Who Should Be “A Certainty for … Journalist of the Year”? Kevin McKenna’s View on Downfall

This year saw the publication of a book described in this article by Kevin McKenna in the Scottish Review of Books as “what will probably be the biggest-selling sports book in Scotland this year”.

The book is written by an author described as “a prolific and respected freelance journalist and author in Ireland”.

As Mr McKenna says, the book “charts the gestation and birth of the most momentous story in the history of Scottish sport”. He ascribes his own sub-title to it – “how was one of the richest and most powerful institutions in Scottish society brought to its knees and destroyed while the rest of us were looking the other way”.

He goes on to say that, if the author was a staffer on a Scottish newspaper “he would be a certainty to be crowned sportswriter of the year, news reporter of the year and journalist of the year for his work on the … story”.

However, as Mr McKenna, former sports editor in chief of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday says :- “Yet not even the merest hint of his name will be breathed at the annual industry awards bash early next year.”

He also notes that until now there have been no reviews in the Scottish press of the book, which, remember, is “what will probably be the biggest-selling sports book in Scotland this year” and is about “the gestation and birth of the most momentous story in the history of Scottish sport”.

By now I imagine that my reader might have recognised that we are talking about Phil Mac Giolla Bhain and his book charting the “Downfall” of Rangers FC.

I commend Mr McKenna’s full review to my reader.

Mr McKenna tries to pre-empt the criticism that he expects to receive, pointing out that Mr Mac Giolla Bhain makes no pretence on this issue of being a neutral, speaking from Olympian heights of disengagement.

As for the accusation that Mr Mac Giolla Bhain is obsessive on the issue, Mr McKenna says:-

“Well, aren’t all good journalists supposed to be obsessive, dysfunctional and unfit to be permitted into polite society?”

Mr McKenna also makes clear that he has his own issues with the book and with the book’s author and that he is by no means an unquestioning member of the Phil Mac Giolla Bhain fan club.

He also recounts his own experience in buying the book, which will undoubtedly draw out the author’s critics, who believe that, in fact, the book has sold poorly, and that there never was an issue with the sale in any book shop anywhere at any time.

All in all, I suspect that Mr Mac Giolla Bhain will be pleased with the review.

Maybe we could get the views published between now and Christmas of other reviewers? The thoughts of Tom English in the SoS or of Graham Spiers in the Herald would be interesting.

Maybe the Rangers Standard, Bill McMurdo or David Leggat could review the book, rather than simply repeating their own rather negative views about the author?

And when that happens, then the words of the Prophet Isaiah 11:6 will be fulfilled:-

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together”.


Posted by Paul McConville


Full disclosure – In case anyone suggests that I am not a neutral on this topic because I am mentioned by the author in the book’s acknowledgements please note that I do not claim to be a neutral regarding the book.



Filed under Books, Football, Press, Rangers

48 responses to “Who Should Be “A Certainty for … Journalist of the Year”? Kevin McKenna’s View on Downfall

  1. DS

    The book was a great read, I gave my copy to a friend of mine and he said it opened his eyes to a lot of things that goes on in the Scottish media!

  2. TheBlackKnight TBK

    Did he review a first edition though?

    (the one that definitely doesn’t have subliminal cover or content!)


  3. mick

    were all waiting on your book paul hopefully early next year ,the book exposed them for what they are a joke and a bunch of cheating clowns ,

    @tbk the main word we learned last week was redacted lol monday maybes heres hoping lol

  4. JohnBhoy

    Look forward to reading the sequel, penned by the nom de plume Chic Vert:

    “Shorn of the Dead: My Part in their (final) Downfall”

  5. mcfc

    Off topic – but – who were RFC’s auditors in the years leading up to administration – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20348059

  6. mick

    @mcfc A spokesman for Ernst and Young said: “We obviously take these matters extremely seriously, but it would be inappropriate for us to comment further before the tribunal.” sounds familiar and and similiar to the ebts stance wait till the tribunal sits lol good to see bdo on the case this is a sigh of relieve for creditors and small share holders conned by D&d ,things are looking good

    • mcfc


      It took 5-6 years to kick-off the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) tribunal in this case – so things may not happen quickly but they do seem to get done eventually. Don’t suppose RFC creditors will ever see anything like 50p in the pound though.

      The alphabet soup also gets thicker – “TRFC rejects FRC’s RFC tribunal”

  7. Excellent article by Kevin McKenna (I’m sure I remember him from Glasgow Uni) – shows (again) how blogs have changed things…

    On the subject of blogs, Paul, thought you might be interested in this link – found it while reading about Nate Silver, the guy who predicted all the results in the US election: a woman at Forbes.com giving advice on blogging following the bombshell that Clark Kent is leaving the Planet to start a blog…

    You should use the photo as your byline!


    (no doubt all of the above will be a bit dull for cam…)

    • mick

      @kenny ave stopped feeding our site troll as a seen he was first to bad mouth every1 over at mcmurdos rants the other day hes a fratinizeing loonball lol

      if every 1 ignores cam he will go away he fantisies at night drunk about steve wonder

    • Maggie

      @Kenny Mc Caffrey
      That’s because cam’s a bit dull.

  8. mcfc

    It took 5-6 years to kick-off the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) tribunal in this case – so things may not happen quickly but they do seem to get done eventually. Don’t suppose RFC creditors will ever see anything like 50p in the pound though.

