Media, Scottish Football

Chris Sutton v Yesterday’s Pundit 

Good Morning. [And please ‘vote Clumpany’!]

So, Chris Sutton made a short appearance on SSB last night, during which he engaged in ‘conversation’ with regular, long-standing pundit Derek Johnstone. 
Sutton’s appearance wasn’t so much an exercise in handing Johnstone his arse on a plate, as them both attending a five-course meal in which every single dish was DJ’s arse.

And boy was the experience succulent for its listeners! 

You can listen to the full eight-minute clip here:

Hi DJ, here is your arse

What a remarkable listen! I won’t even attempt to analyse it in any detail. I am sure that folk far more articulate than The Clumpany are better placed to do so. However, I will offer the following observations…

Chris Sutton – at a stroke – made the extraordinarily tired format and familiar pundits of SSB seem like lumbering dinosaurs. A bright, articulate and highly opinionated former footballer who is unused to the rampant cliches of ‘in-house’ Scottish football punditry effortlessly drove a coach and horses through DJ’s bluster and the staid cosy nature of SSB. 

Sutton said absolutely nothing which could be construed as revolutionary. However, it sounded as though he had simply because he had the temerity to call out the banal Sevco cliches and Ibrox background of an all-too-familiar pundit. A pundit who seems to be the very embodiment of tired, old-school, reassuring blandness.

DJ didn’t take the challenge of Chris Sutton very well at all. Indeed, he seemed to take it personally, and indicated that he was ‘disgusted’ at being confronted by the BT Sport man (who – incidentally -used to play for Celtic). DJ was unable to offer any sort of clearly-articulated response or counter-argument to Sutton, and simply blustered in a way which his sympathic listeners might have assumed meant ‘Ignore the crazy rational man and please believe in Rangers*’.

Tonight’s exchanges shouldn’t seem remarkable. They were little more than an entirely normal part of the diverse and vibrant discussion which underpins a typical 21st Century western society. And yet Sutton’s views – and the fact he was even allowed to present them on a Scottish radio show – seemed quite remarkable. Now, if that isn’t indicative of a really deep malaise in Scottish sports punditry and journalism, I don’t know what is.

The Clumpany suspects that Clyde SSB will now be bombarded for weeks by folk perturbed by an unwelcome outbreak of intelligent thinking and free speech on their radio. And I am sure that howls of protest will be raised against any prospect of Sutton being allowed back on air at any point before Judgement Day.

You can bet your bottom Sevconian dollar that much of this protest will be based around the assertion that Sutton is a ‘Rangers hater’, rather than on any detailed consideration of the quality of his punditry.

‘Rangers hater’ is – of course – a term routinely used by the hard-of-thinking when anything less than 100% of total human activity isn’t bowing before the ridiculous notions that 

  • Rangers survived their self-inflicted liquidation; and 
  • Every single bit of public and media comment should be geared towards hailing the majesty of the one true undying Ibrox club…

I am sure that these are lovely things to strive for, but do you know something? The cat has long since got out of the bag in relation to them! Far too many people are determined never to put up with the Ibrox-orientated nonsense again for the ‘deference’ and ‘respect’ cards to have any effect whatsoever. 

We all know that Rangers died, and we know that society continues to be ill-served by a media which pretends otherwise and which panders to a ridiculous notion that Scottish football is (and can ever only be) about two clubs. Even though one of them is a complete work of fiction.

Interventions such as Chris Sutton’s tonight are extremely welcome because they cut through the MSM’s PR-driven, Ibrox-fawning nonsense at a stroke. Like so many of us who mainly operate on social media, Sutton sometimes goes over the top. But – like us – he seems to know unadulterated bullsh*t when he sees it. And for that Chris Sutton should be applauded. Even by SSB, to whom his views and approach might seem like Kryptonite just now…


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