My Thoughts on Chris Graham’s Comments in the Rangers Standard about his Sportsound Boycott

Chris Graham is a Rangers fan. Since the descent into administration he has had the mantle of “reasonable Rangers fan” thrust upon him and as such has popped up several times on STV to talk about the latest development in his team’s remarkable saga.

He and I have exchanged light-hearted banter, dating back to October 2011 when he classed me along with RTC and Phil Mac Giolla Bhain as “barmy bloggers”. That was august company into which he had placed me, especially as his writing about me, and his blog then being linked to on Follow Follow by a poster called “Fury” lead to the most views of my blog on any one day up to that point.

Since then he has told others that I do not possess the moral qualities to have a guest article posted on his Rangers Standard website, and he has pointedly remarked on a few occasions that he does not read what I write, on the basis that I am “discredited”, “disgraced”, “a Rangers Hater” etc.

Last week’s BBC Scotland invitation to me to appear on Sportsound almost gave me the chance to converse directly with him. However, as Chris himself has explained, he would not take up the invitation.

After I had written my piece about it and Andy Muirhead at Scotzine his, it was Mr Graham’s chance to take up the pen.

The following piece is from the Rangers Standard and can be read on the RTS site by clicking here.

I feel that a few comments might be useful, and they are in bold following the relevant sections of Mr Graham’s polemic.

The piece was posted earlier this week, as BBC staff went on strike to protest against job cuts.

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On a day when BBC Scotland staff will take to the streets outside Pacific Quay to protest at job cuts, there remain huge question marks over the ability of their organisation to meet the terms of their own charter. “The BBC exists to serve the public interest”. It is highly debatable whether this remains the case, at least in Scotland. Agendas and bias should be utterly foreign to the BBC but more and more we are seeing those things creep into their work. Central to this idea of serving the public interest is the idea of “balance”, which has been sadly lacking from the BBC’s output north of the border. Despite this problem having been raised many times with them it was apparent again this past week.

There is a big debate to be had about the issue of “public interest” both in the BBC context and that of the press. However charging that the BBC has failed because of its coverage of one story, enormous in Scottish terms though that may be, seems a tad hysterical.

 

I should start by saying that BBC Scotland presents something of a conundrum for Rangers fans. We have no real option but to pay our licence fee and fund them, but we find them not only at odds with our view of our club but simply unable to provide anything approaching a fair commentary on matters affecting it. The simple fact is that as a group we can’t hurt the BBC in the same way as we can a newspaper or an independent broadcaster because boycotting them does not hit them in the pocket. It was from that standpoint that I agreed to a couple of discussions with BBC Scotland producers and presenters recently about appearing on their shows.

Mr Graham is wrong. There is an option for his fellow fans to refuse to pay the licence fee. However failure to do so is, in all but the most extreme circumstances (such as not having a television) is a criminal offence. If Rangers fans are as offended as a vocal minority says on the internet that they are, then a mass (sorry for using that word) campaign of organised non-payment and defiance might be the way forward. After all, the Community Charge disappeared under the weight of public outcry and, in Scotland at least, not very many people were sent to prison for their protests, Mr Tommy Sheridan being by far the most famous example.

However Mr Graham does seem to be looking at some sort of campaign. But, as he says, he realised that a boycott of the BBC would not work, so he was therefore willing to discuss appearing on the BBC.

That seems a very mature response. If the BBC is a body which Rangers fans want to “hurt” then it takes a magnanimous person to attend within their very lair to engage with them.

But dialogue and discussion are generally good. As Churchill put it over lunch in the White House in 1954, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”

The “balance” question is at the heart of this debate. Must the BBC be “balanced” on every issue, no matter how extreme the views actually are?

A pal with a sense of humour commented that phone in radio debates require to exhibit balance between sense and non-sense! If Airdrie United Football Club is mentioned on the BBC, should I ring in demanding that Albion Rovers be covered too?

If one looks at Lanarkshire football, then the coverage given to Motherwell FC dwarves the time spent on Hamilton, Airdrie and the Rovers put together. Maybe that means the BBC are Motherwell sympathisers and “Rovers haters”? Or maybe the BBC devotes resources it considers appropriate to each task and, except in an election campaign, does not have producers sitting with stop watches to ensure each party has precisely the same coverage.

 

I am not going to go into the content of these meetings too deeply because I would like to respect that they were private. However, I will say that it is apparent that BBC Scotland, at least in certain areas, understand that their programming is being harmed by the perceived anti Rangers bias which infects their output. They remain at loggerheads with the club and are refusing to apologise publicly for their “Madmen” montage featuring Ally McCoist. They also refuse to publicly acknowledge that they have an issue with imbalance in the panels which make up their sports programming. However, saying something publicly and recognising privately that there is a problem are two different things. The BBC know they made a mess of the McCoist issue and they know that continuing with panel shows which feature only those people who have been outspoken against Rangers in the past year, is leaving them vulnerable to accusations of bias. The more lucid, self-aware panel members also appreciate the imbalance that exists on the shows they appear on.

On the anniversary of the club going into administration, BBC Sportsound aired a show which featured Stuart Cosgrove and Graham Spiers as panellists, on a show presented by Jim Spence. Within minutes of the show airing, Spence had decreed that Rangers “are a new club although Rangers fans will argue the toss on that”. He said this unchallenged. It was a factually incorrect statement that could only have been made by an idiot, someone not in full possession of the facts, someone that wished to pander to an agenda against the club or a mix of the above. I’ll limit myself to saying that Spence is well aware of the facts. We shouldn’t expect more from Spence, he isn’t really capable of it, but we are entitled to expect more of the BBC. I genuinely don’t mind if they want to employ people who are willing to sacrifice their journalistic integrity and twist the facts about Rangers, but they should also employ people willing to highlight that agenda and challenge it.

