman Turnbull Hutton. For Turnbull it was who was somewhat thrown into the limelight this summer as a champion of sporting integrity. As the SPL set about making itself a laughing stock in its tangled efforts to defy fairness, reason and morality to try and keep Rangers up in the Premier League, it was club chairmen like Mr Hutton who said no, Rangers must be treated like any other club.

But why, exactly? Yesterday Turnbull Hutton told me: “We had to circle our wagons at Raith given what had been done to us by Rangers fans.”

And he listed the endless abusive phone calls – some from Belfast – to Raith staff, theats, heavy-breathing, silent calls and so forth.

The day Fife police passed on credible information from the Strathclyde force that two men has been paid to burn down Raith’s stadium is a day Mr Turnbull and Raith Rovers will remember.

And all of it because that Raith man Eric Drysdale had dared sit on that SFA Tribunal and pass judgement and sanction upon Rangers’ gross mismanagement.

After all that Raith and Turnbull Hutton would lead the charge to stop Rangers remaining anywhere near the SPL, whatever it took.

The would-be intimidators didn’t tame Turnbull, their cowardice only making the club bide its time and help Rangers down into the fourth tier of Scottish football.


It seems an entire newspaper can be got at, when it’s Glasgow and it’s Rangers.

Recent weeks saw one of the more bizarre editorial u-turns of recent newspaper history in the UK when a Scottish Sun double-page splash promoting the author of ‘Downfall’ prior to serialising the book – suddenly became a non-serialisation.

In a somewhat embarrassed editorial The Sun admitted to receiving a large number of complaints about promoting the book, from Rangers fans.

The paper denied it was bowing to threats. Yet the publisher of the book says the threat of a Hillsborough-style boycott was real and instrumental.

It’s widely known the threats were real, nasty and yet again Strathclyde police were involved.

Many – including the book’s publisher – express real sympathy with The Scottish Sun’s dilemma. It editor and staff are known to have been shocked at the level and fury of complaints.

The difficulty here is that, whatever the paper’s reasons, in the end the mob got their way. The serialisation of a fast-selling factual book on Rangers never happened.

They couldn’t get Turnbull Hutton, Lord Nimmo-Smith, Eric Drysdale, STV and many, many more – but many believe they did get the Scottish Sun.

That should give us all pause for thought. Is this the reason why not a single Scottish newspaper has reviewed a book selling way beyond its publisher’s estimates?

What kind of power does the Ibrox mob have still, in today’s Scotland?

So against all this catalogue of attempted (and mostly failed) intimidation, the new Rangers owner Charles Green must surely take a stand and trying to kick this poison out of Ibrox and some of its support for good?

Already in his short ownership Mr Green’s referred to the football authorities as ‘the enemy’ at fans’ meeting on many occasions and he faced formal disciplinary action for saying other clubs were motivated by ‘bigotry’ towards Rangers.

Mr Green must lead from the top because if he fails to do so what chance has anyone got to stop the moronic element at the bottom of the Rangers food chain from lashing out with threats against anyone who dares speak truth unto Ibrox?

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154 reader comments

  1. Rory Stewart says:


    Why oh why am I STILL surprised by your willingness to continually push this one-sided view about how big and bad the Rangers support are? Why is is you have taken it upon yourself to peddle this myth when your previous achievements have had nothing to do with sport or “financial mis-management”?

    Should I be surprised? No. After all, you are the one who wrote the foreword on Phil-three-names’ “factual” book about Rangers. The same Phil who had the story withdrawn from serialisation by The Sun – NOT due to campaigning by the Rangers support, but because the author (who you most-willingly jumped in to bed with) has been exposed as a bigoted, sectarian, paramilitary-and-terrorism-supporting, putrid excuse for a human being.

    Why did you choose to be involved with such a person, Alex?

    Why no mention in your story of the death threats made to the likes of Nacho Novo, Alex McCoist (the teenage son of Ally McCoist), Ally McCoist, Charles Green and many more?

    Why no mention of the public posting of personal addresses and contact numbers for Messrs McCoist and Green, as well as the smashing of referee Hugh Dallas’s windows after a Celtic loss?

    Why no mention of the vandalism of cars belonging to former Rangers players Lafferty, Novo, Bedoya, Edu, McGregor, Healy and others?

    Why no mention of the continual court cases surrounding Celtic supporters in relation to glorifying terrorism, sectarian chanting, rioting in streets? Or them setting FIRES inside Ibrox stadium during a recent derby match?

    Why have there been no articles from you in relation to the anti-United Kingdom stance at Celtic Park? To the anti-British sentiment that runs throughout the club from top to bottom? To the official supporters group who display banners every week decrying our country, royal family, government and anyone who supports them, supporting the Irish Republican Army and its crusade against Great Britain?

    I tell you why Alex; because it doesn’t suit your anti-Rangers agenda. That’s why.

    1. JP Glasgow says:

      There is no comparison between the events currently surrounding the rangers and anything that’s ever happened in the history of Scottish football. The threats,intimidation and reactions to the newco formation is the story in itself. It is shameful that a minority behave in such a way and are tarnishing a clubs’s reputation in its formative years.

    2. Joe Roberts says:

      Rory, you didn’t even read Alex’s piece did you? If you did you certainly didn’t understand it.It’s an article about Rangers,no one else,just Rangers.But you try to drag others into your mudpit. You’re in the position you are due to YOUR actions,no one else’s, YOURS!! Unfortunately to many Rangers fans chose not to heed the warnings,and there are fresh warnings,have you read those? will you ignore them again? Wake up!! your troubles came from within,and they will again.

    3. blogiston says:

      Invoking ‘whataboutery’ as a riposte renders the points and instances you make null and void.
      Until I read your reply, I was unaware the downfall of Rangers was anything to do with Celtic fans and their culture. However, I have witnessed over the last nine months the attempt by Charles Green, Rangers’ fans and other in the MSM to subtlely change the context and the origins to make it so… Oh, how you would love to have it on the old familiar sectarian ground you love so well.

      Perhaps, if you accepted the issues outlined in the blog, moved past denial and anger, and made the same effort to change the culture of your club, as you make in defending their actions, you could then expect a reasonable reception to criticisms you wish to make about the Celtic-minded people looking on – even though they have had absolutely nothing to do with your club’s financial mis-management.

    4. Gary Porter says:

      Rory, why would Alex Thomson have an anti-Rangers agenda? What possible motive could he have? Do Rangers fans never take a step back, and think, maybe we need to take 5 minutes just to ourselves as others see us. You all seem to delight in the “no one likes us we don’t care” approach, yet clearly you do but can’t be bothered making an effort to see why Rangers fans are perceived the way they are.

      The mob mentality surrounding Rangers is appalling, but not as appalling as the seeming acceptance by authorities in Scotland of what’s going on. You reply that there have been plenty of cases where Celtic fans have behaved criminally and that Thomson’s failure to list these are evidence of his agenda. What you miss is that what we’re talking about here is an institution sitting behind what looks like a campaign, organised or otherwise, to protect Rangers interests by any means necessary. To compare what is happening here to mindless acts of violence by Celtic fans only illustrates my point further.

      What Rangers have done they have done to themselves, but Green has realised quick style that it’s actually incredibly simple to marshall the disparate masses – people who only a few months ago wanted Green out. Because he worked out, or was told, how to appeal to the lowest common denominator among Rangers fans, he has them believing that he’s on their side, and that you’re all in this together. It’s transparent – tell them they’ll be getting orange tops, that he hates Stewart Regan through song, that the rest of Scottish football is bigotted, and within a few weeks, Green is the new Messiah.

      I can honestly say I know and work with plenty of decent Rangers fans, none of whom would see themselves as bigots for a second, but discuss what’s going on at Ibrox and it becomes clear that there is a huge disconnect between them and reality. Ally McCoist remains in a job despite his obvious inability to do it. Why? Because he spent the summer riling up the support and “saying the right things.” I wish Rangers fans no harm but you have to start trying to understand why you’re perceived as you are and then address it as individuals or this is all going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

    5. Jim Clark says:

      As usual in denial. Your type never learn. I know that you are hurting but you have got to stop looking through blue tinted glasses and blame everything on anybody but yourself. Truth hurts and if you have any inteligence you will eventually realise that your club have been serial cheaters and brought all of this on to themselves. Time is a great healer and your new club may eventually get back to the top league by which time you and your kind will have discovered that real peeple have no interest in the peeeeple!

    6. Mick says:

      Get a life man. Every single person or entity which has voiced concern about the handling of your former club has been threatened. BBC included. What happened to the law suit against them? Hard to sue when they have all the facts!
      Nothing which goes against the deadco’s opinion is tolerated. For Green to say that his club were denied entry to the SPL because of bigotry suits his motives. The biggest offenders in Scotland with regard to Bigotry is the former Rangers. Ask Strathclyde police if you doubt this.
      Your former club is rotten to the core, so do everyone a favour and try and leave all that behind with your new club. For everyones sake.
      PS if you had listened to Phil three names as you refer to him, you could have saved your old club as he forecast every move Craigy boy did-one year prior to it actualy happening.
      Keep burying your heads and the Sevco will go down the same road, only this time Charlie is taking some of your money with him. That is if you can raise more than you did in the last attempt.

    7. English Republican says:

      I am not an Old Firm fan and will not get involved in the whataboutery between the 2. However, I must take issue with the claim that being against the government is anti-British. Really? If you oppose the Tories you are anti-British?!

    8. owen dolan says:

      You sound like one of the sectarian bigots this story is all about.

  2. Big Tam says:

    More garbage ‘journalism’ from you!!!!!!

    You mention the sun newspaper….yeah those guys are integrity-laden arent they…..this was the scum newspaper that LIED about the Liverpool fans looting the dead at Hillsborough. Some of the employees of this rag used to work for that shamed rag the news of the world….that says all we need to know about them!!!!!

    Yes, the Rangers fans ‘get at’ everyone dont they???
    The Rangers fans threaten everyone dont they????
    The Rangers fans send death threats to everyone dont they???

    Not one mention of the death threats and ill wishes that are STILL sent to Nacho Novo to this day, things like ‘i hope your kids die of cancer’ etc……these threats come from the east end of the city…the green end.
    No mention of the MANY death threats sent to numerous Rangers players, the damage done to their cars, the graffiti daubed on fences and walls at their homes.

    The paranoia of these eastenders caused a referee strike…..something that has never happened before but which did happen thanks to their ‘best fans in the world’. The same fans sent death threats to referees, smashed windows at the referees home……pelted referees with coins until he had his head split wide open and had to have stitches inserted just so he could carry on doing his job that day.

    If you are going to write your ‘impartial’ garbage, at least level it out showing that Rangers arent the axis of evil that you seem to be trying to point out.

    You will probably try and point out that this article is about Rangers fans and not Celtic…….show some integrity and impartiality by saying that the bad side isnt confined to one set of supporters….but that doesnt sell stories does it……..

    I notice that you have not mention of the good side of the Rangers support.
    I notice that you have not mentioned any comments from teams in the Scottish Third division who have praised the Rangers support for their good behaviour when visiting their grounds.

    According to your silly article….if someone writes something bad about Rangers, the fans are just supposed to sit there and accept it like good little lads…..dont make a fuss, dont say a word….JUST SIT THERE AND TAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You will find out that we WONT sit and take it….quite the opposite infact. We will fight it all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Kendo says:

      The comments from the likes of ‘Rory’ & ‘Big Tam’ just underpin Alex Thomsons point! Any criticism of what’s been happening at Ibrokes or any condemnation of the disgraceful behaviour by anyone purporting to be one of ‘Ra Peepel’ is met with a torrent of abuse! Thatnks for proving his point guys!

    2. listenteyerda says:

      Sad to think you don,t even realise, your the type of fan this TOP journalist is writing about! Or maybe i,m wrong, you do realise!

  3. Jobo Baldie says:

    An excellent summation of the FACTS Alex. Keep pushing the truth. Very important that these issues are covered across the UK and you and Channel 4 seem to be the only ones doing so.

  4. Marty says:

    As Mr Thomson says himself it is “a no-doubt small minority” of Rangers fans who have behaved badly. And of course there has been similar bad behaviour from a small minority of fans of Celtic and other clubs in the past. If other clubs had been in Rangers’ situation of repeated traumas and constant attacks (justified or otherwise) would their small minority have behaved any better? I doubt it.

    As for Ally McCoist calling for transparency over the SFA panel, Mr Thomson himself actually published the names of the tax tribunal who are deciding Rangers’ “big tax case”. Who is “worse”, someone who calls for transparency or someone who actually publishes names? Personally I think Mr Thomson had a right to publish the names, but those criticising McCoist must show consistency.

    Turning to Raith Rovers, I recall people from that club, including Mr Drysdale, saying there had been no serious threats. Though of course there are some misguided folk who post nasty nonsense on the internet, etc. Incidentally, Turnbull Hutton seemed to enjoy the limelight rather a lot for someone who was supposedly thrown into it and how he escaped SFA charges for some of his rants is a mystery.

    As for The Sun, having reviewed some of his other output, it stated publicly that the author of the book that was about to be serialised was “tarred with a sickening sectarian brush” (I emphasise that these are the published words of the newspaper). The Sun surely wasn’t intimidated into printing such a stark statement.

  5. Paul Robertson says:

    You’ll know all about threats and intimidation eh Alex?

    How is the police investigation going into threats and intimidation made by your fellow professional journalists to yourself?

    Thats right, there weren’t any as the police said there was no evidence of any threats or intimidation.

  6. Tommy says:

    This is refreshing to read. I live in the west of Scotland and I’m never surprised by the threatening actions or the cowering responses to them. It is still stunning to see the catalogue of incidents laid out together in the blog.
    Keep this up please as the truth must be told. Hopefully the people on the receiving end feel empowered by your stance and those who see fit to intimidate think twice in future as these actions should be socially unacceptable rather than regarded as common place.

