Yesterday, Matthew Marr wrote a quite wonderful piece for the blog wherein he compared what Sevco is doing right now with what the supporters of Joe McCarthy did in America during the Cold War. Using nothing more than smears and innuendo, they managed to completely transform the political climate and make life uncomfortable for a lot of people.
McCarthy never did present his dossier. Who knows if it even supported his wild claims?
Who knows if it even existed at all? It was a tool. A weapon. A means to an end.
It put the issue where he and others wanted it; front and centre, at the heart of the debate.
Our media has allowed Sevco to do the same.
At a time where our national sport is in the gravest peril, the focus is not on the problem or on the possible solutions to it but on a manufactured controversy. It is on debating false choices. It is on keeping a series of fake options in the public domain. One of them came up today on TalkSport, and it is a symbol of where we are.
Steven Gerrard was the latest in a long line of folk on that station who have pushed the Ibrox line in the past few days and weeks. Today he was repeating the nonsense that the Scottish governing bodies have acted with indecent haste to bring the season to a close.
It is a ridiculous assertion. It is entirely dishonest.
First, the SPFL moved quickly because the clubs wanted them to.
We don’t have the big TV deals that exist down in England; clubs need to be able to bring in cash at the moment by the quickest available means and that meant allocating prize money.
Secondly, the Scottish Government is also pretty determined to keep a lid on this thing and will not allow for football to be resumed on the timeline some seem to want. They have opted to put public safety first, as strange and as alien as that concept is for some.
Scottish football is simply not in any position to play these games, and we’ve known right from the start that the very worst thing for us to do would be to cling to fantasies that all this is going to be over any time soon.
Today on the radio, Gerrard has repeated this party line that his club just wants to see games played. The media has reported those comments as though they were the full story but they aren’t. Nobody on that braindead radio station asked him why the official statement from Sevco said that they also only want to do it if the games are played in front of full stands and the Scottish hacks have opted not to put that salient detail in their reportage.
None has bothered to point out that they made than announcement and then promptly dug up the Ibrox pitch, proving that the statement itself was a fraud and a phony and that they had no intention whatsoever of even trying to complete the campaign.
And this is true too of the dodgy dossier, their alleged pile of evidence that the governing bodies have acted corruptly.
Remember, they demanded the suspensions of key figures without offering a shred of evidence to support that call. It’s been weeks and they have delayed and obfuscated and put it off. Now the talk is of how they are going to “present it” to clubs when the meeting tomorrow finally forces them to show their hand.
None of this would be possible without the press that has aided and abetted them as they have pushed one dishonest narrative after another over the course of the past few weeks. The press is a flat-out disgrace; this is nothing we’re not already aware of.
But I think even seasoned media observers are shocked by the way they’ve behaved here, in simply accepting the Ibrox version of events without a single bit of proof that anything untoward has gone on.
The press is not supposed to act this way. They are supposed to question every situation, and to seek for the truth in it. They are supposed to report back facts. Instead they’ve allowed themselves to become shamefully partisan and embraced Sevco’s point of view.
Tomorrow we’re going to find out whether or not they’ve been made mugs of.
I suspect they have. I don’t believe there’s anything in Sevco’s bizarre claims. I said in an earlier piece that they will owe their readers an apology; they will owe the game here much more than that. They have toxified the atmosphere. They will have smeared people. They will have created uncertainty at a dreadfully bad time, when it’s the last thing we need.
Expect no remorse. Expect no apology.
But deep in their offices, they should, at least, feel a powerful sense of shame. Shame for allowing their profession to be used. Again. Shame at allowing themselves to be manipulated and cowed. Again. Shame at having given the benefit of the doubt to proven, brazen, liars. Again.
If they had a fraction of self-awareness a lot of them would resign.
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