The “new club” issue is, as I mentioned a blog or two ago, a complex one where people come to it with lots of baggage. I do have a detailed post about it nearly written, to update one from last summer. However to say that the “new club” issue is factually incorrect fails to appreciate the nuances and opinions which are behind the question. There is no simple answer, beyond the Rangers fans saying that the club continues because they say it does.

One of the common themes which I have seen in a lot of the Rangers coverage (and I mean from the “Rangers” side – although I am sure the same happens in reverse) is the “ad hominem attack”. Mr Graham produces a fine example, I think, of it here.

He tells us that the only people who could suggest Rangers are a “new club” are:-

  • an idiot;
  • someone not in full possession of the facts;
  • someone that wished to pander to an agenda against the club;
  • or a mix of the above.

He then helpfully tells us that Jim Spence, the presenter is well aware of the facts and therefore, by elimination, he is either an “idiot” or “pandering” to an agenda against Rangers.

He then suggests by implication that Mr Spence is someone “willing to sacrifice their journalistic integrity and twist the facts about Rangers”. If he did not intend that charge, then I withdraw my criticism of him for it, but that is how it reads. And an accusation that a journalist was sacrificing integrity and “twisting facts” is up there in terms of defamation along with a CEO accusing a creditor of “inventing invoices”. That is not to say that the charges might not be true, but people and companies have found themselves in the courts for far less serious slurs.

It is clear, I think, that Mr Graham does not like Mr Spence.

 

Later in the week, with a panel consisting of Tom English, Graham Spiers and Gordon Smith (making a rare appearance), Spiers continued this line of propaganda with “technically Rangers are a new club”. Well, no. Technically, we are the same club. Technically, the SFA licence was transferred between corporate entities – something which could only have been done if we were the same club. Those are the technicalities so, technically, Graham was talking nonsense. Again this went unchallenged. There was no balance.

Sadly it is not the case that every news or current affairs programme gets everything right. Indeed, if the BBC is getting things as wrong as he is saying, then this is not an issue of balance at all, but one of accuracy. Bias and imbalance comes about in relation to people’s opinions. But “facts” are either true, in which case they are facts, or untrue, in which case they are not.

I have not done an in-depth analysis of the pundits who appear on the BBC to discuss Scottish football. However Messrs English and Spiers are very experienced journalists, and with, one would hope, the neutrality which comes from that. Mr Smith is if course a former Rangers player and former Director of Football at Rangers, working for Craig Whyte.

In what way was the panel of Mr English, Mr Spiers and Mr Smith unbalanced, or more correctly, how was such a panel “unbalanced” against Rangers, which I assume is Mr Graham’s complaint.

 

Now herein lies the problem, there are different ways of achieving balance. One is to have a panel in which each member is neutral, but given the current paucity of Scottish journalism and broadcasting this is virtually impossible. The other way to do it would be to have a panel which consists of those who detest or dislike Rangers, which the BBC already have plenty of, and balance it with those willing to stand up and reject their propaganda when it rears its head. Whilst journalists can openly declare that they support Dundee Utd or St Johnstone, anyone openly stating that they support Rangers would be hounded out of a job. Not providing any counter to the panellists who are hostile to the club is where the BBC in Scotland utterly fails in its duty.

If we assume that Mr Graham likes appearing in the media spotlight, and from reading the reaction to his appearances on websites he seems to be thought of as very good at it, then he is taking an interesting stance. Telling the national media that they are hopeless seems an unusual way to influence them and persuade them to have him appear. Maybe however he sees his place in the media as part of the global media coverage that Rangers will provide for itself in-house, bypassing the normal TV reports and interviews.

It is interesting that he describes it as “impossible” to have a panel in which each member is neutral. Let’s look at that for a minute. What does he mean by neutral? Does he mean, as I think he does, neutral as between Celtic and Rangers?

Generally the pundits on a sports programme, unless on to discuss a specific non-sports related aspect of a story, will be fans of the sport. Therefore, as there are few “neutral” football fans, by definition any football fan asked to appear will have a lack of balance. Is that to be addressed by balancing the “Rangers” view with the non-Rangers?

Now his other idea, of a panel of “Rangers haters” on one side and “Rangers defenders” on the other, might seem superficially attractive, and at least could make entertaining radio. But once more we have the special pleading. Rangers are on one side and everyone else is lumped into the “hater” category.

As far as his comment that people are free to espouse support of Dundee United or St Johnstone, but not Rangers goes, it seems to ignore reality. There are plenty, it seems to me, of pundits with associations with Rangers. After all, Mr Graham has just mentioned in this article Gordon Smith being on the panel.

 

I was invited on to the show on the 14th where Spence peddled his lies but could not appear due to work commitments. I was offered a studio in London to facilitate my participation but it didn’t meet my travel plans. It was clear the BBC wanted me on but I then woke up that morning to discover that they had offered the place to Paul McConville, Celtic fan, Celtic blogger, associate of Phil MacGiollabhain and regular attendee at Celtic functions (to talk about Rangers obviously).

Despite Mr Graham’s misgivings the BBC producer wanted him on. When it was mentioned to me about appearing, I was told that Mr Graham was in London, and thus unavailable. Fair enough.

Once more I wonder about the wisdom of accusing a respected journalist on the national broadcaster of “peddling lies” when in fact he was speaking about an issue which is a Gordian Knot!

Now Mr Graham mentions me.

Talking of “peddling lies” … here we go.

I am not a Celtic fan.

I am not a Celtic blogger. Indeed various folk take great delight in pointing out that I only seem to write about Rangers. Does writing about Rangers make one a Celtic blogger?

Associate of Phil Mac Giolla Bhain? Quite literally guilt by association. But guilt about what? And interesting that Phil’s name is mentioned with the assumption that having anything to do with the journalist who broke news of much of the dramatic developments at Ibrox over the last few years is automatically suspect. If speaking to Phil from time to time makes me an associate of his, then fine, I am.

