The Clumpany noted Sevco’s unassuming statement on Friday that it had reinstated the press privileges of the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin.
Apparently, it had received assurances from the Corporation that its future reporting on the entity that pretends to be a creditor-stiffing liquidated ‘club’ will be “balanced”.
You have to laugh, don’t you?
You may remember that Chris had been ‘barred’ from Ibrox and the BBC had reacted by saying it would not send any journalists to Ibrox while the bar remained in place.
Upon seeing Friday’s statement, all sorts of things immediately went through The Clumpany’s tiny mind.
What did Sevco mean by “balanced”? Cleared by Dave King or at least the ‘club’s’ PR advisors prior to publication?!
Had the BBC apologised to Sevc0?
What assurances had the BBC given to Sevco about the future behaviour of
- Chris McLaughlin; and
- Aunty Beeb herself?
Any sort of apology or assurance from the BBC would be truly jaw-dropping, and newsworthy in its own right. And probably ought to attract the attention of the National Union of Journalists.
However, subsequent reports suggested that the truth might actually be rather more straightforward.
Although it is worth noting that the latest ‘update’ of the article in the Evening Shark-Jump (from Saturday 29th August) simply says this
Either way, I find it hard to believe that if the BBC had offered some sort of apology or concrete reassurance it wouldn’t have been made public or at the very least found its way into the public domain via ‘sources close to the discussions’.
But that’s just my opinion.
I also happen to think that Sevco had far more to gain in keeping the BBC onside than the other way round.
The BBC could continue to cover Sevco without too many problems regardless of whether McLaughlin and other journalists were allowed into Ibrox.
Put bluntly: why on earth would the BBC have boycotted Ibrox in response to the McLaughlin ban if they thought it would be a calamitous step for their sports coverage?
Conversely, Sevco had nothing of substance to gain by driving away the state broadcaster. Indeed they were quite likely to be shooting themselves in the foot by impairing their access to a major media outlet.
And we all know how much Sevco seems to value the management of its PR.
It doesn’t take much imagination to conclude that Sevco had already got the only benefit it could possibly gain from banning McLaughlin.
Namely, that they had appeased a section of the fanbase who had been yearning for the ‘new’ regime to give the ‘club’s’ critics a bloody nose.
Having done this, the regime could obtain no further benefit from maintaining a stand-off with the Corporation and so capitulated. Giving the BBC what they wanted, and allowing McLaughlin back into Ibrox.
Keep-eyed Clumpaneers will note that Chris’s fellow Ibrox exile Graham Spiers has not yet had his ban revoked.
But Spiers of course doesn’t have a major media player of the magnitude of the BBC – which refuses to be pushed around – covering his back.
So whilst The Clumpany has no inside knowledge, my opinion on this matter is that Sevco simply caved in to the BBC, having recognised the futility of carrying on with the McLaughlin ban.
Incidentally, The Clumpany remains amused that Sevco chose to bar Chris McLaughlin in the first place, given that he gave the ‘club’ the single best bit of media coverage it has received all year.
Who can forget that time when Chris seemingly stood by and gave Neil Doncaster free reign to assert that Sevco is the ‘same club’ as creditor-stiffing Rangers on the basis of an extremely selective [*cough*] interpretation of the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission?
Without offering a single word of constructive challenge, despite knowing that this is a matter of considerable interest to his audience and despite presumably being very familiar with all the arguments.
It was a laughable performance by McLaughlin, and presumably lapped up by both Sevco and its 500 million fans.
[NB Chris, if you ever stumble across this blog (and why should you?), I will gladly give you a right of reply to the preceding paragraphs].
Still, despite all of the shenanigans in recent times, it is great that Sevco and the BBC have now made up.
I hate to see old friends falling out.