Date: 31st March 2017 at 12:42pm
Written by:

Richard Keys gave a long interview to The Daily Record today, where, amongst other things, he suggested that Scottish football fans boycott his former employer.

You know, the one that sacked “his mate” – a notorious bigot – for the most appalling sexism, and was on the verge of sacking him too before he resigned.

I’ve been racking my brain trying to work out what motive he could possibly have for wanting people to deprive them of money.

I can’t seriously think he gives a damn about Scottish football.

If he did, he would never have chosen to discuss it through that particular organ.

Because The Daily Record hates Scottish football, and it has for years.

Keys own disregard comes across pretty clearly in his puzzlement over what happened to Rangers.

Read this and try and get your heads around it.

“Scottish football has made some extraordinary decisions domestically which I didn’t understand but which have had a very detrimental effect on the game. And you know what I’m referring to. All these years on still no one can tell me what Rangers were guilty of when they were sent down to the bottom tier. The expectation was they would be found guilty but my understanding is they were never convicted of any wrong-doing. But I guess that’s another matter entirely.”

When he says he doesn’t understand, you better believe it. He should have stuck with that. Instead he gives us a glimpse of what little he does understand about it – that they were never convicted of wrong-doing – and reveals he knows even less than he thinks he does.

One of the reasons for his lack of comprehension is made immediately clear.

“The only reason I knew what was happening at Rangers in 2011 was because I started reading the Daily Record. And that’s when we started covering it properly …”

And suddenly it makes total sense.

If all I had to go on for an understanding of those events was Keith Jackson and Andy Gray, yeah I suspect I’d be woefully ignorant of them as well.

I’ve said this many, many, many times … the coverage of those events, in that paper in particular, has damaged the reputation of our game, south of the border, in ways that are unmeasurable. For one, it contributed to half of English football thinking this country was a sectarian anti-Rangers backwater which, for a spell, just went mad.

It bears no resemblance to the truth whatsoever. It is what we call the Victim Lie. It is pernicious, it is distorting and it is dangerous. It has raised the temperature of hate in this country to a staggering level. It is also an assault on the truth which can’t be ignored.

It is one of the reasons not a single Scottish football supporter with a fraction of a brain cell buys it or trusts a single word that is published in that paper. That rag, and those who write for it, wilfully distorted the facts and led a campaign whose end result would have been the collapse of any credibility our sport had left.

Had their call for Sevco to be put straight into the SPL been heeded tens of thousands of fans would have walked away never to return, the integrity of the sport here not simply compromised but utterly shredded.

Apart from that, the paper was the key proponent of the Armageddon Theory, and did as much, if not more, to talk it down and burn its commercial standing to ash, as even the SFA and the SPL leaders who virtually begged sponsors to walk away.

No Scottish football fan will ever forgive those people for that, or forget that they did it.

To read Keys absurd comments today, and to learn that his knowledge of that time comes from the things he read in the disreputable rag which promoted Whyte when many of us were calling him a crook and then blamed the rest of us for what happened to the club … it’s sickening.

So Keys limited his understand to The Daily Record version of events and anything else he wanted to know about the game up here I’m sure he got from his “mate” sitting next to him, who in between dismissive discussions of how women had no role in football except to look good for the men, I am certain shared with him tales of the “grand old days of yore.”

Gray spent one year at Ibrox, but was a boyhood fan, imbibed in all that supremacy guff, brought up to believe he was one of the Peepul.

Backward, intolerant, a complete muppet in short.

This is what happens when you take no interest whatsoever in a subject, but get occasional snippets of information from a couple of sources singing from the same hymn sheet, and normally I would have a big rant about this kind of thing, and try and give him an overview of it, filling him in on everything that went on but why should I? Why should any of us?

We know what happened and the truth can be found on many a blog and in at least one book and in at least some of the newspapers of the time, in between all the heart-rending for the down-on-its-luck Rangers, who spent their own way to oblivion and wanted the rest of us to pick up the tab. The club that cheated the rest of us for years.

When it came time, every club in Scotland knew what they were voting for and why.

If Keys is too lazy or too pig ignorant or just too stupid to get it, that’s his problem, not ours. Nobody asked him to “understand it”; he wasn’t part of the discussion and he isn’t now. He’s another in a long line of arrogant EPL obsessed tossers to come up here and lecture us, only this time he’s feigning sympathy instead of expressing contempt.

But it’s just another kind of contempt, that’s all, and all the more offensive because it contains within it a fully formed version of the Victim Lie.

His comments on Scottish football fans and Sky had merit; of course they did. His story about how Sky’s board took an executive decision not to promote Scottish football in any way, shape or form, even by acknowledging it existed at all, is chilling.

But that aside, not a thing he’s said was exactly original thinking.

If he’s interested in the well-being of our game he ought to learn about it. He ought to know who up here he can trust and who was filling his head with nonsense. He ought to speak to some of his colleagues south of the border, like Alex Thomson at Channel 4, or Mark Daly from the BBC.

They’ll put him right if he cares to learn at all.

There are still stories up here, real honest-to-God ones, which have been buried under an avalanche of lies and distortions … and some are still current today, with enormous potential for changing the landscape of the game. If he’s a serious journalist he could be on the cutting edge of breaking those wide open to an audience that simply won’t believe them.

Most Scottish football fans here would welcome that kind of scrutiny, the real kind, the kind that looks at the issues properly, and critically. Keys says he’s passionate about the sport here. If he is, he can prove it to all of us, easily.

But he ought to watch who he asks for information, and who he talks to afterwards.

Not everyone up here would be interested in telling him the truth.