Regular attendee at Celtic functions?

I have had the privilege of appearing twice on a panel at the Columba Club in Blantyre. On each occasion last summer the main, but not exclusive, topic was the fate of Rangers. I provided, where I could, some legal background to the various issues. On both occasions Phil and Paul Brennan of Celtic Quick News were on the panel. On one, we were joined by Archie McPherson. The discussion ranged over various matters including the future development and direction of Scottish football. And the nights raised lots of money for charity.

 

Naturally, I contacted the producer of the show to voice my discomfort at this. I was told that if I appeared they would drop McConville from the show. I informed them that I was willing to try to change my travel plans to do so but asked who else was appearing. At this point I was told it was Stuart Cosgrove (which I already knew), Andy Muirhead from the Celtic blog, Scotzine, with Jim Spence and Graham Spiers as possible other participants. I made my feelings clear and declined. Let me explain why.

I like the way in which Mr Graham says that “naturally” he contacted the BBC to “voice his discomfort”. If I see a person listed on a panel for a forthcoming programme, then obviously it is “natural” to call the producer to express one’s discomfort. (No it’s not.)

Funnily enough what he says is directly contrary to what the BBC producer I spoke to said, namely that it was not the BBC’s policy to allow guests on their programmes to dictate with whom they were prepared to appear. It was for the BBC to decide on the guests, not for the guests to dictate who the other participants should be. Bizarrely Mr Graham was protesting about the guest on a programme that he had already declined to appear on!

However, Mr Graham then got more information than I had, namely who the other participants were going to be, other than Mr Cosgrove.

People have different opinions about matters. Mr Graham believes that Scotzine is a Celtic blog, because Mr Muirhead is Celtic fan. Mr Muirhead, I know, does not believe that Scotzine is a Celtic blog as it covers many different teams in Scotland. Messrs Cosgrove, Spiers and Spence… well we know what Mr Graham thinks of Jim Spence and we also know what he thinks of Stuart Cosgrove too.

Mr Graham has taken down his personal blog now. Even before he did that however he had taken down what I understand was probably his most popular blog post. On February 16 2012, to the acclamation of the Rangers fans on message board and on his own site, he posted a piece about “The Enemies of Rangers”.

You can find it here.

He ended his piece with the light hearted comment:-

I would ask those of you who read the blog to post comments here or tweet me including the names and quotes from people who revel in our misfortune over the coming weeks and months. If you can also provide links that would be helpful. I will update this post weekly so that when RFC is back on its feet we have a record of those who spoke out against us.

His list consisted of various people perceived as slighting Rangers, and included, at number 8, Stuart Cosgrove. Here is what Mr Graham had to say about Mr Cosgrove one year ago:-

Stuart is a busted flush. It seems perhaps he knows this since his ‘comedy’ show “Off the Ball” on BBC Radio Scotland seems to have become more and more bitter as time has passed. Stuart seems to know about a criminal tax investigation that the rest of us are not aware of. He also seems to think he knows the outcome of this fantastical investigation which he unveiled on his show on the 18th February. Stuart has previous as a Rangers hater and is a big fan of using the word “hun” on his show. Not likely to be the only BBC employee on this list by the time we are done.

Bearing in mind the views expressed by Mr Graham here and elsewhere, one must admire the BBC for extending him an invitation at all! After all, he is clearly a man with no love for the Beeb, and asking him on to a programme where the presenter would be the “busted flush” might have been seen, should Mr Cosgrove be a prima donna, as getting at him!

And, one wonders why Mr Graham would even entertain the possibility of appearing on such a programme on the BBC?

 

It was clear to me that the message on “balance” is still not getting through. It would have been bad enough for the BBC to think that me appearing with three journalists, who have been amongst the most outspoken critics of Rangers over the past two years, would have been “balanced”. However, for them to be contemplating a show that also included Muirhead and/or McConville would have been farcical.

Let me get this straight. Mr Graham did not believe that a programme with the three journalists mentioned would be balanced? Having either myself or Andy Muirhead on would also have made it unbalanced.

Clearly Mr Graham himself thinks far less of his oratorical skills than the BBC or STV do. They ask him on and therefore I assume they think he can fight his corner. But maybe Mr Graham has self-doubt? Who knows?

He also did not mention what the piece of the programme I was asked to speak on was about. I had not been asked on to discuss the Rangers story from start to finish. Instead it was to discuss the blogging and social media impact on the story. That piece of the jigsaw is actually the one which baffles me the most.

If there was to be a discussion on the construction of football stadia, and the studio guest was to be the person who designed Parkhead, would this be seen as “biased” or “unbalanced”?

If I had appeared, and decided to indulge in a rant about the evils of the past or present Rangers Board, for example (I am not suggesting that there are any “evils”) then quite rightly my microphone would have gone off and I would have been lucky to say another word on the show. However, as I assumed I was on to talk about what it has been like blogging and tweeting about the story, then I fail to see where the “balance” issue comes in.

And presumably Mr Graham’s invitation was in his capacity as a “Rangers blogger” too, as Andy Muirhead’s was also as a blogger.

Frankly if I had been on and was asked to give an opinion on how well Rangers were playing, or how good a football manager Ally McCoist is, I would have had little to say, and nothing sensible at all.

I was, for the avoidance of doubt, due to speak about an aspect of the Rangers tory, and not about Rangers itself!

 

The idea that I could have provided balance on a show which included two Celtic bloggers, two journalists in Spiers and Spence who are willing to ignore the facts on Rangers status to peddle “new club” myths and Stuart Cosgrove, no friend of the club, is utterly ridiculous.

As I said, I am surprised Mr Graham lacks confidence in his own abilities. After all, he is immensely proud of how he handled Graham Spiers on a Scotland tonight broadcast some time ago, I understand.

