Rangers’ Downfall and long tail journalism…

I’m always wary of any maximalist claims about big (or in the jargon, wicked) problems. One is that the internet spells the end of newspapers. The smarter operators are using the advantage of their smaller size and diversifying (BMG for instance is making TV for TG4 these days).

But there’s a few awkward and difficult fact surrounding the silence in the Scottish Press about Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s account of the virtual disappearance of Rangers Football Club. Here’s an interesting, and so far as I can tell, ‘disinterested’ view:

…the most obvious lessons from Mac Giolla Bhain’s success is that there is a market for detailed reporting, where readers really care about a subject, and getting to the book stands while an issue is still hot is vital if you want to reach the widest audience.

There’s something in that. Though when you can shift nearly 10k books and still not hit the economic bottom line, I’d suggest Phil’s enterprise suggests more the direction of travel than a sustainable destination.

  • Mick.
    Are you seriously not aware of the sustained campaign against Phil’s book? The fact that it has not been reviewed in a single Scottish msm paper and the disgraceful position of the Sun in Scotland in regard to their serialisation? All this in the context of the C4 revelations of press intimidation.

  • tacapall

    Sorry to go off subject Mick but is there any evidence in the public domain that Pat Finucane was senior member of the Provisional IRA movement ?

    If not, why are you allowing your website to promote loyalist innuendo ?

  • Submariner
  • Mick Fealty

    Alright lads, talk amongst yourselves…

    Tac, email?

  • Mick,
    I addressed you directly, did I misread your post?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Have you read any of that absolute bile,it calls ‘journalism ?
    It comes across as Super MOPEry……and that’s saying something,even by Slugger standards.

    Read it and weep/wallow…….as the case may be ? 😉


  • Professor Yattle

    That James Bond piece is a like a parody of an Irish nationalist idiot. If this is the guy who brought down Rangers, it really was rotten to the core.

  • Ruarai

    Yes Professor, clearly the Rangers ‘take down’ was the rotten component of the Rangers affair, not Rangers (RIP) itself. The only parody on show here is the attempt to casually and spitefully dismiss Mac Giolla Bhain’s writing as “MOPEery” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – or idotic despite his critique of the systemic failure of journalism in Scotland deserving its reputation as some of the most incisive, relentless and serious writing in contemporary Scotland and Ireland.

    The one critcism you may have made of MacGiolla’s piece on Bond in relation to ‘parody’, if we’re going to use the term at all accurately, is that while he is obviously spot on about the early Bond series revealing the laughable, absurd and revealing end-of-empire anxieties of elite-Britain during the Fleming and later Connery eras, MacGiolla’s piece hasn’t duly acknowledged how the Bond series has subsequenly evolved into deliberate self-parody.

    Then again, if you’re among of NornIron’s historical sleepwalkers still dreaming of imagined imperial glories yourself, you could be forgiving for missing the joke.

    Update: Having said all that: this type of garbage -http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-incubator/ – deserves all the opprobrium it may find. WTF?

  • Professor Yattle and Ruarai, I can’t imagine Phil being an RFC supporter 😉

    Even able journalists can have horrendous blind spots, as my linked article demonstrates:

    The only reason that martin McGuinness wasn’t so disposed of in those days [imprisonment] was because they couldn’t catch him.

  • Skinner

    Phil Macgiollabhain’s questionable ethics and overt sectarianism are what has led to the black-out regarding his book. As Ruarai’s link illustrates, he has proven himself incapable of giving an objective view on the Rangers situation and I don’t see why he should be given a platform.

    The author of the Rangertaxcase blog is smarter and has previously focussed on financial impropriety. However, now that interest in that is waning he has taken to a good old bit of the slagging off of Rangers generally and delighting in the team’s lack of success on the field. There is no doubt a nasty tribal hatred being laid bare, and it is not all coming from those idiotic Rangers fans who have tarred the rest.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    I wonder what Phil and Alex make of these republican banners outside Parkhead???


    These are the same groups that murdered a prison officer today. Where is Phil’s and Alex’s indepth investigation into Celtic FC and the connection with the Green Brigade and Irish republican terrorist groups.

    Both of the two mentioned above claim to be journalists. Yet they don’t investigate this connection with Celtic FC and Irish republican groups??? But I forgot it is Celtic FC and they can’t be sectarian bigots, they are just good auld bhoys.


  • drc0610


    There’s many facets to this story and surrounding coverage or non coverage which highlight the differences between blogs and print.

    While the blogs have the advantage of speed and detail, they also enjoy less scrutiny. A broken clock right twice a day, Rangers implosion was Phil’s day in the sun. The thing with RTC and Phil was as much of it was wrong as it was right. How many adminstration days were predicted? But if a blogs wrong then who cares?

    Admittedly this doesn’t excuse the scottish media’s soft peddling on the story. But it’s a story that still going on. The scotsman today has Whytes solicitors being sued by Duff and Phelps who themselve are being referred to the IPA. This is going to drag on for years and there’s a cracking story in there. But would you rely on Phil to tell it?

    Let’s just say he’s had a rather colourful journey to his current role as blogger extrodanaire so he’s hardly impartial.

    Re the channel 4 expose, and supposed threats, another good example of don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

  • Bishops Finger

    drc0610 (profile) 1 November 2012 at 1:37 pm
    But if a blogs wrong then who cares?
    “Wealth off the Radar”, but who cares?

    Re the channel 4 expose, and supposed threats, another good example of don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
    And you expect us to believe the Scottish MSM, get real.

  • david thistle

    There are very valid reasons for the apparent blackout on this “book” given the well-known background of this discredited “journalist”.

