After our initial editorial report on the ending of Rangers’ feud with the BBC, we feel we haven’t quite scoured this topic enough.
This is a dispute going back to 2012 and earlier, with a repeatedly poor level of partiality from a broadcaster charged with neutrality, and paid for that as part of its own mandate upon itself.
They have had in their policies that impartiality is their own ruling, and they failed terribly with Rangers on that front.
It goes back well before Michael Stewart, it goes back to Chris McLaughlin and Mark Daly.
The skewed reporting by McLaughlin which appeared notably anti-Rangers rather than fair and unbiased, and Mark Daly’s ‘Men Who Sold the Jerseys’ documentary, which failed to actually present the evidence of the claims it made go way back further than the former Rangers trialist’s comments.
This even goes back earlier, earlier to the days of Lloyds having a man on Rangers’ board before 2010 because the club was in critical debt to the bank to the tune of £6M. In effect, the bank owned us for a short time.
The BBC appeared to revel in it, appeared to report from an angle which enjoyed it rather than describe it.
And then we add every single negative story on the BBC Scotland sport website which was about Rangers, ALWAYS (and we mean ALWAYS) being reported by McLaughlin.
He was always the one eager to publish anything which put Rangers in a bad light, regardless of how true it was, and this didn’t help Rangers’ relationship with him.
If he did it to further his career, sadly for him it didn’t work – he’s still in the same job he was a decade ago.
And this is all why Rangers withdrew press privilege from him. That was all we did, incidentally. We took press privilege from him. And therefore the BBC themselves boycotted Ibrox. That’s all that happened there – they chose not to send anyone else to our stadium, depriving their audience of proper and full Rangers coverage.
They backed McLaughlin.
Now we’ll be honest – McLaughlin has never actually struck us as a blatant Rangers hater, but as an opportunist, who used the club to further his own interests. Mark Daly is the same, used the club to win himself a fraud BAFTA award via fabricated claims.
Michael Stewart? Yes, he does hate us – had a chip on his shoulder ever since he failed the trial. He wasn’t born into hating Rangers, but resented that outcome and has harboured it ever since. A man with a grudge.
With that all said and done, Rangers have accepted the BBC’s apology, and the ridiculous 10+ year set-to is over.
99% of Rangers fans will never like or trust the BBC, and that’s completely justified, but it is absolutely 100% in the interests of our club and our fans that they have full reporting access.
Bear in mind, again, we didn’t deny them it, just McLaughlin, it was they who backed their man up instead and boycotted us.
But it’s over now, and they will be welcomed back into Ibrox like the press as normal.
Be the bigger man, and move on from this – after all, keep your friends close, but your enemies…