Media, Scottish Football, Sevco, SPFL

The History Man and the Gatekeeper

Warbo history

Good Evening.

Time for something a little bit more light-hearted following yesterday’s tumultuous events. And where better to look than Former City Trader, The Oh-So-Respectful Mark ‘Warbmeister’ Warburton?

The Clumpany’s eye was caught by reports of today’s press conference, where he almost turned into Ally McCoist and said “that’s not my gig”. Sadly he didn’t actually say those words, but he came mightily close. As the BBC reports, when asked about off-field matters including the Big Tax Case, the City-est Former City Trader in all of City Traderdom said:

“My only concern is the football department, that’s my job. Anything else is not my business, I’m not qualified, I don’t have enough experience to deal with these other matters.”You’re well aware of that [recent turmoil] coming from the outside, you do your homework and the last three or four years have been problematic and difficult.

“But we’re moving forward now and the football department’s in good shape. That’s our job and anything outside that is not my concern. I’m paid to look after the football department. The players are focused on what they do. Like the staff, that’s beyond their pay grade.

“We’ll focus on what we’re hopefully good at, working here, preparing the players, out on the pitch. I arrived here five months ago, why would I possibly have an opinion on [the consequences of the Court of Session verdict]?” To talk about history is irrelevant, in the nicest possible way.”

Ah that ‘history’ stuff Warbo. Best not mentioned. After all, there isn’t exactly a lot of it to talk about at Sevco is there? And even if anyone there thought that there was, YOU wouldn’t talk about such irrelevant matters would you?

Would you?

Except perhaps in the RIFC accounts which were published yesterday, where you said…

“I would like to begin by stating how privileged I feel to be the manager of Rangers Football Club. It is of course an honour to follow in the footsteps of outstanding football men such as Walter Smith, Alex McLeish, William Waddell, and Bill Struth.

Rangers is a magnificent Club with a long and rich history of achievement and as a football department we must never lose sight of this fact and always appreciate the expectation that will naturally emanate from our supporters.

To walk into Ibrox is to be reminded of just how important this Club is, not just to football but to Scotland itself. Rangers is an institution with a revered history and to walk the corridors of this magnificent stadium is an opportunity to appreciate just how significant an establishment it remains.

There are constant echoes of the past and of course it is an absolute pleasure to have one of the true legends, John Greig, back at the Club. Mr. Greig epitomises Rangers  and to have the opportunity to meet and chat with him on such a regular basis is a privilege.

Rangers as a club is synonymous with dignity and respect and it is these two essential qualities that must never be forgotten as we strive to regain our place at the top of Scottish football. Our every-day behaviour, our actions, must always enhance the reputation of this institution.”

A man of Warbo’s ‘Former City Trader’ calibre won’t need telling twice that those comments are practically an orgy of (someone else’s) history!

And hands up if you laughed out loud at the manager of…errr… ‘same club’ Rangers* writing of it being “synonymous with dignity and respect” on the very day that HMRC won the latest round of its battle to claim millions and millions of pounds that it maintains is owed to the public purse?

You have to laugh…

But perhaps the most interesting thing about Former City Trader Mark Warburton’s press conference was the STV online report.

Mark Warburton: EBT ruling fall-out won’t hurt Rangers’ title bid

I genuinely think that STV’s online sports reporting is rather good. There is often some detail or point of analysis that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. And on this occasion it was an anecdote about the organisation of the press conference itself which stood out.

“Before the news conference, Rangers’ PR representative Jim Traynor warned journalists not to ask the manager questions about the EBT matter, saying that STV should leave if the matter was to be brought up.

Traynor eventually agreed to questions being asked, stating that Warburton would simply refer those present to a statement made on the club’s website on Wednesday evening.”

Ouch! I am sure we are all pleased to hear that Mr Traynor remains on Sevco media gate-keeping duties.

And well done to those who still managed to ask Warbo about trophy stripping. I hope Jim took it well!