When did Scottish Sports Journalism die?

In yesterday’s article on Tom English, I finished by referencing the famous words of Ian Archer. Archer died in 2002 after a lengthy battle with Liver cancer. He was only 59 years old, a man in his journalistic prime. His passing was most likely the final nail in the coffin of Scottish Sports Journalism. He was everything a journalist should be, fair, balanced and impartial, the qualities that are now non-existent in Scottish Sports Journalism.

The man had his demons and his vices, but his quality as a Sports Journalist was never in question. He was equally respected by Rangers 1872 supporters and Celtic supporters alike, until THAT article in October 1976. After that, he was a figure of hate for their support. He dared speak the truth and he put up with the abuse he received for it up until his death. Even then, he was afforded no respect by them.

During the Communist era in Soviet Russia, the Communist party used the Newspaper Pravda to communicate news to the Russian population. It was filled with puff pieces designed to make the party look good. The truth was never conveyed to the Russian people and because it was really the only broadsheet paper available, it’s circulation peaked at 11 million units per day. It was a tool for misinformation and reported very little that was true. You’ll get the gist of where I’m going with this soon.

On the 23rd of November 1988, David Murray bought Rangers 1872 from Lawrence Marlborough for £6 million. That is effectively the date when Scottish Sports Journalism began its death spiral.

As well as taking control of Rangers 1872, he took control of the Sports media through his now infamous “Succulent Lamb” dinners, where he invited journalists to his home for dinner and regaled them with his plans for the future of Rangers 1872.

The “Succulent Lamb” quote comes from one of his most loyal lap dogs in the media, Jim Traynor, then a sports writer for the Daily Record. Alex Thomson from Channel 4 eloquently quotes it in an article he wrote in 2013 regarding Rangers 1872’s liquidation:

(Daily Record – November 19, 1998)

Exclusive James Traynor

Rangers chairman David Murray opens up on the highs and lows of his decade in charge of Rangers and promises that the best is still to come…”

So ran Mr Traynor’s now infamously sycophantic article on how Sir David Murray would conquer the world with Rangers, building to those fateful lines:

“He was about to take in another mouthful of the most succulent lamb – anyone who knows Murray shouldn’t be surprised to learn he is a full-blooded, unashamed red meat eater – when he put down his knife and fork.

It was like a statement of intent and looking directly across the table to make sure I hadn’t yet succumbed to the wine, he said:

“Bring on the next 10 years, there’s more to come for Rangers.”

There certainly was more to come from Rangers: sold for a quid, put into administration, liquidated and lucky to be playing fourth-tier football.

And that “succulent lamb”? Well it’s so engrained as a concept in Glasgow’s media culture that these days it even has its own Wikipedia entry.

Funny that an English man has to point out to the rest of the world how farcical the SMSM actually is.

Think of the Daily Record or the “Daily Ranger” as it’s fondly known by the Celtic supporters, as Pravda and think of David Murray and Rangers 1872 as the Communist party and you get the gist of my earlier reference to the now defunct Russian publication.

You see, when a media becomes controlled, it is no longer fit for purpose. When David Murray started controlling the Scottish SMSM, he killed impartiality in Scottish football and it has never really recovered since. Journalists are there to hold people to account, to shine a light on the truth and report it accordingly. Murray’s influence over the SMSM has now become endemic in both the print and broadcast media in Scotland.

A cabal of Sevco facing journalists now occupy the newsrooms of Scotland. Names like Keith Jackson, Gary Ralston, Chris Jack, to name but a few. In an effort to completely insult our intelligence, Kris Boyd was given a set of crayons to scribble his drivel in The Sun and of course, we have Tom English, who we’ve established clearly is a Sevco cheerleader. I will have another interesting piece on him tomorrow.

Ex Rangers 1872/Sevco players infest the Scottish broadcast media and their bias towards their former employers is worn proudly on their sleeves. It is virtually impossible in the present day to get any balanced opinion on Scottish football.

Any journalist who dares not to toe the party line is subject to harassment and intimidation, both from within the offices the work in and from without by Sevco facing thugs. I have read some of the Sevco blogs in relation to Ian Archer, in particular Follow Follow, here is just one comment on the man:

“Alcoholism and journalism have always went hand in hand. Alcoholism is a most dreadful illness and families that have to deal with it have my sympathy and there is no doubt Archer was a pathetic alcoholic but that is no excuse (do you actually need an excuse?) for him also being a Rangers hating pr1ck. A hater will hate, alcoholic or not.”