    1. Dannybhoy1976 says:

      In an ideal world this would be the case Tommy, but unfortunately in the west of Scotland it seems like it will never be the case, a certain element have a stronghold, and judging by recent events it doesn’t appear that’s likely to change in our lifetimes…

  7. Patrick says:

    Isn’t it “fore-ward” rather than “forward”. Nonetheless, it’s a tired rehash of unfounded claims, much like others made recently about a journalist who dared to side with Rangers based on a false twitter account, clearly being used.

    The book to which you refer is not a true or factual account. It’s a rehash of frequently peddled lies with a malicious sectarian angle. That you decided to promote and defend such bigoted lies merely adds to the growing question marks surrounding your own handling of the story.

    Do you seriously expect to be given any credibility when you have promoted a sectarian animation that mocked the death of many innocent football fans? What would the reaction been had your cartoon mocked Hillsborough.

    For that and other such ill-informed reports and half-truths, your credibility has been diminished to that of a Brass Eye spoof, but at least they were making a valid point, unlike yourself.

    1. Dannybhoy1976 says:

      So what parts of the book are wrong then, enlighten us, isn’t RFC tumbling towards liquidation….?!

  8. Dunn says:

    The reason The Scottish Sun pulled the story is because your mate and main author of the book Phil Mac-ghiolla-bhain posted extremly bigoted articles in his online blog about Rangers fans which got highlighted to The Scottish Sun who then never wanted to be associated with him. I’m sure the email replies that posters on a certain fans forum which you love to go on received from The Scottish Sun would prove that but don’t let that get in the way of your lies afterall the Rangers fans are used to it from you.

    1. Dannybhoy1976 says:

      Learn the difference between ‘satirical’ and ‘bigoted’ before you speak, altough from your post you already have one of those aspects well and truly mastered….

  9. GH says:

    Sadly, and I say this with the greatest respect of your work Alex, until this type of article appears as a matter of course in the Scottish Daily newspapers and other media nothing will change in Scotland.
    You are absolutely correct when you say that the leadership at Rangers must show more responsibility in their public comments as it would appear to anyone looking in that Charles Green is simply pandering to a certain element of the RFC support to ensure sucess in his share flotation. An accusation which could just as easily be pointed in the direction of the Scottish media darling that is Ally McCoist.
    I have watched whilst the media (newspapers, radion and tv) in Scotland at first ignored the collapse of RFC, then begrudgingly mentioned it because the “internet bampots” simply wouldnt go away and then embarked on a series of spin which was ludicrous to anyone with half an ounce of intelligence.
    But the lessons of that corporate and media failure have not been learned, it would seem, by the Scottish media.
    There is now a process of denial, spin and downright lies being told daily in the local media. Whilst prior to the liquidation of RFC it was widely reported that the liquidation would be the end of RFC it is now reported that only a company was liquidated and that a club cannot be liquidated. Such nonsense being peddled by the likes of the ex Chief Executive of the SFA Gordon Smith live on Radio Clyde SSB with no questioning or attempt to put that statement right.
    Is it out of fear of RFC that the media behave in this way or is it out of a fear of losing their readership/listeners/viewers etc and the impact that would have on the bottom line?
    In Scotland prior to your involvement and the work carried out by the “internet bampots” such thinking would have publicly vilified and seen you dismissed as being paranoid.
    Its truly a sad country when the mob have so much power and its also pathetic that there is still a belief that this mob only represent a small proportion of RFC supporters.

    1. Dannybhoy1976 says:

      100% spot on mate, where are the media accusations of paranoia now…..?! That alone tells it’s own story, ‘paranoia’ has been levelled at Celtic fans for more years than I care to remember, and now the word isn’t even uttered by the MSM, what exactly are they now trying to hide…?!

  10. Martin James says:

    Excellent Alex – Green feeding this minority with his bigotry rant and everyone out to get us mantra – still it helps sell season tickets and shares!

    However you will remember Berwick Ranges got nasty abuse from other clubs suppporters following your incorrect revelation on Twitter about BRFC voting SFL1. There is something fundamentally wrong about a society where this is becoming more and more prevelant.

    Charles Green must weed out the bigots at Ibrox – but bigotry sells, until he makes his money he will turn a blind eye. I witnessed first hand at Shielfield when the Ibrox faithfull were giving it “Bobby sands,” cleary audible -and seemed unmoved.

    Scottish football would have been better off if Celtic and Rangers did one years ago

    1. mickmccahill says:

      Martin James your comments were all spot on until you brought Celtic into it, what have Celtic got to do with it? Celtic FC are a club open to all no matter what creed or colour. A club that raises millions of pounds for charities throughout the world, are you saying that the these charities would be better off without Celtic? Are you saying the world would be better off without Celtic? Why would you say such a ridiculous stupid thing? Is it because some supporters have political views on Ireland and the IRA? (Views shared by countless millions across the globe) Would the world be a better place without Barcelona FC? The vast majority of their fans have very strong political views? Do me a favour Martin when you talk about “rangers” just say what you have to say and leave Celtic FC out of it.

    2. SMcC says:

      An example of the contrived equanimity, so common from the MSM, the “wee teams'” supporters and “polite” Scottish society, from Martin James. What in God’s name have celtic or their supporters to do with anything Alex’s blog today? This “one as bad as each other” guff has been responsible for the lack of proper reporting on Glasgow football matters for years.

  11. James O'Donnell says:

    You can’t talk or try too tell these people but the cheating and threats goes way beyond ibrox ther minds are closed to any truth and ther hatred goes way before love of the game ,and get this out of your mind that this is a minoritie. This is the bulk of the rangers fans think that it is ther right too get what they want and for the last 20 years they have ,cheating racist biggots should not have any place in football nor the British way of life it is time too come down on these thugs and punish them hard

  12. Rob Earls says:

    Truly shameful behavior. Add to this Rangers supporters jailed last year for sending mail bombs to the Celtic Manager, a politician and a QC. Bullets being sent in post to other football stadiums. Not being from Scotland I can look at it with neutrality and I keep asking myself – what if this was happening in England?

    1. Billy Mac says:

      Firstly I do not condone terrorism however it is not one sided. You mention the “bombs” sent to Neil Lennon but I would say that NL has Friends at home in Lurgan who have been involved in worse than sending useless bombs through the post. Also where did the Provos get their finances for their campaign.They got it from numerous dubious people and groups One of which was the Celtic support for many years (I cannot say about the club but I wouldn’t be surprised).You sayyou are not from Scotland but if you are from the UK this money was/is used to bomb and kill UK citizens. Yes Rangers have a number of fanatical idiots but so have Celtic.
      Look at the poppy escapade at Parkhead .It used to be a saying that they Celtic supporters) would not accept the Crown but would accept the half crown. As I have said their is good and bad on both sides. Billy

      1. Bruce says:

        Billy Mac, even by the standards of the The Rangers support that is a spectacularly desperate and pathetic attempt to smear Celtic and Neil Lennon.

  13. James Flucker says:

    WOW! At last a journo not afraid to tell it like it truly is. The bears wont like it, but as they say, the truth always hurts. Well done Alex!

  14. Greg McKellar says:

    Alex, I fail to see one direct quote from any police officer or spokesperson….why is that? You talk of generalisations yet have sourced ZERO evidence. Regards the booksellers…..hhhm what branches of what chains SPECIFICALLY were threatened? In what way threatened? How do we KNOW that the Union Jack person supported Rangers? Not assume, but KNOW?

    So Raith had a credible threat o have the ground bunted down? When and what authority did they report that to and who did you fact check with at that authority?

    The Sun didn’t print the extracts from your pal Phil’s book, even though the editor put out an unprecedented statement and said that was due to him being tarred with a sickening sectarian brush, and I believe he queried your positive foreword too did he not? Interesting. Also you mention a hills borough style boycott……that is our right to boycott what we perceive is against us is it not? Hardly a crime is it?

    So the STV journalist is too scared to be identified? But of course you must have he catalogue evidence of the crimes against him to reference of course? Why not redact the sensitive info and publish THE FACTS?

    Stewart Regan was and is hated universally by both sides o the Old Firm and elements of Celtic’s support were of the opinion he was trying to shoe horn Rangers into the SPL or cut a deal to parachute us into Division 1. Now given their manic hatred of Rangers I can easily point to probable cause right there on their part unless of course these threats came with a sign off they were all Rangers fans? And of course you have evidence of this too I assume? I would be he easiest thing to make a call and make a threat claiming to be from one side when in reality you are an agent provocateur……

    Lord Nimmo smith has released statements to justify his impartiality to the SPL to justify his position on the panel, not to preserve his well being.

    You bring Mr Greens use of bigotry into yet he defended himself well on that topic and you should perhaps have a look at the definition of bigotry at the same time as checking what journalistic impartiality is defined by.

    So as I see it above you have not actually given us ONE evidenced, researched, corroborated or proven incident have you? You have used a scattergun journalistic approach and thrown mud in all directions hoping some sticks…..shoddy at best, disgraceful and shameful at worst. You would appear to have come up to Scotland with good intentions to break a story…..the trouble is you fell into the trap of only believing in those with an agenda and you didn’t or couldn’t check the facts. Ask yourself who gains the most out of all this and I bet it would be the people who have your ear…..

    1. Oldagefanclub says:

      There you have it. The threats have either been made up, or it was Celtic fans wearing union jacks to try and get Rangers the blame. I’m surprised you didn’t try and blame it on Chelsea fans, that’s the normal default position.

    2. mickmccahill says:

      Greg you are in denial, why can’t you accept Alex views instead of demanding documented facts that could put lives in jeopardy. If you want FACTS on these threats why don’t you call Strathclyde police and they WILL give you the FACTS first hand. Or why don’t you just remind yourself of the number of “rangers” fans that are now behind bars due to the FACTS that the courts have heard? Maybe just maybe if you give yourself wee reality check you will realise Alex is reporting FACTS if the MSM didn’t bury their heads or had the guts to do the same “rangers” would not have died.

    3. Jim says:

      The problem lies with the Rangers fans themselves. When it comes to sanctions they want to be treated as a new club with a clean slate – demanding that the new regime isn’t punished for the sins of the old one. Fair enough. What they can’t then demand is that the titles won under the old corrupt regime be allowed to stand. This is why people have no time for Rangers right now – they want to have their cake and eat it.

      1. Marty says:

        Jim, no Rangers fan wants to the club to be treated as a new club – because it’s not (as Lord Nimmo Smith et al have confirmed). Only the company running the club is different.

        Whether Rangers were guilty of something that could lead to the stripping of titles (or some other punishment) has still to be ruled on of course.

      2. Jim says:

        You’re right and wrong, Marty. Yes, all Rangers fans want their club to be the same Rangers they’ve supported all their lives but faced with having up to ten titles stripped away they are more than happy to cling to the defence that the new club shouldn’t be punished for the sins of the previous regime. You can say that isn’t the case but I have enough Rangers fans among my friends to know it very much is. Be honest, if it was Celtic in this position there isn’t a Rangers fan in the world who wouldn’t be demanding they were stripped of their titles.

    4. Bryan Adam says:

      Why endanger even more people to the lawless actions of the minions of that now defunct club, by naming sources, are you serious?

      Like it or not, the only people who question the integrity of Alex, are those formerly know as “Ra People”

      The old club have yet to apologise for cheating the tax payer out of millions.

      We have all heard how many nurses etc. your cheating old club could have been paying for, but NO! Its all everyone elses fault, your club was the victim, yet you reaped the rewards from cheating for over a decade.

      Now another choir conductor, Chuckles Green, continues to pander to the mindless that used to follow follow rangers, for the new club Sevco.

      As James has already stated, the truth always hurts.

      Happy glorious 12th! October that is, Liquidation Day!

      The future is most certainly bright…er!

    5. rodbhoy says:

      Denial is not just a river in Africa…

      “How do we KNOW that the Union Jack person supported Rangers?”

      Have you ever been to Glasgow? How many union jack-wearing guys have you seen that weren’t Rangers fans?!?!?

      Your ignorance is due to you following the Scottish MSM for your information. I huvnae read that in the Record” doesnt make it inaccurate. Everyone else is not to blame for your club’s embarassing list of mismanagement.

      You believe that the whole of Scottish football has an agenda against poor ex-Establishment FC. I realise it must be hard to take for “ra peepul” to be treated fairly like the rest of the Scottish league clubs. However deep you bury your head in the sand, you cant hide the fact that some of your so-called fans are sub-human in their attitude and take things way too far.

      You were Rangers, no one liked you and you care.

    6. cautious dave says:

      I cannot for the life of me understand why you would spend the time writing a lengthy response so pathetic and transparent. It’s obvious to the dugs in the street that these threats are real. To sat otherwise is continuing the ostrich mentality that’s been the default position for the main body of the Rangers support for a decade now since Celtic internet sites predicted the downfall of Rangers due to financial mismanagement. Nothing has changed even now. Dissenting Rangers fans concerned about Greens plans are shouted down as traitors by the bullies in the Rangers support.
      Rangers fans have every right to be angry about the situation they find themselves in at the end of 2012. But the anger never seems to be at the right targets – Murray, the directors who were aware of the risks in his financial model and remained silent, and the compliant press who proclaimed his every action as that of a financial genius. Instead the Rangers fans attack those simply unravelling the mess and telling what has gone on.
      Rangers fans can continue to howl at the moon like yourself Greg or finally come around to accepting the truth. Either way it’s happening whether you like it or not.

  15. Andrew says:

    No mention of the intimidation of the SPL/SFA by other SPL teams’ fans regarding the punishments Rangers were perceived to be worthy of?

