The importance of good men

Jim Spence is a good man.

All’s well that ends well and yesterday afternoon a good man got the support from his employers that he had perhaps thought wasn’t going to be forthcoming.

Had it not turned out so then it would have been a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Our hero’s fatal flaw would have been his basic honesty and that would say so much of where we are after the death of Rangers.

Despite some spinning to the contrary, my BBC sources tell me that Jim Spence formally requested redundancy on Monday night when he emailed the corporation’s HR Dept.

Although various Beeb staff had been asked to consider taking a severance package some months ago, it was the brouhaha over the broadcast last week that forced Spence to consider his position.

Once the email was sent into HR I understand that the Dundonian confirmed this decision in a telephone conversation with the BBC’s business manager, Ian Small, yesterday morning (Tuesday 10th September).

Moreover Spence’s request for redundancy and the controversy over the broadcast were entirely connected.

It may have suited some in the higher echelons of the corporation to dismiss it as a coincidence, but this is not the case.

Had it not been for the controversy over the broadcast Spence was would not have requested redundancy at the start of this week.

I published my piece just as Jim was going into a meeting with his union rep and BBC management at Pacific Quay.

With Paul Holleran of the NUJ in his corner it soon became apparent that the Beeb would back their man.

However, it is important to remember that Jim Spence is entirely blameless in this entire episode.

He was merely stating what many people in Scottish football consider to be true.

Indeed, the folk at Pacific Quay had defended their position after complaints were made to the BBC Trust and the advice of their QC was that The Rangers Football Club (formerly known as Sevco Scotland Limited) was indeed a new club.

Since the BBC Trust ruled on this matter, the corporation’s journalists in Scotland have been in a somewhat difficult position.

What is now needed is clarity and guidance from their management.

There are good people at the BBC in senior positions who have the best of intentions, but like all big organisations their internal communications could be better.

The failure to counteract the piece in the Herald about the BBC’s “apology”  for the reference to the death of Rangers was a crucial error and certainly Spence could be forgiven if he had thought  on Monday and through to Tuesday lunchtime that he was going to be ‘hung out to dry’ by his employers.

When I contacted The BBC Press Office at Pacific Quay yesterday morning-a full 24 hours after the Herald piece-I thought that they were off the pace.

Perhaps we may look back and see that Spence’s off the cuff remark last week was an Andrew Gilligan moment for Planet Fitba.

What we have been treated to since last summer is the rather unedifying sight of Sevco being sexed up for public consumption.

However, it would be unfair to be too harsh on the management at Pacific Quay as the fudge was originally manufactured on the 6th floor of Hampden last June.

Even when asked by the Beeb’s man Chris McLaughlin last July, Stewart Regan would not clear up the status of Sevco Scotland Limited apropos Rangers (1872).

To pacify the supporter base of a club that was liquidated, the football authorities allowed a phoenix operation to take its place without due diligence being carried out into this new company and their business plan.

Charles Green was allowed to make ludicrous claims about buying titles and history.

This should have been subjected to the scrutiny of the Fitba Fourth Estate.

That, of course, hasn’t happened.

Subsequently, Spence’s rather unwitting contribution has brought the current official fiction into stark relief.

As for Spencey?

He has done the state some service.

We know’t.

No more of that.

44 thoughts on “The importance of good men

  1. joseph mary

    Jimmythef, I think you will find, my friend that fighting for the minorities in Scottish society as well as being the main cheerleader for Scottish football( as witnessed on 25 may 1967) is in fact THE CELTIC WAY. We have learned to live with the masonic conspiracies you talk about. Unlike your insular brethren, we have evolved and used education as a tool to break down the walls your forefathers spent many years building. Think of me the next time you throw a bowl or swing a five iron Jimbo…… I, ‘ll be in the library.

  2. jimmythef

    you neglect the only pertinent point, Rangers are very much alive, the opinions of ex players,journalists,brain dead celtic fans or the BBC is of no matter whatsoever, opinions aren’t facts, legally Rangers continue as the most successful club in world football and no amount of wishful thinking by Celtic fans that we don’t continue will alter that in the slightest….remember, what goes around in football comes around,
    hopefully when the corruption that festers within parkhead is exposed to the light, yourself and all your morally uprighteous fellow Celtic fans will have the decency to demand the demise of your club…..somehow i think you’ll find a way to blame it on a masonic conspriacy, it’s the celtic way

  3. fifa

    That is the problem ,we had the death but not the funeral the carcass is stinking to high heaven and will continue to do so until it is let go,the zombies will continue to protect their dead as long as they are allowed to ,the SFA need to issue the death certificate to allow the funeral to take place,over to you SFA.

