Media, Scottish Football

Spare A Thought For Jim Traynor

Good Morning.

As news breaks that HMRC have won their appeal in the Big Tax Case, the Clumpany would like to do two things.

Firstly, I would like to note that there could yet be an appeal to the UK Supreme Court against the decision, and a number of cases are still going through the tribunal system – having been sent back to the First Tier following a previous court ruling. So this saga hasn’t yet concluded by any means.

Secondly I would simply like to place before you a quote from Jim Traynor’s legendary final column in the Daily Record. 

James Traynor: Why this is my last ever newspaper column

It was published on 3 December 2012 and included these words, which I invite you to savour.

“Unfortunately, there has been the last twisted and bitter year during which Scottish football, unable to deal with the Rangers crisis in a civilised manner, has tried to tear itself apart. All in the name of sporting integrity, of course.

Actually, for the last couple of years some of the most bilious types have been allowed to emerge from the shadows and spew invective that sadly became regarded as fact, even though what they were saying and writing wasn’t even close to being definitive. Or honest. Overnight all sorts of anonymous bloggers became experts. These champions of decency had all the answers. They knew better than anyone else. They said over and over Rangers would be done for cheating the tax man.

They were wrong, the Rangers Tax Case blog in particular. Yet he/her/they stated: “This blog has been accurate on all of the major points of the case except the one that matters most to date – the FTT (First-tier Tax Tribunal) outcome”.

Excuse me? Accurate on all the major points except the bit that matters most. And that’s all right is it?

That’s a bit like a team manager saying after a defeat: “Hold on, I picked the right team and I believe my tactics were correct. So the result doesn’t really matter.”

Dolts. The result is everything. If any of the Rangers Tax Case bloggers are trained lawyers, would you want them to defend you in a court of law?

Even now so many – and I include some fellow journalists – still cannot bring themselves to accept Rangers did not cheat the tax man by using EBTs.

One journalist declared it to be “a government conspiracy” when he heard the ruling in Rangers’ favour.

Perhaps in time more will be written about this kind of hack and the rabid desire to help bring down Rangers, a fierce desire that, sadly, was widespread. Actually, I’m sure more will be written about them.

Just when did they become consumed by such eye-popping rage? Was it always there, a dormant fury against Rangers and their fans, who deserve enormous credit for having saved their club, just waiting for the catalyst?

Now they can’t help themselves. They can’t stop foaming at the mouth and we can be sure their determination to have titles stripped will go into overdrive.

They need some kind of victory or they might explode and that would be terribly messy. All that bile all over the walls and streets. 

Unfortunately reason was never allowed to be a player in this grotesque game, which quickly became dominated mostly by incoherent imbeciles fuelled by all that hatred.

And let’s not forget how some with telly platforms were prompted by those bloggers and ill-informed commentators. Stupidly they allowed themselves to be duped by supporters with dangerous agendas hidden under the banner of integrity.

And the result? Some of the most shallow and infantile drivel ever written. These egotists are so into themselves they’ve no regard for the safety or wellbeing of those about whom they have written some awful and completely inaccurate pieces.

Despicable, pathetic little creatures craving some kind of recognition but lacking in conscience and morality.

I’m so sorry they’ve had to be thrown up into the same piece as some of the true greats and gentlemen of world sport.

However, that’s it. My work here is done and I’m glad – but just for the record, I’ve not been sacked or made redundant. I was asked to remain but my conscience won’t allow me to stay in our profession.

The kind of journalism needed by the country, never mind sport, no longer exists in enough of the media outlets.”

Cheers Jim, I hope you are having a lovely day.

And if the author of the Rangers Tax Case Blog is looking in… I salute you!