If there was a litany of bad judgments calls from Rangers’ board, it wouldn’t be far from the truth, but one of the most baffling was the introduction of a ‘media charge’ the summer of 2021 whereby all media groups, including yours truly, would have to pay between £25,000 to £50,000 for club access.
Many media groups did stump up the money, including Follow Follow and Heart & Hand, and fair play to them, but many did not, including until fairly recently, Sky Sports and STV News.
And among those which apparently did not are Getty Images, who no longer have SPL high-quality images for fans to see of the action at Ibrox, and the only images from this group we see featuring Rangers are high-profile European matches (which are a separate system to Rangers’ domestic media charge) or at high-profile away matches such as Parkhead. The headline photo in this story is from them at Ibrox v Red Star, but their images only come from our European exploits, none domestically. Their last domestic Rangers photo at Ibrox? Last season May 2nd v Celtic.
It adds up to a betrayal of fans, that the club we invest in, pay money to, and frankly live our lives around, now charges our favourite media groups to actually bring them news from it, some of which refuse.
Is charging a policy which other clubs adopt? It’s not one we’re aware of, and when Rangers began it over a year ago it did make the news as a bit of an aberration rather than normal practise.
And it does also mean these media groups have to tow the party line and ask fairly sterile questions or risk having their licence revoked.
In fairness to FF’s Mark Dingwall, while he doesn’t ask downright uncomfortable questions he does try to ask more telling ones, pushing it as far as he can to get some useful information for fans.
But overall that charge was a bum note, a poor call.
We get Rangers are still not rich, hell even some SPFL side (whose name escapes me) made a tax profit of £70,000 recently which eclipses our numbers, but that media charge alienated a lot of big groups who would normally happily bring the fans content from Ibrox, be it photos, stories or whatever.
It’s just one of many poor decisions made by this board the past year, and of course it affects Ibrox Noise because we’re now limited in the content we can bring you as well.
We did initially have no beef with the call, and in ourselves we still don’t, but it affects others, which indirectly and directly affects us and our audience.
And that grates on us.
Anything which denies the fans the access they should be entitled to is not our friend.