 

Now, I’m willing to accept that perhaps the BBC didn’t know about the backgrounds of Muirhead and McConville. They do both masquerade as neutral in their own ways, McConville on the pretence of being an Albion Rovers fan and Muirhead by pretending his website is not a Celtic blog. Also, I must give the BBC some credit because, once the facts were presented to them, they clearly took on board the fact that to have those people appearing on the programme would have been ridiculous. However, they should not have needed me to tell them that.

What “background”? The BBC producer knew I wrote a blog which has been involved, in a very small way, in this story. I assume that someone in the BBC might have read it, even if only before emailing me about appearing.

I also like the wonderful way in which neutral, in Mr Graham’s eyes = not Celtic. Professing being an Albion Rovers fan does not make me a neutral, unless sports coverage in Scotland is always seen only through the Celtic/Rangers prism.

Mr Graham is of the opinion that, thanks to his intervention, the BBC dropped the guests they had already invited. What powers he now possesses!

 

An enraged Muirhead took to his Celtic website in his inimitable, semi-literate style to brand me a coward for not appearing, a bigot (a regular, baseless accusation), and complain about me ruining his shot at ‘stardom’. I’m not going to get into a slanging match with him because he’s not important. I’ll just mention this quote that a fine gentleman made me aware of, from Thomas Paine, “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason, is like administering medicine to the dead.

“Ad hominen” anyone?

 

I’m told McConville was quite put out too. I don’t have the time to wade through his spectacularly lengthy drivel to see what he said so I’ll content myself with the knowledge that apparently my refusal to go out of my way to appear meant neither of them got to spew their bile about my club on national radio. Why they were ever invited in the first place will remain a mystery. I would neither expect nor accept an invite to appear on the radio or TV to talk about Celtic. Whatever odd personality defect gives them the sense of entitlement to think they deserved to be on a show talking about a club they hate will also, thankfully, remain a mystery to me.

And now we come to the reason why it is a good thing to actually read what someone says, rather than rely on second hand sources. I was not “quite put out” as anyone who read my blog about the cancellation would have seen. It would have been fun, but was not to be on that date. That happens.

I also like his reference to my “spectacularly lengthy drivel”. He has got me spot on there. Maybe I will do an easier version so he can understand. Sorry. That was uncalled for, and I take it back.

What makes him think I was going on to “spew bile” about his football club? As I posted yesterday, show me the evidence!

But it is of note that Mr Graham feels he is due the credit for preventing us infecting the airwaves.

And, I repeat, I was asked to speak about blogging, not about Rangers.

And, in the same context as the “bile” comment, I note that I am a hater as well. (In fact it was a bit of a disappointment that I did not make it on to Mr Graham’s list of enemies last February, although my “barmy blogger” tag is still on show).

 

The BBC have to find a way to balance their own output without relying on appearances from fans, bloggers or ex lawyers who require to work under supervision. They have to balance their own panels and their own staff. It is not my job, the job of any other Rangers fan or Rangers fan representative to challenge Spence or Spiers on their lies – although we could. Fans should be on these shows to give the fans view, not to stem the tide of inaccurate drivel from those employed by the BBC. The BBC should be employing people to appear regularly on these shows that will pull people like Spence and Spiers up if they wish to stray from the facts. Until they do, they will continue to find it hard to get Rangers fans to take their output seriously and they will continue to damage what little credibility they have left.

So Mr Graham’s recipe is that there should be Rangers fans on all of these programmes to ensure that the truth is told, and yet, when offered the chance to do so himself on 14th February, he refused. (I am NOT calling him a coward. Instead it seems that his “manifesto” for defending Rangers is totally the opposite of what he actually did.)

 

 

Perhaps if they can balance their own output then they will find that Rangers fans are willing to engage with them again. Maybe they will even find the club more willing to cooperate with them. However as long as their website, radio and news outlets continue to churn out snide, agenda driven content, often with no factual basis, then the rift will widen and who knows, perhaps those responsible for upholding the BBC charter will start to take more and more interest in our little corner of their operation.

I wonder if the BBC will invite Mr Graham back on again in the future. I have no problem if they do – after all it is a decision for the BBC to make. I have no right to tell the Beeb who should be on and who shouldn’t. However, if the BBC did choose to have on a guest who claimed the credit for having a discussion cancelled by his own refusal to participate on an earlier occasion, that would suggest that, in fact, and despite the protestations of the BBC, they were allowing a guest to dictate who else appeared. I am sure that is not their intention.

So I finish with a challenge for Mr Graham.

Maybe one of his minions can pass this on to him, so as to prevent him having to take up time reading more of my “drivel”.

Should we both be invited on to the BBC, or another broadcaster, at a later date, would you participate or would you suggest to the producer that I should not appear?

Would you refuse to participate if I was to contribute to the programme myself?

If we were both to be on the panel, then who else would be acceptable to you as presenter or panellist? One assumes that Messrs Spence, Spiers and Cosgrove would  not be. Who would?

I ask these questions because, when Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s book “Downfall” was published and the serialisation on the Sun was mooted, this was stopped because of pressure, it seemed. Some Rangers fans expressed shock at this, stating that they had  no intention of denying Phil the right of free speech. There was astonishment from some at the accusation that they wanted to silence a critic.

The impression I have picked up, from this piece by Mr Graham, and other comments, is that, in my case, they do want to stop me speaking, which is all rather confusing.

Posted by Paul McConville

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178 Comments

Filed under BBC, Blogging, Personal, Rangers, Uncategorized

178 responses to “My Thoughts on Chris Graham’s Comments in the Rangers Standard about his Sportsound Boycott

  1. Hey Dan , or is it Fran at the weekends ? See you still obsessed with arses !

    • dan

      That’s why I always feel compelled to sent wee notes to you–Arseon—don’t get the ‘Fran’ reference though. I haven’t dressed up in years.