  4. JonjoKSG

    Our man Jim Spence, vilified with little support from within his own profession and his employers, has to be admired. He has merely told it as he sees it, aka the truth.
    As an aside, I, my wife, my Bhoy were at the Scotland v Belgium match with four Belgian friends (one Anderlecht fan and three Standard Liege fans)over for the game. Jeez we had a great time educating them about the demise of that despicable club and the establishment of a new but equally despicable club due to it having the same customer base. Knowing my friends this will be spread around their friends in their homeland.

  5. elfranco'toneli

    well said phil, as for jim spence i suspect at sometime in the future he will put out to pasture, as for sevco and their fans,george gallowys’ quip comes to mind I E they are both 2 cheeks of the same ARSE

  6. David Bell

    there is several things he that comes to mind

    1. this was a non scripted BBC show where people are brought in based on their particular aspect on position in scottish football, they are on the show to give THEIR opinion and not nessesarily the BBC trusts required standand for broadcast

    2. the show was LIVE and therefore not subject to editing (the shows podcast was edited to remove the comment that offend some people) thus the BBC actually followed BBC trusts guidelines….

    3. random opinions are allowed on this show through tweets, emails, etc. should everything on air have to go through aunties lawyers before broadcast ???? no i dont think so either totally impractical

    4.there is also the main thing here which is freedom of speech, is jim not entitled legally to his own opinion as everyone else is in this country, think the BBC should be experts on freedom of speech

    5. in the charlotte fakes revelations was mark hatley not paid 2000 per month 24000 per year to promote the ibrox football clubs opinion on all matters on such shows. I find this MORE SCANDALOUS than Jim Spences comment and he wasnt offering opinion as promoting PROPEGADA on behalf of rangers

    6. didnt the club actually DIE

  7. jimCB

    Yes it’s a good day when the truth prevails. However the very fact that the truth becomes a ‘sensitive’ issue says it all. Everything that has gone on before and since the blue teams demise has shown that many of their follow followers AND the many and various guys in charge have great difficulty with the new reality. As you’ve said Phil the selling of the new jerseys meant that it needed to be the same old blues again – sorry getting carried away with the puns – help! This denial, their pride in the legacy, their ‘tradition is at the core of their problems and until they realise that and deal with it then there’ll be no way forward for them. But eh….it’s not our problem is it ? Despite all the issues that have been thrown up ( there we go again ) excuse me for wishing them continuing turbulence. It’s better than Breaking Bad.

  8. florian albert

    I always enjoy Jim Spence’s comments on BBC Scotland. It would be a pity of he disappeared from the BBC, when clearly there is a forest of deadwood that should go before him.
    That said, he is not Othello – nor is he the corrupt Charles Haughey – and I doubt if he would say that he had done the state any particular service.
    The whole ‘newco’/’oldco’ argument has become tiresome.
    ‘No more of that.’

    1. Pensionerbhoy


      You know what they say about brass necks. They never rust. Do not be surprised if they turn up at a “charity” shop.

      H H

  9. Pensionerbhoy


    It makes no more difference than a flicker of a light-bulb. A millisecond of illumination followed by the accustomed darkness, the perfect hiding environment. The nefarious neglect of the Hampden cronies was, in my reckoning, no excuse for sidestepping journalism such as that from all of the MSM. There may be good men and true “at the BBC in senior positions who have the best of intentions” but I am not convinced that poor communication in large organisations is the dominant reason for their oversights on this particular topic. The tentacles of cover-up, misrepresentation, duplicity and concealment in this matter, spread further in Scotland than large corporations, Football Governance or even government. Sadly and dangerously their strongest grip is in the hearts and minds of far too many influential men.

    H H

  10. joseph mary

    Surely the time has come for the SFA to call a press conference to end this Rangers pantomime once and for all. This is becoming an absolute embarrassment for Scotland. There is no debate here! Rangers FC spent way beyond it’s means, defaulted and after a period of administration they liquidated. They went the way of thousands of businesses and unfortunately many people were left devastated by this. At first the fans of Rangers FC stood on Edmiston Drive and mourned the club,s passing. Ex players accepted it, journalists accepted it, even some fans accepted it, believing that as long as the”big hoose” stayed open, something else would emerge and take it’s place. People were coming to terms with it. Then, when the vultures begun circling above the club deck we started to hear of incubators and phoenix clubs and slowly, through internet forums and an agenda driven section of the media we began to witness the first signs of intimidation by fans of the deceased club. Football chairmen were threatened , people on panels were warned their stadiums would be torched and we were told this was all a plan by Lawwell, Doncaster and Reagan to kill Rangers. This paranoid behaviour should have been dealt with by the authorities but, like most bullies, the failure to act only served to make them bolder. They now have “The Rangers” to watch in the same stadium, wear the same colours and are supported by the same fans. Why then do they feel the need to attack a good guy like Jim Spence for stating what the whole world knows? ….. All true Scottish football fans should lobby their chairmen to demand an SFA press conference to end this fiasco before someone suffers a REAL tragedy at the hands of the lunatic fringe.