    No mention of The Sun’s stated reason for pulling the serialisation of Downfall: that the author was “tarred with a sickening sectarian brush”?

    Instead falling back on quotes from the publisher of said book, who would certainly have no ulterior motive for talking up the controversial nature of the book

    A frankly baffling interpretation of Lord Nimmo Smith’s recent assertion that the Commission must be independent from “the body appointing it” and would be “unfettered by the influence of the (SPL) board”.

    Much speculation and accusations but very few legimitate quotes to back up the “widely known” facts.

    This is a rather sad and transparent attempt at drawing out the the trolls in order that Alex can further milk this story, presumably with another column in a few weeks detailing all the horrible anonymous and undetailed threats he received as a result of it.

    1. Patrick says:

      Are you seriously suggesting that there is no anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism in Edinburgh the capital of bigotland?

    2. Patrick says:

      Does this absolve the Jambos and the equally sectarian followers of Dundee from any blame for their continuing hate filled antics?

  16. NM says:

    Excellent post again Alex, though I think one correction. You say “Outside Scotland people may legitimately wonder how or why this is tolerated”. It should read I think, “Outside the West of Scotland” I think, as those observing from Edinburgh, Dundee or Aberdeen are as bemused as any as to how this situation is allowed to continue. The media, overwhelmingly run from the West coast does, of course, not reflect these concerns.

    1. Carntyne says:

      If you wonder down to Tyncastle of a Saturday afternoon you may hear renditions of songs made popular by the Ibrox faithful.

      I do believe Tyncastle is in Edinburgh.

    2. thomas cochrane says:

      NM you are sadly mistaken ….or your at it ….if you think its only the west of bonnie bigotland…..feels that way……..i think you may be suffering from (blue tunnel vision)……..of which the only cure is enlightenment …………go to the light ma freen…….go to the light…

  17. steven gillespie says:

    it is good to see this being printed you would never read this sort of article in a scottish newspaper rangers were & are still the establishments club,most police are fans of rangers even off duty police have been arrested for sectarian singing on more than one occasion,they actually still wanted them in the SPL,they destroyed manchester,celtic fc got an EUFA award for there fans behaviour,its just rangers were so used to being able to flout the law in there own country,they forgot they couldn’t do it elsewhere,why haven’t they been stripped of any titles even though it has been proven they bought & paid for players frauduantly,its amazing

  18. Stephen says:

    An excellent article Alex – and you have to wonder at what point will all this ever end but you also have to wonder about the blunders made by the Scottish football authorities who, whilst there is no way they deserve the threats and intimidation, they have contributed to the process.

    The hard truth is – Rangers FC are about to be liquidated. As a football club, they ceased to exist and that is why they are not in the SPL today. Although depending on what paper you read you might be forgiven for thinking that Rangers were demoted, relegated, or voted out.

    Pick whatever lie that suits you.

    Yet the Scottish Football Association & the Scottish Premier League moved heaven & earth to make sure this new Rangers would begin life in the top division. Once that failed, they tried to make sure they got straight into Division 1. Only the intervention of the fans made sure neither happened.

    Had the proper rules been applied then Charles Green’s Rangers should not even be in the Scottish Football League as the club does not have 3 years accounts. (The very same reason they can’t play in UEFA competitions but sshhh, we don’t talk about that)

    Despite that, the Ibrox Klan have developed a siege mentality where everyone is out to get them and, as you correctly point out, people are being threatened and intimidated.

    We have went from a situation where a club had over 200 creditors ripped off, the club could potentially owe £95m to the taxman yet fast forward a few months and the club is alive, debt free and has done nothing wrong – and if you dare to point out the hypocrisy in this you are either labelled obsessed or a Rangers hater.

    Oh please – don’t mention the potential 10 years of cheating either – it never happened apparently.

    But the worrying thing in all of this is that Charles Green is using this to sell shares. He doesn’t care that Glasgow is a city with previous for people getting murdered for wearing a Celtic scarf.

    He is stoking up the fires of hatred with his claims of “bigotry” & “agendas” – he is using the worst element to rally the troops, He should remember that when he came to Scotland he said himself that he had to live in safe houses.

    What does that tell you?

    To finish, a quote from Ian Archer as far back as 1972:

    “This has to be said about Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”

    Oh how right he was.


  19. Ciaran says:

    Remarkable stuff. You would imagine that Rangers fans would want to know what was going on at their club to get them into such a shambolic mess. Liquidation and the club’s assets being sold off to a whole new company to start over again in Division 3 is horrible for any club’s support – but attacking the people trying to expose why this happened is beyond moronic.

    There has always been a superiority complex among some Rangers supporters though. They cannot bear to be told they were in the wrong. Even still, they claim they will ‘repay’ the SPL for not ‘supporting’ them. It’s madness.

  20. Stevie says:

    Here lies the problem Alex, under no circumstances do the Rangers support believe they’ve done anything wrong and essentially they haven’t concerning the downfall of RFC.
    There’s a culture of terror that surrounds Sevco of saying or reporting anything but the propaganda we see emanating from Mr Greens new company, journalists and commentators know exactly were their views will land them if truth be told.
    Sadly this is not a new thing this is life in Scotland, this all ably helped by the succulent lamb culture.
    Scottish football will never be fixed when incidents of threats are covered up and ignored by the Main Stream Media.

  21. peter.smith says:

    green and ally stood to attention.call from belfast, blah,blah, blah.green and ally to idiot fans. blah, blah, blah. idiots say we will blah, blah blah for you. chain of command very sad people,

  22. jane alexander says:

    The Sun’s excuse that Phil had an inappropriate sense of humour (his daft blog), doesn’t hold much water. They employ Frankie Boyle. A man man who jokes about disabled children raping their mothers.

  23. Darrell King says:

    great article as usual alex,you could also have went back just a year earlier and mentioned the bullets and bombs sent to Neil Lennon, Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt with our manager having to live in a safe house and needing a bodyguard.

    Or even further back to when Lennon was given death threats if he played for NI again, the time Huns tried to run him off the road while he had his family in his car or the time he was jumped in Ashton Lane and left for dead by 2 rangers fans.

    its absolutley shocking behavour from a clubs fans who STILL believe they are being punnished in some way for sanctions handed out to a club that went into liquidation?


  24. Neal says:

    A wonderful summary and shocking insight into our bigoted West of Scotland (The home of Scottish Football, most of our Newspapers and BBC and our TV) Stations).
    The sad tale is a summary of the shocking complicity of the vast majority our fourth estate and their “establishment club” and it is really all about supremacy leading to corruption rather than football.
    The only missing para in Alec’s piece is the deafening silence of our politicians and the question begged here is what they have done to put pressure on the SFA to keep Rangers alive and hence a risible West of Scotland status quo.
    Alex Salmond is normally at the front of any queue for any publicity but here apart from a dreadful early faux pas with HMRC he has remained silent and his actions behind the scenes have exacerbated the problem. (And he has also steadfastly refused under freedom of information to allow what he asked HMRC to be released)
    Scotland – a corrupt and bigoted wee country with a complit media.

  25. stop the bus says:

    Utterly embarrassing for Scotland. All of Scotland.
    What are the police doing about this. We have seen some arrests but given the level of criminality I don’t believe we have seen nearly enough.
    I can’t blame the government as I believe the police have enough power to be able to deal with this.
    The club could also do more. If the club really deplore this criminality, it should be up front and centre in it’s condemnation of all of these threats and intimidation, instead of lighting the touch paper, letting the mob run, then coming out with platitudes after the damage is done.
    I’ll say again, this type of criminality is an embarrassment to a modern day country.
    Scotland’s shame.

  26. rose says:

    WOW! Never thought I would read a piece of journalism of this nature. Surprised by that you shouldn’t be as I live in West of Scotland were MSM like in Korea decide what I can read the reasons for that are down to a minority for sinister reasons. Free country this is not. Thank you for writing but don’t expect it to go mainstream and be prepared for a backlash you are a brave man and from this one Scot I thank you

  27. Mark Falconer says:

    Utter rubbish from a thoroughly discredited hack – Channel4 you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  28. Paul says:

    Nothing like pandering to the “celtic minded” eh Alex

    Shameful article with no proof whatsoever…. and this coming from a guy who apparently was so scared of an old aged pensioner he had to fake going to the police to complain again with no substance…

  29. A Burns says:

    Proof proof proof, where is it Alex?

  30. James Cameron says:

    I have received threats and one of our site admin has had his details including his home address and phone number published on a Rangers fans site. We got the Police involved immediately and the info was removed followed by an apology from the sites owner. There is a strong culture of ‘Orange-ism’ and a twisted form of the Masonic Lodge which runs through Scottish society.
    In a mature society this club would be banned until they could prove beyond a doubt that they have ridden themselves of this element of their support.
    As for Mr Green he himself should be the subject of a police investigation under the Offensive Behavior at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012.

  31. Tommy says:

    It really is time to acknowledge that the baser elements of the Rangers support have never been, and are not now a minority. Those who seek to intimidate right-thinking people into silence are the core of the support.

    These are the people that Charles Green and Ally McCoist are pandering to. Indeed there seems little point in pandering to a minority.

  32. Denny says:

    Great article Alex, only one heading missing; “THE POLICE”…

  33. DM says:

    There are a few not insignificant omissions in your piece:

    A respected QC being sent a parcel bomb.
    An MSP being sent a parcel bomb.
    A Glasgow based Irish group being sent a parcel bomb.
    A football manager being sent a parcel bomb.
    A Cardinal being sent a bullet.
    A football manager and two of his players being sent bullets.
    A football manager being assaulted twice in the streets of Glasgow.
    A football manager being assaulted during a televised match.
    And so far, at least twelve individuals found guilty of violence or threats against a football manager.

    1. derek says:

      btw loving how 1 sided ur arguement is,try reversing the role and scripting the instances of hate directed at the other side of the old firm,oh b ut tht would go against everything u stand for would nt it,if ur going to shout ur mouth off,at least cover both sides of the arguement,so people can make up thier own minds

  34. James says:

    Alex, this is an incredibly naive and one sided effort.

    It is certainly not credible journalism to present your opinion as (uncorroborated) fact and in deed it is a shameful effort in the name of the profession itself.

    Are some elements of Rangers “support” idiotic, often ill-informed and yes sometimes bigoted individuals – yes, without doubt and the sooner they were gone the better.

    However in the interests of fairness, balance and good journalism it needs to be acknowledged that these sort of people are unfortunately associated with other football clubs.

    You really have revealed a weakness in your credibility by only allowing yourself to present selective, one-sided and often unsubstantiated opinion as fact.

    You are not stupid and should know the story of Rangers recent difficulties by now to know that “laptop” fans, bloggers, twitterers, etc exist at both extremes of this spectrum. However often the truth is somewhere in the middle ground.

    It is simply poor form to work so hard to represent the bitter and twisted views held by the people who are clearly working you from behind -disingenuous at best, professional ineptitude at worst.

    1. Spuds says:


      Whataboutery at its best. Yes, there are indeed idiotic, ill-informed and bigoted individuals at other clubs. However, that’s a completely different article – this article is about the threats received specifically from Rangers fans by people that those fans perceive to have been critical of the club, it’s owners (past and present), its current state, and the general behaviour of the club since everything came to light (debt-free indeed – humble pie anyone?).

  35. Patrick says:

    Isn’t it “fore-ward” rather than “forward”? Nonetheless, Thomson’s article is a tired rehash of unfounded claims, much like others made recently about a journalist who dared to side with Rangers based on a false twitter account, clearly being used.

    The book to which you refer is not a true or factual account. It’s a rehash of frequently peddled lies with a malicious sectarian angle. That you decided to promote and defend such bigoted lies merely adds to the growing question marks surrounding your own handling of the story.

    Do you seriously expect to be given any credibility when you have promoted a sectarian animation that mocked the death of many innocent football fans? What would the reaction been had your cartoon mocked Hillsborough?

    For that and other such ill-informed reports and half-truths, your credibility has been diminished to that of a Brass Eye spoof, but at least they were making a valid point, unlike yourself.

    I also notice that the Channel 4 News moderation team appear to be on message. Rangers article, mainly read by Rangers fans, yet out of the 10 responses, 8 have clearly came from individuals wishing to spout lies about Rangers, whilst my own offering was overlooked..

    Ironically, these people who spend their days posting ad infinitum with their spamming propaganda about Rangers, which Alex eagerly eats up, are trying to tell us all that it’s not Rangers. If it’s not Rangers, why are they all so obsessively spamming all media outlets with their bigoted lies.

    Alex, it’s rather easy to see through a bigot’s agenda. If you are incapable of that insight, perhaps you are a little to close to your sources to be impartial.

  36. Patrick says:

    I notice that you also find it acceptable to publish all sorts of unfounded accusations of all sorts of immorality from more people with an agenda.

    The moderation here is as questionable as the article and the book it tries to promote.

  37. AMS says:

    Alex, I am a media person. I am a Celtic supporter.
    And i can tell you precisely why ‘Downfall’ has been ignored by the mainstream press.
    It is partly connected to the fear of moronic recrimnation and reprisals,yes.
    But also because of the author.
    Phil McG is regarded by most free thinking people as one side of a grubby coin.
    He is on one side, David ‘leggoland’ Leggat is on the other.
    There are media people sickened by these zealots and the relentless obsessiveness and excessive behaviour of they and their disciples. Blue or green, it doesn’t matter. They shout, they threaten, they intimidate. They boycott, they threaten again, they lobby and bully.
    They operate in a strata of hate. They pollute the environment. They weary those of us who wish to live in a modern, progressive Scotland free of the baggage of Irish politics.
    Hell mend them and all those who subscribe or patronise them. They are feeding the poisonous monster and I know I am not the only journalist who is sick of these neanderthals.

