How Murray lost the media war

My canny publisher was delighted that all the copy had been processed on deadline.

However, he had added that, he would “hold the back page” until the last possible moment.

He’s been publishing books for many many years and this is only my third.

So no contest on the experience front.

However, I thought that the story was told and that he had the book.

I was wrong.

Right on que up popped the knight of the realm to add to the high farce at Ibrox.

His statement is beyond parody.

However, what was of interest is that it was sent out through the Press Association and he didn’t entertain the idea of a presser.

He didn’t even do a one-to-one with a favoured journalist.

In the good old days he would grant an exclusive fireside chat to, say, Chick Young.

The tough BBC sports reporter would then ask Sir David to explain the full extent of his wonderfulness.

Times have certainly changed and now it is Mark Daly from the Beeb who gets stuck into the man who once ruled Ibrox.

By owning Rangers Murray also, ipso facto, had many Scottish sports journalists begging him for scraps.

When Murray was holding court in Channel Islands and journalists like Graham Spiers and James Traynor joined him at his home there the World Wide Web was in its infancy.

If anyone had speculated over the succulent lamb the idea that one day an anonymous person could share the club’s dirty tax secrets with tens of thousands of avid readers on computer screens around the world then they would not have been given any more of that very fine red wine.

This technology has been a game changer and the man who effortlessly controlled the traditional news outlets a decade ago has been beached by history.

Washed up on the further shores of the information archipelago a digital tsunami wiped out his control of the media in Scotland.

In his first decade in charge of Rangers it was the old traditional media and the one way flow of information.

This was a paradigm where Murray excelled.

The hacks were pitifully easy to bribe and bully into obedience.

He didn’t have to try that hard to get them to do his bidding.

By the end of his second decade in charge (2008) the web was ubiquitous and it had even reached Planet Fitba.

Both Murray and his house trained hacks were under attack.

As new media became increasingly dominant in telling the Rangers saga over the last few years then new journalists like Daly and Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News brushed aside the sports hacks and showed them how it was done.

Today both the reputation of the knight of the realm and his poodles in the media are fatally damaged.

The Fitba fourth estate have been relegated kicked out of the park by bloggers and Sir David is not seen as in anyway credible when he talks of the tax efficiency strategies of Rangers during his tenure.

In the feudal age the aristocracy could control the peasantry by having the holy men on their side.

Those working the fields were disinformed, disorientated and often terrified by what they were told.

It all helped to keep them obedient.

500 years ago the printing press in Europe destroyed the influence of those who copied manuscripts by hand.

When that happened the men who controlled the scribes were also toppled.

Previous owners of Rangers also had a cosy relationship with a compliant media.

It was Murray’s historical bad luck that the information game changed forever while he was in charge at Ibrox.

Johannes Gutenberg exploded a literacy bomb under feudal Europe.

Moveable type shifted that which everyone thought would be there forever. Murray had to deal with the digital revolution overturning the media protocols that he had expected always to be there when he took over at Ibrox.

I fully accept that styling Sir David as a latter day Cardinal Richelieu might be an analogy too far for some.

We all know that this technology has changed the modalities of human discourse, but sometimes it is worth taking a break on the uphill to look back and see how far we have climbed.

What Murray said yesterday about the EBT issues was risible and is not worth parsing.

How he put it out was telling.

His control of the media has gone and he is smart enough to know that.

Game over.

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