  • Bishops Finger

    david thistle (profile) 1 November 2012 at 6:27 pm
    There are very valid reasons for the apparent blackout on this “book” given the well-known background of this discredited “journalist”.
    I presume you mean that the valid reasons are the fear of, and intimidation by, the underclass of rangers fc ( the club of choice of loyalist paramilitaries ) fans.

  • There are very valid reasons for the apparent blackout on this “book” given the well-known background of this discredited “journalist”.

    David Thistle,

    I wrote on a previous thread that Mac Giolla Bhain employs widespread bigotry to make his point; but despite being “tarred with a sickening sectarian brush”, I don’t think that should have stopped the MSM from reviewing his book.

    In the unlikely event Nick Griffin writes an expose of the Glazer Regime at Old Trafford, I would expect newspapers to cover it, as long as he kept his obnoxious bigotry out of the book. Whether I would then decide to put money in his pocket by actually buying the thing is another question but I should at least be aware of a neutral view, as far as it is possible, of its literary worth.

  • sitarman

    I’ve tried to post on Phil Mac Giolla Bhain’s blog on a number of occasions in the past but have yet to see one comment approved. From my personal experience It seems that if you attempt to take him on and point out an untruth or post a counter balance to some of his narrow views then your comments simply wont see the light of day… and he calls himself a journalist.

  • david thistle

    Bishops Finger- you miss the point spectacularly. I do not condone or excuse in any way any intimidation whatsoever.
    However, if you blog constantly about a group of people describing them as bigots, nazis, “klan”, etc when you yourself are far from lilywhite then a reaction inevitable, especially given the size of the Rangers support. I can only speculate at his agenda, but I certainly do not want to see ANYONE hurt over a book.
    ONeill- thanks for thoughtful reply.

  • Toastedpuffin

    “In the unlikely event Nick Griffin writes an expose of the Glazer Regime at Old Trafford, I would expect newspapers to cover it”

    It’s not quite the same though, is it? It’s more like Griffin writing a book about corruption in the ANC. Might be a fantastically well-researched book, but his hatred of the subject group would rather negate any literary worth, don’t you think?

  • PaulT

    and for a bit of balance


    here’s another take on the story.

    David, think the Graham Spiers quote is way out of context, as Spiers was riled as Phil had made a funny comment on Twitter about an article Spiers had written,

    “” a dangerous tactical bigot ” -prominent Irish journalist.”
    is very misleading. It’s a claim made by a Rangers blogger that a journo said it to him.

    The Sun quote relates to a single blog post.

    And McConville is not an ex-solictor he can still practice, disgraced? with a mix of inempt, he doesn’t appear to have made money from the situation, just incapable of doing the job

  • “It’s not quite the same though, is it?”

    Toasted Puffin,

    Point taken but still I would like to hear a neutral view first before writing it off completely- on one hand as a society we can’t criticise radical fundamentalists closing down the debate elsewhere because they disagree with either the message or messenger.

    Going on the “quality” of his blog, I don’t think any such review would have sold any more of his book.

  • “The Sun quote relates to a single blog post”

    Paul T

    No, it didn’t (unfortunately it is now offline) this is a snip of what they said:

    “We believed Phil Mac Giolla Bhain to be a proper and sound journalist. Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson obviously agreed and wrote the foreword in the book. He was wrong and so were we.”

    That is not a compliment.

  • Mick Fealty

    David T,

    Here’s the commenting policy: http://sluggerotoole.com/re/comments-policy/

    Play the ball and you’ll be okay.

  • Submariner

    david thistle (profile) 1 November 2012 at 6:27 pm
    “There are very valid reasons for the apparent blackout on this “book” given the well-known background of this discredited “journalist”.”

    David I take it you were a supporter of Rangers [rip]. Now you may not like Phil Mac Giolla Bhain but he did break the story that Rangers[rip] were in trouble two years ago and was laughed at and derided by the so called Scottish sports journalists at the time but he was right. Yes he probably had an agenda and an understandable dislike for the supremacist element of Rangers[rip] fans but he was right and seemed to be getting his info from a good source, check out his blog timeline for details. The problem that Rangers[rip] fans had is that they were being fed a diet of lies by the MSM media in Scotland who were just printing any scraps from the Rangers[rip] PR machine as gospel. The last thing they wanted to believe was that their club was about to die and to be told this by a taig was anathema to them. What this whole episode has shown is the MSM in Scotland are in a truly shocking state. Others in the new media were also claiming the same thing as Phil Mac Giolla Bhain most notably the Orwell prize winning Rangers Tax Case blog who provided an almost forensic analysis of the position that Rangers[rip] were in. Despite this Rangers[rip] fans refused to believe any of this and maintained their navel gazing we ara peepul mentality while their world collapsed around them, only reacting when it was way too late. As for the book I have read most of it and it is just a rehash of the authors blog time line with a bit more detail added but it does lay the facts about Rangers[rip] demise out. The fact that some of the knuckledraggers who followed Rangers[rip] chose to post reviews of the book on Amazon before it was even published says everything there is to say about part of the Rangers[rip] fan base and the siege mentality and outright refusal to believe what was as plain as the blue noses on their faces. I have followed the blogs of both Mac Giolla Bhain and RTC over this period with an ever growing sense of enjoyment as the Establishment club crumbled and the so called scottish media continued to publish churnalisim about wealth off the radar and internet bampots to the Blue masses. Now Rangers[rip] are no more and 140 of unsurpassed bigotry is gone. Meanwhile ra peepul continue to follow a tribute act playing in the Scottish third division. Succulent lamb indeed.

