Hot Tip for “The Sun” on Biggest Financial Scandal in UK Sport – Guest Post by Kenny McCaffrey

This was sent to me as a comment yesterday, and I have been too busy to pop it up on the site until now. You will see that Kenny yesterday morning managed to predict the rise up the charts for Phil’s book!

I have slightly edited Kenny’s post re developments since he sent it. I am sure he will let us know if ever a response is received!


Hi Paul, I trust you have read the nonsense ‘Sun Says’ in the Scottish Sun this morning (03/09/12) announcing that it won’t, after all, be serialising Phil MacG’s new book – but with no real reason apart from the ludicrous (and nonsensical) statement about him being “tarred with the same sickening brush” (eh? doesn’t’ that mean THEY are actually doing it?).

Here is the link in case you missed it:

(PMCC Edit – the editorial piece has now disappeared from the Sun website, as has the initial interview with Phil)

Notwithstanding the counterproductive (from their point of view) effect of no doubt hurling Phil’s book to the top of the best-seller charts (a story in itself), I thought I’d actually help out the Sun by emailing the following to their dedicated ‘do you have a story for us’ facility on the same website. This is what I wrote, for what it’s worth….

(Sent to
subject: Corporate Scandal)

Dear Scottish Sun

Here’s a tip for a story for you. It’s about the biggest financial scandal in the history of British sport.

It’s exactly the same as everything contained in the book just published by internet blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain about the demise of Glasgow Rangers Football Club, which you have for some reason seen fit to tar with the “sickening brush” of bigotry (and by extension, your own ignorance) .

It is exactly the same story as that which internationally acclaimed and award-winning journalist Alex Thomson of Channel 4 has been covering for the last year or so.

It is exactly the same story that has been covered by internationally acclaimed and award-winning blog ‘’.

It is exactly the same story that has been the subject of endless discussions hosted with complete impartiality and with expert legal knowledge by Paul McConville on the blog ‘Random Thoughts Re Scots Law’.

It is exactly the same story as that eloquently covered in the BBC documentary ‘Rangers – The Men Who Sold the Jerseys’ by Mark Daly – which remains the only serious coverage of the background to this scandal to have been broadcast on a national level.

Thousands – if not millions – of lives have been affected by this story. Millions – yes, very much MILLIONS – of pounds have gone missing from the public purse over the course of this story. Reputations at the very highest level of Scottish sport and politics have been tarnished by this story. It affects the bulk of your readers.

I am putting this story to you as a journalist with no axe to grind, with 20 years’ experience in the trade.

So why do you not tell this story? It seems to me a gift for your employees who you take pride in telling the world are “the finest journalists in the country who are totally and unequivocally impartial.”

I feel sure that in telling this story “truthfully, honestly and without fear or favour” you will indeed serve your readers well.

So why are you not telling it?

Yours faithfully
Kenny McCaffrey



Filed under Guest Posts, Press, Rangers, The Sun

21 responses to “Hot Tip for “The Sun” on Biggest Financial Scandal in UK Sport – Guest Post by Kenny McCaffrey

  1. michael

    It will be interesting to see how the Scottish media reacts when the First Tier Tribunal ruling is delivered in the next few days. The level of cheating will be astounding. The biggest cheating ever in world football. Is that a world record to be proud of?

  2. miki67

    Brownshirt tactics cause a rag like The S(h)un to censor itself. Fear. Cowardice. Appeasement.
    At least Mr. Mac Giolla Bhain will make a bundle out of this and be able to afford even better security,which he requires to protect himself from the same scoundrels who terrorised the rubbish newspaper.
    Ironic doesn’t begin to describe it.

    The real reason the Sun didn’t want to lose a big demographic. Commercial cowards.

    • No doubt jockybhoy – but the article actually fails to give any figures for the Sun’s circulation, and the only source for the loss of 100,000 readers seems to be the Record/Trinity Mirror itself (and it’s another pretty good example of spoon-fed churnalism, if you ask me).

      There’s costs to consider too. The Daily Record has always been a stand-alone operation within the Mirror group. But when the Sun started a Scottish version, they just fired up the London version and changed a few pages. Is that still the case? (I live in London now.)

      In any case I expect the Scottish Sun is a lot cheaper operation to run than the Daily Record – and the fact that nothing in the Press Gazette piece mentions profit or any other monetary measure maybe reflects this.

      That said, the guys at the Scottish Sun will still have targets and budgets etc – and, sadly, I really would not be surprised if the real motivation behind the decision to ditch the book serialisation was a bollocking from some London-based editorial executive, possibly along the lines of ‘Fer fack sake, drop it son, we just want as many jockos as possible readin this sh!t”. Sorry, but I’ve met London sun people and I would not be in the least surprised if that’s what happened.

      Sorry also, Sevconians, but you may not have stopped the book being serialised for quite the reasons you think they stopped it for (not that I care that much, mind) – but hey, you helped create a best-seller!

  4. tainted orange


    dear sun

    bigotry didn’t seem to bother you when serialising andy gorams book, in which he joyfully bumps into similar minded group in Belfast called the UVF. Andy shares a few beers as they playfully joke he asked the shankhill butcher how his shop was.

    mind you i suppose you guys want to clean up your act after getting caught hacking and dead girls phones and buying her parents over, sont want to end up like NOTW now do we. l

      • ross

        You have muddled the facts here. You are just as bad as a red top with giving your own slant on a story to suit your agenda. Goram clearly implies the opposite of what you are suggesting in that he had no affiliation and did not support any terrorist group. We all know if you are a gers or celts fan these kind of encounters are bound to happen. Therefore please stop spreading lies and making wrong comparisons. Your argument is a non argument

      • I notice in theat serialisation that Goram says he wore a black armband for his Aunt Lilly. Wonder why he waited 4 months to honour her? Unfortunate coincidence it was only 5 days after King Rat, Billy Wright, was murdered. As Tom English said in an article in 2009 “His explanation for his association with terrorists in the past are weak. The armband defence remains risible. The account of his meetings with Wright and Big Sam should trouble those who are about to pay tribute to Goram at the benefit night. The abuse of Van Hooijdonk (English paraphrases Goram who told adoring Rangers fans he called the Dutchman “a non-white, unclean, non-Protestant with no father”) I’m guessing, doesn’t get a mention anywhere in the book. “

        For the record, I don’t always believe what people write in their autobiographies. Or what is written in papers. But giving Goram a platform does indeed the expose the Scottish Sun’s hypocrisy. As an aside, as a Celtic fan, I refute your suggestion that “these encounters (with terrorists) are bound to happen”.

  5. A good friend who has just ordered it tells me that Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s book is at number 8 on Amazon’s list at the moment (12.15am, Sept 5, 2012).

    PS. I haven’t received any reply yet, in case anyone’s wondering…

  6. Briggsbhoy

    It would be a nice gesture from Philip if he donated some of the profits from what I’m sure will be a best seller to the diddy teams in spl3 to help them over the winter, sevco excluded as they seem to have plenty cash.

  7. josephmcgrath112001809

    I don’t understan the ‘shock horror’ aspect of this argument at all. Does anyone out there believe that our media is in the business of broadcasting the news? The last month has shown that newspapers, television and , to a lesser extent, radio forget news stories and push out everything on the olympics.

    It’s cheap and cheerful but sidelines everything that is important. Look at recent history. We went into a war in Iraq that was opposed by the great majority of the population but was supported by all the papers (except the Mirror). They seem to have forgotten all that now.
    The banking scandal is another good example. We all knew the banks were throwing money at anybody who would take it. My son was a student who was constantly overdrawn. The bank repatedly offered him large loans that he obviously could not repay. They ignored my requests to stop sending him offers. We could all see the crash coming with that attitude. Did the financial correspondents in the media?

    Well if they did the didn’t let on.

    Even my paper, the Guardian, advised people to vote Lib Dem in the last election. Now look where we are. They don’t mention that now.
    Just face up to the fact that we don’t have a proper media. It’s all rubbish. We would all be better off not buying a newspaper at all (apart from the Scottish Catholic Observer).

    As the tannoy in Oban station announced, “If you’re going for the Glasgow train you better hurry up – it’s away!”

  8. Joseph

    Well Kenny I have 40 years in the trade and I have never come across anything like the action taken by the editor of the Sun. My own opinion is they have shot themselves in the foot by failing to tell the greatest story ever to come out of Scotland. And I’m afraid that goes for the other newspapers in our wee country. They are more concerned with their falling circulations than they are with the truth. It is indeed a sad day. In all my years as a sub, chief sub and editor I never thought I would witness this. However, there is one good thing that will come out of all this – blogs such as this one which is the future.