    1. Pensionerbhoy


      Excellent summation of the past 24 months. There is nothing so bewildering and dangerous than the internal combustion of the human mind especially when running on the wrong or tampered fuel. When out of control on level ground it is a threat to all on the road. But when it is being given a push from the top of the hill by every power at hand, it is heading for the crash to end all crashes and destined for the scrapheap. The sad reality is there will be innumerable fatalities as a result. You are undoubtedly correct. If some agency does not find some “nuts” and step in to undertake the necessary repairs to the runaway vehicle, utter carnage is inevitable.

      H H

  11. jimlarkin

    The BBC will wait and wait and wait and hope that the dust settles.

    The guys like Spence will be told privately, to be careful what they say – in future – and everything will carry on as before
    That is
    . . . The journalists and sports reporters will appease the Klan, and nobody else will have the ‘Santa Claus’ (cockney slang), to speak up, and even Jim Spence will happily carry on, knowing that his job is safe – as long as he toes the line !

  12. John Mon

    Yet another victory for the good guys and of course freedom of speech.

    One of the many visitors from Rangers Media reading this need to get back into the Bears Den to update the Klan and curtail their celebrations.

  13. Jimmy1940

    What people want to believe and what is factually true shows just how much influence reporters of some newspapers have in Scotland,is it editors or their reporters who feed the fans this futile drivel?they realy must do better and let us all move on for the good of our wonderful game.

  14. william wood

    Many,many thanks are due to Mr Spence-as an old lurker on these sites his action has given me and many of my age group tremendous pleasure-because what he said was the Truth-which a very large part of Scottish society will not accept!

    Even although acceptance will set them free-if only they would realize!

  15. bfb

    Spencey is indeed one of the good guys and I would miss his enthusiasm and style- he is the thinking man’s Kris Kamara and I mean that as a compliment……

  16. iain

    Phil mate its only you that keeps rattling on about rangers status or lack of it- no one else gives a hoot about it. You really need a well deserved rest. Sit back and relax whilst pondering why your beloved Celtic were a party to the so called five way agreement of shame. Questions need to be asked of Mr lawell and that of other chairmen who have only their balance sheets at heart. All the rhetoric about sporting integrity was never their genuine cause. If indeed it were not for the fans then rangers in their current guise would still be playing in the top tier of Scottish football. Fans of all clubs have been taken for a ride by poor journalism and corruption at the highest level within Scottish football

  17. bawsmanBawsman

    Phil, surely NOW is the time to be calling for Campbell Ogilvie, Reagan and Doncaster to stand up and be counted by them issueing a statement regretting the liquidation and death of Rangers.

  18. mick

    At last some comman sence a feel its time the beeb focused on the relationship between sevco 5088 d&ps and sevco Scotland (phoniex) proven via green telling whyte you are sevco the sfa are implicated in serious tax law crime here via whyte and green why is there no mention of this via msm

  19. browny

    I thought the Herald was a real NEWS paper? Seems they don’t exist any more? A free press is a thing of the past! Well done Phil.

  20. Felpen

    I too emaied the beeb to let them know I would not be paying my tv licence and woud also advise friends and family to do the same if this man lost his job for giving his honest opinion. Good to see justice has been done, but the BBC are scating on thin ice if they continue to bow down to thugs.

  21. Jaime Roldos

    I follow 3 journalists on twitter. Jim was the first I followed. Thoroughly decent man. And honest journo. Well done to him and everyone who backed him.

  22. gerard reilly

    i,ve also seen the NewCo are being referred to as ” RIFC” = new title for a new concern , as of may 2012 , + what does “liquidation” mean in plain obvious words that even the newco fans understand ?

  23. redetin

    The BBC have researchers in legal and business matters, with journalists and presenters who can analyse and deliver information.

    Apart from the Mark Daly documentary, the BBC chose to front this debacle largely with sports presenters who so often found it “complicated” and perhaps had an eye on other agendas.

    Time now for better brains to present the true business position.


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