Jim Traynor: Sporting integrity? What about Journalistic integrity?



So James Traynor has started his new job as Head of Communications with an article that continues where he left off with the Daily Record – but this time he is being paid directly by Rangers Football Club to write the pro-Rangers rhetoric he has been peddling for months.

His first article was typical of the new Rangers mentality – attack, deflect and threaten.

He started his debut piece by talking briefly about the league reconstruction proposals, which had been agreed in principle today.

But it soon turned into the all too frequent rhetoric that emanates from Ibrox Park since Charles Green took charge, targeting those clubs who chose sporting integrity over a club who chose to run up huge debt in their quest to buy domestic and European glory. A club who boast about being debt free when businesses across Scotland and even in England have to come to terms with losing money that they worked hard for and were never repaid. From face painters to local garages to charities to the ambulance service and that is before we get to the debt that they owe HMRC – the small tax case.

Now Traynor and his media cronies at Ibrox are trying to take the moral high ground over clubs in the top-tier choosing now to think of their finances over their fans.

Traynor stated on the official Rangers website: “Whatever happened to that new and bold notion that fans were all important? It isn’t that long ago clubs, particularly those in the top flight, were solemnly insisting that ignoring the views of fans would be akin to financial suicide.

“Remember? It was when the game was wrestling with the problem of what to do with Rangers. All the clubs were squealing that the wishes of fans had to be granted. If you swallowed any of that bilge you probably also believed in sporting integrity.

“Of course it was all nonsense. Sporting Integrity was a cloak of convenience, albeit a rather thin, practically transparent one, behind which club leaders huddled together to come up with sanctions.”

Rangers were punished by the Scottish Premier League – not because of the club’s failure to pay their tax bill, nor their failure to pay the small businesses the money that they desperately needed to pay their own bills – but for breaching SPL rules in regards to going into administration and then liquidation.

The issue of EBTs and dual contracts that Rangers utilised during their time in the Scottish Premier League is still to be ruled on by the top flight’s governing body – despite the calls from Ibrox to cull the investigation because they won the first tier tax tribunal, an investigation that they themselves have boycotted because they claim that it has no jurisdiction over the club now.

Even Traynor stated that the club deserved to be punished, he added: “Rangers had to be punished, they deserved to be punished but it seemed as if additional penalties were being randomly introduced depending on who was in which meeting.

“Many Rangers fans like to think the frenzy to cause the club as much additional pain as possible was driven by one club but that wasn’t strictly the case. Many fans of many clubs waded in but this is not to say Celtic fans or their club didn’t attempt to influence the outcome of debates on Rangers and possible sanctions.

“Of course they did. And they are still at it on social media sites and on blogs clattered out by individuals who are no better than semi-literate.”

And there we have it Traynor targeting those on social media sites and blogs. Blogs and those on social media sites don’t have the benefit of his huge wealth of journalistic experience of 37 years. Not to mention 37 years of having our work looked at and edited by sub-editors.

Traynor looks upon social media and blogs as the anti-christ, but with the whole newspaper industry evolving to utilise blogs, social media and the internet – the likes of Traynor are dinosaurs and refuse to evolve with new advances.

Answer me this what major company in the world, even a football club, has a Head of Communications who does not utilise every aspect of media to promote themselves, be it Facebook, twitter, blogs etc.

Of course he will have his lackeys using these social media sites to promote articles, to promote interviews even to promote Traynor’s opinion pieces – while he continues to peddle his hatred for all things social media.

Traynor then delves into rhetoric, that would not be out-of-place in any one of the Rangers blogs that match his definition ‘social media sites and on blogs clattered out by individuals who are no better than semi-literate’. Even a former journalist pickled with the ‘water of life’ – who has decidedly more journalism experience than Traynor – is in need of a good sub-editor. Even when churning out articles hand fed to him by ‘pals’.

He continued: “This club, the biggest one in the country, were not invited to take part in talks which will shape the game’s future. We are then entitled to conclude that this club are not important, which is strange indeed when so many fans of other clubs continue to be obsessed by Rangers, who are simply getting on with their own affairs asking no favour from anyone. We do, however, expect commonsense to be applied, along with fair play.”

Fair play? Can you see me hysterically laughing? If not imagine it because after reading that last sentence that is indeed what I am doing.

