Noninvestigative churnalism

As I look in on the media that currently serves of Planet Fitba I am somewhat saddened dear reader.

It is an uncomfortable truth that these are glory days for sports churnalism in Scotland.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this and, perhaps, somewhere in the cosmos it is different.

I like to think of a parallel Fitba universe where there be journalists.

For example, it is a given that the New Regime requires external finance to see out the season.

Just like out there in space a black hole exists in the Sevco accounts and there is no way of worming out of that one.

Of course, the alien creature constructed by Charles of Normandy from the body parts of Rangers in 2012 has never made a profit for shareholders.

However, it has enriched a favoured few.

Out in Offshore World they’re smiling benignly at the money machine at Ibrox.

Rangers International Football Club (RIFC) and the lossmaking subsidiary The Rangers Football Club (formerly Sevco Scotland Limited) burned through substantial cash reserves in 2013.

Subsequently, since February 2014 it has been relying on a series of emergency loans to keep going.

Quite simply their cost base has been too high since the club was founded in 2012.

With the New Regime in place it has been all hands to the keyboard during this Ticket Season at Sevco.

However, despite the best efforts of the Stenographers, the New Regime have not achieved the target set by Mr David Cunningham King.

If Scottish newspapers were in the journalism business interest, instead of churnalising for the New Regime at Sevco, could be mining a rich vein of stories.

Instead their readers are served up succulent puff pieces often with an advert to buy season tickets at Ibrox apparently woven into the copy.

Since the New Regime took over in March the output of the main titles in Scotland have moved up a Level to barely concealed infomercials for Sevco.

In a parallel universe journalists from major Scottish newspapers would be seeking an interview this week with Mr George Taylor.

Within this alternative reality the reporter would turn up with a series of well researched questions to put to a funder member of the Three Bears.

The extent of that funding would also be examined and to what extent he had bankrolled others to have a shareholding in RIFC.

Mr Taylor would be asked at this interview about his current business relationship with the RIFC Chairman.

As a follow up to that his views would be sought on the shelf company Alpha Holdings.

He would be questioned about whether or not he was trying to ascertain the identities of those behind Alpha Holdings.

As this interview was ongoing another similarly well briefed journalist would be putting in very precise questions to the Ibrox press office.

These interrogatives would include a line of inquiry apropos the expenses culture at Ibrox since March this year.

Also the claimed figures on Season Ticket sales would be forensically examined and not taken at face value.

Moreover, the New Regime would be questioned about certain influential fans being used as conduits to distribute free tickets to keep to optics going that Ibrox is full of paying punters on match days.

The views of Mr Douglas Park would also be sought and not via a press release, but from the man himself.

For the avoidance of doubt, the importance in journalism of asking very precise questions is to put them On The Record.

Crucially they have been asked and even if there is a ‘no comment’ then the reader can make a judgement on that lack of a response.

My interrogatives to Baker Tilly and Campbell Dallas regarding the sourcing of a new auditor for RUFC this week is a case in point.

In this alternative dimension a journalist would be teleported to South Africa to put some uncomfortable questions to Mr David Cunningham King.

The term ‘disapplication rights’ would feature prominently in this sit down.

As would the identity of the main beneficiary of the New Oasis Asset trust.

In this universe dear reader the editor of the newspaper would want to unearth the truth as opposed to cosying up to a PR firm acting for the football club.

The Prime Directive in this off the radar world is serving the Public Interest.

Moreover, the journalists in this alternate cosmos would be erudite and able to spot major literary references and their metaphorical significance to a social media conversation.

Subsequently, they would be able to discern that what is unfolding at Ibrox is truly Orwellian.

The vista is complete with biddable proles and the cultural therapy of the two minute online hate for any dissenting voice.

For example, any of The People who points to the forensic fact that the largest sibling is a convicted criminal is sent to Blue Room 101.

Of course, the reality I am describing to you is not one of dumbed down churnalism, but where reporters live and breathe to get a real story and be the first to break it.

For the avoidance of doubt there are great stories on Planet Fitba waiting be unearthed about the Ibrox omnishambles.

However, instead the Stenographers wait patiently in line for the next press release.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this, but sadly dear reader the world I write about is not available in print.

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