  • PaulT

    oneill, spot of derailing going on here, I was referring to the quote posted by previously (not the one you’ve just introduced – obviously) and if you followed my link you would see it all.

    But, now you’ve brought this new quote up, to say it’s not a compliment is an understatement, a web search makes it very uncomfortable for rangers supporters, seems like the same stunts they pull in NI ie threatening violence against journos .

    Hardly something for the Rangers newco to be proud off

    “Rangers itself lobbied the paper and threatened to ban Sun journalists from its ground. There were also physical threats made to The Sun reporter who wrote the interview with Mac Giolla Bhain. ”

    Do you agree in the threat of violence to get what you want, or do you condemn those responsible for this embarassment to the newco?

  • PaulT

    From the Guardian, commenting on the Sun’s ‘reasons’

    Within hours of publication, Rangers fans – or people who call themselves fans – began calling the paper and tweeting. Evidently, some of them mentioned a controversial posting by Mac Giolla Bhain on his blog in April this year.

    Headlined The Incubator, it was a satire on the bigotry of many Rangers’ fans. In so doing, it employed obviously offensive images.

    Harries and some of his senior staff were said to have been alarmed by the blog’s implications. In a rapid about-turn, Harries decided to pull the serialisation despite the puff promising to run it.

    Aware that he could be accused of giving in to pressure from Rangers supporters, he published a leading article to explain his about-turn.

    We knew Mac Giiolla Bhain was “a controversial figure”, it said, but “it was clear from the book he had written that he had a story to tell. And we felt it was a story that needed to be told to you, so that you could make your own minds up. So that you had a chance to read the behind-the-scenes details about the downfall of Rangers. So that you had a chance to see where the blame lay for the collapse of the club.”

    But it went on to argue that Mac Giolla Bhain’s single blog posting “undermines the entire industry” and that was the reason to cancel the serialisation of his book

    It stressed that the decision was “NOT because of the social media backlash” and “NOT because of the internet bullies… but because the author — previously unbeknown to us — is tarred with a sickening sectarian brush.”

    like I said, same old, same old, at least the Sunday World stands up to the bullies (and pay the price)

  • “From the Guardian, commenting on the Sun’s ‘reasons’

    Within hours of publication, Rangers fans – or people who call themselves fans – began calling the paper and tweeting. Evidently, some of them mentioned a controversial posting by Mac Giolla Bhain on his blog in April this year.

    Headlined The Incubator, it was a satire on the bigotry of many Rangers’ fans. In so doing, it employed obviously offensive images.”

    That is Greenslade’s interpretation. He is Mac Giolla Bhain’s mentor, they are close friends, both ex/commentators on An Phoblacht and (I believe) neighbours. The link provided does not detail the original Sun editorial. It is Gredenslade’s interpretation that it was merely one bigotted or ”satirical” article from his friend which was the reason for stopping the serialisation.

    That was not what the Editor of the Sun said- the implication from The Sun’s editorial was that suddenly the Sun had discovered the true nature of his beliefs and writings.

    As I pointed out previously imo that MacGB uses bigotry and stereotypes to attempt tp prove his point- in the last year (as I suspect you are aware) he has done so not only with Rangers fans but also the Ulster Scots and East Belfast prods.

    But on a previous thread, I also said tI doubted Mac Giolla Bhain being “tarred with a sickening sectarian” brush was the genuine reason why the Sun dropped it- whether it was the very real threat of a boycott by RFC fans or the fear of retaliation is a question only the Sun editor can answer.

    “Hardly something for the Rangers newco to be proud off”

    I am not a Rangers fan and I have argued against censorship of Mac Giolla Bhain previously (in my very last comment if you take the time to read it). If in NI we are able to cope with the likes of Jude Collins and D vance on our airwaves, then Mac Giolla Bhain counts as small fry

    “Do you agree in the threat of violence to get what you want, or do you condemn those responsible for this embarassment to the newco?”

    If there is a threat of violence then it should be reported to the police. If they verify it, then culprits should be carted asap of to jail, the club should condemn it and…well…what else do you want me to say?

  • Submariner

    Submariner- I AM NOT A RANGERS FAN, Rangers deserved all they got. Notice you erroneously used past tense. But Ill be damned if I will sit back and watch Mr White/ McGillivan/ MacGiollabhain pour his vile bigotry of this country from the safety of a cottage in Donegal.

    Nothing erroneous about the past tense David, Rangers are dead they were liquidated on Halloween. As for MacGiolla bhain are you suggesting that if he lived in Scotland his safety would under threat? What vile bigotry of “this country” are you referring to

  • david thistle

    Submariner- Rangers ARE NOT DEAD. 50,000 turn up weekly to watch them play in the 4th tier of Scottish football. Sometimes more than the rest of Scottish football together, and frequently in the top 3 in Britain.

    [Text removed – Please read the commenting policy again, more carefully this time – Mods]

  • drc0610

    A couple of points;

    Can I just clarify that by Scottish msm, you are actually talking about such journalistic heavyweights as, James Traynor, Chick Young, Hugh Keevins, Graham Spiers, Roddy Forsyth, Derek Johnstone?

    Whats the combined circulation drop of Daily Record, Scottish Sun, Herald, Scotsman? Scottish papers are on their arses cause they are piss poor. Phils role in all this is anyone’s guess but the fact that an anti-Rangers book sells well in Glasgow is hardly news.

    I take it the guardian has reviewed Phil’s book? if not are they part of the media black out as well? or are they not part of the scottish msm? surely Kevin McKenna could have done a suitable piece. The media is a closed shop, Private Eye normally do a good roundup of the incestuous relationship between authors and who reviews their books in the papers.

    From your link Mick. “In 2008 he wrote about some Rangers’ fans singing racist songs. That story sparked diplomatic contact between Scotland and Ireland, and Mac Giolla Bhain’s interest in the Ibrox club grew.” Yeap that’s Phil, and Irishman born in raised in Glasgow that had no interest in Rangers till he heard some songs and that piqued his interest.

    As I said previously there a good story about the ongoing demise of Rangers, Phils not the person to tell it.

  • “The thing with RTC and Phil was as much of it was wrong as it was right.”

    RTC appears to have thrown in the towel today, some wags are suggesting he (she?, they?) should do the honourable thing a la Johann Hari and give back an Orwell Prize won under false pretenses.

    Phil (one would presume) is presently writing an update to “Downfall”.

    I did think “Downfall” was always too dramatic a title.

  • ranger1640

    Here is a wee tune for Phil 4 names.


    4 names news of Rangers FC’s demise was somewhat greatly exaggerated.

    Anyone want to buy a book to hold open their outhouse door or maybe you can use it toilet paper, because that is all it is good for now. Phil 4 names has the perfect book.

    I hope Phil 4 names book is not the book responsible for the “Downfall” of its publishers.

    However it would be prophetic, You can find 4 names book as always in the fiction section, that is if anyone has the balls to stock it.

  • david thistle

    Phil White/ O Gorman / Gillivan / McGillivan / Mac Giollabhain- aka Mick Derrig etc- wont be ceasing his anti-Scotland/ Britain /Rangers bile . He is no journalist, merely a bigot with issues.His pal ” Random thoughts on Scots Law ” – all of whose thoughts appear to be about Rangers wont be either.
    However, I sure his work as a Citizens Advice Volunteer will help.

  • “Random thoughts on Scots Law ” – all of whose thoughts appear to be about Rangers wont be either.”


    I wouldn’t be so sure; McConville has in the last couple of days removed a number of his posts and I doubt it was on the basis of literary merit.

    Also Brian McNarry, the Celtic fan and Daily Mirror journalist and (not coincidently) another of Phil’s NJU mates, has provided a most unexpected “mea culpa” last night on Twitter regarding his implicit criticism of Ally McCoist’s attitude towards the fight againt racism.

    My own random thoughts on Scottish law matters at the moment is that there are more than a few panicking journalists and blogers

  • “Also Brian McNarry…”

    Or even Brian McNally;)

  • david thistle

    oneil- thank you for your usual thoughtful and perceptive response. Although Rangers have won their ” big tax case “, I still consider their actions to have been immoral. However there is no doubt whatsoever that had this verdict arrived when it should have then Rangers would not be in the predicament they are today- and so Mr MacGiollabhain ( or whatever he is currently calling himself ) would have had to continue his monomania on another slant supported by his sycophants who feed off his every word. Anyone trying to counter argue on his blog will never see the light of day. Perhaps even the author of ” Random thoughts on Scots Law” would have concentrated on his clients and not have been disgraced and bankrupted.

  • Canisp

    Result after extra time: Sevco 2 Savco 1

    Better luck next time, Bhoys

  • Skinner

    The way the Rangerstaxcase blogger completely humiliated himself when the judgement was released was hilarious. I think he must have turned immediately to the dissenting judgment because he declared the use of trusts to have been found to be illegal and then later had to delete that and a number of other embarrassing tweets. The hatred of the man (or woman) was laid bare.

  • derrydave

    Seems likely that HMRC are going to appeal so this one will roll on for a while yet 🙂

  • david thistle

    derrydave, why the emoticon?
    Happy are you?

  • david thistle

    On Mr White / Derrig / O Gorman / Gillivan / McGillivans / MacGiollabhains blog today he blames Rangers officials for delaying the verdict and not the HMRC.
    Even amongst his sycophantic fanclub his credibility ( zero everywhere else ) might be wearing a bit thin. Perhaps he could flee again and reinvent himself as an Lawyer.
    He might make a better job of that, certainly better than his pal “Random Thoughts on Scots Law ( actually total thoughts on Rangers ) ” made of it, having ended up disgraced, bankrupt and unemployable.
    I never thought there would be a literary market for insane paranoid ramblings, but I was wrong.
    RangersTaxCase is in retreat too.

  • Skinner

    That is a very telling smilely Dave. The relish with which some people have greeted the downfall of Rangers, in spite of all that it means for people who work in connection with the club and moreover for Scottish football, is pretty shameful.

    The rangerstaxcase blogger has removed all his previous blogs and sounded off a final death knell stating “hopefully the decision will be reversed on appeal”. Hopefully? Why hopefully? Obviously because he does not respect the rule of law and has judged them as guilty in his own arrogant trial-by-blog. He wants them to be guilty. Why? Because he does not like them in the first place and he needs to have a peg on which to hang his hatred.

    And more central to Mick’s topic, how stupid and short-sighted has been the bloggers’ criticism of the “failure of the mainstream media”. The criticism seemed to be that the mainstream media did not just accept that Rangers were cheating and preferred to wait until the case was decided. Well, as obvious as it sounds it turns out that waiting was very much the right thing to do. It’s just a pity that key players in the piece, particularly the SPL and Craig Whyte, did not follow their lead.

  • david thistle

    Too true Skinner. I am involved with a prominent Scottish Junior Club ( clue is in my moniker ) and we currently have our local rivals lodging with us.Did I want them to become defunct- of course not, the joy of beating them and the banter is great. All of my Celtic supporting friends want Rangers to play, the Old Firm is a huge loss. Only the most backward and bigoted think otherwise. Rangers deserved to be punished but all this dancing on graves is very unedifying and the actions of some bloggers has turned the sectarian clock back here in Scotland at a time when huge strides forward had been made.
    There are going to be a few reckonings.

  • david thistle

    DRC0610- good post, you are correct, a detailed book on the situation at Ibrox would indeed be welcome.
    You are also correct that Phillip White was not the person to write it. To correct you , however, his interest in Rangers is long-standing. He did not personally hear these ” anti-Irish ” chants as he was NOT at the game in Hamilton concerned, neither was his daughter who was actually 14 at the time, not 8 as he claimed. Neither does he have 5 brothers as he claimed, he has only 1 sister. It takes some kind of sickness to bring a child into this situation.
    ” Creepy and sectarian “- ex work colleagues
    ” Odd and slightly vulnerable “- Graham Speirs
    “Tarred with a sickening sectarian brush”- The Sun
    “Dangerous tactical bigot “- Irish journalist
    “Fantasist”- TAL editor
    Strange descriptions for a jounalist

  • david thistle

    Tacapall- off topic; the testimony of Sean O Callaghan for starters?

  • derrydave

    Am I happy David ? A very telling smiley is it Skinner ? Hahaha – yeah, of course I’m happy with all that has happened to Rangers, that bastian of sectarianism, this past year. I’m a Celtic fan – I hate Rangers – shocker, eh ! But if you hate Rangers or are happy at their demise then apparantly these days that means you are sectarian !! If Man City went down the pan, would Utd fans be disapointed ? If they were actually happy & danced on their graves then what would that make them ?? Sectarian ? Racist ? Or just fuckin normal ???

  • david thistle

    Derrydave- you certainly are sectarian, and certainly not a football fan.
    Man Utd fans would never want Man City s demise- they want them to exist to maintain a rivalry, whilst cuffing them regularly.
    That BASTION of sectarianism as you call it signed Catholics before Celtic even existed.
    Perhaps you would be better supporting your local club.

  • derrydave

    Hahaha, and you’d be best goin back to watchin Rugby or polo david if you actually believe that nonsense. Man Utd fans would never want Man Citys demise ? you are absolutely deluded is you actually believe this. I blame the middle-class infestation of football !
    I love the way people on Slugger (usually those who display a limited abilitt to argue any particular point) feel that they can instead just brand other people as being Sectarian.
    For your info, as you seem a little confused, Sectarianism, in todays use of the word, usually refers to a hatred or bias against a particular religion, not a hatred of Rangers Football Club ! Wrt to me not even being a football fan – thanks for letting me know this – it seems I’ve wasted vast quantities of my time and money these past 37 years on something I don’t even like / follow ?? All those trips home and abroad to watch various different teams, all that money wasted on watchin a sport I don’t even follow or like ??! And as far as it being better if I supported my local team – I always have done, whether that be Singapore these days (down in the Jalan Besar), Derry City back in the day, and a multitude of others in between (Wolverhampton, Barnet, Ajax, Sligo Rovers, St Albans fc, QPR etc etc). Admittedly, pretty odd behaviour for someone who’s not even a football fan – think I’d better go out and find somthin else to do with my spare time now that I realise that I’m (certainly) not even a football fan.

  • derrydave

    Apologies also for stating that Rangers were a Bastian of sectarianism. Had I realised that they had actually signed some Catholics 125 years ago I would never have made such a statement – thanks for correcting me. Of course the fact that they only signed a handful of catholics in an almost 100 year period of their history was probably just a statistical anomaly, yes ? Or maybe even simply due to the fact that those pesky fenians were just shite at football, eh ? It’s good to know that Rangers can rely on guys like you to support them against such grevious insults – real football fans, honest as the day’s long, completely impartial, with no loyalties (ahem..) either way hahaha – thanks for the entertainment David – Hail Hail !

  • “Man Utd fans would never want Man Citys demise ?”


    I had a think about that.
    I for many a year was a LMTB holder at Old Trafford (K stand) and my hated teams in order of,I guess, hatred where Liverpool, City and Leeds. How we collectively laughed as City plunged into the old Third, Leeds fall has been almost as funny. And as for Liverpool’s present plight- good old Brendan is providing much needed comedy relief on a weekly basis.

    Liverpool was always the baddest of the bad for me basically because both at my school and later workplace when I moved to England it was almost a clear split between Utd and the Scouse. I still love us hammering them, Istill love them sitting in the bottom of the table but actually knowing the kind of folk who do dig into their pocket to follow them week in, week out, win or loss I really would hate to see them deprived of what is for many of them the main love of their lives (seen the “Utd, kids, wife” banner?).

    I personally know (and I am not one of those Slugger m/c luvies”) how much a person’s football team can mean tlo them. And Hillsborough 89 should be a reminder for everyone of the dangers of what happens when the concept of 100% collective responsibility and indiscriminate branding of football fans of any club and none merely because of whom the game they love and the team they love.

    Back to Mick’s original post about the much hyped role of social media in this episode.

    Two of the three main anti-Rangers social media players in this story Paul Conville and Rangers Tax case have taken the cowardly step of removing posts which contained allegations which until three days ago they were more than happy to stand behind.

    What has changed in those three days- they have suddenly realised they just maybe got those allegations “wrong”?

    That their research was perhaps not as solid as previously heralded?

    Perhaps someone will tell me then why we are supposed to feting the wonders of the new media journalists when they lack exactly the same kind of backbone and moral integrity which the NOTW and the BBC suffered from?

    Phil MacGiolla Bhain has taken a lot of well-deserved criticism on this thread but he has at least had the guts to stand behind everyone of the posts and allegations he has made about Rangers.

  • david thistle

    O neil- as usual, a thoughtful and considered response. I should take more time thinking before posting.
    The point Im trying to get across is that at the end of the day its a game of football, not a war or some sort of religious/ ethnic steamvalve. I condemn Rangers utterly for what they did but I cannot abide bigots of both persuasions.
    You are perfectly correct, Liverpool have traditionally been Man Utds main rivals and the concept of a seriously challenging Man City is new. However I am sure that whilst you might want to see them struggle you would never want to see them defunct.
    Most Celtic fans I know- very many including prominent ex-players- wish a speedy return for the Old Firm game. If you cannot play your rivals, what is the game about?
    You are also correct with your observations with RTC and McConville. Pity Mr McConville wasnt so diligent about his many clients who lost out heavily.
    Mr White / McGillivan / MacGiollabhain cant be seen to back down from his monomania.

  • derrydave

    You underline my point exactly oneill – you laughed and enjoyed and am sure celebrated with glee when City and Leeds plummeted. Perfectly normal reaction which would be shared by football fans all over the world. Not according to David however – Apparantly I’m sectarian and in fact not even a real football fan because I’m doing exactly the same ! (and that’s ignoring the disgraceful history of sectarianism at Rangers Football Club (RIP)). Completely absurd. And for every one of you not desiring Liverpool to die completely – I’d venture theres at least one (and probably more) at Old Trafford who would love it even more and would celebrate it for years to come ! Sectarian ? Racist ? Or just normal football fans ?
    The in’s and out’s of Rangers demise I’m not too concerned about (though I do believe that there is a lot more to come on this from both HMRC and the liquidators) – I’m just sitting back enjoying the spectacle of the ‘New Rangers’ plodding away in Div3 whilst Celtic enjoy Champions League football and all that comes with it !

  • david thistle

    derrydave- youre missing the point spectacularly. There is a world of difference in delighting in your rivals troubles, relegation etc, and rejoicing in their demise for non-football reasons.
    By the way, Im delighted to see Celtic do so well in the Champions League, read my posts.

  • derrydave

    You’re missing the point spectacularly David – I hate Rangers because I’m a Celtic fan, the exact same reason all football fans hate their rivals. The fact they have such a sectarian history simply adds to that (hating sectarianism doesn’t make you sectarian – stupid beyond belief to claim that it does!). Read back over your previous postings and you will see how spectacularly idiotic you’ve been. You deleted your most idiotic post – but there remains plenty still there to read back on and get embarrassed about.

  • dave,

    “And for every one of you not desiring Liverpool to die completely – I’d venture theres at least one (and probably more) at Old Trafford who would love it even more and would celebrate it for years to come !”

    No doubt, I am only speaking for myself and it is quite possible I am mellowing in my old age.
    I just think that no football supporter deserves to have their team taken away from them for whatever reason.

    As a matter of interest, do you work with any Rangers fans, have any Rangers fans as friends even any Rangers fans in the family?

    I really think that is the difference with the whole Rangers/Celtic scenario, especially here, W of Scotland and Glasgow. There isn’t the mixing in a social or family context compared to any other rivalry in the UK.

    True Utd hate Liverpool, city hate us, Cardiff hates Swansea but it has nothing of the nihilistic, faux ethno-nationalist intensity that exists between the (once were) Old Firm.

    As an example this season Celtic have covered themselves with European glory but for many of them, even major figures in the MSM and social media, the events at Ibrox are the be-all, end all obsession of their footballing lives- not taking the CL games into account, the attendances at Parkhead have not been something to be proud about for a team that has beaten Barcelona.

    I wrote a post on Slugger over the summer that the split of the Old Firm could prove to be the best thing to happen to them and Scottish football if they use it to reduce the obsessive hatred (and I think it is the obsession which is as big the problem as the hatred). But they haven’t.

  • derrydave

    Yep Oneill, you certainly do appear to be mellowing in your old age. Football is tribal in nature – hatred of your rivals is all part of the game – without it the sport wouldn’t be what it is today. You love your team, you hate you big rivals – that’s the way the sport works, and it’s the way it will always be !
    I do have a few friends who are Rangers fans (not massively so however). There’s an unspoken agreement really that we don’t talk Celtic / Rangers beyond the odd comment. Theres no doubt for any of us though that I hate Rangers with a passion and they hate Celtic with a passion – we’re friends though and so don’t talk about it out of respect for each other.

  • derrydave

    One last point – though not claiming it is completely representative, there was a recent poll conducted on CelticQuickNews – a site which would be considered as being very progressive (bad language not allowed etc). The poll was anonymous for voters and 1084 people voted. The results of that poll were that 99% voted against ever wanting any game against our former bitterest rivals either now or in the future.
    Onwards and upwards for Celtic – lets leave Rangers in the gutter where they belong.

  • david thistle

    I did NOT delete my post- I assume it was the moderator.
    You are the one who brought religion/sectarianism into it, numbskull.
    Youre very brave behind a keyboard.
    You hate Rangers because youre a bigot. I dislike both of them because I never won against either. But I do recognise their size, history and achievements even if I dislike the bad aspects of both clubs. They are a vital part of the Scottish game, and if the worst aspects of the Old Firm could be removed, it would still be a fantastic fixture.
    You kept inferring that I am a Rangers supporter, when I am not.

  • “There’s an unspoken agreement really that we don’t talk Celtic / Rangers beyond the odd comment.”


