Rangers and “Trial by Television”…


Trial by Television. It’s a pretty ugly phrase, and it discusses how Joe and Jane Punter get to play judge and jury to those accused in the press by appointing themselves the moral arbiter of the names in the paper, and decide who is guilty.

And frankly, in most cases, everyone is guilty.

It was used very appositely by managing director Stewart Robertson yesterday to discuss how the number of complaints about incidents involving Rangers seem to hike dramatically after the weekend, and specifically following the BBC’s broadcast of Sportscene.

As Robertson said, he noted they spent an inordinately long time on the show fixating on Alfredo Morelos following the Old Firm match while ignoring everything else in the same game, and this Trial by TV seems to have become Rangers’ new enemy.

The problem we have with this system is Joe and Jane Punter nor TV should not be allowed to decide the outcome of any incident in sport – either for or against Rangers.

If you need to understand why, a look back at 2017’s Ana Inspiration in Women’s Golf, and Lexi Thompson, who led the final round by a clear margin and came close to the title only to learn a viewer had emailed in and pointed out she’d made a mistake with ball replacement. This email cost her shots and suddenly she was in second, and lost the thing overall after a play off.

Now, some might say this is justice – she had made an absent-minded error and that gave her an unfair advantage – but equally it will never be tolerable for the viewer to be the one to point this out.

It makes a mockery of any sport to allow any form of trial by television when it comes to public broadcasting – don’t confuse this with VAR, which is an outstanding use of technology to allow the officials to get the right call. But they are also the ones who monitor the video and decide whether or not to employ it. Not the viewer.

And that is clearly what is happening with Rangers and Sportscene. Whether it is indeed Joe and Jane Punter or Clare Whyte herself, this weekend broadcast is being used vindictively against Rangers and is nowhere near used with the same regularity for any other club.

Trial by TV is a surefire way to destroy your sport – women’s golf is still recovering from that horror two years ago and if Scottish football isn’t careful, it will go further into the rabbit hole of despair it already seems to be sinking into.


  1. It's about time our board came out and stood up for our club. And we need to do more to put pressure on the BBC (Brendans Broadcasting Company!).
    This weekend is a perfect example. Killie V Celtic whereby Broadfoot made an equally dangerous tackle as Powers did to Jack. Difference is, Broadfoot got sent off, Powers stayed on and did not get recalled by the compliance officer. On Sportcene, the couple of fannies said Broadfoot deserved to go, however they said Powers was just a yellow as he went for the ball?! The BBC should be reported to the government as its a public funded organisation. Our club will hopefully continue to highlight this bias on a regular basis and stand up for fairness towards our players.
    As for the sportcence panelists Stewart and Thomson, just a couple of fannies, no more, no less!!!

    • How stupid does all that sound you spouted out there. Yes the BBC are against us we get there but calling in the government to sort it get a grip any of the manky mob reading this would pish themselves laughing at you. You can get the point across without sounding stupid mate.

    • Scud, do some homework on Ofcom and Department for Digital,Culture,Media & Sport who regulates the BBC's performance before you make your crass and ignorant comments. Just think before you speak!
      Did you think I wanted Theresa May to abandon her Brexit Negotiations to give the BBC the big waggy finger and tell them to behave??!!
      In future, can you just ask your fellow bears to expand or explain their comments and not respond in a manner that I would expect from a Celtic fan!

  2. Is it not time for more draconian action?

    Should Rangers take them both to Court ?

    Nowadays individuals can be sued for defamation of character by writing on anonymously on the internet.

    Are the BBC above the law?

    • Going to court is never a good move. The lawyers make all the money stringing things along. Look how King was forced to put in offer for shares. Everyone knew that share offer would not succeed. But hey lawyers made a fortune. We overestimate the law re fairness.

    • Are you related to gers Jimbo future manager. Wanting to them to court at a cost to our club again don't you think we have wasted enough cash in court recently. We need to go another route don't know how but get a grip more court cases. We have been at the court more recently than Rumpole of the Bailey.

  3. Clowns waste of space talk a lota shite jukebox jury fannies

    WATP LETS GO 🇬🇧🇬🇧

  4. Your original comment about golf (Lexi Thomson) is wide of the mark and not relevant to the general discussion. In golf the participants regulate themselves (and referees are called in only when the players require guidance). Those 'referees' seldom watch every shot a player makes; it is up to the player or her partner to call penalties upon themselves. The fact is that this player (Lexi Thomson) did break the rules and was punished appropriately for the breach, regardless of how it was drawn to the attention of the authorities. Similarly, the offences committed by McGregor and Morelos were definitely offences and merited punishment.
    Consistency? One problem is that comparison with another incident in another game is difficult to make objectively; for one thing, the referees involved might be different and have different interpretations of what constitutes the degree of offence.

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