First a compliment. I usually quite enjoy STV’s overall approach towards our national game. They are generally upbeat, try to be a little bit innovative, and have more to say about clubs outwith the ‘Old Firm’ lie than other media outlets. Some of their detailed analytical pieces stand out compared to the mindless dross pumped out by many Scottish sports pages, and their journalists have been known to be critical of the footballing authorities for failing to promote the game adequately.
So well done on that.
It is undoubted in the spirit of promoting the game and generating some excitement that STV are currently running a series of promotional videos on their website about each Premiership team. I applaud the intention behind it and quite like the slick and enthusiastic production. I find it hard to believe that BBC Scotland could produce anything even remotely as good. BBC Scotland after all brings us Sportscene. A weekly wake that hasn’t seen a smile or banter since Adam was a boy.
But now we come to the criticism of STV. And it relates to one of those pre-season promotional videos. You won’t be shocked to learn that it’s the Sevco one which concerns me, and you can stare at it in astonishment by clicking here:
I don’t have a problem with anyone (including the media) getting excited about the contribution Sevco may make to the upcoming season. After all, it’s not often the top flight welcomes a debutant. And I don’t mind various Rangers and Sevco ‘talking heads’ and fans being given a platform to eulogise about one or other of their ‘clubs’ and overstate its importance to the well-being of the galaxy. Pretty much everyone does the same about their own club.
However, I do object quite strongly to that platform being used to put forward a complete misrepresentations of very simple facts. We are used to the Orwellian efforts of much of the press to gloss over the very simple fact that an incorporated football club was liquidated in 2012 and a brand new club formed from the “basket of assets” left sloshing around on the mortuary floor. We see it day after day, and often get labelled ‘obsessed’ or ‘fundamentalist’ when all we want is truth and a level playing field wherein one club can’t trample over the rulebook, run up massive debts, ditch them through death and then reappear as the ‘same’ trophy-laden entity.
This perspective might not be convenient for our MSM, but it’s the only one available which is based on truth and the notion of Scottish football being an actual sport.
So when STV feature Rangers and Sevco-connected folk spouting off about being ‘back’ in the top flight and how a Premiership title would be ‘one of the best in their history’, it seems pretty insulting. Because basic facts are apparently being misrepresented and a false narrative is being perpetuated without challenge.
The format of the STV promotional videos is not suited to including rebuttals of the incorrect views offered, but the editing suite sure as hell could have removed them! No one at STV can be surprised that a lot of folk took umbrage at their Sevco video. And they must know why we did.
Which then begs the question of quite why the video went out with the content that it did.
If this type of unchallenged misrepresentation of a basic truth continues, who knows where it might lead. Perhaps we could see stories such as the following:
Stephen Hendry discusses his glorious track record of winning seven Eurovision Song Contests.
Sir Chris Hoy reminisces about winning Olympic Ice-Dance gold with Michelle McManus.
John Greig talks about how he captained Rangers to European Cup success in 1967.
An interview with a historian who has found proof that Jocky Wilson won the Bannock of Bannockburn single-handedly.
Noted engineer Gordon Ramsay explains how the Forth Bridge is actually made of pastry.
Rangers creditors explain how there was a misunderstanding and they weren’t owed that money after all.
Actually, maybe that last one is a fantasy too far…