  2. I think the bigger issues, surrounding this ‘freak show’, is the ‘suspended reality’ so many sevcowites now find themselves. There is only one cure known to me. It is herbal, organically grown and indigenous to ‘our’ country. It can also help free Zombies from their castigators spells. Whats more it’s free.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybe_semilanceata

    How did that song about rowing boats end again?
    “Life is but a dream” (Bill Hicks)

  3. mick

    A see the vulgar bears are slating thomo and mark via there new blog it really is a joke and lol for the whole of Scotland don’t they realise how daft they look they really are non entity’s

    • Would that be thommo who has stated Rangers , same club history intact , Mick ? He’s all right in my book !!!!! infact I think he maybe finding the light .

      • Raymilland

        The below was posted on a blog that has now finished.

        Raymilland
        February 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm
        @ Clarkeng

        Cheers for the nod.

        I am gonna try and enlighten you regard the perceived hatred all things rangers, keep this to your self; I was raised in a tenement not far from a certain east end landmark called the ‘umbrella’.

        It you don’t know where I’m talking about, I guess that would lend further credence to my suspicion that perhaps you have never seen the inside of an east end tenement close in the 1960’s.

        My point being; in my circumstance; the Orange Order did parade right under my window on a regular basis; like most; the formative years leave a lasting impression; mainly of red faced zealots.

        Now I know you will say that rangers and the above minstrels are not one and the same, however, you don’t see too much Celtic jersey’s following the jovial ‘bluebells are blue’ marchers.

        Sure; you grow a thick skin growing up in a neighbourhood that makes you feel about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit, one of life’s lessons you might say, though hardly intended as such.

        Many bloggers will know exactly where I coming from (quite literally); I wont bore you with the rest.

        I for one; do hate rangers by association to the above ar*eholes.

        In the end there isn’t much to analyse, perhaps you had to be there, to really understand.

        Clarkeng
        February 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm
        @Raymilland
        Sorry I did miss your post with the tip the other night but that was partly down to where it was posted.
        I was off the air a bit earlier and when I came back on next day the other blogs from Paul were on so I just moved on to those.
        My loss eh?
        I was going to try ticking the boxes to see if anybody responded to my posts but last time I did I was swamped by well wishers!!
        Aye right!!
        Anyway with all that blowing of hot air you are doing just remember this – I do not berate posts.
        That presumes far too much in terms of the quality posted.
        No I simply disagree with them and usually try to explain why.
        The thing about on here is that you are all wishing for something.
        Too often the digits have been engaged before the brain has kicked in.
        You just cant help yourselves hating.
        Must be awful to live like that.
        I would send you all to confession to be given contrition and penance before even allowing the computer to be turned on.
        Maybe you would all be nicer people then.
        Then again maybe not.
        BTW my pints were excellent as always.
        Keep the tips coming but please try to post somewhere near my post or I might miss it again.
        That would have been a useful lift for the fund.

        • mick

          The sevco product is as hated as horse burger consumer choices are hard to change and if it’s a tainted product then it most likely god to the wall A don’t mind admitting a hated oldco but this new product sevco a just laugh at

        • Clarkeng

          @Ray
          I know exactly where you mean as I live not too far away from it myself.
          Tenement you say.
          Well I was born in Duke Street then lived in a single end in Kintra Street before moving to a scheme way out east.
          We were quite well off we had our own toilet seat to take out to the cludgie on the stairs.
          When we moved to the scheme it was luxury a whole bathroom just for us.
          As for the orange marches I could not care less if the took place or not and I can appreciate why you would not have liked them passing where you lived.
          I assume the people who have to endure marches by similar type sectarian organsiations in Coatbridge and the like feel the same.
          But what should be done.
          It seems everybody is entitled to their Yuman Rights but obviously the farce of that is that one person being allowed to exercise said rights deprives another of their right not to experience the nuisance such events cause.
          Personally I would ban all such marches but I can already hear shouts and screams that all the marches do is celebrate heritage.
          And you are right I do not consider Rangers and the Orange lodge to be affiliated just as I dont consider the Hibs march and Celtic either.
          Remember to send on the tips in good time as I would love to make the bookie poor.

  4. The silver fhox

    You know, there should really not be a problem, now that I think of it. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.
    If the 500 million fans worldwide that Chuckles can bank on would just chip in £1 each, they could pay off all their debts to everyone who has been screwed and still have money left. Or could they?

    • mick

      Charlie would just spin a lie and share with his backers was the 5000000000000 mil fans not made up just to make them look big for the tainted iPo

  5. Fisiani

    Last year I explained the 5 stages of grief. These are denial; anger; bargaining; depression; and acceptance.
    Rangers used to be one of the most successful teams in Scotland.
    Rangers used to win trophies.
    Rangers used to play in Europe and even in the Champions League.
    Rangers died in 2012.
    They died as a successful team, a trophy team and a European team.
    They were expelled from the SPL and from Scottish football.
    A new club was formed and applied not for membership but for associate membership of the SFL.
    The SFL was incredibly generous and shoehorned this new club into Div 3 ahead of all the other associate clubs awaiting admission.
    On 14/2/12 the impending death was announced at the doors of Ibrox Park.
    The “Rangers” blogs are merely manifesting denial, anger or bargaining.
    I supect that it will take the financial collapse of Newco till they transition to depression.

    • mick

      They are all suffering msm delusional disorder via being fed lies by jabba and co they are a non entity and the only way they are given attention is via there negativity as a Celtic fan it’s lol everyday at them a predict tesco pretty soon

  6. Fisiani

    Newco were given associate member status of the SFL because they= new club did not have any financial records. It did not have any financial history. It did not have any history. Charles Green stated, ” We will not take part in the SPL enquiry because have never been a member of the SPL.” Newco have indeed never been a member of the SPL . Newco have never won a Ramsdens Cup, A League Cup , A Scottish Cup or a League.