    I can believe that but that is so different to any other sporting rivalry in either the UK or the ROI.
    Half of the fun with supporting Utd is the Monday morning banter when the Scouse have inevitably taken another tumble.

    And it kind of proves my point about the Celtic-Rangers rivalry being based on so many other harmful factors other than mere football.

    As I said before, I have worked a fair bit in England and also travelled a fair bit to the parts of them world where there is an Irish diaspora. The only ever hassle I have had is not because of my politics or background (unapologetic Belfast working class Unionist) but because of what folk have assumed would be my chosen team in Glasgow.

    Bizarre and I am truly grateful for the diversity of the United support which has enabled me to meet people well beyond my communalist bunker.

  • BluesJazz

    David Thistle

    “I dislike both of them because I never won against either. ”

    errr…didn’t your team beat Celtic today?


    Is it true that most people despise Leeds Utd?

  • david thistle

    BluesJazz- wrong Thistle.
    And talking as player, not a fan.

  • Mark

    David ,

    Isn’t your club now known as Partick Thistle F.C ……as most people thought you were called Partick Thistle nil .

    As for my opinion re Man United fans wanting / not wanting City in the Premiership . I would love nothing more than seeing Liverpool …I mean Liverpool languishing in a lower division .

  • derrydave

    I take it you didn’t read back on your posts then David ? There’s only one numbskull here and it’s pretty obvious it’s you. I brought religion / sectarianism into it did I ? Yeah I mentioned that Rangers was a ‘Bastion’ 🙂 of sectarianism (a fact that cannot be denied given their well-publicised history). From that you projected that I was ‘certainly’ sectarian, and ‘certainly’ not a football fan. You have also then surmised that I am a bigot. A giant leap in anyones book – and one absolutely without any foundation ! You appear disgusted that I take pleasure in Rangers’ demise, yet understand completely Oneill’s laughing and taking pleasure in Leeds / man City’s demise in previous years.
    Yes, I inferred in one post that you may be slightly less neutral than you claim. Just seems odd:
    1. Your multiple posts and obvious great interest in what is a thread about Rangers demise.
    2. Your obvious anger and annoyance at my happiness at the situation 🙂
    3. Your detailed knowledge of the situation and the players involved – including a knowledge of PhilMcWhoever’s family, employment history, and quotes about him from various sources. Ditto with the Rangerstaxcase guy.
    4. The fact that much of what you have posted on this subject reads exactly like many postings on RangersMedia or Followfollow.

    Maybe the above is all just a co-incidence, and you are as neutral as you claim – fine. Just try not to be so stupid in future as to brand people you don’t know as being sectarian and bigotted without any justification whatsoever. As far as being brave behind a keyboard is concerned – yawn !! You branded me sectarian and bigotted – I branded you an idiot. I have much greater justification for my claim than you do for yours.

  • derrydave

    oneill – i have good friends from both Manchester and Liverpool who would absolutely not have any friends of the other persuasion (Man Utd / Liverpool), and who would NEVER under any circumstances talk football with someone who supported the other side. I have a few friends in Leeds who won’t ever even mention the words ‘Man Utd’ instead referring to them (all their lives) as ‘the shite’.
    I knew tonnes of people in Wolverhampton who despise absolutely everything to do with West Brom and would never ever consider having any reasonable conversation with anyone of that persuasion.
    The whole Irish support, and broader English and worldwide support of clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool is often very different from the local support of both clubs, and this I believe colours your opinion (as does the fact that the middle-classes are often now the public face of football in the UK – football talk in the office, banter between nominal Man utd and Liverpool fans (many of whom have never been to those respective cities in their lives).
    There is every bit as much hatred in lots of local rivalries throughout England – only a few of which I know about personally from having lived in these areas. The most fierce I came across in my time in the UK was definitely the West Midlands rivalries – Wolves, West Brom, Birmingham, and Aston Villa – I’ve seen scenes around these derby matches and even in everyday life away from the matches that I have never seen in 20 years of going to Celtic matches. It is also a fact that football violence remains an issue in english football – at all levels including the premiership (though it takes place away from the grounds and receives very little press coverage), whilst it is almost non-existant in Scotland.

  • galloglaigh

    I’ve had experience with Liverpool v Everton fans in a factory I helped set up a few years ago. They hated each other. Really hated each other, and it reminded me of working with Rangers and Celtic fans on the Channel Islands. One of the guys had an ‘EFC’ number plate. It wasn’t long before he started driving his wife’s car to work. True Bill.

    I also have a cousin from Manchester. He’s ManU mad, and hates City and their fans. Hates them. His Facebook posts are at times cringe worthy. He also hates Liverpool and Chelsea (teams and fans).

    I actually don’t like football per se, but I do enjoy the Champion’s League, the Euro’s, and the World Cup. The South American competition is also cool to watch. But one team I do hate is Rangers, be that the former (dead) club, or the new club. I’ve had some very bad experiences with Ranger’s fans, and for that reason alone, I near pished my bags laughing when they died.

    RIP Rangers. I hope your old fans enjoy their new setting – in a league Tristar FC would probably win easy 🙂

  • Canisp

    The Scotsman doesn’t miss the mark in its review of the year’s sporting books:


    Phil Mac Giolla Bhain

    Frontline, £9.99

    The sirens started to sound at the first of several references to Rangers supporters as “the Ibrox klan”. The author makes no attempt to disguise his hatred for Rangers, stating at one stage “please let this football club die”. And yet he yearns to be taken seriously as a journalist, repeatedly complaining that no-one from the mainstream media ever calls him. As the tale unravels, Mac Giolla Bhain starts to disappear up his own rear, declaring: “I am aware of my own contribution and I rather like the guy I see in the shaving mirror every morning.” These are two classic mistakes: believing you are the story, and wanting a story to be true. When it’s not.” http://www.scotsman.com/sport/best-scottish-sport-reads-of-2012-1-2693614


  • ArdoyneUnionist
  • FDM

    Football was founded on the principles of FAIR PLAY.

