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To ban or not to ban that is the question as Traynor’s hypocrisy strikes again

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It seems that James Traynor continues to have memory loss, not only is he confused over the status of Rangers Football Club and its history, he is now in favour of banning journalists who have the gall to ignore threats and the so-called party line that is being imposed upon them.

In a fans meeting between the Rangers Supporters Trust and club officials; which included Traynor, Craig Mather and Brian Stockbridge, a fan representative called R. Johnstone, directed a question to Traynor, he asked: “The bias against the club has to be tackled. We need to be very robust in taking on orchestrated campaigns like the one launched against Armed Forced Day tributes at Ibrox. Too often positives are neglected, we need a fightback. Do you agree Jim that we are given a harsher press than any other club?”

In reply, Traynor provided us with part two of his hypocrisy, as he replied: “There is an obvious bias against Rangers in certain sections of the press and in one mass media outlet in particular. I’d rather see the club in court pursuing large media companies rather than fans. If individual journalists overstep the mark I am in favour of selective bans which are more effective than excluding organisations.”

Now who would that ‘one mass media outlet in particular’ be? The Daily Record? The same Daily Record that Rangers board members and sources from within the club give information too? Or maybe BBC Scotland? The same BBC Scotland that beats the majority of other Scottish media outlets to major stories involving Rangers Football Club – again thanks to sources from within the club? Two media outlets that paid James Traynor handsomely over the years. Actually spending more than a decade at the paper, which is seen by many Rangers fans as ‘anti-Rangers’.

But is Traynor’s comments in relation to the ‘one mass media outlet’, down to personal issues with individuals rather than actual bias against the Ibrox side?

Traynor was the executive sports editor and a columnist at the Record, as well as presenting a weekly football phone-in for BBC Radio Scotland and appearing on Sportscene. Yet he was demoted and a new sports editor came in at the Record – soon after former journalist turned blogger David Leggat, began to publish posts attacking the Daily Record and specific employees at the club including Allan Rennie the editor-in-chief. From then until present day, Leggat has been used by somebody to launch a campaign of hate against the Daily Record and latterly BBC Scotland – is the person pulling Leggat’s strings actually James Traynor? If you thought that, you would not be in the minority.

Traynor has even used a couple of blogs on the Rangers website to hit out at his former colleagues in cringeworthy fashion, but his latest comments prove that Traynor’s opinion shifts depending on who pays his salary – in short rent-a-quote for hire.

As quoted earlier, he told the Rangers Supporters Trust that: “I’d rather see the club in court pursuing large media companies rather than fans. If individual journalists overstep the mark I am in favour of selective bans which are more effective than excluding organisations.”

The same fans who have faced legal action or warnings from the club, include Traynor’s pal David Leggat and Chris Graham – both who are against the current regime. The same regime that pays Traynor’s wage currently. What did Traynor actually say to fans outside Ibrox that day, when he demanded the media including STV to leave the area – which resulted in numerous threats and abuse from fans in attendance being aimed at the assembled media.

If you are to believe the reports on Rangers forums, Traynor reportedly said: “Green people been told to name a price for club just now. Traynor also said if they don’t sell they are f***ed anyway.”

Imagine an employee of that same regime speaking out against them…. now you know why he didn’t want the prying eyes, ears and cameras of the media to hear what he had to say. Or should I say allegedly according to reports from those at the Ibrox gathering.

Back to his hypocrisy over banning journalists. Just remember his comments to the RST and then take note of comments made in his Daily Record column when the then-Scotland manager Craig Levein banned Daily Record journalists from a press conference in August 2012.

Traynor wrote: “Scotland haven’t even started out on the road to Brazil and already our national team manager is going nuts. In fact, you could say he’s cracking up before we’ve kicked a ball in earnest. Craig Levein, the man we’ve entrusted, the man we have allowed to carry all our hopes and dreams, yesterday cracked up at the country’s national paper.

“Levein banned the Daily Record. He wouldn’t let our men Keith Jackson and Craig Swan into his press conference ahead of tonight’s friendly match against Australia.”

He added: “Fair enough, everyone who wants to know what’s going on in the game does exactly that but they don’t throw adolescent strops when they see things they don’t like. Then again they aren’t Levein, a man so thin-skinned you can see right through him. Yesterday he thought he’d beat his chest a bit. Alpha male nonsense perhaps, who knows. Aware of the falls of Berti Vogts and then George Burley, the current manager might have thought he should sound a warning that he’s not to be questioned or messed with.

“With the qualifiers about to begin it was time, he might have reckoned, for a declaration: Don’t pick through my selections, tactics and methods, or else. If that was the plan seven out of 10 for a decent effort which might have had some paper boys shrinking back in fear. But all Levein succeeded in doing as he tried to put his foot down was put his size nine right in it. And all because he didn’t like a headline – a perfectly legitimate one – in yesterday’s paper which highlighted a bit of a U-turn by the manager. No problem with the writers, Levein said, and no complaint about the story either.

“Just didn’t fancy the headline. Tough. We and all the other Scotland fans didn’t like Levein’s top line in the Czech Republic but we had to accept it and live with the consequences.”

He continued: “Levein, who should be totally consumed by the desire to get this country to the World Cup finals in Brazil, is in the huff. He took time off from preparing for tonight to play the role of a heavy outside a nightclub door. Our men were shut out because we reported that, having ignored Rangers players last week when he selected his squad, he then called up Ian Black after a clutch of withdrawals.

“Fine, Black is a decent back-up man and probably an obvious choice as the casualty list lengthened. Nothing wrong with that and although we reported the story correctly the manager decided he didn’t like part of a headline and created a drama where there wasn’t one.

“….why Levein had to round on the Record is open to debate but yes, it probably is a tension thing. Even so, let’s try to draw a line under this unfortunate incident over a headline that didn’t upset anyone else. There are a few headlines I don’t fancy either but like Levein I’m not a production journalist and prefer to leave this side of the business to those better equipped to perform that function.

Imagine that, newspapers publishing articles which are correct and headlines getting up the noses of some folk, sound familiar? So when he was a working journalist he attacked a manager for having the gall to ban his colleagues, but now that he is an employee of a football club he is now advocating the banning of individual journalists and court action against media outlets for their headlines and articles. If hypocrisy was a hair ball, Traynor would have choked on it twice now at least.

But who are we to believe? Traynor? The man who changes his stance depending on who pays his salary. The truth is out there – as the X files used to state in their long running series.

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About Author

scotzine

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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