Today in Glasgow, most of the Scottish sports media were attending a very distinctive event; the launching of a PR company. That’s not unusual. Media people attend those all the time, all the better to stay “in the loop.”
This one was different. This one had celebrity endorsements, from the world of football in this fair land. Amongst them was Walter Smith, who used the opportunity to indulge in a little re-writing of history, in an effort to secure his legacy.
The media is reporting it breathlessly. For the PR company in question that’s job well done on a number of counts. Smith, it seems, is not only an endorser but their first client. If he pops up in connection with the mythic Three Bears don’t be at all surprised.
Today he sounds like a man trying to get his foot back in the door. Oh he said he has no intention of returning to the warzone, but if peace breaks out … and depending on who wins … well, don’t bet against it.
Smith has a lot to apologise for, at least as far as the Sevco fans are concerned.
His decision to accept a seat on the board of Charles Green’s Rangers put the seal on the fan’s love affair with the Yorkshireman with his big money-grabbing hands. Without that legitimacy, the Green consortium would never have been able to coerce fans into buying shares, and without that the spivs would not have walked away with pockets full of cash.
Smith has a great explanation for how it happened. He says he was duped.
There has been a lot of duping going on here, almost as much as there was once (financial) doping it seems.
We have Murray being duped by Whyte. We have Whyte been duped by Green. We have Smith being duped by Green and Green being duped by Doncaster and Regan. We have Green duping Wallace. We have Green and Whyte duping the supporters … and Duff and Phelps, who were just, it seems, duping everyone and will appear in court for it.
I want to ask something; how come the only people who were duped were those inside Ibrox?
Outside of those walls, everyone else in Scottish football knew exactly who these guys were and what they were up to. And some of us were shouting it loudly enough to give Hugh Keevins and the rest of the hacks tinnitus.
All this talk of “being duped” … it’s embarrassing.
I can see why they’d want to cover their backsides.
These re-writes of history are fascinating. You’d need a good PR man to pull it all off, and not even that old spinner Jack Irvine bothers to try these days. He’s pretty open about slamming some of the former Rangers board members who now plead ignorance, and stupidity, as if even the most rabid Celtic fan believes they are either.
I don’t like Irvine, but he calls them what they are and fair play to him for it.
He’s shilled enough manure in his time to know it when he hears it and it must rankle him (and rightly so) that the same people who begged for scraps at his table for years so quickly turned against him when he wound up on the wrong side of the Ibrox narrative.
Today’s PR launch was set up to rival him, in part. It’ll be interesting to see what he makes of it.
But what should the rest of us think? Well, the company’s two front men are pretty familiar.
The first of them is Stephen Kerr, who was a press officer at Ibrox during the time when Green was using the fan’s media to tell them everything they wanted to hear whilst sticking a hand in their pockets.
That’s the mark of a really good con artist, and there was a time when the whole of the Ibrox PR machine was helping with the scam, engaged in distracting the attention of the supporters whilst the spivs moved into position behind them.
The other co-founder of this little media empire in none other than our old friend Jim Traynor, who played both sides of the fence for so long – pretending to be an actual journalist whilst worming his way into a seat around the Ibrox spit-roast – that even his arse was crooked.
Traynor was there, of course, at the same time as Kerr and between the two of them and the bang up sales job they did, they made a lot of money for a lot of people … just not anyone who had the club’s best interests at heart.
Their profiles on the company website mention a lot of names, includiing Ally McCoist, David Weir, Ronald DeBoer and others … almost all of whom plied their trade … guess where?
It’s a PR company with a blue hue, you might say.
Wait and see … when the Three Bears prepare their next PR offensive, watch for the name of the company sending out the press releases. The media – which Traynor went out of his way to slam as a bunch of freeloaders and Rangers haters before exiting Stage Left and sticking his nose in the Sevco trough – eats up a good Ibrox story like nothing else.
So the duping goes on. And on. And on.
Except to those of us with eyes to see.