Rangers & The Herald Group – Social Media Effect

Earlier this month, Rangers Football Club withdrew its co-operation for the forseeable future with the Herald Group over reporting of the legal bill story that arose with Edinburgh law firm Levy & McRae.


The famous blue gates at the Broomloan Road end of Ibrox.

The Herald Group includes newspapers The Herald, The Sunday Herald and the Evening Times.  The story was regarding a court case where the lawyer company Levy & McRae were against Rangers FC, demanding they pay a £36,000 bill that was owed to them when the Glasgow giants hired the firm to help against UEFA’s allegation of sectarian singing at a match against PSV Eindhoven back in March.

In the end Rangers were forced to pay the bill. but the judge on the case raised questions about the solvency of the club which had supporters worried.  Opinion in the Rangers support is largely behind owner Craig Whyte and believe his statements that say they should win the up-and-coming tax case with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (if lost, Rangers would be landed with a £49m tax bill, most likely leaving them in administration) but there are some who believe the club is in serious danger of going under.

On the Rangers supporters’ biggest forum, the FollowFollow messageboard, reaction to the withdrawal was on the whole positive and most fans backed the club’s decision.  A user named ‘RangersForMe’ said on the 10th of September:

If Rangers have banned any or all of the media, then I’m OK with that. Some are saying that alarm bells should be ringing because the £30K or whatever it was is such a small sum and ‘evidently’ Rangers couldn’t pay it.

I doubt that because if it was a case of couldn’t, rather than wouldn’t, then there would be other and bigger signs of this already. Like wages not getting paid on time, police and stewarding bills not being paid, council bills not being paid, telephone bills, hotel bill and other suppliers bills, etc.

Realistically, some or all of this would happen in before, and even in preference to not paying a bill for a case that had already been lost in court.  I have no idea why it wasn’t paid and agree that it’s unprofessional, incompetent or just plain stupid, but I just don’t accept that it was down to not having the cash.

Some fans were pleased the club stood up for itself but wanted withdrawal of co-operation with tabloids such as The Daily Record and The Scottish Sun before the likes of the Herald Group.  Some fans however were less supportive, and seen it as a bad thing for the club as Rangers would get less exposure in these papers and they would not be able to read much in them.  On another Rangers fans’ website, Rangers Media, a user named SteveJ said:

I do not understand why fellow Bears are happy with this action. It is my opinion that the case having to go to court was a disgrace and that banning media reps from Ibrox because they wrote about it, is just as bad. If I was a cynic, I would say someone is wanting negative publicity for Rangers FC.

Another high-profile case in football related to this was when Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, refused to speak to the BBC after their documentary show Panorama showed his son to be taking illegal bribes relating to football agents in 2006.  He recently came out of the self-ban and talks to the BBC before and after matches.


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