Blogger to Blogger: The James Traynor story



The highest paid blogger in Scotland has hit out at – wait for it – bloggers and his former colleagues over their reporting of Rangers Football Club, the folk who pay a substantial fee into his bank account every month. Talk of a Swiss ban account is just vindictive and downright malicious though.

After years of writing articles with his supposed ‘stylish linguistic fingerprints’ all over the keyboard, according to his best bud David Leggat, and being from a tradition of journalism which now belongs to ‘bygone days of yore’, Traynor has now dropped to the level of a mere blogger on a wage that could have been best spent elsewhere. Even more so when you look at his archived work on the Rangers website. Three articles in two months – he must be very busy behind the scenes at Rangers getting ready for his new phone-in show live from Ibrox and a communications platform that will blow us all away.

Traynor may have been meticulous and fair when he was at the Herald, but he soon descended into the murky world of churnalists, succulent lambists and hacks with an ego the size of Ibrox.

According to former journalist turned blogger David Leggat, James Traynor was ‘checking and re-checking the facts, pouring over all the documents and taking nothing at face value’ before using his baby smooth stylish linguistic fingers to type out his latest aggressive and reactionary blog piece.

Rangers 2012 like to promote this notion of the club being victims of Craig Whyte and Sir David Murray. Sorry but the real victims are those businesses who lost millions when Rangers 1873 went belly up. Of course the fans will claim ignorance of all matters within the corridors of power – as they should – however they were not questioning Sir David Murray when he was spending tens of millions on players over the course of two decades and they certainly weren’t questioning Craig Whyte’s sordid past even when it was put on a plate for them by internet bampots, who were taking up the reins when journalists like James Traynor should have been investigating the Motherwell-born ‘self-confessed Rangers fan’.

But Traynor, that meticulous and fair journalist that he is, took Craig Whyte and his statements at face value. Traynor and others in his field during that period of Rangers dark history let down the fans and let themselves down – now the retired-through-spite journalist Traynor has taken exception to these same bloggers, who showed the former Sports editor and his charges up, reporting on the statements of Charles Green and the going-on at Ibrox.

Traynor, via his blog on the official Rangers website., commented: “Rangers are in an extremely healthy financial position despite the best efforts of the media and others to suggest otherwise. Their desperation to see Rangers fail appears to be blinding them to a reality they don’t wish to view. And I’m afraid their bile towards Rangers has poisoned their systems.”

He then goes on to state: “Once again, however, Rangers fans feel they have to react. Some are fretting, others are simmering, unsure what to do or say while a fair few aren‘t holding anything in reserve. They are venting their spleens. Sadly for Rangers fans this is not a new phenomenon. It is a fact that Rangers’ business cannot be reported in a fair or balanced manner. Stories are written to fit headlines which often bear little or no resemblance to the truth.

“Rangers fans have every right to be angry and are entitled to expect the club to deal with those in the media, who willfully distort, and also that close-knit gang of internet bloggers and posters. They will never have any connection with reality.”

No connection with reality? Really? This coming from someone who lived in his ivory tower while presenting a show on the radio that as all about him?

As a seasoned journalist he has stated that stories are written to fit headlines, this is nothing new, in fact Traynor was such perpetrator himself even when he was Sports editor at the Daily Record. But can we really believe Rangers’ Director of Communications? He certainly isn’t an independent voice now is he? His articles before the summer – while still at the Daily Record – read more like an application for a job at Rangers as he rewrote his own archive and ignored his previous comments on Rangers history and the rejection of a CVA.

His meticulous and fair-mindedness may have forgotten his own articles, his own words typed by his stylish linguistic fingers – but his former readers and those internet bampots he detests so much have not forgotten. Maybe just maybe that is why he hates us so much and doesn’t like his toes being stepped on.

His aura in press areas is now being diminished everyday by ramblings that David Icke would be proud of and given his penchant for knocking his former colleagues noses out of joints, I doubt many will be so welcoming of a man who sold his journalistic integrity for thirty pieces of silver and claims they are anti-Rangers in their coverage.

Traynor claims that they come under ‘almost constant barrage of abuse’. But the club cannot ‘react to every single internet bampot or each journalist or paper displaying a clear anti-Rangers agenda’. The Director of Communications announced that the club is doing a great deal in the face of this ‘almost constant barrage of abuse’ – yet failed to mention what.

Maybe Rangers have bought Santa’s naughty and nice list., with Traynor now donning a big blue suit filling his sack with coal and Rangers footballs.

But he makes sure those Rangers fans who love ‘venting their spleens’ on anything that sees their club in a negative light – even when warranted – know that there is a plan of action to try to deal with pesky internet bampots and journalists who do not feast on the morsels they provide on a daily basis to those in the inner circle and on their nice list.

He continued: “I worked in papers for years and I know that managements, editors and hacks don’t even miss a beat when they hear that a particular club’s fans say they aren’t going to buy the paper anymore. It means nothing because so far these threats have been empty.

