Date: 8th July 2019 at 6:39pm
Written by:

The squirrels are flying again, I see.

Earlier on today, I listened to Jim White on TalkSport about the Newcastle United managerial situation, and he got to the point of discussing the Steven Gerrard rumours. He dismissed them instantly, and I thought “Are we really going to get sense from this guy for once?”

Ha! Of course not!

No, White had spoken to “senior sources” at Ibrox who had told him that Gerrard would “not leave until he finishes what he came here to do.” He said this with such pride that I laughed, and my old man laughed.

I’m sure both of us were thinking “And he didn’t even need to go to South Africa this time to be spoon-fed his lines like a good wee boy.”

This idea of a Jim White puppet with Dave King’s hand up his arse is not a new one to regular followers of the game here. That notorious Sky segment on White’s South African trip to visit King, where he took a tour of the wine cellar, thankfully ending before the cameraman had to shoot a kissing scene.

It had that quality to it, of a star struck groupie meeting their idol.

But at the core of this story, this utterly false story about how Mike Ashley put Steven Gerrard on his shortlist, it wasn’t really the hand of Dodgy Dave King that I saw, of course, although differentiating between his sweaty palms and those of Jim Traynor has become increasingly hard to do.

It was the ageing bloated spinmeister himself who automatically came to mind last night when I was checking out the headlines and saw the same one, almost word for word, across a range of different news outlets. Gerrard had “snubbed” Newcastle’s approach.

They were never going to really convince anyone sane up here that this story was true, and perhaps that’s why they approached it with such abandon, and such flamboyance, in gilding the lily even further than was required.

The Ibrox club was said to be “furious” at Ashley … and that’s when I realised that this was not just unleashing the squirrels as a transfer window distraction … although, clearly, they are setting the table for fobbing off the fans when the window shuts about how they kept the club’s best asset – the manager (yeah, I’m laughing too) – when there was EPL interest in him.

No, this was also a playground level swipe at the man who has tied their club in knots in various courtrooms up and down the land. You can just see these Peepul sitting in the Blue Room, giggling over this like schoolgirls sharing stories, can’t you?

This was the Ibrox board of directors – allegedly serious people – telling their PR pit-bull to put out a media hit on a guy they don’t like. This was a dig out, the explicit aim of which was to create a story that would rebound on the chairman of another club.

In other words, mischief making for its own sake.

Such are the people who run the operation over there, but if they weren’t so loathsome you might even develop a grudging appreciation for things such as this, for its brutal artistry … writing as a former politico I can well recognise, and even respect, the gamesmanship even if it serves no purpose and, in fact, is utterly moronic and bound to lead to further trouble.

Their club has gotten very good at this stuff. It might not seem that way to us, but you have to remember that like Trump and like Johnson they aren’t particularly bothered about the audiences which know they are full of shit.

They are focussed solely on playing to the gallery, on “energising the base” and stuff like this has the Peepul howling their satisfaction.

The real issue, as ever, is the media which reports this stuff without asking if it’s true.

They are content to be used, as White ably demonstrated again today.

They are the real problem here, they are the real disgrace.