Too cowardly to report. Too bigoted to believe.

Suddenly Scotland is remarkably well off for brave journalists.

The studios are full of dogged reporters who are calling out Mr Whyte.

The man described as a “Billionaire” by Keith Jackson of the Daily Record back in November 2010 is now a legitimate target for dogged reporting by the Scottish Sports Desks.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/football/spl/rangers/2010/11/18/craig-whyte-profile-the-scots-billionaire-on-the-brink-of-taking-over-the-club-he-loves-86908-22722617/

As well as re-writing their own role in this story, they are also attempting to alter the narrative of the origins of the Rangers fiasco.

The basis of Rangers’ terminal illness is not the nine months of Mr Whyte’s stewardship, but Sir David Murray’s two decades in charge.

With the arrival of the assessment for £24million in unpaid taxes in early 2010, the club was on borrowed time.

That calculation from the HMRC added £12million in interest charges they also sought penalties of £18 million.

The total bad news of £54 million was several times the liquidation value of the club.

It was also double the much publicised bank debt that had forced Lloyds Banking group to take effective control of Rangers.

Throughout this time, it was a constant battle to get any coverage of this into the Scottish media.

In early 2010 when I had the forensic facts of the “big tax case” I took it to the news editor of the News of the World Scottish edition.

A Cumbrian lad he immediately saw the news value in the story and his editor, also an Englishman, agreed.

The front page splash on Sunday 16th May of “Simply the bust” was classic News of the World stuff.

I now know that these headlines caused the only serious bidder to withdraw from talks to buy the club.

After that moneyed Rangers supporter pulled out, it was only chaps like Mr Ellis and Mr Whyte who were interested.

May 16th 2010 was, in hindsight, “job done” it was also National Famine Memorial day here in Ireland.

Which is where I came in…

The News of the World stories in May and June of 2010 are worth mentioning because of they are atypical of the coverage of this story throughout the period.

The main impulse of the sports desks of the major titles in Scotland was to play down the significance of this tax case thingy.

Anytime a sports hack was pressed on this story by a gleeful Celtic fan or a concerned Rangers fan the stock response was to claim ignorance and have a side swipe at online cranks.

The main objective of the sports desks is to have a steady diet of good news to satisfy their main demographic, Rangers supporters.

The tax case was not just bad news, but a death warrant for the club and meaning almost certain administration and possibly liquidation.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/taxing-times-for-rangers/

Had the back pages been full of this on a constant basis then there might have been an impulse for Rangers supporters to organise.

Of course, they didn’t preferring to wait on a new sugar daddy.

When they were told of Craig Whyte’s stealth wealth by Keith Jackson they believed what they wanted to believe.

Whyte’s time at the club was plagued by an anonymous blogger who de-constructed the spin often within hours of the PR guys handing out the back page headlines to the obedient hacks.

It gave me a smile to see a newspaper of the standing of the Guardian acknowledge the role of the RTC blog today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/feb/17/scotland-media-rangers

Craig Whyte referred to the RTC blog as “99% crap” although usually the Rangers owner is much better at numbers.

The success of RTC is a case study in what Professor Roy Greenslade of the City University calls a “horizontalized journalism” although he concedes that it is an awful word!

Apart from the catalysing blog posts, often scooping the mainstream media in Scotland, RTC was and remains a gathering point for the inquisitive and the qualified.

From the original wakeup call in the News of the World in 2010 to the excavations of the RTC, the information was all there and, of course, on here too.

Rangers supporters could have been very well informed.

Today they will flock into Ibrox to show their support and their defiance, but it is all too late.

They cannot alter events, they are merely helpless spectators.

Their culture of deference and an addiction to Herrenvolk hubris made them easy targets for the fantasies being peddled by on message sports hacks.

The people they said were lying to them were actually telling them the truth.

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/rangers-strike-it-lucky-with-their-new-owner/

The irony was that the Rangers support was very well informed about the danger to their club.

However they had issues that the information was coming from an anonymous blogger who is a self-confessed Celtic fan and by an, ahem, in-your-face-head-totally-above-the-parapet –Fenian-in Donegal is just too delicious.

Rangers supporters had the information to save their club.

However the sources of the information made them recoil from the narrative.

Instead they believed the fairy stories about billionaires.

Scotland DOES have very fine journalists.

News reporters and political correspondents shake their head at the antics of the denizens of the sports desks.

I spoke with one veteran “Pol Corr” yesterday and he jauntily assumed that the Scottish media would be b eating a path to my Donegal door.

When I told him that I had not received a single media request from Scotland he was genuinely shocked.

“That’s bizarre” he said.

I told him that I wasn’t in the least surprised.

When Celtic fans lambast Scottish journalism I always insert a caveat that the journalists they have experience of aren’t the cream of the crop.

Today in the Debt Dome the Rangers support will once more manifest a trait of their sub-culture that was a major part of their undoing.

Uncomprehendingly loyal they believed that the status quo will always deliver for them.

The Trailer Trash of a dead empire they aren’t the stuff  that rebellions are made of.

This could be the last time that the club formed in 1873 plays at their home ground.

Only a CVA can save them and that is in the balance.

There is not a ticket to be had and I would not be surprised if we hear of Fenian blood and Famines at Ibrox today.

However as their club bleeds out it was Fenian with Mayo DNA who warned them.

They couldn’t allow themselves to listen.

Little wonder that I allow myself a small smile today.

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