“Some fans do withdraw patronage but the fact nothing changes in terms of the balance of reporting suggests too few are exercising their right to switch.

“If every fan who said he or she would never buy a particular paper again actually didn’t then those publications would be out of business. The bottom line is everything to the managements and shareholders of these companies and a sharp decline in sales would register like a thunder clap at boardroom level.

“Too few fans realise just how much power they actually can command, especially if they’d step outwith their different groups and unite in one cause. Believe me, you could make media managements snap to attention and pay closer attention to the agendas of their editors, producers and journalists.

“Just imagine the strength to be wielded if, instead of arguing among yourselves on forums, Twitter and Facebook, you all came together and acted as one massive and potent force for change. Just by refusing to acknowledge stories and broadcasts which you believe to be malicious you’d change the entire agenda.

“Many are calling on the club to fire out banning orders and writs to various media outlets but an immediate and effective answer lies with the fans themselves. While a supporter cannot change his or her club because of the emotional investment, reading and listening habits can be altered very easily.

“If fans can no longer trust a particular journalist or paper to be impartial they can stop reading. If they don’t like the agendas of a particular TV or radio station they don’t have to watch or listen.”

Traynor was once a sports editor was he not? But he is now highly critical of ‘management, editors and hacks’ – again is this his bitterness coming through at being demoted in his months at the Record? Funnily enough he fails to mention his targets by name – now why is that? Fearful that his targets will stand up for themselves and tell the public what Traynor was like, before he began writing articles knowing he was moving to Ibrox weeks later.

Now he calls on Rangers fans to boycott those websites, television, radio and newspapers who they do not like hearing their coverage of. The same newspapers and radio stations that once paid his wages at a time when he was writing pro-angers and pro-Green articles safe in the knowledge that he had a new job lined up at Ibrox. I wonder if his dignified departure from the Record HQ involved telling his former colleagues of his destination – certainly we received quite a few emails and messages via twitter asking us if our exclusive on Traynor’s destination was factual.

He added: “But this club’s fans can make their play by realising it is your interest, your angst and rage which encourage the repeat offenders. Believe me, they get a real kick out of becoming the subjects of on-line threads and discussions and by paying attention, even if it is to hurl insults or use unacceptable language to describe them, you give them exactly what they want.

You are just about the only audience they have. Do not indulge them. Ignore their malice, pay no attention to their agendas, and do not let them into your heads. I know there are various factions among Rangers supporters but why not stand united in this cause? Your attention is their oxygen. It can be so easily switched off.”

Not another boycott! Look what happened at the last one. Rangers were humiliated by a club they detested and vilified so much with United fans celebrating all the way to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup. Ad one of their own club reps fell on his sword after boycotting the boycott.

It is somewhat ironic that Traynor ends his blog by once again attacking his fellow bloggers, claiming: “But why is it that so many continue to write or broadcast that this club is a new club when it is the owners who are new? Is it a lack of basic intelligence or is it something more sinister?”

I guess his memory is just as bad as his claims of being dignified.

Remember his 13th June 2012 article entitled: SPL will not be able to prosper without Rangers? Traynor opened his article by stating: “No more than a good John Greig clearance away from Hampden one of the world’s oldest clubs lies dying.”

He added: “Rangers FC as we know them are dead. It’s all over. They are about to shut down for ever but not a single person among the game’s hierarchy was open for comment. And that just about sums it up for Rangers, the club the rest of the Scottish game came to detest.”

“Rangers have a seriously bad lot but the majority of the people who support the club are decent.”

Then comes the killer comments, that will question his own intelligence. Traynor declared: “….the CVA proposal put forward on behalf of Charles Green by administrators Duff and Phelps was rejected by HMRC. They didn’t even wait until tomorrow’s creditors’ meeting, although that will still go ahead.

“But Rangers FC won’t. They’ll slip into liquidation within the next couple of weeks with a new company emerging but 140 years of history, triumph and tears, will have ended. No matter how Charles Green attempts to dress it up, a newco equals a new club. When the CVA was thrown out Rangers as we know them died.

“They were closed and a newco must start from scratch although their fans will insist the history will be boxed up with the strips and balls and carried into the future with the new club.

“Technically that history belongs to something else, some other company but even though the governing bodies appear consumed by technicalities and protocol supporters have other priorities. They strive for continuity and Rangers fans will never be separated from or denied their past.

“The name might change slightly, there will be a new owner, new players and a new beginning. But somehow nothing will have changed for many of the people who buy the tickets.

“They’ll never forget and they’ll remember yesterday, too. Even though they and everyone else knew the decision to accept or reject Green’s CVA was 50-50 this was such a momentous day in the history of Scottish football.

“Of course Rangers are guilty of shaming the game and they accept they have to be punished.”

Maybe James should head to the club doctor’s office and ask to be examined for he seems to have ditched that succulent lamb he gorged on for so many years and turned instead to snacking on Findus Lasagnas – he seems to be having a reaction to his new meal of 100% horse meat.


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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