Are Rangers simply getting on with their own affairs? No. Every week they round on someone or some club for having the gall to speak their mind. They demand apologies, they boycott matches, they demand to names be published of individuals in hearings when they know full well who sat on them.

As for fair play? Huge debt to buy titles, the alleged misuse of EBTs and dual contracts still to be ruled on by the SPL not to mention on the field of play with players and former players giving fair play a bad name. Kyle Lafferty anyone? Madjid Bougherra and Steven Whittaker manhandling referees? Lee McCulloch leading with his elbows and even Ian Black who ran to the papers asking for referees to give him protection from the big bad part timers of Division Three who were not scared to put in the boot to the former Inverness Caley Thistle and Hearts hatchet man.

Of course, all clubs have their divers, their players who lead with their elbows and who demand protection when they also stick the boot in – but are these clubs trying to take the moral highground?

He continued: “….Rangers will return to the top flight, which will of course have to be rebranded. Rangers will take a seat at the head of the table where, despite the latest insult of being shut out of reconstruction talks, we will act with the good of Scottish football in mind.

“We’ll work through the divisions and we will return stronger and better than ever before.”

The same lines that chief executive Charles Green has peddled since they were blocked entry into the SPL and entered the Third Division.

Traynor continued: “This club accepted their sanctions and moved on but too many others have been unable to do the same. They continue their assaults and while the deranged, who are using social media sites as conduits for their twisted agendas, should be ignored there are more than a few in the mainstream still maligning the club at every opportunity.”

Yes those in the mainstream, who he worked for and took a paycheck from while peddling pro-Rangers articles in the lead up to his job interview with Charles Green and subsequent period between being told that he got the job and peddling that poor excuse of an obituary in his final column for the Daily Record.

He may peddle the line about sporting integrity, but what about journalistic integrity and conflict of interest Mr. Traynor? Did you tell the Daily Record, that you had applied for a position at Rangers all the while writing those articles that had ‘Rangers application’ stamped on top of them?

Again I fail to see how Rangers have moved on, every week we have Charles Green doing his best Comical Ali impression, that puts Vladmir Romanov to shame and then we have the likes of Andrew Dickson who demands apologies from every Tom, Dick and Harry when it doesn’t fit with the Rangers party line that he sticks to like glue. The same party line he peddled under Craig Whyte, when the Motherwell-born BILLIONAIRE was leading Rangers 1872 to oblivion.

Morality, integrity and fair play does not sit kindly at the Ibrox boardroom table since the succulent lamb is now off the menu and replaced with a Donner Kebab from Pakora Junction on Paisley Road West. At least Charles Green can get his big Yorkshire hands dirty getting a hold of the kebab – although he has to put the millions he made in the recent share issue down.

Traynor then sent a threat to his former colleagues, who will not take kindly to a ‘mere’ club communications officer telling them to watch what they write about his employers who now pay him a bumper wage.

He said: “Word of advice gentlemen. From now on be very careful when talking or writing about this club. To paraphrase something said about another club, Rangers will not be treated less than others. And although there is no desire to pick fights, be assured that no one will attack Rangers with impunity.”

Of course he ended his first opinion piece from the book of Rangers quotes, which seems to be referenced too on every piece currently.

“….to quote Bill Struth: “Never fear, inevitably we shall have our years of failure and when they arrive, we must reveal tolerance and sanity. You do that, you will emerge stronger than before.”

Tolerance and sanity? I take it he has missed all of Green’s statements and his version of the Queens christmas speech? If that was Rangers showing sanity then god help us all. We can live with an idiotic league system of 12-12-18 but a Rangers that is as sane as that Christmas message? Even Vladimir Romanov and Angelo Massone would be looking at that one and thinking twice before bursting out laughing.

In effect Jim Traynor’s opinion piece stinks of being ghost written by his pal David Leggat, whose work is now no longer gracing our newspapers – thank god – just his wee blog.

I wonder if Traynor sees the irony that he is now nothing more than a jumped up blogger on an official website. Welcome to the world of semi-literates James, the next time our paths cross – which they have done on numerous occasions at games and press conferences I will be sure to say Hello Hello and give you a wvae.


About Author

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and Women's Football Weekly. He produces the Scottish Football show The Final Whistle for Pulse 98.4FM and is the ESPN blogger for Celtic FC. He works on a freelance basis and has contributed to the Daily Record, The Scotsman, the Daily Mail and also blogs at Huffington Post UK.

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