    1. Carntyne says:

      Dear AMS,

      I am sick of journalists, and there are many of them, who pander to the Rangers support at every turn, who constantly find fault with everything to do with Celtic, and praise all they can get away with in favour of Rangers.

      The Rangers fans would never get away with the things complained about in Alex Tthomson’s blog today if it wasn’t for the backing of the mainstream media.

      I have read nothing but lies in our tabloid newspapers for weeks concerning Newco/Oldco, which is which, and whether they are seperate entities or not.

      A Scots journalist lecturing fans on bigotry is nothing but a bloody cheek.

  38. Henry Clarson says:

    Obviously, you’re writing this for a wider audience, Alex, but you’re not quite painting an accurate picture when you say that these matters pass without comment in Glasgow. There are plenty of us with a great deal to say but our points of view are suppressed or misrepresented by the mainstream media.
    Thousands of pages of online research into shady dealings at Rangers get dismissed by Hugh Keevins of Radio Clyde as the inconsequential ravings of a shower of “internet bampots”.
    Hundreds of thousands of Celtic supporters who have echoed every one of your points – and indeed have been saying them for decades before you took an interest in this scandal – were routinely accused of paranoia by the Scottish mainstream media and ignored by the UK networks.
    Millions of hours of broadcasting will avoid any mention of the disease that infects a substantial part of the UK while at the same time no effort seems to be spared to bring us bad news from Middle East war zones, the American political arena or government corruption in some distant country.

    The issue of corporate misgovernance is a vital one but the greatest misgovernance of all is the failure of news corporations to report accurately on what has being going on. The BBC is especially guilty because its own charter and mission statement unequivocally affirms its duty to “inform and educate” but no media outlet comes out of this mess with credit. There has been too little fair and impartial reporting on this; what little there has been has mostly been on the outside margins of the established media. While this is a welcome blog, it is nonetheless unlikely that its content will be featured on the Channel 4 television news tonight, once again leaving the inaccurate impression that nobody in Glasgow – or Scotland – is interested in making a comment on these scandals.

    Take a look at your own blog roll, Alex; what other subject have you ever blogged about which has produced anything remotely close to the volume of comment which articles about corruption in Scottish football produce? Blogposts on the Rangers scandal do not pass without comment, either from Glasgow or elsewhere. During the close season, tens of thousands of Scottish football fans realised that the only way to make their views clear to their own club directors was by postponing the renewal of their season tickets until it was guaranteed that there would be no place in the SPL for the most corrupt club in the history of British football. That was a powerful and ultimately effective comment by supporters from Ayrshire to Aberdeen and yet the mainstream media has treated it as no more than an awkward interruption to its own determined agenda to misinform its audience.

    The media – especially BBC Scotland – relentlessly recycled Neil Doncaster’s prophecies of doom about the prospect of a Hun-free SPL while giving short shrift to the huge volume of commentary from gleeful fans who, if given a voice, would have correctly pointed out that it was the best thing that could ever happen to Scottish football. Now that even Doncaster himself has been forced to concede that he was talking a pile of tripe, there is scarcely a comment from the same media on how utterly useless he clearly is.

    There is no shortage of comment on the streets of Glasgow and the rest of Scotland about how utterly inappropriate it is that Campbell Ogilvie – deeply implicated in Rangers’ tax-scam – remains in position at the top of the SFA. But the silence is that of the media, not of the innumerable outspoken critics at ground level.

    I could easily go on but the point is clear. There is no shortage of comment about Scotland’s Shame but decades of experience have shown us that there is an acute shortage of desire to reflect that commentary in the UK media as a whole and in the Scottish media in particular.
    That is corporate misgovernance on a huge scale. It takes a certain type of courage to crouch in a bombshell crater, ducking out of the way of shrapnel while waiting for a quiet moment to file copy back to an editor. But, without being disrespectful, once you leave the battle arena, the threat is over and you can get on with your life.
    It takes a very different – and far more demanding – type of courage for a mainstream journalist to do a piece to camera on location in Govan and resolve to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, with the support of his or her editors and publishers. But nothing short of that kind of determination to stand up to the bullies and their corrupt puppet-masters is required in order to confront the problem of corporate misgovernance in the media. Until programmes like Mark Daly’s excellent two documentaries on Rangers become the norm rather than the very rare exception, then the BBC, Channel 4, and every other media outlet, deserve the corporate misgovernance tag just as much as David Murray, Campbell Ogilvie, Martin Bain, Craig Whyte, Gordon Smith, George Peat, Dave King, Stewart Regan, Neil Doncaster or Gavin Masterton.

    This has been a comment by one of those Glaswegians who reportedly watch corruption and criminality occur without comment. I’ll gladly amplify these comments if I’m ever allowed to do so on television but I won’t hold my breath while I’m waiting for the invitation.

    1. Heltraq says:

      Couldn’t agree more I don’t even buy newspapers any more.What is it going to take for just one editor/journalist to be allowed to express an honest summation of the corruption infecting the fourth estate?I am deeply proud of being Scottish but this lack of will to expose that which is poisoning my country makes me despair .My kids are reading Harper Lee for their English exams ,21st century Scotland could certainly be used to compare and contrast,sad isn’t it?

  39. mick says:


    absolutely typical of WATP brigade. its a well known fact that the rangers hardcore have conducted years of intimidation in glasgow and scotland. well just to let you know. more and more people are now standing up to that horrible horrible aspect of scottish/ulster life. no longer is rangers the “establishent” club. no longer are the only people in positions of power in this country from a unionist/protestant background. there is no great conspiracy against rangers and their fans there just isnt as much of an attitude to sweep it under the carpet anymore.

    The Bigoted antiquated ways of the “billy boys” is slowly and surely dying out and what we see now is the final lashings of a wounded animal. dangerous? yes but surely on its last legs.

    No longer do catholics have to hide in the shadows in glasgow, no longer do we have cow down to the aggression of the rangers hardcore right wing.

    Your club (sorry company 1872) is dead. this new pretender is pandering to the bigoted or self deluded. that wont last long either. even the financial times is lamenting the shocking attept at a share issue.

    The quicker that the whole institution of rangers and its sad, bigoted aggresive followers is dead then the better glasgow and scotland will be.

    Rangers fans are quick to label anyone against the as a bigot but conveniently want to forget the reason for peoples despise of them. they have spent the majority of their exstance being anti-everything and swaggering about with an air of superiority that has encouraged people to dislike them. hating an instititution that encourages hatred does not make you a bigot. I hate the KKK does that make me a bigot? i hate the BNP, does that make me a bigot? of course not. hating the anti catholic, racist sub culture of the rangers support does not make me bigot. it actually shows i have a decent undestanding of the human condition annd I am willing to stand up to the lower ends of society.

    Sevco actually had a great opportunity to start afresh, take on all the good things about the old rangers support and cut ties with the dreadful bagage. unfortunatly that hasnt been done and the inmates are now back to running the asylum. maybe there wasnt that much good that could have been transffferred over after all.

    To finish, you may think you are “ra peepul” but your days are numbered as a force in this country I just hope that this wounded animal doesnt take out too many people on its way to extinction

    1. Marty says:

      “No longer do catholics have to hide in the shadows in glasgow”.

      What melodramatic drivel.

  40. Daniel Devanney says:

    Firstly Alex, another great article to highlight the goings on of what is not reported elsewhere in the press, due to fear of reprisals.

    As for Greg McKellar’s comments, why does he need to know the specific bookseller who was threatened? So he can arrange for them to be attacked again, for the them daring to report this?
    Also for the comment “How do we know the Union Jack person supports Rangers?”
    Why on earth, would a fan of any other team, scream at staff to send a book (about Rangers) back to the publishers? Why? On top of that, wearing a Union Jack. Its not rocket science Greg !!

    Oh, hold on, could it be those pesky Chelsea fans again? Always at it they are !!

  41. Derek Pickering says:

    Typical blog a mix of facts, fiction and typical old firm rival comment, what i and other rangers supporters want to know, is why there appears to be no questioning of the sfa/spl.ie when the spl voted us out fair enough, but why were they still allowed to continue to have a say in our fate. why did the sfa, not remind them that as we were no longer a part of their organisation, they no longer had a say, now a factual report comes out of a collusion between the spl/sfa to blackmail rangers into accepting stripping of titles,where is the follow up to that or is it a cover up ?. Last but not least someone expressed a personal opinion that rangers had been cheating, based on the assumption that we could not have bought the players we did, murray may just have found another way or gone further into debt,but people mainly celtic fans are accepting it as fact,last murray did leave us in a mess by selling to whyte but he did in fact reduce the debt from 72 million down to 18 million when he sold it to whyte.It was whytes failure to pay paye,which put us into administration then liquidation. All other debt was managable. As for anyone being murdered for wearing football colours celtic or rangers, convenient stories for the media, they fact that someone was murdered while wearing their football tops/scarfs does not necessarelly mean that,s why they were murdered. but does make the story better, the fact is just like a lot of murders, an innocent person in the wrong place at the wrong time

  42. Andy M says:

    I really do despair about this proud country of ours at times. Only in Scotland can fans of a football club exert enough influence as to avoid the rights of freedom of the press. Only in Scotland can sections of the press allow their own agenda and professionalism to be influenced by the football team they support.

    Only in Scotland do we see newspapers and othr media outlets scared top publsih factual information for fear of reprisals or loss of revenue due to alienating a large section of its readership.

    And only in Scotland do we see senior managers and owners of a football team bowing to the lowest common denominator in its fan base.

    The lack of reporting, the lack of true unbiased, unnabridged journalism is the biggest shame in all of the Rangers debacle. For Rangers own fans to keep this going is astounding, they should all want to know the truth about what happened to their club. Like them or loathe them Rangers are a huge football club and a massive part of Scottish society, but shame on all of them if they do not allow the truth top be told and allow the suits who caused the whole thing to be brought to justice.

    And shame on those who come aon here and act as if the whole thing is deniable, if I were a rangers fan I would want to know the truth and I would certainly want to use this as a catalyst for change, get rid of the old “traditions” allow the club to grow as a huge modern football club that has the potential to achieve so much more without the historical bagange that holds it back.

    And shame on those who allow us to believe that this is normal those who make jokes about the Billy and the Tim.

    Our society is blighted by intolerance of those who actually follow the same religion although I am sure that the majority of those who perpetuate bigotry dont actually attend church on a regular basis.

    Get religion out of sport, and get bigotry out of our society, banish the dinasaurs who want to keep it the old way. It was wrong 100 years ago and its still wrong.

  43. Jimbhoy says:

    Alex you have got it all wrong the threats were from chelsea fans not sevco fans it’s never their fault.

  44. Alan McGinley says:

    Alex, on the absence of reviews of Downfall, which merits a column to itself, I emailed the Scottish Review of Books about a month back to ask if they were likely to commission a review. Editor emailed back same day to say that they had and they hoped to publish in their November issue.

  45. James Mitchell says:

    Well, yuo can see from the posts on here from Rangers fans what the decent folk of this country are up against. their refusal to accept the truth and their denial of what goes on only helps the violent fans of Rangers feel comfortable that they are backed up by fellow minded people. Well said, Alex and keep up the good work even if it is a solitary exercise

  46. londonderry mary says:

    what are your views on the celtic fans banner showing a gunman shooting a rangers fan/zombie?

    the scottish sun is a newspaper which will cease to exist if people,including many football fans,don’t buy it-they have to listen to people’s views.
    Glasgow is a football-crazy city-many celtic and rangers players’ cars have been damaged,referees injured,players threatened,players addresses given out etc etc

  47. Bawsman says:

    Looks like you’re hitting paydirt here Alex.

    ‘Whataboutery’ is a favoured passtime of the Ibrox legions.

    They cannot take on board that there problems were brought on themselves, and themselves alone.

    It was THEY who issued dual contracts, side letters, evaded tax and basically cheated for a generation.

    They had that generation lording it over everyone and my, did they lord it.

    Time is coming to pay the piper, I expect a few persons will have to develop a taste for the old Scottish oat breakfast.

    I imagine some ‘legends’ will be legendary for different reasons once BDO get liquidating and ‘chasing the money’

    Hell mend the lot of them.

    1. Marty says:

      “It was THEY who issued dual contracts, side letters, evaded tax and basically cheated for a generation.”

      I think I’ll wait for the verdicts of the tribunals, for a start. Do some Celtic fans never tire of the “big bad Rangers” routine? Some of them clearly need to examine their own attitudes for a change.

  48. yermawsbaws says:

    can I just write utter mince, not bother to actually research stuff and play to the crowd, and get paid as a journo?!
    well done Alex

  49. Ray Arnott says:

    Myths, half truths and blatant lies. I can understand why the likes of Phil mac 3 names hates my club but seriously Alex, your supposed to be a respected journalist.

    Scotland’s bigotry problem will continue to exist whilst your like and some of the commenters of your blog refuse to accept that bigotry, sectarianism and looney tuneyness is not a one way street in Glasgow and beyond.

    It sticks in the throat of the haters that RFC are still going strong. The fans make RFC the biggest club in Scotland, even in Division 3 not the Scottish media who you and others claim have somehow turned us into the establishment club.

    The haters have created this siege mentality at Rangers and Charlie is simply leading the charge in the united front against those that on one hand claim we don’t exist anymore and on the other hand dans further sanctions.

    I look forward to seeing a load of prosecutions regarding all the threats you have mentioned above as, surely they have all been recorded, reported and investigated? I-P addresses, phone numbers, CCTV footage.

    By the way Alex, your pants are on fire.

  50. LM says:

    This is Alex’s blog. It states quite clearly at the top of the page “Alex Thomson’s View”, and is only ever intended to be an opinion piece. Your defensive, menacing questioning of his journalistic integrity based on the evidence presented here is only serving to reinforce his point.

