I was idly clicking through the internet, checking up information for a piece I am writing when I came across a couple of fun posts.
I offer extracts from them to you as a quiz. All you have to do is guess the writer, the topic and the date. No prizes, as for each one you can find the answer at the foot of the piece.
This is all intended purely as a lighthearted bit of fun and I trust the excellent writers I quote do not take offence – none is intended.
I am sure that there is a lot I have written here which has turned out to be wrong too, so I am not claiming infallibility. In fact, I have never spoken ex cathedra.
Anyway – on with the quiz, but feel free to chip in your own examples in the comments.
Who wrote, when, and about whom, the following?
(I have edited the piece to make it a challenge, but have retained the typographical errors. I do not however wish to be accused of bear-baiting.)
“(Mr X) has done more than merely confound his critics by showing he is the real deal. He has also displayed the sort of tough technique in talks which he will surely be able to use for the good of Rangers in the fututre (sic).
(He) has got what he wanted, and made his dream of owning the club come true.
At the moment, with the country skint and deep in Labour led debt, what he has done is join the stampede of savvy shoppers to Poundland. He has squeezed and squeezed, and then squeezed a bit more, and the result is there should be more money available for Rangers.
Remember, when Sir David Murray first put Rangers up for sale three years ago the asking price was in the region of £40M. When (Mr X) entered the scene a figure of around £20M started being quoted, and as recently as a couple of weeks ago it had dropped to Murray getting back the original £6M he paid for Rangers in 1988.
That (Mr X) ended pocketing the title deeds for Rangers, Ibrox Stadium and Murray Park for (not much) tells us one thing. Do NOT play poker with this man.
Such has been the amount of muckraking and mud hurled at (Mr X), that there are many Rangers supporters who still doubt him. They though, will soon be won over if the new owner gets together quickly with Ally McCoist and lets him loose in the transfer market.
A couple of quick singings (edit – yes, it says singings, not signings) would soon dispel much of the doubts. And such a move would also have the spin-off of boosting season ticket sales, which have dropped by 6,000 during the last two uncertain years.
Part of the deal included a pledge he would pay off the club’s debt to Lloyds. When that is done, then all (Mr X) has to do to sent his approval ratings soaring among the Rangers support, is show Lloyds and the bank’s man on the Rangers board the Ibrox door.
Maybe he could even restort (sic) to the language of the people …. PICK A WINDAE. YOU’RE LEAVING!
There are many in the media who will stop at nothing to undermine Rangers, some with more subtle style than others. This is something (Mr X) will have to confront head-on in a much more aggressive way than Murray ever did.
If the new owner shows similar tough tactics in this area as he did in the negotiations which landed him Rangers, then that too would find favour with fans.
He should beware of smarm and charm. There are plenty of people within Ibrox who know the score in this area, and who can advise (Mr X) on the way forward, in order that Rangers no longer present an easy target to their many enemies.
Confounding the enmies (sic) of Rangers should be one of the first tasks for (Mr X) now that he has confounded his critics.
Now question 2
Who wrote, when, and about whom, the following?
It’s been a rough ride for (Mr X) since he took over at Rangers. If he had any illusions about how difficult a job it would be or how many obstacles, real or imagined, would be placed in his way then I think those illusions will now have been dispelled. There is no doubt that legitimate questions remain on his plans for Britain’s most successful club but the sad truth is that instead of those questions being posed in a calm and rational way by those who love the club, they are being obscured by the muck raking and dramatisation of Scotland’s desperate press and their ‘Celtic minded’ hangers on.
First let me state that I remain to be entirely convinced by Craig Whyte. He has done some things well and some things poorly since taking over. I am sure he would acknowledge that the transfer dealings of the club have been shambolic over the past two windows but as with many of the things for which he is attracting criticism he is not alone in making mistakes. Ally McCoist’s insistence on revealing the name of virtually every target to the press has not helped, for example. The sale of Nikica Jelavic was not handled well but the press have again tried to shed a more negative light on it by suggesting he did not want to leave. Forcing a move and wanting to leave are two different things. Jelavic absolutely wanted to leave and although he will be missed from a numbers point of view, his form this season has been poor.