    Any punishments arising from the Nimmo enquiry have to be for the old Rangers. Newco is a new club and should not be tarred by the crimes of the the old club.
    If the old club is postumously expelled from Scottish football for persuing a decade of deception and rule breaking the new club will continue.

    • WRONG ! please don’t let what LNS has already stated get in the way of your obsessive hatred , but the law lord has stated IF Rangers found guilty he has the power to punish the club as he has already stated new co yes , but sane football entity his words not mine , and try to calm your sets stripping of title’s is just one of many sanctions IF the mighty Rangers are found guilty , note IF , I can understand Mick not getting the jist but what’s your excuse ?

      • Fisiani

        Sorry Carson. I do agree that Newco should cop the flak for Oldco but persisting with the myth of same club means that you accept that Newco can be completely expelled from Scottish football in just a few weeks. That verdict , which you accept is possible, is when the depression sets in. Hard luck. It would have been far better to acknowledge a fresh start and a new beginning. Such hubris to swallow the poison meant for another.

      • Please remember Carson IF a guilty verdict is returned by LNS, the titles involved WILL be removed! This is no more or less what any reasonable person would expect. This is a direct consequence of the illegal fielding of improperly registered players! Any punishments that LNS deems appropriate, will be on TOP of the consequences of this regulations breach. After all, when a bank robber is caught, he isn’t sentenced on the basis that he is permitted to keep the money!

    • mick

      Newco have to take the punishment of oldco via 5wayagreement for conditional membership of asocation licence to stoP the sfa being liable that’s ma take on it

      • arb urns

        suspension or expulsion (if guilty) not now going to take place is my guess otherwise chico wouldnt be running around dishing out a million this week.

  7. …. sshhh ……. quiet ……..
    …………. there ! …….. anyone else notice the sound of silence from Ibrox ….. Where’s Traynor ????? ……………… Where’s his / Rangers Statement ….. ???
    Paul … you know how this works …. A quet word … a ‘friendly’ agreement and whoosh posts deleted …. maybe you can shed some light

    Oh, and Moody’s downgrade UK credit rating ….. as predicted by Newtz in December …. am on a roll …..
    First … CG claim in January that all debt to European clubs had been settled and newtz proved on this site that it was pish … then loss of credit rating ….

  8. Fisiani , expulsion as I’ve already sayed to Michael would be the perfect outcome for me , please , please push for it ! With no league to play in the mighty Rangers would then have to go and play elsewhere , a dream come true , so get together with the rest of the unhealthy and obsessed lynch mob and boot Rangers out , please .

    • Michael

      sorry carson, I didn’t see the comment you’re referring to – what was it?

      • That was for Mick , sorry ! Sometimes I use his proper name , btw how many micks are on here ? Pardon the pun.

        • Michael

          no worries mate – as far as I can figure out there are two Michaels’: I did start to differentiate myself from the other one but then thought, naw let him/her/it do that!

          FYI – I’ll be the non-celtic, pro-reason / logic one! 🙂

            • Michael

              mick, you’re a mick not a Michael, don’t get involved when it’s now’t tae dae wi ya lad!

              And yes I am the nice one – I try to consider both sides before I comment – something I wish many poster her would do, instead of just reacting to an inflammatory comment.

              I think the last few years the Rangers story has been a story of shambolic corporate governance.

              Do I want to rub Rangers fans nose in it? No.

              mick,
              Do I want truth to win through? Yes.

              Does that mean that Rangers fans will have to be educated in reality and not wishful thinking? Yes

              But, the hope should be that we bring the Rangers fans with us rather than treating them as less than idiots or as some amorphous mass of Scottish football hating UDA proddies!

              Getting back to the blog, Chris Graham is a sad reflection of the state of Rangers supporters at the moment, including the daft suggestion of Traynor that they boycott the world, but we should not pillory Rangers fans but rather show them the facts, as Paul does!

              By demonising the Rangers fans all that happens is they defend their club and their own positions, even when they are built on shifting sand.

              It makes me sad to read this excellent blog, then to read the multitude of anti-Rangers commenters who completely miss the point of the blog (in my opinion!) and berate and belittle the Rangers point of view.

              The Rangers supporters might be wrong, but the way they are put down here and elsewhere means they will defend that wrong position.

              It’s been said before, but it needs saying again – Celtic fans, you are disparaging your mirror image. Pretty much every other supporter in Scotland sees that Celtic and Rangers were separated at birth! Just seems like the two protagonists don’t get it.

              Cue the we’re nothing like them bile….

            • Adam

              Well said Michael. Very well said indeed.

        • mick

          Mick s laughing at yous now since merit was introduced yous have became a nonentity

          • Michael , please stop trying to be the voice of reason you won’t fit in here ! Only kidding , very balanced and very well put .ps I’ll try to remember your Michael and not my old Nazi hunting mucker Mick!

  9. Mick , the only mystery is where you get this pish from and the only invoices are in your head , now listen very , very carefully , open the bedroom door then the front door and get a life.

    • mick

      expulsion is a reality via the 5 way agreement weather the sfa have the balls to do this remains to be seen its all down to the liabilitys via cheating if there is teams wanting to sue and stuff not just Scottish but euro teams to if there is any liabilitys the sfa can revoke licence in an instant a wonder what this week will bring

  10. tykebhoy

    I see a delusional Muppet believes expulsion by one fa will make it easier to play under the auspices of another. Only if that other fa has a death wish methinks.

    • mick

      Tykebhoy England hates them more than Scotland there going no were but the history books as Scotland’s and the worlds most messed up soccer team England is anti nazi that’s the main issue that would stop them getting in and Manchester and there track record in our league

      • Mick , what has Nazis got to do with it ? I’m not angry upset with you at all I actually love reading your posts , I honestly wish I could sit down with you for a shandy , I would not know what was coming next ! What about aliens ? You are a gem .