    1. eoin says:

      Outstanding articile from a world renowned highly respected journalist nuff said.

      tick tok tick tok tick tok not long now and they wont be missed :-D

  51. scpt says:

    What a total joke ov a article how anyone can read ur nonsense an think there any truth to it is beyond me.ur obviously celtic minded or a rangers hater why cant believe people even give u space to write anything your part ov all the hatred flying about instigating bigotry against rangers total joker one ov these guys that believe what ur saying is right dangerous opinions that are stirring things worse u shud b told by authoritys to stop ur hatred speeches its like listening to a abu hamza thats anti rangers.

  52. Albert says:

    Greg McKellar, deflection of the highest order.

    Alex has made a small summary of events that have pretty much all been previously reported in detail. Just because he hasn’t added the detail to this summary doesn’t mean apologists like yourself can think they can come along and rubbish them as lacking evidence.

    Everyone who has read about these things over the weeks and months knows fine well what happened and we know fine well who did it.

  53. lumpenproletariat says:

    This article is riddled with schadenfreude, McCarthyism and above all Internet Bandwagory.

    Could this article not just have been factual and stated Police fail to arrest individuals under current legislation? It really annoys me that the onus seems to rest with the clubs when the Police should be arresting offenders….if only Scotland had some sort of legislation for this…doh!

    Then again being open season on Rangers fans makes everything acceptable. Maybe a quick brush up on causality might help for a more balanced article.

    As a part time Rangers fan I would much rather read the worrying goings on regarding the upcoming share issue. The FT’s comments on the abuse of share issues on the AIM for companies with no accounts should have alarm bells ringing. Please have a look at a previous company floated in this way “Gold Oil” to understand what may be ahead. I could go on but maybe Alex could look into the shady dealings of the share issue for a future blog?

  54. steven smith says:

    An excellent article Alex ,
    some of our comments were not qouted i your article ,
    1. Rangers, manager , Fans wanted and protested to be placed in div 3 for Sporting Integrity
    to be honoured.
    2. Charles Green refused to be placed in div 1 when sfa offered rangers to be stripped of previous honours even when we had been found guilty of nothing.
    3. why have you and fellow so called journalists not engaged in a report of an illegal transfer
    embargo placed on rangers by the sfa
    4. EBT case still no result yet, the spl start an investigation into this surely pre judged going by previous sfa spl mismanagement.
    5. WHY did the sfa allow these so called side contracts thro when rangers had all accounts on public record and cleared obviously by the sfa who must have been happy.
    6. why have their been no serious investigation by bbc or media into the serious mishandling of this shameful episode rangers will take our punishment if wrongdoing has occurred
    yet i feel the sfa may have actually broken the law somewhere perhaps you should be more aware of other things going on

  55. integrity says:

    Once again well done Alex.
    I have some sympathy for the pro rangers contributors on here ( very little mind), but they once again, with their closed minds and persecution mentality, are doing no favours for their new club. They still do not accept the enormity of the potential cheating their old club engaged in.
    As the saying goes ‘if we do not take on board the lessons of history we are doomed to repeat them.
    One other thing Alex. I appreciate your article is couched in a direct but dignified tone. I have it on good authority that you yourself have been subjected to some horrendous intimidation and threats, and for you remain so stoical and reasoned in the face of these alarming threats speaks volumes about your character. Bravo.

    1. Carntyne says:

      I’m afraid protest against the truth is all they can do.

      To admit it is the truth is far too embarrassing.

      Sticking their heads is the sand is all that’s left.

      Admin2 coming soon.

      This time its serious.

  56. Euan Mowat says:

    You missed the worse case of all Alex, bombs and bullets sent through the mail system targeted at Neil Lennon, Paul McBride QC (who represented Neil) and A Celtic supporting MSP.

    As for all these comments regarding ‘sectarian brushes’, once again the rangers support are found in need of a humour transplant as the piece referenced was wholly satirical. Phil Mc has made no secret that he hates rangers and everything about them, but that alone doesn’t make him a bigot.

  57. rob glendinning says:

    I assume that the persons responsible for such heinous crimes as the ones mentioned in the above fairy story are all being with great vigour by the relevant police departments.
    If such crimes such as threats were received , why have there been no prosecutions for the said offences?
    It is quite easy for threatening emails/twitters and telephone calls to be traced back to their origins and action taken against the perpetrators.Why has nobody been prosecuted?

  58. gav says:

    Hi Alex,

    Even though you are a neutral, for all to see who will open their eyes, you are smeared and tarred on your own blog by the very peepul of whom you write. Not only that but poster Greg McKeller demands to know “which branches of which chains”. Is the irony of such a stupid demand lost on him? Who are these people …..etc. etc.

    Unfortunately the manager of the current incarnation of this ‘ dignified establishment’ is cut from the same cloth as the ‘minority’. I know that, as a journalist, your opinion is irrelevant, as you are telling the news not making it. i also know that as a blogger you are as entitled to present your opinion as the next man. However, you do have a responsibility to be impartial due to the public nature of your position. I assume this is why you give mccoist the benefit of the doubt.

    I give him no such thing. He instigated the row with Lennon during the (scotlands) shame game, yet it was reported to the contrary. He was of course cleared by the SFA and naturally only Lennon was censured. His demand that people on the panel be publicly named was a call to arms and and the subhuman element responded exactly as he knew they would. His message was one of intimidation and threat. Yet, the coward that he is, he was unwilling to name the panel himself. Rangers were represented at the hearing. McCoist knew “who are these people” . Why did he not tell us straight? Maybe this champion of transparency will be willing to share with the general public how much, if any, he received via EBT. Maybe he can come out and categorically deny any involvement in the greatest financial scandal in UK sporting history. Maybe he can condemn the theft of multiple millions of pounds from every UK subject or citizen. Fortunately this most visible member of the Rangers minority has been exposed for the cowardly, vindictive individual that he is and will never again have the platform of ‘celebrity’ once afforded him by the Great British public.

    Please do not lose interest or lose hope for Scottish football, Alex. External influence is the only way to ensure change for the better. There are few within Scottish journalism fighting the good fight, Spence, Daley and Gordon the notable shining lights. They could do with your help.

    Power to your pen.

    1. Marty says:

      gav, what you refer to as the “shame game” was much ado about precious little. The fans at the game behaved relatively well, on the pitch there was one bad foul in the whole game, and there was a tiff or two on the sidelines. Lennon could have appealed against his punishment but chose to accept it (actually he took a reduced version of what was intended, with the help of a lawyer). No sense in complaining about what you accept.

  59. Laura says:

    It’s unfortunately true that a minority of Rangers fans have indulged in distasteful, improper and illegal activity in the name of loyalty. It’s also true that a huge number of Rangers fans have expressed their anger over what they believe to be attacks on their club.

    I am one of the latter. I expressed concerns re The Sun serialisation, and more recently I wrote to the BBC to express concerns about what I believed to be a distasteful and offensive audiovisual broadcast prior to a Rangers game. I do not consider myself part of a mob, and I do not believe that my peaceful and respectful protests – to which I have a right as a British citizen – are linked in any way to the kind of criminal behaviour that led to Neil Lennon being attacked and football professionals being advised on security.

    The Rangers support is vocal and influential, as was the support that prompted the Hillsborough investigation. The mob to which you refer can act in the interest of justice, and The Sun’s statement referring to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s other publications as “sickening” would surely suggest that, in that case, the people had acted to the just revelation of the very bigotry that prompted your article.

    Human nature dictates that there is always the possibility of a small few trying to use people-power for their own inappropriate agendas. Those people disgust most Rangers fans. We must weed them out and expose the truth of their involvement in Scottish football. However, the majority who use their voices appropriately cannot be held responsible for the lunatic fringe, just as responsible drinkers cannot be held responsible for those whose over-indulgence leads to violence on the streets or in homes. If some of us (Rangers fans) are getting drunk on the power of having a collective voice, then they must be named and shamed. But I will not be held responsible for their behaviour, as this article suggests I should.

    Just a few weeks ago, a young Celtic fan was questioned by police in relation to offensive and threatening tweets sent to a Rangers player. Other Celtic fans tweeted in support of the boy. One man, calling himself “Hun Skelper” was very vocal in his support of what most Celtic fans would call improper and unacceptable behaviour. Like Rangers, Celtic have a loyal following. Their collective voices rose up in anger in recent years over what they believed to be unfair refereeing in Scottish football. That is an opinion to which they are entitled. Their manager stood with them in calling for independent investigations. As one, they applied pressure to the footballing authorities to make the changes they thought were right and necessary. To my mind, Rangers fans are acting in the same way, as they too have every right, when they express concerns about journalists with sectarian links being paid to comment on Scottish football. Just as I would not hold the collective voice of Celtic responsible for the behaviour of “Hun Skelper” and his sort, I would not expect any fair-minded person to link my voice as a Rangers fan with the morons who behave criminally in the name of supporting my club.

    1. Bruce says:

      So, you’re equating the reaction of the Rangers (1872-2012) support to the reaction of the Liverpool support in the aftermath of Hillsborough? You really need a reality check. That’s possibly the most obscene comment ever seen in these comments pages.

  60. James baird says:

    why on earth did this hack decide to nail his colours on the anti rangers side -he sounds almost desperate to take as many chances as he can to discredit the club – why does he never comment on such as illegal sanctions , the intimidation of all other spl fans towards their cowardly chairmen , other clubs ebts , a known Ira sympathizer writing books against rangers – the list is endless

  61. Paulie Walnuts says:

    There are scum in all areas of Scottish life, however there are a hardcore of pondlife masquerading as football fans, not restircted to Rangers, but certainly present there.

    I’m not a football fan. The sectarianism from both sides put me off it from an early age, I had a ‘catholic sounding’ name at a non-denominational (aka ‘proddy’) school, yet have been to a chapel twice in my life, for a grandparents funeral and for a friends wedding.

    I am a cameraman and have worked at both big glasgow clubs over the years, more so at Ibrox, and to be fair I’ve always felt safe enough in the ground.

    However I was filming in Manchester on the day of the Uefa cup final, and was actually embarrassed to speak in a Scottish accent. People from accross the social spectrum, singing ‘the sash’ and worse, pished at 10am, pissing in the street in full view of children and women, orange flags.

    I missed the worst of the later problems as I was later based at Cathederal Square, but at the end of the game when the screen was being folded away beer bottles started to rain down around me.

    The crowd here had been generally well behaved, and it was probably a handful of morons, but they were there none the less. Bottles smashing inches away from technicians, security and stage crew, inches away from me. One of the screen techs ushered me inside their van until the bottles stopped, it went on for about 5 mins. Somebody could have been killed.

    Scotland needs to face up to this vocal minority, and whilst it isn’t a problem restricted to Rangers, it is still a problem at Rangers. You get accused of being a bigot, or a ‘taig’ for saying this. I am neither.

    The club may control things well enough within the ground, but a sizeable minority of their fans need to get their acts together. Some are some who are just pondlife scum tattooed f-wits who you’ll never reach, but theres plenty of folk who should, who do know better.

    Green might think he’s playing to the court and rallying the troops, he’s actually just perpetuating their own self-myth, which is kind of where Rangers problems started.

  62. Caol says:

    I think as a Rangers fan some of the behaviour that the very small minority of Rangers fans have been disgraceful and i do not take exception to you reporting on it, nor do i take exception to anyone wanting to comment on Rangers.

    The think that annoys me is you do not go to any length at all to defend the honest Rangers fans who just love their club and who are deeply saddened by what has gone on.

    I understand some of the paranoia that now surrounds my club as the SFA and SPL, the latter to a greater extent, have midhandled and fumbled their way through all of this. I think an issue that needs to be discussed along with the miscreants who are threatining people, is the sheer incompetence of two football organisations to deal with an issue swiftly and fairly.

    Here we had Regan and Doncaster, who i sat directly next to on a plane from London and didnt threaten him once (shocker i know), two men who seemed hellbent on shoe-horning Rangers back in to the SPL through INTIMDATION and SCARE MONGERING of member clubs. When will you write your scathing attack on them?

    I was quite relieved when i seen you were up here rocking the boat as i dont trust the press in Scotland but low and behold you involve yourself with an article which lacks balance, which does nothing to quell any sort of animosity that may exist just now. Yes you are right to uncover these scumbag ‘supporters’ for their intimidation but you seem to have abandoned any social responsibility you have by forgetting that there far more Rangers fans who are suffering now without threatining everyone.

    Surely you know that it is always the minority that shout loudest?

    Also i do agree that Charles Green is playing a very dangerous game in order to muster support from fellow fans, i dont buy it, i feel like you on this particular occassion, that he has abandoned his social responsibility.

  63. Pabloh says:

    Great article once again. You’ll surely be aware of the phrase WATP Alex. We arra peepil. That’s what it’s all about, they are the people. It doesn’t matter how this whole nasty situation is reported or dealt with; intimidation & violence will always be the primary reaction.

    Liquidation should have been the end of them. Unfortunately the rangers tribute act ‘sevco’ has come back uglier & nastier. The reason Green & McCoist won’t speak out or change anything is because the sad fact of the matter is that RFC was built on hate, and hate is the only way Sevco will be built up to try and reach the heights of their fallen hero.

    Happy liquidation day everyone. BDO, HMRC and the SPL investigation into a decade of cheating still to come. This story has a long way to go!

  64. Ray Arnott says:


    I have looked through all the responses and cannot find any threats, bigotry or abuse from Rangers fans, yet you claim his views on us is proven by our responses.

    Mr Thompson is spouting the views of so many Celtic minded haters and doing so on his hearsay without evidence documented or otherwise.

    He is turning into a Phil mac3names or a David Leggat. Nether of which do anything to help rid Scotland of it’s bigotry problem.

  65. Scotus=Irish says:

    Alex is making a point here that is not really anti-Rangers or indeed tarring all Rangers fans with the same brush; if you read it he has clearly said those Rangers fans indulging in odious threatening behaviour are the minority. He is a journalist and obviously freedom of the press to report to us all is fundamental in a civilised democratic country and clearly this is important to him; he therefore has good reason to write this blog. He has listed plenty of instances he knows of where this behaviour has happened. A lot of the information supplied is public knowledge and regular readers to this site and others on this subject will know that. In addition to what he has listed we do have the behaviour of the Rangers support in recent years, particularly in Europe, disgracing us all with their antics in Manchester and Barcelona to name but two venues. A minority yes, but sadly a significant minorty influencing the rest to an extraordinary degree and having a detrimental effect on Scottish football and Scottish society. It can’t be healthy for any club to promote an apartheid policy for almost 100 years consequently attracting and nourishing a dubious element to their support; clearly being allowed to do it by footballing and governing bodies and obviously being sanctioned by a compliant media not asking any difficult questions. Alex, in my opinion, is highlighting a huge imbalance in Scottish society that needs correcting and through circumstance brought about by corruption this is taking place. Rangers fans and others on here who object to this blog being present need to ask themselves if objecting to the truth, running away from the truth, projecting what they can’t handle onto others is still a viable response; it appears this is all they have as evidenced by Alex. I know that a number of Rangers fans were never all that enamoured with David Murray, yet none of them did anything to reclaim the essence of their club back from either him nor the idiots who indulge in the watp, bouncy bouncy, billy boys, famine song nonsense. We havent been able to hear the decent fans who dont like these songs/culture and just support their club for the football. I suspect the rabid wee establishment clique managed to silence them with trophies, feel-good stories and dont rock the boat and/or nothing to worry about we’re in control syndrome. No intimidation on this scale should take place in a so called civilised society and those who indulge should consider that even if they dont like what they hear they themselves still have the right of response without intimidation also.

  66. cherson says:

    Alex, thanks for keeping with this story.

    As you said for those of us living in Glasgow this is not news. I’ve lived here since the mid-1970’s when my family moved up from London and the “we arra peepil” mentality and the intimidation that comes with it have been evident throughout my time here. Rangers and their fans seem to view themselves as “the establishment” and pity help anyone else who gets in their way (a bit like trying to cross the road in Glasgow when there’s an Orange march happening). I’m not sure what is more disturbing, the attitude and all it entails (including the denials that there is a problem) or the fact that the mainstream media and authorities seem to roll over so often and so easily. Having said that, I still feel optimistic, as things are beginning to change even if this has been brought about to a great extent by Ranger’s own hubris. We’ve still a long long way to go but it’s been a breath of fresh air this year! Long may it blow.

  67. Patrick says:

    Two myths appear time and time again in these posts.

    The first concerns the “small minority” of Rangers’ fans. Surely the forty thousand or so who sing their anti-Catholic, anti-Irish racist songs at Ibrox cannot be described as a minority?

    The second myth is that anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism exists only in West Central Scotland. Did I not see a “Peterhead Loyal” banner recently? Anyone who attended the Celtic v Hearts semi-final as I did with my grand children will attest to the vile moronic sectarian behaviour of the Hearts fans, worse than I have seen from the No Surrender monkeys who follow Rangers.

    I hope that my grandchildren grow up in a better Scotland than I did, The demise of Rangers may well be the first step on the way,

  68. GWG says:

    Excellent open and honest journalism, published without “fear” or intimidation from those that cant see the wood for the trees or indeed those of a mindset that shames the name of Scottish football and indeed Scotland as a whole. The quicker the voices of better angles are listened to the quicker Scotland will become a true democracy and the vast majority of the population can hold their head high and not feel shamed because of the bigots and thugs.

    A credit to the name of journalism Mr Thomson

  69. Beer Monster says:

    I always find it a great shame that the actions of a minority of fans mean that the rest of the group are tarnished. The ban on English clubs from European competitions after the Heysel disaster is a good example of what can happen when these actions are of a serious nature and the governing body has some backbone.

    As a football supporter who likes to treat a day out at the match as a social (and hopefully enjoyable) occasion, I am always saddened when I hear of incidents of aggressive behaviour which can physically, mentally and psychologically affect both fans and non fans of the beautiful game.

    When Newco Rangers emerged I was hoping that it would be a fresh start, and allow the real fare paying fans, their friends and families, to enjoy the experience as much as I do. Time will tell.

    Something that I have noticed however, is that Charles Green appears to be doing a Sepp Blatter and trying to offend as many people as possible;

  70. emfasiss says:

    Dear Alex,

    As a service to journalism would you mind putting verbs into your sentences. Thanks.

  71. Alan says:

    My grandfather was also called Alex Thomson. He didn’t like Rangers either, but he was objective at least. He considered both Glasgow teams as twin evils. He said that referees “let Glasgow flourish”, but he was able to see both sides for what they were. It saddens me to see his/your name appearing in the press and all the subjective bile that you spout. I suppose it would be too much to expect you to show some of my grandfather’s integrity.

  72. John G. says:

    As a Celtic Supporter I would firstly commend your article as possibly the only honest piece of journalism I will read on the Rangers issue. Given that no Scottish Jounalist has got the guts / nerve to attempt truth on anything associated with Rangers.

    Secondly I agree there is a very strong element of Rangers supporters who are hell bent on creating trouble BUT equally there are considerably thousands more who are disgusted with their fellow supporters behaviour.

    Thirdly, as a Celtic supporter I am more than willing to accept there is an element of some considerable size who follow my club and whose conduct I deplore. But as with the majority of decent Rangers fans there are thousands of equally decent Celtic fans.

    From my own particular point of view what is required is for the Scottish Goverment to BAN / OUTLAW anything whatsoever associated with either the Orange Order and IRA following. I firmly believe such association to these to two aspects is the real curse / sore on ALL of Scotland and not totally confined to the West since thousands of supporters of BOTH Clubs travel from numerous parts of our Country.

    WHY is it that these Organisations are permitted and endured here and not in the likes of England or Wales. The sad and laughable aspect of this is that both King James and his conqueror King William were on the ENGLISH Throne……yes I know they also ruled over Scotland / N. Ireland & Wales but you get my point surely.

    What in the end it comes down to is RELIGION, either Catholic or Protestant NOT Rangers or Celtic. And again the laughable part of that is that the majority of BOTH sets of supporters NEVER set foot inside a Church or Chapel.


  73. William McDougall says:

    Your hatred for Rangers continues and you are digging the hole deeper. You have lost all credibility that you had. I respected your foreign reports in warzones but now I believe you are living in Peter Lawells spare room “blogging’

    I am not hiding from you or behind a keyboard, my email is above and I’ll send you my cell phone number so you hear it from me too, Away and make another cup of tea for PLand get back in your room and make your stories up.

    1. Patrick says:

      Just for you William

      As to their history Ian Archer was right when he said “they [Rangers] are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”That day has come.

  74. WDH59510 says:

    Understand one thing Mr Thomson. Real Rangers fans will stand up for their club against the haters and the dark hands of Scottish and Irish republicanism. Without making threats or breaking the law.

  75. Craig says:

    Alex Thomson’s latest blog is a new low. Not only is it frighteningly inaccurate, but the motive behind writing it is dubious. I can see no reason other than demonising Rangers fans, a now depressingly familiar theme. It is a naive and ill-informed to say that one club has a problem of an “underclass” any more than another.

    It was unsurprising to see Graham Spiers jumping on the Thomson band wagon. “I have been threatened as well” he told us. Yeah, that is why you need protection when you report from Ibrox isn’t it? The really galling thing is both Thomson and Spiers go out of their way to antagonise supporters. I heard Gordon Waddell talking about Spiers on BBC Scotland radio. He spoke about how Spiers, the wee devil, was deliberately putting out tweets to wind up supporters. Another recurring theme is “I have been threatened but no police action has been taken”. We have seen it with Phil MacGiollaBhain, Donnecha DeLong of the NUJ and Alex Thomson.

    Let’s actually look at Thomson’s blog in detail. It is rhetoric that Chris Morris would be proud of. He speaks of the groups and people who have been intimidated.


    Alex speaks about the furore that surrounded the original SFA findings against Rangers. I am not going to dispute that any of these gentlemen were abused or received threats and that is totally unacceptable. However, if anyone is threatened on social media and it is brought to the attention of the police, guess what they do? They advise on best practice and what to do. Not one single arrest has been made arising from these alleged threats and most importantly, as is so often the case, these gentlemen were left unmolested. This is not evidence that threats or unacceptable behaviour is prevalent in or unique to Rangers fan is it?

    This blog is about threats but, for some reason, Lord Nimmo-Smith is mentioned.

    “It has continued. In the past few weeks Scottish Law Lord and former Supreme Court Judge Lord Nimmo-Smith actually had to put out a statement pleading for his independence to be recognised as he embarks on yet another investigation of the fallen club.”

    What has continued Alex? Rangers fans questioning the impartiality of the process? Is that a threat now? Are you not getting mixed up with democracy here? Has anyone read anywhere or suggested that Lord Nimmo-Smith was threatened? Alex is grasping at straws here.


    If it is Stewart Regan allegedly being threatened by Rangers fans it is worth a mention in his blog – not that there is any proof this even happened. If it is Jim Ballantyne of Airdrie and the SFL, it is not. Perhaps the abuse that members of the SFL took when some thought they were going to enter Rangers into Div 1 has slipped Thomson’s mind? Perhaps he is not aware of the campaign Celtic ran against the SFA and refs that resulted in refs being threatened with injury and death? It got so bad that the refs went on strike.

    Who perpetrated those threats? Rangers fans? It seems it is only Ally McCoist who has to act responsibly. In Thomson’s world, McCoist should be ashamed but Turnbull Hutton is a hero for saying that the SFA are corrupt, bullies and liars on the steps of Hampden. Could Hutton not be putting the SFA officials in danger by stirring up hatred?


    This would be my old Twitter sparring partner, Bob Smith. Bob loves retweeting anything disparaging about Rangers and has no problem calling Rangers “Sevco” and “cheats”. I have not seen Bob retweet any threats he has received and alas, it seems Bob is another who the police don’t want to help. Anyone arrested for threatening Bob?

    “There was definitely pressure applied and there were certainly some wobbles along the way from shops and customers. But we got through and in the end people were supportive.”

    I thought there were threats? They now seem to be downgraded to “wobbles”. What pressure? I have no idea what Bob’s issue is and it seems neither does he.


    It is simply not true that the book had to be hidden away in stores. I did an article on the Rangers Standard about the truth about the book sales. In East Kilbride Waterstones, for example, the book sold 30 in its first week. It may have sold reasonably well in some Glasgow shops and if it made local charts then its prominence increased. The simple reason it was not prominently displayed is because it wasn’t a major book. The stories on twitter even included Rangers fans setting fire to books in stores. Surely no one would believe nonsense like that, would they? Oh, hold on:-

    “In at least one store copies were ripped up. In another Glasgow shop an angry individual wearing a Union Jack repeatedly entered the bookshop to scream at staff to send the offending tome back to the publishers.”

    Comedy gold. Now even if this was true, how do a couple of isolated incidents prove the case that Rangers have a particularly bad problem with its “underclass fans”? But it is not true. It is not true because if Alex had taken the time to contact individual Waterstones and WH Smith stores and contact the HQ of both businesses, like I did, he would have been told that they have no reports of staff or branch intimidation. Alex is unwilling to divulge which shop the Union Jack shouter appeared in but guess what, no arrests. Why is Alex unwilling to tell us where this occurred and when?


    Well I will leave the STV ‘colleague’ out of it for the moment except to say his idea of a low profile must be different from mine. But the rest of Alex’s comments are really stretching it:-

    “NUJ officials say currently around 25 journalists have been threatened recently for attempting to tell the truth about Rangers.”

    Well actually they don’t. Phil Mac Giolla Bhain said that he was shown a bit of paper that had the names of 25 colleagues that had been threatened by Rangers fans. That was Mac Giolla Bhain’s usual spin and was not in any way officially linked to the NUJ. He was speaking at a motion that specifically mentioned him and his book. Let me tell you that the branch of the NUJ who put up this motion were the New Media Industrial Council boasting members including MacGiollabhain and the lovely Donnecha DeLong, the Rangers and poppy hating president of the NUJ. So again Alex is intentionally misleading his readers.


    This is Alex returning to the Eric Drysdale affair. Separating the two issues gives Alex another point to list. Usual hyperbole applies:-

    “The day Fife police passed on credible information from the Strathclyde force that two men has been paid to burn down Raith’s stadium is a day Mr Turnbull and Raith Rovers will remember.”

    This story was also featured in The Herald some time ago. The Herald carried the story that a plot to torch Starks Park had been foiled. I had to check I was not reading the National Enquirer. So I asked Fife police to clarify via a FOI request. What they told me was that the on-going investigation may or may not have interrupted a credible threat and Raith Rovers were not the complainant. No arrests. Of course it could be that Strathclyde Police were given malicious information but that is not going to stop Alex using it to prove his point. I mean the police are not corrupt? Oh sorry, Alex thinks they are corrupt but only when it comes to investigating a small group of journalists who say they have been threatened.