    • John Mac

      @Joseph – bang on.
      I completely agree. As an ex-red top worker I’m really sorry to see that a lot of good people are going to lose their jobs over the next few years. Sadly, a lot of these people are trained to do stuff that there is little demand for outside of newspapers (classified advert design, editorial page makeup etc…). Many will leave well paid jobs and end up working in Tesco.
      They can thank their bosses who STILL cannot adapt to face the change that the internet has brought to publishing. They have had 15 years to come up with a strategy to embrace the technological changes and they did almost nothing.
      The Rangers story is bigger than just a football club going out of business. For the Scottish MSM it will prove to be the straw that broke the camels back. I have lost count of the amount of people who say that they will never buy a paper again. Even guys who hardly even went online flocked to sites such as RTC and Phil MacG as they constantly heard friends talking about developments that they hadn’t a clue about. They had to visit these sites to keep up. And then they realised what a pile of mince the MSM was spouting to protect both their so-called base readership (Rangers fans).
      When the mainstream media thinks that the best thing that they can do to maintain their readership is to DELIBERATELY KEEP THEM UNINFORMED that surely is the time when they don’t deserve to survive. It is the complete opposite of the role that they are supposed to play in society.
      If we fast forward a few years I can see the Daily Record become something like the Sunday Post, a paper bought almost exclusively by older people. Younger people will get their news online from places that are not afraid to tell it like it is and are not afraid to break stories in case it upsets their “base”. Places that get success purely from quality content and not from “habit buying”.
      This I think will be better for everyone, Rangers fans included.

      • @Joseph & John Mac – totally agree with you both (and bow to your superior experience and knowledge of the subject matter). Great to have your views.

        To inject a little humour, but maybe based on a deeper truth (ie, Satire Alert!), the Steve Bell ‘If…’ cartoon strip in yesterday’s Guardian, I think, backs up what John Mac is talking about (sort of, ish)….

        Grizzled old tabloid hack Harry Hardnose (he’s an old character in the series) is seen working out his “sunset years on the ‘Electronic Mule'” (playing patience on a computer).
        A minion brings some paper saying “Harry have you seen this?”
        Without looking up, Harry reaches behind and says: “Feels like paper to me darlin’. Remember – Harry’s new watchword…
        “‘If I can wipe my @rse with it, it ain’t journalism.’ Take it away and email it back to me.’

        Seriously, I think newspapers (including editors, but especially owners and publishing execs) never understood the web from the start. For a crucial number of years all they did was stick their classified ads on the web and just used the home page as a contacts and blurb ‘vanity’ page.

        Some have learned. The Guardian’s website is award-winning. The Mail is probably the biggest in the world for a newspaper (and therefore probably the most profitable). Some in America are quite good, like the New York Times. But a lot of popular press versions, such as the Sun and the Record’s, are just brash and even more unsubtle versions of their printed parent.

        It seems the web is best for specialist publications, as John Mac alludes to. I hear that the Economist’s website is the most profitable of all these publishing ventures. The point here is people click on what interests them (just like we are doing here). But maybe the downside is that people who only want to read uninformed, hate-filled bile and half-truths (cf Bears Den) will never have their views challenged – just reinforced.

        Maybe papers are doomed – it’s been an ongoing argument for years now. But the optimist in me believes newspapers have a role to play in actually informing people of the truth. It follows that publications like the Sun and the Record are missing a trick, I think. They should really be giving people like Phil Mac and Paul McC – and RTC – a regular column!

  9. John Mac

    Kenny you mention a very good point. People mostly visit sites that suit their point of view and this always results in the development of more extreme views as the content available is usually very one sided.
    If you dare to visit the Rangers Media site you will see this in action. At times posts on there are little more than a badly punctuated series of obscene insults.
    We really don’t want society to go down this road but when the MSM are so ineffective they leave a massive hole which ends up getting filled by this kind of inflammatory bile.

  10. There's Only One Willie Miller

    It will be interesting to see if any newspapers serialise RTC’s book.

  11. Joseph

    Totally agree John Mac. Following Paul’s last blog I ventured, for the first time, into the VanguardBears site. Words fail me on the language used. It is quite grotesque and vicious. The owners have the usual site rules, but they ignore them. Anything goes. They are out to destroy Paul and Phil and others who try to put forward reasoned debate. I’ve always had a bit of sympathy for Rangers fans in the past. I’ve tried to understand them and taken into consideration their history. They have as much right as us to their roots. And I do not believe for one minute that there are 45,000 or whatever fans who turn up at Ibrox with this obnoxious attitude. The sensible ones should knock some sense into these “bears”. Or am I asking too much?

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