Media, Scottish Football, Sevco

“How Come You Are So Good?”

Good Afternoon.

Last night, The Clumpany’s interest was piqued by this tweet from Keith Jackson:

An exclusive Q&A with Baron Bouffant himself! Would he share his tips for maintaining immaculate hair?

Would he reminisce about the time he starred in ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ alongside Gary Oldman?


Paul Murray was delighted to see Keith Jackson when he arrived to do their Q&A

I could hardly wait to find out!

The Q&A was trailed last night by this short piece on the Record website:

Paul Murray: Rangers will NOT be put into any financial risk in the pursuit of Celtic.. but we WILL compete for the title

My heart was warmed to read Murray acknowledging that “Obviously the benchmark in Scotland is Celtic”. I bet that went down really well in Sevconia…

However, his most interesting observation was this:

“It is not always about throwing money at the situation. First and foremost we don’t want to put the club into financial risk.”

It’s a lovely sentiment. However you can’t help but wonder quite when the former Rangers (IL) Director had this epiphany… I am sure Rangers’ creditors would be interested to know.

They might also have been interested to note Murray remarking that “we have just been through four years of misery” as they looked at the holes in their bank accounts and expected tax receipts.

The piece concluded with this bold promotion of the exclusive Paul Murray Q&A: 

As you can imagine, given that sort of build -up I couldn’t help but eagerly await publication of the Q&A this morning. And it didn’t let me down…

I’ll list the questions that were asked, and then give you a moment to reflect:

“How does it feel to have achieved what you have over the last year?

People talk about the journey. You weren’t actually on board for most of it. Talk us through the last four years from your own personal perspective and does this feel like a moment of closure?

Yes but was there any moment in those five years when you thought the situation had become completely unrecoverable?

What about outside the four walls of Ibrox? Do you think the rest of the top flight will be pleased to see you next season?

You’ve had messages of support from chairmen and directors of other clubs. Was that a surprise?

Is the main priority no longer winning trophies at all costs?

So after last night, was there a quiet moment of reflection?

Throughout it all you said you wanted nothing more than to get back to being a fan. Mission accomplished?

You’ve got Celtic in the Cup in 10 days and then you’ll be attempting to catch them in the league next season. How much work is required to bridge the gap?

Is it possible to win the title next season?

Well, what did you think? [Apart from being disappointed that Paul Murray was not pictured with his new-but-same broom?]

I suspect many of you might agree that it brought to mind the ‘probing’ interview style of Sky’s Jim ‘How Come Are You So Good?’ White.

The Q&A was little more than tepid upbeat guff about how things have improved at Sevco following the King Warbolution, and how the ‘club’ is going to aim high but without wanting to put its future in jeopardy. It wouldn’t have appeared out of place in a Sevco match programme.

It had all the bite of a glass of warm milk drunk by a roaring log fire in the company of a box of Maltesers and a DVD of It’s A Wonderful Life.

It might give Sevco fans a warm glow but it doesn’t tell them anything useful about the financial sustainability of Sevco, the actual amount of potential investment available, and how far that huge pile of loans can be added-to if it can’t be converted into equity any time soon. Etc.

You might have thought that the ‘going concern’ warning in the accounts of the saviours of Scottish football (whose promotion has been treated like the ‘return’ of a Messiah) might have been worth a question or two. Especially when its manager talks about recruiting new players, and given that the previous Rangers died through its profligacy. But no.

Nor was Murray specifically asked for views on the potential implications of the upcoming court case about Dave King’s ‘Fit and Proper’ approval by the SFA.

An opportunity was also missed to ask about Sevco apparently being “furious over alleged breaches of confidentiality” regarding the news that they had lost their appeal over payment of the £250,000 LNS Commission fine. Given that the fine was the only substantive ‘punishment’ handed out for years of rule-breaking by the ‘same club’ you might have expected the thoughts of one of its directors to have been of interest to the general public…

Unsurprisingly, Murray wasn’t asked if he wished to spare a thought for the creditors of the ‘same club’. His comment that “I felt we had to re-engage with mainstream society” provided a great opportunity to ask whether that included stumping up for the unpaid taxes of the ‘same club’. But sadly Keith missed the chance!

There was one point where the Q&A came perilously close to asking something worthwhile, but Murray just batted the question away with the aplomb of a PR professional:

KJ: So what now? How can you fund the manager’s requirements for recruitment with so much legal activity around the club and your inability to raise money on the stock exchange?

PM: We understand what is expected of the board and know next year will be a different situation. We have to compete. It’s not enough to go into the Premiership just to exist as a mid-table club. We are not unrealistic.

We believe in the manager and his team. We have backed him so far in everything he has wanted to do and we’ll back him going forward. But equally we are going to do things in the long-term interests of the club. In the past we’ve been accused of short-term thinking and wasting money. We have to do things in a more sensible way.”

It might have been worth Keith asking a probing supplementary at this point. However, I sometimes wonder whether the Scottish sports media think supplementaries are those things that are shoved up your backside when you are extremely constipated.

And who would want to go through such an undignified ordeal in the Blue Room? 😉

Maybe Sevco fans enjoy this soothing guff. But it can’t possibly help them to learn anything useful about the true state of their ‘club’.

And as for the rest of us: that large group of people who want to be confident that the game won’t end up being massively distorted by a second incarnation of ‘Rangers’…  we appear to be an utter irrelevance.

The questions we would like to be answered never seem to get asked by the Record or others.

I wonder why?