    Alex seems baffled by The Sun’s decision to pull the serialisation of the book. The simple explanation, of the author’s document hatred and Ranger’s fans mobilising to point this out, is not accepted. Despite barely being mentioned in the English press except by MacGiollabhain’s friend and fellow Republican writer, Roy Greenslade, this was apparently:

    “one of the more bizarre editorial u-turns of recent newspaper history in the UK when a Scottish Sun double-page splash promoting the author of ‘Downfall’ prior to serialising the book – suddenly became a non-serialisation”

    Again, Alex fails to mention that the double page splash feature has Mac Giolla Bhain lying in it, as he claims he does not hate Rangers. How can I say he is lying? Well, Alex told us. Here is Alex talking about MacGiollbhain in a previous blog:

    “He wishes to see Rangers FC obliterated as far as I can discern” and ”He writes about Rangers’ downfall with undisguised glee and mirth’

    Maybe the fact that Phil was shown to be a liar, and tried to do anything to paint himself as a victim who was only interested in a story of corporate failure, helped The Sun make its decision?

    “The paper denied it was bowing to threats. Yet the publisher of the book says the threat of a Hillsborough-style boycott was real and instrumental.”

    So what? We did threaten a boycott of the paper. Is Alex saying this is a sinister threat? If anyone else does it, fine. When we do it, it is menacing. If Alex would like to check he will see that some Celtic fans are threatening to boycott The Sun today because of coverage of Rangers share issue. Can we expect Alex to condemn this threat soon?

    “The difficulty here is that, whatever the paper’s reasons, in the end the mob got their way.”

    Many thousands of Rangers fans complained about Mac Giolla Bhain. We are now “the mob”. At this point Alex has completely lost the plot. It is very similar to Phil’s language and note he is now not talking about an “element”. Anyone who complained was part of “the mob”. All Rangers fans are now targeted.

    “The serialisation of a fast-selling factual book on Rangers never happened.”

    There is that myth of a best seller again.

    “They couldn’t get Turnbull Hutton, Lord Nimmo-Smith, Eric Drysdale, STV and many, many more – but many believe they did get the Scottish Sun”.

    Just read that again. How ridiculous is that? They? Get? Alex cites anecdotal nonsense and unproven accusations as justification for this assault on Rangers fans.

    In summary, this blog seems “hell-bent”, as Alex would say, in tarring Rangers fans with a sinister brush. It is devoid of any real thought or analysis. The ‘evidence’ is based almost exclusively on the ramblings of a group of about 4-5 people who are all well documented as detesting everything about Rangers.

    Thomson is doing the work of a small group of pseudo journalists who are making it their business to attack our football club. He has made no meaningful contribution to a story which deserved much more. I’ll leave the final word on Thomson’s blog to Tom English of The Scotsman – a man who often gets up the noses of Rangers fans – and who described it as “hysterical, attention-seeking nonsense”.

    1. Denny says:

      Which football club do they attack Craig .. the old one or new?

  76. Tommy Dunne says:

    Great article and for many it will make shocking reading, unfortunately, for those familiar with fans of the old Rangers, this won’t raise an eyebrow as we in Scotland are accustomed to the violence, threats and intimidatory tactics of these supporters, and we are also accustomed to the whataboutery and ridiculous excuses for their behaviour. A very simple example is Manchester. Most connected with the old RFC (and new club) still believe it was the Manchester police that caused the rioting, or the local Manchester council because a large public tv screen broke.

    Amazingly, these ridiculous excuses were also peddled by certain Glasgow based newspapers too.

    Instead of anyone trying to reason, understand or ration with the Ibrox mindset, it is far easier and more productive to simply ignore than to try and engage, because the fundamental issue is this; In the eyes of most of the Sevco/The Rangers support, Celtic and it’s fans are Irish immigrants that have no right to equality and should accept the ways of their adopted country and football system etc…and if they or anyone else doesn’t like it, then they can go back ‘home’ and stop questioning the establishment.

    Odd, eh?? Celtic has as much travelling support from N.I as Sevco does and as a club, has more club personel honoured for WW1 and WW2 than Rangers ever had, so Celtic have actually given more for United Kingdom than the old Rangers ever did, and Celtic also pay their taxes and all their other creditors and bills too. Hmmm….makes you wonder just how so many Sevconians are so deluded, but they don’t do history, for them revisionism is more important and relevant.

    Simple fact is, Ibrox fans have had years of being excused for their behaviour by the relevant Scottish authorities and when they have been collared for it (in more recent times) they have shouted ‘timmy conspiracy!!’ at every juncture. It’s their mantra and sadly, their beliefs.

    Oh dear. It might be 2012 for most of us but for about 40-000 others, it’s still very much the mid-eighteenth century…

  77. glesgaguy says:

    I always thought the sign of good journalism was balanced reporting, Iam afraid Mr Thomson’s blog sadly lacks this element.

    What Mr Thomson doesn’t understand is that Rangers and Celtic are opposites of the same coin.

    For every accusation laid at the door of Rangers FC a similar accusation could be made at Celtic FC’s door albeit in a different case

    It’s easy too kick someone when they’re down and it’s a bully who does so.

    Mr Thomson in the interests of good journalism I would ask you to use your investigative skills to probe not only into Rangers affairs but the whole of Scottish Football, your blog/story might just be worth reading then

  78. Tuathaman. says:

    The intimidation process has all but been taken out of football in Northern Ireland after a traumatic forty or so years. It took a concerted effort by all clubs affected along with a responsible and positive media campaign to silence the bigots in the stands.

    To see that the siege mentality is still rampant in one section of Scottish society comes as no surprise when one sees how sectarianism is casually tolerated or ignored by the Scottish media.

  79. hughieboy says:

    Hello Alex

    I hope you are well and feeling up for the fight,as usual, and searching through the refuse tip we call the media, for the truth.
    I read your blogs and reports regularly and I find myself encouraged that at least one journalist cannot be fobbed off with the usual guff we hear from the footballing powers that be. I have noticed that some have spoken of bravery and others of bias and ulterior motives, but I for one can only speak of your quest for truth and openness, and a desire to shed light on our otherwise mushroom like MSM here in Scotland.

    I thank you

  80. hughieboy says:

    Hello Alex

    It would appear that there are many people, good and true, who feel that you should be pursuing this matter on C 4 news, is there any chance of prime time report or, dear god let it happen, a stand alone documentary ever seeing the light of day.

    Yours in anticipation

  81. Larry says:


    I can only imagine the many emails, calls and written threats and abuse you have probably been receiving over the past 6 months. Maybe even to create an interesting channel 4 documentary on the intimidation seen within media and the Scottish footballing bodies.

    I must say that your articles seem to be based on all the facts from what I can see. I can see why maybe the minority may feel your attacking their club and hope over the coming months they get to read the bigger picture. If anyone is to blame or to point fingers, then it should be at the old rangers football club management. So, far I am not impressed at the current management. The new rangers have had a good chance to start from scratch and the majority of fans should support this and maybe ask questions of Mr Green’s current mismanagement against other institutions and individuals. They will only isolate the club even more across Scotland as well as across Europe. I am sure over the next year or 2 when the tax man chases for our money from former rangers executives etc then more fuel with be added to the fire.

    I hope all this intimidation that can be clearly observed is just temporary and that Scottish football can move on. If Rangers were to cease existing in a few years then maybe that would be a good thing. It would simply mean no more bigotry in Scottish football. Maybe a new Glasgow club can be created to compete against Celtic and other in the future with no religious foundations.

    Lets all just move on and sentence those in Rangers who have crippled the club.
    Yes, I am a Celtic fan, but just want to see justice in the end for Scottish football and would love to see the new rangers in the top flight with a clean and fresh start.

  82. andy meighan says:

    surely now u have wrote this article about the threats and intimadation u should come out now and tell us who threatened u other wise u r just the same as the the rest who wont stand up to these people

  83. andy meighan says:

    can some 1 tell y my previous comment was deleted wood just like to know what journalists threatend u or r u going to hide and pander to the mob mentality

  84. Groucho Marx says:

    “Heavy breathing,from Belfast!?” Am I the only one who finds that idea hilarious?

  85. peter dunlop says:

    Disappointed that you failed to approve of my comment and just confirms my thought on your reporting i guess not worth a read if you fail in your duty as a reporter

  86. Graham D says:

    Fear and loathing in Glasvegas ….let’s shed some light in on the sun episode please

    It looks to me that are still a lot of gaps in the sun story in particular and unless the full truth comes out both sides are going to feel justification for smelling a rat.

    I think you need to address the following questions to move this debate forward

    1. What were the motives for the sun pulling serialisation

    2. What was the nature of the pressure brought to bear on the sun and who did this come from

    3. What was the motivation of the mobilised rangers fans

    4. Who are we actually blaming in this sorry episode?

    The rumours voiced in the guardian and elsewhere are that

    1. Journalists were threatened with violence if serialisation went ahead
    2. There was a threat of a boycott by rangers fans if serialisation went ahead
    3. The Rangers establishment threatened withdrawal of access if serialisation went ahead
    4. That the issue with the ‘sectarian’ content of PMG’s blogg was merely a useful cover for a u-turn and had no effective role in that decision.

    But the first question to ask is which of the these reasons was the real motivation behind the withdrawal – was it the threat of violence, the risk of the hillsborough style boycott or the threats from the rangers establishment?

    If it was cowardice in the face of violent intimidation that caused the reversal then it is understandable but not an acceptable outcome in a free society. I certainly don’t want to live in a society where violence or threat violence holds currency within the media.

    However if it is the threat of a Hillsborough style boycott then the actual content of the pressure brought to bear and the motivations behind that are very important. The sun may have been acting from ‘economic cowardice’ and blatant self interest or worse but that in itself doesn’t make the actions of the mobilised rangers support necessarily blameworthy. We need to know whether we are actually talking criminality in the majority of the correspondence or a bit of fan venting.

    If however it was the Rangers establishment that caused the u–turn (Green etc.) then the method and motivation have to examined as well. If it is the desire to simply silence a critical media then it doesn’t strike me as a legitimate use of power and influence.

    And lastly the fourth alleged point – PMG’s incubator piece played no part in the decision …and the sun knew who they were dealing with from the outset.. so that was all bit of sun BS.

    I doubt the sun would take a moral stance on this given it’s other output but the difficulty is even if it’s a convenient smear campaign againtst PMG, the fact is he did write it and it’s ammunition against him. A more relevant question then would be whether a reaction to the incubator piece was really behind the alleged pressure from the Rangers establishment or the mobilised ‘mob’?

    Again this is difficult to assess without more information though the assumption you and Roy Greenslade of the Guardian have made is that that is unlikely. Maybe so but it has to be backed up.

    On top of this both you and Greenslade have been guilty of a kind of censorship by not even debating the content of the incubator piece and whether the content is or isn’t acceptable – if it’s acceptable then obviously the whole furore is unfounded. I personally think justification of the piece would require an implicit acceptance that Rangers is comparable to an organisation like the KKK, and a ‘satire’ that dehumanises those who support them is justified because they dehumanise others. But that’s another debate entirely.

    One final very serious point – over all you seem to be implying that these and other incidents have been reported to the police but that Strathclyde police are doing nothing with this information, e.g. no incident reports, no operational lines of enquiry etc. Is this what you are actually alleging and if so has there been any official response from Strathclyde police in response to these allegations?

  87. Tony says:

    Many thanks for this article which opened my eyes regarding the things happening north of the border.

    I’m shocked about the series of “events” which are caused by “so called” supporters of Rangers FC. I’m even more shocked that this is all swept under the carpet by the MSM in Scotland and that so called “decent” supporters of Rangers do tolerate these actions by a minority.

    Just trying to imagine how the media here in London would report about such “events” if the “supporters” of a club here would have done the same….. It would be defo a huge story with huge discussions about this club and the society…

    My conclusion is: It was a big mistake that the successor club was lifted that quickly in the senior football. I would have been better for the Scottish society if there would have been no club of such kind any longer….

  88. balanced says:

    once again the obvious blatant fantasist is at again. i cannot believe that people can actually take serious anymore anything that comes out of this mans mouth or from his pen. alex thomson with each passing day becomes more ridiculous. from his rantings to be being threatned, and how ridiculous he sounded on radio when he had his chamberlain moment, here is the proof, and you could palpably feel hugh keevins embarasment, to his naive even sensationalist fantasies about his near death experience in syria. the only thing alex does well or excells in is his complete lack of facts or even basic reporting of confirmination.

    does alex really expect us to believe that broxi bear burst into waterstones or wh smiths wearing/ carrying an union jack to stop people buying downfall????. does he expect us to believe that people are trying to stop this book being read? alex no one cares my friend, and that is the truth.

    again and i feel i must highlight this absurd thought process that this book is a best seller. alex i see has slightly dilluted his previous thinking on this. at first alex said it was a best seller, now he has it down as a fast one!!!. through the process of propaganda, i read many times that this book downfall was a best seller. i even read on the publishers twitter account that one month after its release he is cliaming that downfall is number 583 on amazons best sellers. deary deary me. one month after it was released it is down to 583 in amazons best sellers and that with a foreward from a truly great journalist alex thomson!!!.

    alex, try dealing with facts, then report then, then write them down, then publish them, basic stuff. not quote broxi bear wearing/carrying a union jack stopping people buying a book, and then when asked were this happened turn round and say you obviously cant reveal this. the man you say you hate mr mackenzie you are unfortunately morphing into.

  89. STEVEN REITH says:

    I have just read numerous emails by both Rangers and Celtic fans and it reinforces my view that they are a shower of knuckle scraping, bigoted half wits. Both of these clubs should be closed down, they are a disgrace to Scotland.

  90. balanced says:

    as a footnote i would also like to add, that in anything and any story alex thomson covers he turns out to be the hero in everyone!!!

    syria is in the midst of civil war and our hero goes to report on a disaster of astronomical human proportions and what comes out as the main headline? yes you have guessed it the reporter becomes the hero!!! they try to kill him. poor in the extreme alex. just report my friend.

    our hero comes up to war torn glasgow to report on the rangers story. what happens? oh yes the pattern is emerging, the hero is threatned again!!! broxi bear stops the sales of the heros favourite book he forwarded!!!

    john wayne will never be dead as long as alex is around. im not to sure how to describe alex because i dont know if he is wyatt earp or john wayne or is it billy the kid? maybe pat garret?
    @ ego can get out of control!