        • mick

          Carson when do you think sevco will play in Europe agian and do you think with the current overheads and monies brought in yous will survive till then and why if graham was a mouth piece when whyte was there would this not make him tainted and his views worthless for eating the lamb whyte gave him

        • Bill

          He’s just a program thats in dire need of an update .

      • tykebhoy

        If any fa ignored a sanction imposed by another fa then Fifa would impose sanctions. Engerlund wouldn’t need to be bothering over flights to Brazil and sir Alex wouldnae have a chance of adding to his champs league collection

  11. wherediditallgowrong

    Evening all.

    I repeatedly see mention from the rangers fans on here that alex thoson says that rangers are the same club.

    If this assertion is off the back of his napier session with mark daly, then please listen to it again. Thomson says that the club is the same in the sense that it is an emotional attachment held by the fans. Memories, affection, loyalty, ans other such emotional. For all intents and purposes, it is the same club for the rangers fans.

    However, the cold hard reality is that it is a new club. Why are they not entitled to the spl money for finishing second? If they won the scottish cup this year, would uefa allow them to play in europe? I believe players are registered to the club at the sfa. If so, why did registration have to transfer? Rangers started this season with a different membership from the one they have now.

    If it looks like a duck…..

    And smells like a duck…..

    Waddles like a duck…..

    Makes an annoying quacking sound…..

    But goes really well with plum sauce….

    It’s probably a riot and boycott enducing tribite act, with no history or debt. Well..no external debt. Ok…a wee bit of negligible debt, but they can pay it off comfortably. Probably in instalments to be safe. Or a debt for equity swap. IOU on a post-it?

    Discuss
    40 points (you must show your full working. Extra credit available for pictures)

    • Didn’t see or hear the Napier interview , but I’m sure old toxic has said it on a couple of occasions and in one post says anyone the suggest otherwise ( same club) is nonsense , but who cares what he says LNS , UEFA , SFL and ECA have all stated new holding company , same football club , but I suppose you know better .

  12. buckfastswallier

    There are a lot of reasons this guy didn’t show. I am guessing a lot of people on here know. His gran, on the pan, shouting out, ‘where’s the roll’, not the Morton’s crispy, the soft with brown sauce beefs the teeth sumdae else gave me because they said I would be better wi gums. .

  13. portpower

    Poor wee Chrissy Wissy………..
    Once upon a time you were one of the legs holding up SDMs` plate off succulent lamb at his table..Over time the table has become abandoned,left to the woodworm to feast on the succulent leg.After time holes and burrows were exposed causing both structural and cosmetic damage.Time rolls on and the worm pupates and hatches into the death watch beetle.When the beetle has finished his fill he turns around and realises he has caused irreparable damage.The beetle need not worry though for the leg can be puttied up to resemble it`s former self.
    All that`s left to do is to throw a tablecloth over the top of the defunct table,put it in the corner and throw an urn of flowers in the middle.People may stop from time to time to take a smell only to be disappointed because THEY`RE fake.

  14. portpower

    Chris Graham needs to realise that there`s 3 men that sit around the plank at ibrox who have said publicly rangers are dead.

  15. Wasp

    I have never posted a comment on a site like this before but have enjoyed reading the various comments for some time. However, I wondered if I could make a plea to anyone (like Mr Graham) who feels Rangers are being done down to put their points of view here and substantiate them with fact and detailed information in support of their perspective.

    This would make for a more enjoyable and informed debate, and would certainly make it more pleasurable for armchair viewers like me (nothing like a bit of self interest !!). At present it is a tad like watching a very one sided football match where one team needs do very little to rattle in goal after goal after goal – after a while it becomes less interesting !

    If I could add another few things to my wish list given I am on:

    Mick – please put in some capitals and puntuation (even just punctuation !!). I want to read your comments but it leaves me reeling, a bit like reading a chunk of Joyce’s Ulysses.

    Could Cam and Carson step up to the plate and become champions for their team’s point of view but do this by actually addressing the matter at hand. Most frustrating when they take matters off at a tangent with a stream of non sequiturs.

    Finally, give Adam a break. He is the one person of what may be termed a Rangers persuasion, who tries to address the issues. In fact, it would be nice to see the points he makes answered more straightforwardly without him getting as much stick as he seems to me a reasonable chap and to approach matters with balance.

    Many thanks for all of the entertainment to date in relation to what is a fascinating story; one which seems destined to run on for some time and one from which you would imagine most people would try to learn lesson. As of now, I am not getting the impression that these lessons have percolated through to Rangers and their support but I may yet be surprised and indeed enlightened.

    • ecojon

      @Wasp

      I believe that Graham was previouly invited by Paul to do a guest post.

      I suspect anyone who has actually read Graham’s boring self-important porridge wouldn’t waste much more time on it as it has a very fixed perpective and brooks no dissent. He is free to post on here like yourself in any case as long as he abides by Paul’s very accommodating guidelines which I don’t think any Darkside site can or wishes to match. But it seems he can’t function outwith a controlled environment.

      However, if you wish to bring enlightened debate to Graham I would suggest you attempt it on Graham’ blog and you can report-back on your experience. I personally have little time, sympathy or inclination to provide free speech for someone like Graham who denies it to others as with the BBC incident.

      Cam and Carson are pathetic trolls with nothing useful to contribute IMO. If you stick about you will come to recognise Adam’s problems and limitations for yourself. Adam doesn’t make points but asks loaded questions or incessantly repeats his well-worn mantra. So much so he is increasingly ignored or derided.

      Having said that there are a few excellent Rangers posters on here who you will come to recognise.

      As to mick he will not change and nor should he. If you actually take the trouble you will find much of interest and humanity in his posts which far surpasses those with excellent spelling, grammar and punctuation who may look good on the surface but lack a beating heart & passion.

    • mick

      Andy and cam are the nice 1s on here that all teams respect Carson and Adam are known as trolls . With cap.and puntn.

