Graham Spiers – A cause for Celebration

For those who haven’t read Graham Spiers Herald article from today, may I respectfully suggest you do as I doubt you will find a better example of sub standard journalism anywhere.

The article by Mr Spiers follows on from yesterdays BBC Trust ESC ruling which declared BBC Scotland inaccurate in their use of language and terminology to describe our club. Mr Spiers argues that Rangers did in fact die and are in essence a new club. To support his assertion he cites a number of examples including comments from Richard Gough, Charles Green, Jim Traynor, Walter Smith and an Ibrox debenture .

Those who are familiar with courtrooms will notice the absence of any expert witnesses from the examples cited by Spiers. An expert witness of course has both the authority and expertise rather than just the passion for the subject matter.

In terms of journalistic integrity one has to consider how Mr Spiers can omit the testimony of so many expert witnesses who have ruled on the issue, and only include the passionate but nevertheless unqualified indivduals he has seen fit to support his assertion. It seems almost inconceivable that such an experienced journalist could make such a glaring and schoolboy error.

But we have a newspaper industry in crisis with plummeting sales and I’m sure more than a few journalists are getting a bit twitchy about what the future holds. I noticed the aforementioned Mr Spiers recently on twitter blowing his own trumpet (no doubt for his editor’s benefit) with regard to his interview with Donald Findlay, hailing it the most read article in the Herald. Is this the game Mr Spiers has been reduced to ? Imbalanced articles and controversial characters in order to boost his readership figures ? This latest one has all the subtlety of a fisherman with a enormous hook deliberately baiting the Rangers support in order to get hits. I say that because quite honestly no journalist could be that bad surely ?

I of course realise that in providing a link to his article I will boost his figures. But I quite sure in the long run the excellence and quality of the articles produced by another Herald journalist, Richard Wilson, will win out over the nonsense produced by Spiers. Richard Wilson is obviously a journalist in the thick of things, working contacts, sources and following up on leads to deliver articles of balance and substance. Spiers on the hand is the epitome of Alex Thomson’s attack on the Scottish press – “lazy and sycophantic”. If ever there was a case of a journalist resting on his laurels then Graham Spiers is it. (For the hard of hearing please note I said laurels not morals, as that is something, which like his expert witnesses, Mr Spiers appears to be lacking)

And what of those expert witnesses which Mr Spiers fail to cite. For instance Lord Nimrod Smith, one of country’s most respected legal experts who ruled :-

In common speech a Club is treated as a recognisable entity which is capable of being owned and operated, and which continues in existence despite its transfer to another owner and operator. In legal terms, it appears to us to be no different from any other undertaking which is capable of being carried on, bought and sold.

The irony is of course that such a ruling was made on the occasion of this “new club” answering to the charges of “the old club”. Another aspect Mr Spiers appears to have missed when he was busy noting responses from debenture holders.

Mr Spiers also fails to mention the SFA, the SPL, UEFA and the European Clubs Association. Not forgetting the Advertising Standards Authority whose very involvement highlights the ridiculous measures some will stoop to.

With no disrespect to Richard Gough, Jim Traynor or an Ibrox debenture holder, I think I know who I would rather have ruling that my club has a continued existence.

But I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Spiers. His shoddy, poorly prepared and poorly researched article only serves to highlight the absence of intelligent argument for those who wish to delude themselves that Rangers have “died”.

Rangers – Now, Then & Forever, (Confirmed by expert witnesses)