The hacks go back to the future with Dave King

I am sure the South African entrepreneur flies business class when he jets in to Glasgow.

However for the presser yesterday I rather suspect he travelled to Level 5 by means of a modified DeLorean.

To the gushing stenographers it must have seemed that they had been transported back in time.

There was not a single question that could not be characterised as ‘softball’.

Had there been a less obedient journalist there the questioning might have been as follows:

“So let me get this straight Dave.

“Restoring Rangers to pre-eminence is going to take “tens of millions of pounds”, but you don’t know how much?

“Then there’s the stadium… you say you haven’t set foot in the place for two years?

“You cannot give us any ballpark figure?


Instead we got this:

“DK – …..I’m not sure how much exactly. I’m concerned about the dilapidation of the stadium, for example. In November I was talking about an initial injection of £16 million but that was in football terms and I wasn’t aware that the stadium might need millions of pounds spent on basic repairs. As with all these situations it’s likely to be more, rather than less.”

However he did indicate that he might use some of Big Mike’s cash that he expects still to be in the bank account after he wins at the EGM.

Oh and Celtic will be allowed to win the league 45% of the time!

The implication, of course, is that there were only two teams in Scottish football and the pre-ordained place was for one of them to be in second place most of the time.

Sense of entitlement?

Oh dear….

Instead of acting like journalists the stenographers asked Mr King to lay out his vision for the future of the tribute act.

The hacks duly obliged and today the tabloids were full of gushing copy.

This interview with given to Roddy Forsyth is as good as it gets I’m afraid.

The Telegraph’s man is fond of a military analogy and hence this question:

“RF – Are you not Napoleon arriving at the gates of Moscow to discover the city is burning in that, with Mike Ashley’s control of Rangers retail, he could be rewriting contracts in his favour which might be unbreakable and would allow him significant control over the cash flow?”

King easily swatted away the question:

“DK – I don’t think it’s a question of Moscow being burned. It may be dilapidated – there may be contracts in place that are out of balance. If they are commercially compromising, we would seek to have them overturned.

“If they are merely commercially astute negotiations by one party versus another party who didn’t have equivalent commercial skills, then maybe we have to live with that. I don’t believe, either way, that it would be significant, because the major asset is still the fans and the short term key to success is to reconnect with them and get them supporting the club again.

“But it is important that we start looking at the commercial contracts that have been negotiated to the extent that they might be inappropriate or will not stand scrutiny. Or they might turn out to be perfectly fair – other than Somers’ strong indication in the email, we can’t really be sure.

“I’m assuming that if Somers felt sufficiently strongly to send that email out that there is some form of irregularity. I certainly expect to see some form of irregularity in the contracts with Sports Direct.”

If Mr Forsyth had wanted to keep on that metaphorical route march to Russia then he might have wanted to mention that Big Mike just might be planning a ‘scorched earth policy’ between now and the EGM.

However the strategic moment passed and, as with most things, it’s all about timing.

The King ‘plan’ will work if Ashley’s position collapses like the hastily assembled rear-guard at Stalingrad.

However I doubt that Big Mike will be remembered as the Generalfeldmarschall Paulus of Planet Fitba.

I rather suspect that it will be Ashely’s men who complete the strategic encirclement as they burn through the £10m loan.

Military disasters usually happen because one side was all ready to fight the previous conflict.

Things move on and times change.

The compliant presser yesterday was the journalistic equivalent of the Maginot Line.

When Dave King said that his “final settlement” in South Africa that “…my version prevailed…” he should have been met with a swift counter attack.

Instead the hacks remained obediently and shamefully silent.

Yesterday Dave King took the hacks back to the future where a team at Ibrox  called ‘Rangers’ runs at a loss and because of that brushes the opposition aside with the aid of a financially doped up team on the pitch.

In that movie the other clubs in Scotland are merely extras on the set.

For the ‘fit and proper’ question King had clearly been prepped, but that’s what you hire PR companies for.

I have no issue with that as they’re professionals providing a service.

However journalists at a presser are meant to be the enemy not collaborators.

It really is time some of them got their marching orders.

Leave a Reply