(Note; This is an editorial piece, written jointly by James Forrest and Gavin McCann).
Sci-fi enthusiasts will tell you that Jabba the Hutt was a fictional character who appeared in Return of the Jedi in 1983.
It was something I didn’t know offhand, but heard from my brother.
(Gav is not a fan of the genre … but never to have seen Star Wars … ?)
He is depicted as a large, slug-like alien who looked as if he had a season ticket for Greggs. Indeed, he could, no doubt, devour a football club’s full half-time offering in one foul swoop.
And they say fact is stranger than fiction?
Jabba’s role in Star Wars is easily asserted as an antagonist – a bit of a growler – not a creature who would have been content hiding in the background. You see, even at around 600 years old he fulfills a role as a crimelord. He is an intergalactic gangster who employs a myriad of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins, and bodyguards to operate his criminal empire. A hardy bunch of ne’erdowells.
I don’t know what made me think of that whilst reading Jim Traynor’s latest rant, but I did.
The Rangers Director of Communication unleashed a volley of vitriol on an unsuspecting Scottish public on Tuesday night, castigating the SFA, SPL, SFL and Celtic. It’s nothing particularly unusual, as he’s been hired as an attack dog, and that’s what attack dogs are supposed to do. He does it badly though. Reading him, it’s hard to believe he made a living as a journalist before this. He talks about online writers being “semi-literate” … but Jesus, that’s like being erroneously labelled a racist by a member of the KKK!
If you believe Traynor, everyone apart from Rangers is to blame for the ills of Scottish Football. Whilst they “flourish” in the 3rd Division, apparently everything else is going to the dogs. He slated plans for the proposed 12-12-18 set-up and questioned its “sporting Integrity”. Well Jim, seeing as you are the fount of all knowledge, why don’t you shine light on the subject instead of peddling purile PR?
I’m sure the Honest Yorkshireman vetoed this before publication but both seem to be in the habit of contradicting themselves. Green’s laughable and lamentable “Christmas Message” told us of how they were making friends along the way and how the Newco is the salvation of football.
In Star Wars, Darth Vader hides under a helmet, doesn’t he? Green is not shy about slamming people. Yet Traynor’s name is the one on this.
In all essence, this is a continuation of the PR assault designed to keep the fans at Ibrox believing they’ve been wronged. Which, we all know couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, the governing bodies bent the rules to let them in as they feared “Armageddon”. Three years audited accounts anyone?
Let the hacks say what they will. Certain parts of Scottish Football were prepared to do anything and everything necessary to help the club. Regulations were to be bent or ignored. Dirty deals were proposed, and when they were rejected, hand holding gave way to arm twisting, until Turnbull Hutton put the cat amongst the pigeons on the doorstep of Hampden by telling the national media – the UK media, not Scotland’s insular one – that what was being proposed was bullying and corrupt.
Traynor states: ” Many Rangers fans like to think the frenzy to cause the club as much additional pain as possible was driven by one club but that wasn’t strictly the case. Many fans of many clubs waded in but this is not to say Celtic fans or their club didn’t attempt to influence the outcome of debates on Rangers and possible sanctions.
“Of course they did. And they are still at it on social media sites and on blogs clattered out by individuals who are no better than semi-literate.”
Correct me if I’m wrong here but Celtic as a club did not make one statement during Oldco’s torrid and turbulent time? Surely the governing bodies should take this up with the newly-formed side? Is Mr. Traynor saying that Celtic condemned their old rivals to its death or gave them a final injection of cyanide to end their agony? I think Whyte, Murray et al did a fine job of that themselves.
They are wonderful at playing the victims, but let us never forget who the real victims were. Craig Whyte’s act of grand larceny was a crime against the tax payer. The collective whole of what the club was up to in the last ten years or so is a crime against sport. Rangers was no more the innocent victim of all this than was OJ Simpson. They were the cause. The blood is on their hands.
With regards to his distrust and hatred for social networking sites – I’m hoping he can hear the clatter of my keyboard. It is an enormous compliment that he hates us this much. There was a day when he would looked down his nose and deemed us unworthy of even comment. That sound he can hear, that faint wheezing, is the air escaping from his own bloated ego. It amuses me to think we so poisoned his final memories in the journalism trade. It makes me smile to think of him there, the hanging ash at the fag end of a dying trade, cursing us as he packed his pencils.
He hates us for it. I am in no doubt about it at all, but we are here, here to stay, and he had better get used to our scrutiny, and our mockery, and our willingness to go where he and his contemptible cronies, crowded around the table of succulent lamb, were afraid to go. This internet bampottery is the best thing since the last release of Internet for Dummies, Jim. You should try it.
(Try it? He’s doing it! He is now no more than a blogger himself!)
Furthermore, there are many Rangers fans out there who blog, some of them well. Others, not so much, and one of them, one of Traynor’s old pals from the “inky trade”, another disgrace to journalism, really has earned the term “semi-literate”, and furthermore, he’s made it his badge of honour.
