Two very different conversations.

I was speaking to two young Scottish journalists this week about the significance of the Rangers in administration story.

One of the reporters works on the sports desk for a UK daily and the other for a small regional title.

The guy from the big selling tabloid wanted to discuss with me how the mainstream media had missed what he called “the biggest story in Scottish football in his lifetime”, and he was genuinely perplexed about this.

The other journalist wanted to share her observations on how Rangers going into Administration had authorised people to reveal their feelings about the club.

She said that over the week in her rural local pub people of an older generation were “opening up” and saying what the end of Rangers would mean for them.

This clearly wasn’t about sporting rivalry, but a longstanding cultural wound.

Repressing feelings about the decades of discrimination, taunting, threats and occasional physical attacks had taken their toll.

The real possibility that Rangers could “die” had acted as a releaser cue for people who were the targets of the Ibrox crowd because of their religion and their ethnicity.

At the last home game against Kilmarnock, the paying customers demonstrated their love for Rangers by singing about being up to their knees in Fenian blood.

Once more Ibrox was the gathering point for those who define themselves by what they hate rather than what they love.

This is a culture of ethnic hatred, Herrenvolk hubris and a crass sense of entitlement.

Is it any wonder that many of the victims of the Rangers sub culture do want this “institution” to go away?

Humour has always been a main weapon in the armoury of Scotland’s Irish community when faced with the racist hostility from followers of this magnificent Scottish “institution”, and last week was no different.  Social media were deluged with satire at the expense of Rangers and their supporters.

This one remains my favourite.

Tabloid man had called me and he made it clear that he had been stung by my allegations in this post.


Although he wasn’t named in the piece he took it to heart, at the end of the conversation he accepted my explanation for why the sports desks in Scotland had failed on this story

Moreover, they had failed their readers, ironically mainly comprised of Rangers supporters.

The cowardice and  venality of the sports desks prevented the necessary information getting out that could have facilitated a grass roots movement by the club’s supporters.

I was making a generalisation about the occupants of the sports desks at the big titles and in the major broadcast organisations.

The generalisation held as it was generally correct.

I thought that these two separate conversations from very different journalists told the same tale.

The same venal tabloids that had withheld the distressing news from Rangers fans also allowed them the licence to continue to have it in for the “Fenians”   and anyone who would challenge their birth right.

I hope the death of Rangers, if it finally comes to that, is a watershed moment for the media in Scotland.

Through their venality and cowardice, the fourth estate didn’t cover a story of national significance.

They now play catch up with and tell the world that they were on it from the start.

Few were prepared to breaks ranks in this fiction because they know they wouldn’t work again.

A mention and tip of the hat must go to Darryl King of the Evening Times who was on the tax story from the start and saw the significance of it.

Both the journalists I talked to were young with decades in the trade in front of them.

Tabloid guy is a decent human being, but it was the other reporter who demonstrated a lighter touch and more nuanced grasp of the significance of the entire saga.

If she is typical of the future of journalism in Scotland, then the trade will be ok.

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion