The newspapers never were the most elegant of information sources. The majority of them historically chose whichever Glasgow club was the bigger focus of attention at that moment in time and used those travails for hits, circulation and general profit.
There is, however, no denying that the past four years have seen a dramatic spike in the sheer level of negative Rangers reporting, of these newspapers and indeed media sources in general exploiting the dark days at Ibrox for their own ends.
In a sense, who can blame them? Rangers’ suffering made for a multitude of rich pickings and easy money, even if facts and integrity were left at the door.
However, with Rangers now back to where we belong, and the storm clouds that have lingered over Ibrox now tangibly lifting, the Govan side is less of a target for the simple reason there is less ammo for these sources to use.
At least, that is what you would think.
Yesterday a story broke in a notorious national publication where manager Mark Warburton was apparently telling off his ‘frozen out stars’ and urging them to stop whining and just do what they could to get back in the team. The problem is there are no frozen out stars at Ibrox, and Warburton did not tell ‘them’ to stop whining.
Looking at pre-season, 95% of the first-team squad has featured to some extent in the League Cup group stage. While some players have certainly featured more than others, there are very few players who have not yet played for Rangers this season. The only two notable ones are Matt Crooks (still injured) and Jordan Rossiter (only just return to Murray Park after being away with his country for the Euros)
So the base fallacy of the headline is evident for those with any knowledge of the club or the sport. Then the bit about how these players should stop whining?!
No one has said a single word about play time. No one has been in the press complaining about a single thing, in fact, so not only do the players referred to not actually exist, but no one even said anything of the nature.
Lastly, Warburton’s quotes themselves were perfectly reasonable and not even remotely newsworthy; general rhetoric about how the whole squad had to work hard and for all individuals to make sure they were giving him a problem and doing everything they could to be selected.
In other words, what any sane manager should always be demanding of his first-team squad, whoever he is and whatever team it is.
This publication does not deserve direct reference, but I am sure the majority know which one I am discussing; they think nothing of pure lies and even hurtful slander in order to sell copies and attain hits.
Unfortunately they are also such a huge organisation they can afford to be sued repeatedly and if they lose just publish a glib apology on page 14.
Ergo nothing in this article will make any difference to their circulation and sales. But at the end of the day, in this case, they have manifested a story from nothing and created a negative headline which is, frankly, a complete lie.
It is worth also noting the ‘journalist’ responsible for the piece appears to be a fan of the side from the other side of Glasgow, which may certainly help inspire their work.
Not the first time a hoop has made up lies about Rangers or our fans, is it?