That is a Sevco supporter’s definition of a journalist who speaks the truth. Ian Archer spoke the truth when he said what he said about Rangers 1872 being a permanent embarassment. He was a brave man, who did nothing but call it like it was. Its a shame there’s nobody in Scottish Sports journalism as courageous as that anymore.

A brave journalist would have called out the behaviour of Sevco supporters in March and May of last year in George’s Square, regardless of who they supported. Very few did and kudos to those who did, they know who they are. That’s what impartiality is all about.

Instead, when Sevco fans make a holy show of themselves, whether at home or abroad, the M.O. of the SMSM is this, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Scottish Sports Journalism. R.I.P. 23rd of November 1988.

5 thoughts on “When did Scottish Sports Journalism die?

  1. I grew up reading McIlvanny Sanderson and Archer so have very fond memories of Scottish Sports Writers today I don’t even bother and haven’t done so for a long time . Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Media in Scotland are all dirty cowards rats and scared to report the truth incase the bully boys from liebrox get hold of the and there family scum like keevins.jackson.guidi. hanner thats the scum rats of the Scottish media jounralists my arse they’re COWARDS RATS.


  3. When the DUP PR man appeared on BBC Sport sound a noticeable change happened in their reporting and employment.
    The token Celtic people are non biased and shrinking violets.


  4. If I’d written this piece myself I couldn’t put it any better. A couple of weeks ago on Twitter I put on a post about Alan MacGregor after Ian Crocker had said that he was playing his 440th game for Rangers, when I pointed out that that was with two different clubs the abuse came hurling in. There was aspects of their support who actually signed me up to gay dating websites, I’m a 56 year old father and grandfather and I’m not gay, now obviously I didn’t react as that would’ve given them the satisfaction they were looking for but it illustrates your point beautifully and succinctly. These mutants that follow that club need treatment. The biggest problem is that this is bred into them from birth and they wear it like a badge of honour, all the sectarianism, bigotry and anti-Catholic and anti-Irish racism starts in the home. They’re still commemorating a battle that’s 332 years old, who does that it’s not normal? Now I’m not going to sit here and say Celtic supporters aren’t guilty of bigotry because there is an element in our support that are there, but we self police and it’s definitely a minority in our case, the same can’t be said for the Ipox support although the smsm would have you believe that 50,000 is a minority. Scottish football and society will only change if firstly, sevco the club change and secondly, the actual lunatics who support that club stop filling their children’s heads with all the sectarian bile. Sadly for me I don’t see an appetite for it from either the club nor their mutant support. I’ve called out the club and it’s support many, many times on Twitter and have been subject to the abuse I’ve alluded to earlier in my reply and I’ll continue to do so till the day I die. I’ve got nothing against any religion or a right to support their football club but when it starts from a place of exclusion i.e Protestant only, orange order and masonic based then that for me is all wrong. The fact that those people see me as a Roman Catholic or any other religion as inferior to them, well that’s where my biggest problem with that club and support begins. No man is superior or inferior to any other regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or social standing. I treat people the same whether they’re rich or poor working or unemployed, disabled or able bodied and that’s called respect and human decency, a quality sadly lacking in the peepul. If things don’t change within the club or its support then we’ll still be having this debate in 3022. If sevco do get liquidated again Celtic as a club should be against any proposal to allow them to start again and should be pushing for FFP so there can be no repeat of what’s happened twice already, a financially doped club getting away with murder and running up a debt conservatively of £100million to win one trophy in their near 10 years existence. I’m sorry for the lengthy reply but it’s how I feel we’re being mugged by one club and its mutant support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry, I get exactly how you feel Torky. That’s why I write about the things I do and continue to do so. The SMSM is a mirror image of Pravda, therefore it is not journalism, it is a mouthpiece for one club, (one society if you want to look at it that way). We will bring them down though, my readership is almost at the level of readership the Scotsman gets. I’ve been blogging since September. There is no appetite for the media’s Shite anymore. The bloggers are showing the way forward and they can’t stand it.


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