    • Den

      Wasp

      Ecojon about says it all. Go back a bit on the two you want to step up to the plate and you will see that all of their contributions have been negative. Some people react with frustration and it may seems like victimisation.

      Personally I skip their posts and no longer interact with them.

      I used to defend Adam as he is more reasoned, just check any facts he quotes as they can be very selective and as Ecojon says he likes to pose loaded questions.

      Of course you can make up your own mind but I thought I would provide some perspective.

      There are a few Rangers fans on here who contribute excellent stuff. I would welcome more who want to state their point of view in a reasonable manner. Mick gets his point across, he has an idiosyncratic style, maybe you should learn to live with it or skip his posts.

      I agree that tolerance and rational argument are the way forward and hope you continue to post in that vein.

    • Maggie

      @Wasp,
      Do not “dis” mick,not on my watch 🙂 We all love mick,even
      the trolls,I suspect.
      As eco says,once you get used to mick’s style of writing you’ll
      find yourself reading it and applying punctuation mentally and
      loving his unique insights.

      Re Adam: if you’re a regular reader you’ll know he’s not my
      favourite poster ( complete lack of humour and far too much
      monumental self regard ) but he isn’t a bigot or a troll and you
      are correct that he does at least address the issues,but takes
      everything to the most boring,nit picking levels of mind numbing
      boredom in an effort to out reason ecojon,JohnBhoy et al.
      Never,ever going to happen I’m afraid,HE thinks it is,but he’s
      completely delusional,and anyway his areas of interest in the
      saga are not mine,so we rarely butt heads,unless he’s particularly
      annoying :-). You mention punctuation and spelling…..don’t
      get me started…..our pet trolls have a serious verb tense problem.

      God, if I have to read “have went” “have did” ” I’ve saw” once
      more,I’ll have to bulk buy an English grammar book and get
      Paul to distribute them.
      Like you, I started as a reader with no inclination ( or time) to
      post,until it became irresistible……I mainly limit myself to
      commenting ( mocking ) on the ludicrous aspects of the
      debacle,of which there are SO many,and enjoy the many
      film,book and music references that invariably arise with the
      banter,which as you know,is second to none.
      Please post again as you seem a reasonable and informed
      person and I approve of your grammar and sentence structure
      so WE’RE off to a good start. 🙂

      Oh btw Chris “his mammy’s big tumpshie” Graham will never post
      anything on here as he cannot substantiate anything he writes,and,
      as you’ve been reading the blog,you’ll know ( as I suspect HMBT
      does ) that he will be eaten up and spat out while shouting the
      new mantra of “the peepul” Bigot,Rangers’ Hater and of course
      the new favourite “Rhabid,Papish ………etc.
      No Wasp,he can fulminate with rage among his ain folk
      and work them into a frenzy of sectarian hate with impunity,
      because that’s all he’s got.

      • Wasp

        Thanks for the feedback – appreciated !
        Unfortunately I have limited time to post but will try to stick my oar in if something grabs my attention in particular.

        @Ecojon
        I doubt I will endeavour to post on Mr Graham’s site if it is as you describe. I don’t see the point of having a comments section if you do not subscribe to balanced and reasoned debate. It strikes me that, if the blogger does not, the site is most likely just a means to have his ego stroked.

        @mick I did not mean any offence, Mick. It was more a plea as I do find I do not read your posts as closely as I might due to the fact that I don’t find them as easy to read (this more about me than you !!). As a result, I am pretty sure I am missing out on some gems as Ecojon says. I will bear with it though and will hopefully “tune in” the more I read.

        @Maggie Your trolls (I can make an educated guess but what is a troll when referred in this context ?) are probably footballers as “have went”, “have did” etc etc seem to be the universal language of an awful lot of the players that I hear being interviewed (the British ones anyway !!!!!).

  16. Mohammed Donaghy

    Graham is a headcase whose arguments fall apart at the slightest scrutiny, baffled as to why he’s been allowed to argue The Rangers case in the media.

    • mick

      Hi mo he’s a nut nut cant take the truth when he’s on the telly and and here’s the word ebt his perked lip reminds me Of a spitting image puppet blown up rubber face lol

  17. Ernie

    An easy way out for Graham and for the haters. Re run the show; Jabba in the chair and a panel comprising, Graham, Goram (pick one), Hately, Gordon Smith and Dodds. Leave them to it. It was balanced just like that in the old days anyway. They will eat themselves, nae problem.

  18. Mick , you asked me if it was hell supporting Rangers ? Well no mate it’s a joy , trust me , a club steeped in history , honours , tradition and dignity , yes of course a couple of individuals let us down badly as did certain individuals septic had in the past , but when the bears run out that tunnel wearing those famous blue shirts , white shorts and those black socks with the red tops that don’t seem to go with anything but set the rest of the kit off a treat , well it’s not paradise mate its heaven! 40k to 50k for fourth tier show me a club in the world that could pull that ? Lots of fans claim to be the greatest in the world one group of fans don’t claim anything they just prove it , every other Saturday , just a couple of things for you to think about , who are one of the first clubs players want their testimonials against ? Who do other teams want in the league and cup games ? Who do charities want to support them ? Who is needed so other teams can get a broadcasting deal ? Who takes up more newspaper , tv and radio than any other club ? Now Mick that’s not a rant I’m just pointing out the facts , now I’m off to the boozer ( no ticket) to see the mighty Rangers ! ” if they play on the streets , we will watch from the pavements “

  19. “However to say that the “new club” issue is factually incorrect fails to appreciate the nuances and opinions which are behind the question. There is no simple answer, beyond the Rangers fans saying that the club continues because they say it does.”

    1. There may have been nuances within the process, but the result of the process is actually very straightforward – association football club Rangers F.C. continues its existence uninterrupted, notwithstanding the change in ownership/corporate identity.

    2. Another simple answer you missed out could be “the club continues because the presiding league authority/SFA/SPL/Lord Nimmo Smith says it does”.

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