I was reading the BBC website report on the meeting of “influential” Rangers fans with senior members of the Rangers organisation last night, and the resultant call for Charles Green to be relieved of his consultancy role.
And unless the BBC has changed it, is the photo at the head of that piece not awfully reminiscent of the one below?
Anyway, down the side of the page the BBC helpfully lists other stories on the topic.
It leads to the juxtaposition of articles referred to in the headline above.
And that shows how differently journalists can report the same story (perhaps based on the source to whom they were speaking).
First of all, we have the Express. It offers the headline “Green Calms Rangers Chaos”.
The Yorkshireman said: “We will put a new board together, we will back Ally McCoist, Craig Mather, the management team and we will get that deal done.”
Despite his deteriorating relationship with Green being played out in a public slanging match, McCoist is unlikely to lose his job in the immediate future.
Smith resigned and immediately threw his weight behind Paul Murray and Frank Blin’s bid to win the Ibrox power struggle. They want chief executive Mather, financial director Brian Stockbridge and Bryan Smart removed from the board. They have the backing of billionaire business tycoon Jim McColl, although his reluctance to put up hard cash immediately casts doubts on their ability to get things off the ground.
Green has said he’ll step aside if they come up with the money but he doesn’t believe Murray, who failed with his Blue Knights bid, is the man to lead the club forward
The second story is from the Scotsman under the headline “Green to Face Boardroom Vote”.
The Rangers board are to hold an emergency board meeting to vote on whether Charles Green should remain in his role as a consultant with the club.
Board members held a question and answer session with 200 supporters last night where current chief executive Craig Mather described Green’s behaviour since returning to the club as “immoral and unethical”.
The Yorkshireman has been involved in a public spat with Rangers manager Ally McCoist following comments that it was necessary for the club to land one of Scotland’s domestic cups this season.
Craig Mather was joined by fellow directors Brian Stockbridge and Ian Hart alongside manager Ally McCoist at last night’s meeting at Ibrox.
He told those assembled: “I didn’t agree with Charles Green. I don’t agree with his behaviour and I don’t think it’s right. It’s morally and ethically wrong.”
Of course, as journalists repeatedly make clear, they do not write the headlines on their stories – they come from the sub-editors.
It was clearly a stretch to suggest that the quote from Mr Green in the Express piece justified the headline. Of course if Mr Green was correct that there would be a new Board and that Messrs McCoist and Mather would be fully backed and that “the deal would get done” that might resolve the chaos.
But there seems little or no likelihood of that happening.
Which leads to the second story.
In reporting the outcome of last night’s meeting the Scotsman makes clear that a resolution which involves all of Mr Green, Mr Mather and Mr McCoist being able to co-exist peacefully at Ibrox is as likely as a very unlikely thing which has become even more unlikely.
Last week of course had the remarkable episode of Mr McCoist accusing Mr Green of having contempt for the club, fans, players and management with this being published on the official Rangers website and then withdrawn as if it had never been there.
It seemed most unusual for one senior employee of a PLC to be so openly and dramatically criticising another senior figure, and indeed the company’s biggest shareholder!
Last night brought the present CEO accusing the former CEO, biggest shareholder and present consultant of behaviour which was “morally and ethically wrong.”
In addition he made clear there would be a Board meeting to deal with the Green situation.
(Before you wonder if I do not know, I do, but rhetorical questions are a big part of my style, or haven’t you noticed?)
Normally a consultant’s appointment would be a matter for the CEO at its highest, and probably someone further down the chain of command – it would not be for the Board. However, when you own over 7% of the company and have negotiated yourself back in the door, it is undoubtedly wisest for Mr Mather to leave the issue to the full Board. Legally I am sure that Mr Mather and Rangers would be watertight if he elected to cancel the contract with Mr Green. Politically however it seems appropriate to Mr Mather to get the hands of all of the Board on the metaphorical dagger – as in the assassination of Caesar in the Senate (Et tu, Brute?) or the death of the fictional Mr Ratchett (ten points to the first person to identify where he died).
So where is Mr Green – is he in or out? Well, as Mr McCoist said on STV tonight how much he was looking forward to getting the £10 million promised by Mr Green in the January transfer window, he is either deluded (which is unlikely) or he had decided that satire was better than outright attack.
I suspect there will be few other headlines about the Ibrox mess which suggest that Mr Green has poured the oil on troubled waters – although Mr Leggat, the Rangers supporting blogger, might suggest that Mr Green could pour snake oil!
Posted by Paul McConville