    The alphabet soup also gets thicker – “TRFC rejects FRC’s RFC tribunal”

    • mick

      @mcfc a wonder whats in store for green when the other tribunials kick in will he be quick to cliam the history then there liable for every club cheated via the ebt and side contract years the sfa pulled a fast 1 he signed a 5way agreement which states hes liable for all footballing debts and liabilitys when proven CO and GS and all the other crooks in suits turned a blind eye to cheating there orgs become liablie to so it will be intresting to see what happens ,the whole league was cheated for years and that make the suits that turned a blind eye orgs liabile as they should have had better auditing in place

      • mcfc

        It’s frustrating that the truth will take years to be revealed in full – but increased public scrutiny means it is getting harder and harder to brush things under the carpet of your mates in high places.

        Vive la revolution,

        vive la web,

        vive les bampot.

    • mick

      thats if they are still here its bleeding cash left right and center iits a sham and its suffering its karma for being cloned it should have been left to die ,if the sfa knew the tax was fiddled does this make them liabile via euro teams want to sue its going to crash round them soon

  9. Thickmarrow

    Regarding rangers advisers, they will almost certainly have a set limit in respect of their liability to Rangers probably £5m and it may be rather difficult to prove they were at fault.The insinuation from various sources is that it wasn,t the ebt’s that were illegal rather rangers execution of them.

    it has been suggested to me that company directors are personally liable for a company’s failure to pay its tax liabilities and that Murray et al will be very much in the line of fire SHOULD the BTC go against them , putting their personal assets at risk. Anyone shed any light on this?

    • mick

      hi thick marrow thanks for joining tonights debate there is lots of sernarios for this but this most recent article seems to explian some of them


      the ebt recivers will be liabile via there own monies and company directors may and mostly will face criminal charges and confiscation orders via scots law the tax man will get last laugh

      • Thickmarrow

        Thanks Mick, very interesting article.The ex directors must be bricking it.It will be interesting to see how loyal they’ll remain to minty moonbeams or if they’ll hang him out to dry.

        • mick

          once it dawns on them that there nest eggs are at risk and no amount of threats from the narrow mind will change things a think they will be queueing up to turns queens evidence its the suits that are in trouble as billy dodds stated in the summer he was told his” tax was paid” , also there is breaking news that phil mac has been asked to start a downfall 2 as sevco are doomed to fail also we dont know if it is related to money or the ftt so there is quiet a long way to go before we can sit back and relax and enjoy or national game agian ,the lack of transparacy is shocking and only hihlights all the speculation of wrong doing a cant see a new club forming as ticketus have a 40 mil debt and it is being hushed up by green thats his downfall in this he should have told at start and we dont know what company is what its shocking and what ever nomad takes it on will be left with the reputation in tatters ,theres lots of questions unanswered and the lack of answers means bad news for the bears agian so we will just have to wait to see what greens next move is this is why the league reconsruction is in full voice as they know sevco is on the brink green is worse than whyte charlie is well found out he must have thought we were daft up here and he could do what he wants downfall 2 will be read for the summer a think but the death of sevco is just weeks away its bleeding cash and is karmaered for not being transparent if he came clean and said buy or die am sure he would get the right reponse

  10. Ernesider

    ” If Sir David did use his influence and charisma to induce some journalists to overlook bad news about his club and spin straw into gold then he was only doing what Celtic’s great manager Jock Stein did to great effect in the 1960s and 1970s.”
    Kevin McKenna

    No Kevin, I don’t accept your nasty cynical little comparison at all.
    Jock was a man who knew and loved football. Murray was an opportunist who tried to buy success and the homage of the sectarian hordes.

  11. Obviously Isaiah hadn’t very many dealings with bears. And if McMurdo reads Phil’s book that will be the first book he’s ever read. Or maybe someone could turn it into a graphic novel for him.

  12. mick

    @markdaly2 Congratulations on winning the @BAFTAScotland award for best current affairs prog: ‘Rangers The Men Who Sold The Jerseys’. #HH

    well done mark from every1 on here and online that watched your programme you are prove that there is integrity left in scotland and that the bully never wins also well to to bbc scotland and all your team how helped you we all take our hats of to you and at same time were saying bravo bravo

  13. mick

    heres the show mark done for any1 abroad that hasent seen it

  14. JohnBhoy


    My favourite funny Rangers quote of the year comes from that doyen of the business community, Sir David Murray:

    “I was primarily duped. My advisers were duped, my manager was duped, the shareholders were duped. We’ve all been duped.”

    Although the following statement, which SDM apparently said with a comical straight face, is also priceless:

    “During my stewardship of Rangers, no rules were breached or circumvented and I reject or resent any suggestion that anything was done that amounted to cheating.”

  15. JohnBhoy


    Charles Green: “Manchester United… are not hostile to Rangers joining [the EPL].”

    Manchester United: “We are against it.”

  16. mick

    @john theres breaking news phil has to get downfall 2 together lol


    phils publisher said its no laughing matter when phil thought he was joking about admin 2 lolpmsl haha

    • ecojon


      It’s good to see that all the info will be gathered together. I reckon the books will become standard reading for all the journalism and media courses – probably worldwide. I’m sure chico will be able to help with galactic distribution contacts as well 🙂

  17. John Pollock

    It might be when its finished ecojon!

  18. Carl Le Fong

    Diversifying slightly, did anyone see Traynor’s disgraceful piece in the DR this morning – this is a man who makes his living, and always has done, from Scottish football; and yet because of his devotion to the Rangers brand, he ‘rubbishes’ all the clubs in the SPL, after a ‘bumper’ weekend, with great crowds and exciting games.

    How the hell is he allowed to be employed by BBC?

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