There’s a lot to chew through from MD Stewart Robertson’s fightback against the BBC and SFA yesterday, but one of the most telling was the big plot twist that Chris McLaughlin, long-thought to have been banned from Ibrox or at the very least have had his press privileges revoked, is in fact not banned on any level and according to Robertson, no one at the BBC is indeed barred on any level from match day in Govan.
Admittedly Robertston didn’t explicitly refer to McLaughlin by name, but by the force of conclusion of the words he has used, McLaughlin, like everyone else at Pacific Quay, has ‘chosen’ not to cover Rangers matches.
“We as a club have obviously had our own issues with the BBC – the BBC have refused to attend Ibrox since November 2015, and the dispute has gone on much longer than that. But they’ve confirmed to us recently that they won’t come to Ibrox and did ask to come to Ibrox but only to cover the matches and they wouldn’t interview our manager or players.”
The omission of McLaughlin’s name doesn’t make this statement any less damning – we all knew the BBC had boycotted Ibrox and refused to engage with our employees, but the fact Robertson made the explicit and sweeping statement that the BBC won’t come to Ibrox to interview anyone suggests any ban McLaughlin might ever have had is now over and he, along with his colleagues simply will not come to Rangers beyond covering a live match.
Robertson discusses how this is cheating a portion of the population who don’t have access to cable and satellite, and rely on terrestrial TV, and he is absolutely right.
Whatever disagreements these two groups have had, the BBC are once again violating their own mission statement by boycotting us.