(Mr X’s) performance with the press has, on the whole, been refreshing if a touch naive. I’m sure some would argue the opposite but it is about time we had a chairman who was prepared to end the open season on Rangers. With several media outlets now persona non grata at Ibrox it is clear the knives are out but someone had to draw the line. The frustrating thing from a fans’ point of view is that instead of asking pertinent questions that need to be answered, the personal attacks on (Mr X) have, in most cases, made it easy for him to respond.
Only STV and a select few journalists seem to be interested in reporting fact rather than innuendo. The Daily Record report on Ticketus may well have contained some questions which (Mr X) needed to answer but it was so shrouded in personal attack from members of the old board and so wooly in terms of understanding the finances behind the headlines that it lost all impact over the first couple of paragraphs. Sports journalists are not in their profession because they have an understanding of finance but that hasn’t stopped them from having a pop at it over the past few years.
I have to say it is hard to see the comments (of former Board Members P##l M####y and A######r J######n) as anything other than sour grapes. They seem incapable of putting across their concerns without sniping at (Mr X) like jilted lovers. There is also, tellingly, a total lack of any alternative put forward by them. You want to sit them down and say “Ok guys we get it. You don’t like or trust (Mr X) but what exactly are you proposing?”
Murray et al had four years to come up with an alternative and couldn’t. It’s time for them to stop bitching and allow us to examine (Mr X’s) tenure on its merits and over a sensible period of time once this tax case has reached a conclusion.
I am impressed that (Mr X) has now stepped up several times to (answer questions). The press in Scotland certainly never saw fit to question Sir David Murray in this way when his reckless spending brought the club to this point. It’s notable that the same hacks who gave Murray such an easy ride are the ones now attempting to discredit (Mr X), but they are of course a dying breed. With newspaper sales plummeting and most people becoming aware of stories on the internet long before they have even dusted down their typewriters, they are more desperate than ever to create stories rather than report them.
Make no mistake, there are people currently working around the fringes of journalism and also in mainstream media who are trying to create an environment in which Rangers can only fail. They want to discredit the club and the easiest current target is the new owner. They want to make it difficult for us to attract new finance or gain favourable terms with creditors. The more mud they sling the more it sticks and if there are real issues with (Mr X) they are being obscured by what now appears to be a vendetta.
Once again, on the day after the Daily Record story, the usual suspects were prematurely congratulating themselves on the demise of Rangers … as they do anytime one of their pet subjects makes it into a mainstream paper. If the fans want to vent their frustrations somewhere then it is here that their targets should be found.
Ally McCoist called for unity on Friday. Those who are mistrustful of (Mr X) should remember that there are people working in Ibrox who know a lot more about him, his motives and his methods than the press do. Does anyone doubt that McCoist or Gordon Smith have the best interests of the club at heart? Do they really think if (Mr X) was trying to pull off some sort of swindle then they would stand by and watch it happen? There are tough times ahead and (Mr X) has already stated many times that we cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.
The fans need to back the new owner and understand that what he is doing may not be popular but it is necessary. If working within our budget means that young players like Fleck and Hutton will return from loan spells and take their place in our team next year then I am all for it.
Rangers have to become a sustainable business – one that does not rely on injections of cash from people like David Murray or (Mr X). The type of facilities that (Mr X) is using are more and more common in business these days with invoice discounting and factoring being used as a replacement for bank lending which is now so difficult to secure.
(Mr X) has my full support for the moment. His detractors continue to fail to convince or put forward a viable alternative and as long as that is the case he remains the only show in town.
You can find the full piece here, written by that vastly experienced man of letters David Leggat, on 7th May 2011, when the Craig Whyte era (yes, that is Mr X) commenced.
You can find the full piece here. This one is about the same Mr X, Craig Whyte. However this was written rather later in his tenure – on 5th February 2012, just 9 days prior to Mr Whyte taking Rangers into administration.
The author was the former blogger, and now major writer on The Rangers Standard, Chris Graham. The telegenic Mr Graham has also now achieved a position as STV’s “official” Rangers fan, when they need a contribution to Scotland Tonight.
This piece is a fine example of how even the best writers can make a wrong call, and Mr Graham deserves every credit for not letting the small error of fully supporting Craig Whyte get in the way of his detailed and forensic analysis now of all the people outside Ibrox responsible for the club he follows being in SFL3.