The piece I found must amusing was the pitiful contention that “This club, the biggest one in the country, were not invited to take part in talks which will shape the game’s future.”
James, is the senility kicking in? For all the rules that were bent, and for all the pretense that history can be purchased like washing powder, to make everything look tidy and clean, some regulations can’t be ignored as easily as others. The club calling itself Rangers is a mere “associate member” of the SFA, which is how all brand new teams start.
For the SFA and the SPL to consult the newest club in the land on a major decision such as this is akin to asking a 4 year old what mortgage would be best to go for.
Besides, the biggest club in Scotland? By what criteria are you judging this exactly?
Celtic, the defending champions, are top of the SPL. That’s the top division, although you and others seem loathe to accept that. They are in the last 16 of the Champions League, the biggest club football competition in the world. The club is still contesting two domestic cups whilst you have been eliminated from two out of three. When Meatloaf said “two out of three ain’t bad” he didn’t mean it like that …
Celtic Park is one fifth bigger than Ibrox, and Celtic has a larger number of season ticket holders. During the last transfer window one player – ONE PLAYER – left the team for a fee almost the equal of what Charles Green’s “ninja consortium” (we still don’t know who most of these people are) paid for the ENTIRETY of the club you’re working in … and the fees being quoted for players such as Hooper and Wanyama and Matthews and Kayal dwarf that figure and then some.
The much heralded “successful share issue”, which I’m sure I’ll be exploring in greater detail at another time, brought in less hard cash than Celtic will earn even if they go out of the Champions League against Juventus … no certainty, by any manner of means.
I suppose if you are talking about it in terms of friends in high places, the Newco for which you slave away seems like the be-all-and-end-all of things; not simply the biggest club in Scotland but the biggest in the universe. Heck, if you believe Charles Green (haha, oh please, stop …) one tenth of the global population pledges its allegiance to the Teddy Bears. (That must include all the ones who either don’t do the Sign of the Cross or don’t object to be told they’re not allowed to.)
Yet this madness – and this “opinion piece” is sheer madness, from start to finish – continues in a further attempt to convince the Newco fans that they are the wronged party. Traynor lets rip with this cracker:
“In a BBC radio debate last Saturday night one pundit, in a matter-of-fact manner, said Charles Green speaks with ‘forked tongue.’ No attempt to explain or justify the statement, just as no explanation was offered when another radio voice claimed there was a dishonesty about Walter Smith when he went public with a late bid for the club.”
Put simply – Charles Green said Rangers would die without a CVA. It is a pure and simple fact. (And, Jim, you actually said the same thing yourself, in case you’ve forgotten! Heck, it’s tough when you no longer have fact checkers on the staff, isn’t it? IIf facts were ever a part of the job in the first place …) Now Green says they live on, like Frankenstein’s Monster, like something that crawled out of a grave.
It appears to be okay for you to attack Scottish Football as a whole, and it’s far from the first time you’ve done it, I may add, but should anyone dare to level any criticism at your beloved Airdr….sorry, Rangers then hell slap it into them?
And last, but by no means least, Traynor excels himself by attempting to exert Jabba the Hutt style crime-lord authority with this beautiful sentence.
“Word of advice gentlemen. From now on be very careful when talking or writing about this club.”
“To paraphrase something said about another club, Rangers will not be treated less than others. And although there is no desire to pick fights, be assured that no one will attack Rangers with impunity.”
Clearly and unequivocally a threat and one every single blogger is taking very, very seriously … (Stop laughing in the back you!) So seriously we thought (for about twenty seconds) about shelving this article … (Not really!)
It’s an odd choice of words isn’t it? (Almost something someone semi-literate would have written!) If there is no desire to pick a fight, surely you should have been far more careful yourself, before dragging Celtic into your demented attack? If I were a lawyer at Celtic, I’d be sitting back with a wry smile knowing that all is well.
For a man with 30 plus years in the industry he looks as if he’s scored a Butcher-esque own goal with this statement, and he’s taken a swipe at journalists too! Is there a new prize out there for shooting oneself in the foot? Perhaps he can add it to the “trophy cabinet” along with the latest world record. What was it again? Oh yes, the one for Best Attendance in a 1-1 Draw at Ibrox in SFL Division 3 Where The Equaliser is a Late Own Goal by the Keeper.
(I think that record could stand the test of time, to be honest …)
I mean dear oh dear … The first fundamental of PR, James, is to establish and maintain the brand. Since you were appointed we’ve had the staggeringly unprofessional, unfunny, cringe-making, vomit inducing, hilarity producing (for all the wrong reasons) Charles Green Xmas Message (did he write it himself? I thought I smelled your cooking on it), and now this utterly ridiculous broadside … but hey! Who am I I to lend advice from behind my clattering keyboard?
The courting of The Rangers following is continuing … but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. The club’s conduct is so unprofessional right now I expect a chorus, any minute, of Send in the Clowns.
You can only feed your public shite for so long. Because if it looks like it and smells like it, you surely don’t have to slurp it, Jabba style, to know what it is.
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