    They hold up banners to it at the start of each UEFA game.

    Their is a FAIR PLAY award to the team that receives the least bookings during championships and the best behaved ffans can also be commended with such an award.

    Rangers loyally stole the Queen’s money from her revenue service and used to pay for on the field success. In doing so they obviously stole from all of us.

    Thank goodness they are dead when they ended up in the liquidator and a little bit of justice was done upon them.

    However I see the sevco-zombie-team were also up to sectarian nonsense at the weekend?


    Some people eh, they never learn.

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Seems the Celtic have their own issues with sectarianism the green brigade keep singing all the wrong songs then and still.


  • FDM

    From 2011?

    It’s 2013 that the best you can do matey? 🙁

    “Whats that coming over the hill, is it a zombie?”

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Yes and the green brigade boycott of Celtic’s match’s are an illusion, and By the way that zombie banner which you refer to was sectarian and offensive too.

    As the poor dears as whining about the police arresting them for sectarian singing and chanting.

    Neil Lennon is to afraid to take on the green brigade, in fact he praises them. Seems Strathclide police don’t think so.



  • FDM

    Sorry its hard to take Scottish 3rd division teams seriously, especially when the undead ones.

    Oh thats me just be sectarian about a team who paid for their league titles by defauding the Her Majesty the Queen’s Revenue and Customs and in the same vein taking money from schools, hospitals and other services.

    Surely even the undead feel some shame?

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    What just the same way the shinners do by taking their expenses and don’t go to Westminster, and as you are well aware Rangers FC have done nothing illegal they availed of a lawful tax scheme. 54 and counting!!!

    After this process is all done and dusted Rangers as they make their way through the Scottish leagues, will have a unique record that will not be challenged, bar none.

    When they as I’m sure they will, win every league they are in they will be the only team in Scotland who will have every league title, more league trophies and a football record that will be untouchable.

    The more you keep referring to the zombie thing the more it reaffirms that sectarianism is at the heart of Celtic and this support, keep the mask up bhoys and try not to let it slip.

  • FDM

    @Ard Eoin Protestant Nationalist

    “What just the same way the shinners do by taking their expenses and don’t go to Westminster”

    They still represent their constituents AND if said constituents were unhappy they could replace them at the ballot box. They don’t because they support their abstentionist policy.

    “sectarianism is at the heart of Celtic and this support, keep the mask up bhoys ”

    Oh dear oh dear. Who said I was a Celtic supporter? I couldn’t care less if Celtic and sevco FC both sank into the sea never to be seen again. I am a football fan and as such I am for FAIR PLAY. It is my view, one shared by many people who love the beautiful game, that the team that were called Rangers were cheats and fraudsters. That team is now dead after they were liquidated [cue sound of liquidiser rrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnrnnrnnnnrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnn].

    Sevco FC haven’t a title to their name. I will of course congratulate any team that win their league, including the mighty Cliftonville FC when they rip the Gibson Cup out of Linfields hands in April. Cue Dearg Doom by the Horslips..

  • Barnshee

    “I am a football fan and as such I am for FAIR PLAY. It is my view, one shared by many people who love the beautiful game, that the team that were called Rangers were cheats and fraudsters.”

    There is fraud right across soccer Especially where cash take and turnstiles were involved Turnstile counters were turned off after an appropriate time on big days creating cash for bungs.

    Harder to do nowadays with so much income leaving an identifiable trail Rangers were just particularly inept

  • FDM


    Harder to do nowadays with so much income leaving an identifiable trail Rangers were just particularly inept


    I think the amounts of money involved are important though Barnshee.

    Large scale robberies, even ones where there is a complete absence of violence (or threat of such), can lead to life sentences in prison.

    The authorities have a very dim view of people stealing large sums.

    In this case we are talking about an astronomical amount of cash.

    In my opinion I would have imprisoned many of those at Rangers on fraud charges.

    I also to mark everyones card would have refused to let their dead corpse team into any football league.

    No time for cheats, less for fraudsters.

  • Barnshee

    “No time for cheats, less for fraudsters.”
    Society is full of frauds and cheats

    Not forwarding or delaying PAYE deductions and VAT to HMRC are time honoured methods of easing cash flow and the practice is rampant in business..

    The fact is that Rangers carefully maintained the records that demonstrated their culpability and this ineptitude (from an evasion point of view) allowed HMRC to establish Rangers calumny

    I worked on both sides of the “Tax fence” the amount Rangers made off with is sadly modest compared with the tax evasion/avoidance industry
    (If I learned anything it was that Governments should be allowed as little money as possible they tended to waste a lot of it)

  • GavBelfast

    Does anyone else, who doesn’t follow either Celtic or Rangers, find this tit-for-tat, we’re less sectarian than you are stuff just the biggest load of infantile crap?

    You really are as bad as each other!

    (Cue them coming-together now in a poor-man’s NATO style “attack one, attack all” piece of camaraderie …)


  • FDM


    Does anyone else, who doesn’t follow either Celtic or Rangers, find this tit-for-tat, we’re less sectarian than you are stuff just the biggest load of infantile crap?


    Gav can I point you to the statement above where I said I was not a Celtic [or indeed a Rangers] fan.

    I do support a team but neither of those two.

    I just can’t abide a cheat in sport.