  91. balanced says:

    not to metion the fight for justice for the hillsbourough disaster. again instead of getting to the heart of the matter and finding justice for the relatives, john wayne (no sorry alex thomson) comes wading in with all the tact of a baby elephant, and steals the limelight!! the focus not on the relatives fight for justice but the bold brave alex!!

    as i said anything this man touches he becomes the instant hero, the central focus of every story, and the real story becomes lost to alex’s lust for attention.


  92. Alistair M says:

    A few points Alex:

    1) Lord Nimmo-Smith’s statement regarding the independence of his enquiry was not in response to intimidation by anyone. It was a response to Charles Green’s statement that the SFA and SPL had attempted to strip the award of league titles and cups from Rangers (as part of the deal to see them re-admitted into the Scottish league set-up) before any guilt has been established. The SFL objected to this cart-before-horse form of justice and that is why League Cup wins were not amongst the list of trophies to be stripped. Mr Green understandably expressed doubt about the subsequently launched enquiry to investigate any wrong-doing (how can the SFA/SPL enquiry be impartial if they have already expressed the desire to impose a punishment prior to the enquiry commencing?) I would have thought that this matter would be of far more interest to an investigative journalist.

    2) The serialisation of Phil MacGiollaBhain’s book was not dropped by The Sun due to intimidation by anyone. It was dropped because it was brought to the publisher’s attention that MacGiollaBhain is a sectarian bigot with a deep-rooted hatred of Rangers. It is disappointing that you chose to write a forward for this unsavoury character’s book – some of his work (The Incubator, for example) is indefensible.

    3) Ally McCoist’s demand to know the names of the SFA Tribunal members in April was a straightforward request for transparency in order to cast light on potential conflicts-of-interest following a bizarre decision – one which was subsequently over-turned in a court of law as the tribunal (which included Lord Nimmo-Smith) had failed to correctly apply the SFA rule-book. The SFA then proceeded to force Rangers to accept the “illegal” punishment as a condition of re-entry into the Scottish League set-up.

    4) While intimidation via social networking sites is unacceptable, it is also important to check how serious the offences are by examining police records of the incidents. As far as I am aware none of the incidents mentioned in your article were taken further by the police (including those purported to have taken place in bookshops as well as those via twitter). I believe your quote that 25 NUJ journalists were threatened comes from Phil MacGiollaBhain – a man who has shown previously that he is prepared to lie and exaggerate in order to discredit Rangers. In fact, you yourself have been shown to be guilty of exaggerating the severity of threats when you declared, in a radio interview, that you had been threatened by a Scottish Journalist. It later transpired that the message had been sent from an obvious spoof account and that the “threat” was that you “needed a slap”. Unsurprisingly the police did not feel this was worthy of further investigation.

  93. socks&gizmo says:

    So alex, you want to talk about “intimidation”, did you or did you not harass and intimidate a person in public by going onto that persons private property and try and stop said public figure of driving away in his car about a few weeks ago.?

    i’ll be here waiting for your answer.

    1. Bruce says:

      Given that the person was Kelvin McKenzie who made a career out of sending journalists to intrude into people’s lives, I won’t shed too many tears.

      It was excellent journalism which showed McKenzie to be a hypoocrite and hes generated a huge amount of public interest. I suspect C4 news regards that as a result!

      Oh and I think you’ll find that his employers had something to do with it.

  94. balanced says:

    urgent warning alert!!! beware glasgow, comming to a waterstones/wh smiths near you, broxi bear dressed in an union jack/ carrying a union jack, to prevent people buying the wonderfull, truthfull, insightfull, book, by one of the worlds greatest journalists mr phil mac giolla bhain!!!

    it really is becomming more difficult to describe the absurd mr alex thomson. were do you start? i mean does alex in this day and age when every man, woman and dog has mobile phone with a camera expect us rationale creatures to believe that someone dressed/carrying a union jack burst into a book store and prevented people buying downfall??

    alex are you for real? this is becomming comical, farcial, sublime and you are turning journalism into the beano. with your complete lack of facts and labelling you are turning/morphing into the the man you doorstepped. is kelvin mackenzie being resurrected by channel four?

  95. John says:

    The ‘Establishment Club’ is, ipso facto, the club supported by the ‘Establishment’. As you are not from Glasgow, Alex, allow me to say, as a Glaswegian, that there has been little support for genuine independent journalism which exposes the sectarian menace underlying Scottish society and its sunken flagship Rangers. This vile menace is so normal in the West of Scotland that one not inculcated in it is seen as a threat. A threat to a way of life, of the majority of Scottish people (in the big cities) and not just a minority of Rangers’ fans. The ‘Establishment’ are the bigots and they have a wealth of support within the press, judiciary, police, politics etc. That’s what ‘Establishment’ is. It has never been acceptable to anyone in Scotland from a so-called ‘minority’ cultural background but there simply aren’t enough representatives in prominent positions willing to risk the threats. They do have to live there, after all. Scotland will never be socially wholesome with such widespread, ingrained prejudice.
    It’s a good question someone has asked. Where are all the prosecutions and so on ? Well, unless you commit your offence in front of live TV in a football stadium, for example, where are they all indeed ? Offences big and small all over the land are pre-judged or forgotten. It is the norm.

  96. balanced says:

    john i have never read or heard such drivel in my life. what establisment are you actually trying to convey to us?

    people from ethnic minorities including the irish can comfortably express their culture. but i tell you what try and express a british culture or even an ulster scots culture in the republic of ireland and see the intolerance that awaits you.

    1. John says:

      Sorry, (un)balanced. I believe the British and Scots did express their culture in Ireland. For hundreds of years. Perhaps you forgot.

  97. Danny says:

    @balanced. I think you forgot the Un in your name.

  98. balanced says:

    not at all danny i never forgot anything

  99. balanced says:

    @ Bruce 16-Oct-12

    bruce you completely misread alex’s real reason’s for the mackenzie interview. the thing is alex thomson knew perfectly well he was getting no interview from mackenzie. in the week when the 96 finally got justice and mackenzie exposed for what he truly was, the story turns to the attention seeking thomson. every story he covers hes the hero. syria they try to kill him, not to mention the terrible atrocities being carried out, no alex has to have his john wayne moment, focus off syria and unto alex.

    rangers story yep pattern emerging alex threatned (although a few emails which have been exchanged may bring to light alex’ fantasies) hero again

    hillsborough fight for justice, who becomes the main focus again yep the attention seeking lust for fame alex thomson.

    the whole crux is not the story but the reporter. if you cant see that bruce well you just cant see it. make no mistake i despise mackenzie but did you see any of the relatives going to mackenzie’s door demanding answers? did you see any other journalist do what media fame junkie thomson did? no they wanted the focus to be on the relatives not do some two bit comedy staged circus which had every one talking about the hero rather than the historic moment when finally mackenzie was exposed as a liar. and a great day it was. when i heard what alex the modern day wyatt earp had performed his modern art performance i was flabergasted. he actually near performed the near impossible and had some people expressing sympathy for the most horrible man in britain. great work alex.

    finally with this blog alex is doing exactly what mackenzie done in his horrible career and that is state things with nothing to back it up. labelling rangers supporters, like mackenzie did those years ago to the liverpool support. i mean to say, does he believe that someone was in a bookstore preventing people buying a book, carrying a union jack, and in this day when everything is filmed on mobile phones and put on you tube within minutes, and ask a public readership to believe this? its beano material of the highest order.

  100. Alistair M says:

    A few points Alex:

    1) Lord Nimmo-Smith’s statement regarding the independence of his enquiry was not in response to intimidation by anyone. It was a response to Charles Green’s statement that the SFA and SPL had attempted to strip the award of league titles and cups from Rangers (as part of the deal to see them re-admitted into the Scottish league set-up) before any guilt has been established. The SFL objected to this cart-before-horse form of justice and that is why League Cup wins were not amongst the list of trophies to be stripped. Mr Green understandably expressed doubt about the subsequently launched enquiry to investigate any wrong-doing (how can the SFA/SPL enquiry be impartial if they have already expressed the desire to impose a punishment prior to the enquiry commencing?) I would have thought that this matter would be of far more interest to an investigative journalist.

    2) The serialisation of Phil MacGiollaBhain’s book was not dropped by The Sun due to intimidation by anyone. It was dropped because it was brought to the publisher’s attention that MacGiollaBhain is a sectarian bigot with a deep-rooted hatred of Rangers. It is disappointing that you chose to write a forward for this unsavoury character’s book – some of his work (The Incubator, for example) is indefensible.

    3) Ally McCoist’s demand to know the names of the SFA Tribunal members in April was a straightforward request for transparency in order to cast light on potential conflicts-of-interest following a bizarre decision – one which was subsequently over-turned in a court of law (it transpired that the tribunal – which included Lord Nimmo-Smith – had failed to correctly apply the SFA rule-book). The SFA then proceeded to force Rangers to accept the “illegal” punishment as a condition of re-entry into the Scottish League set-up.

    4) While intimidation via social networking sites is unacceptable, it is also important to check how serious the offences are by examining police records of the incidents. As far as I am aware none of the incidents mentioned in your article were taken further by the police (including those purported to have taken place in bookshops as well as those via twitter). I believe your quote that 25 NUJ journalists were threatened comes from Phil MacGiollaBhain – a man who has shown previously that he is prepared to lie and exaggerate in order to discredit Rangers.

    In fact, you yourself have been shown to be guilty of exaggerating the severity of threats when you declared, in a radio interview, that you had been threatened by a Scottish Journalist. It later transpired that the message had been sent from an obvious spoof account and that the “threat” was that you “needed a slap”. As I see it there are two possible explanations for this: Most likely, it may have been an embarassing gaff on your part. Alternatively, it may have been that you were fully aware that the account was a spoof yet deliberately wasted police time with an unnecessary investigation and lied about your belief in the veracity of the threat, on air, in order to provoke an angry response. Neither of these explanations paint you in a particularly positive light.

  101. Bruce says:

    For all that some people want to demonise Phil as a bigot, etc, its worth noting that it was Phil who yesterday broke the news of Craig Whyte’s re-emergence and some of the explosive revelations in his BBC interview.

    I’m off to stock up on popcorn.

  102. Caliban says:


    The sooner these boys get their independence the better. Then we in the civilised South can watch their gradual descent into tribalism with the comfort of knowing we can always just close the border.

    Perhaps English independence will be next. After all, we are funding all this Caledonian chaos.

    1. Patrick says:

      Perhaps if you people had remained in the “civilised” south not only Scotland but the rest of the world would be a better place!

  103. ross says:

    The first post Rory made is extremely valid. Football teams up and down the country have all got a problem with a crazy minority of their support. Look at the sheff wed v leeds game for example where leeds fans were likening dave jones to jimmy saville and sheff wed fans singing about leeds fans being stabbed to death in turkey. It is not whataboutery at all. All we ask is that if alex want to do such an article then he should do a balanced article which highlights the problem nation wide as it is quite evident that there are far more clubs with bigger problems up and down the country. It is also hilarious to here the celtic fans moral indignant stance given the history of their support also. We all know this is a stitch up from a guy who really does not know hee haw about football and its history.

  104. Bruce says:

    Poor Ross, all he wants to do is hear about those big bad Celtic supporters. Maybe it’ll make him feel better.

    He doesn’t get that this isn’t about songs. Its gone beyond that. There is nothing in the history of the Celtic support, or many other supports for that matter, to compare to Barcelona or Manchester or the frequent physical attacks on Neil Lennon or the attempt to kill him etc etc etc. No other support acts this way.

  105. stuart says:

    astounding that a so called investigative journalist has decided to turn his eye to the “peculiarities” of Scottish football without even beginning to understand the historical, sociological and political context which gave rise the these peculiarities in the first place.
    Whilst showing little real knowledge of the way they are ritually played out in Glasgow today, rangers and Celtic fans are mates, workmates, neighbours , friends and family members. The poison that attracts itself to the old firm is largely imported and it’s hardly helping matters having an ignorant self seeking egoist meddling in things that they don’t fully understand and giving a forum for chippie malcontents who blame all their life failures on some imaginary sectarian problem.
    Your view of ranger’s fans is so jaundiced its utterly laughable, all you have done is perpetuate every derogatory stereotype your new pals have fed you.
    Its also astounding that an investigative journalist, in the midst of child abuse cover up scandals. hasn’t found anything worth investigating whilst poking his nose into Scottish football

  106. Iain says:

    Could I just point out that contaminating a razor blade with HIV is near impossible. Sending a letter with the razor blades contaminated would be fruitless as the bacteria would have died before you had even grabbed the envelope.

  107. Patrick says:

    The knuckledraggers have now become forensic scientists.

    Why don’t they have a closer look at themselves and their place in Scottish society? What they would see disgusts most of their fellow citizens.

  108. David says:

    Alex. Amazed at how naive you are to collaborate with an author with such a heinous background. Looking at the Sun article and its sources should you not have carried out some easy research and labelled the writer ‘odious’ in the same way you have tarred the Rangers supporters. Unwittingly or not you have just pinned your colours to the mast. The West of Scotland has always had an unsavoury edge on both sides and you are certainly not a pioneer in highlighting this fact. I watched your piece when you reported from outside the stadium. Your demeanor certainly had more wrath than neutrality about it and I was surprised when I watched your piece which lacked any objectivity. This stance even before a decision was made on the HMRC case.
    Other than that I still rate CH4 news and the professionalism of Jon Snow.

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