Mark Hendry, of The Evening Times, appears to be pouring scorn on Sports Direct tonight, in an article for the paper where he says they have “bizarrely claimed” to have the exclusive rights to stock the kits belonging to the Ibrox club.
Let me tell you what I find “bizarre.”
That the Scottish media is still willing to swallow every piece of Sevco propaganda, no matter how ridiculous, and to refuse to believe that it might be the Ibrox operation which is lying to them, no matter how many lessons they need in the lack of professionalism and untrustworthiness of that club and those in it.
I find that quite amazing.
This saga has seen the basic dishonesty of Sevco’s directors exposed again and again and again.
If Sevco has lied to the press on this issue on this occasion it will hardly be the first time they’ve done so; indeed, their pattern of misinformation is so extensive on the matter of the Sports Direct contracts that I am astounded anyone with a functioning brain-cell was willing to accept, at face value, their claims of the last few months without at least seeking independent verification.
To my knowledge only Phil Mac Giolla Bhain even bothered.
Eventually, when dealing with Sevco, every member of the Scottish sports press finds his or herself with a choice to make; you can either accept, and publish, everything that comes out of that club and risk looking like a mug over and over again, or you can challenge everything you hear and seem like the smartest kid in the class … but you’ll no longer have “access” and you’ll no longer be on the mailing list for their numerous press releases.
But you know what? Any number of us has proved that you can ask questions from outside the magic bubble.
Is “access” really worth having when all it does is expose you to frequent ridicule?
When the club itself sees you as nothing more than a useful idiot or, worse, a mouthpiece for its own interests?
Honestly, the question is better put like this; do you want to be a journalist or are you content to be a pampered stenographer, munching on the succulent lamb?
There is nothing “bizarre” about Sports Direct’s claim; indeed, it is entirely consonant with the known facts. Known facts, as opposed to Ibrox PR spin. If Ashley and Sevco had come to an agreement which brought an end to their contract, both parties would have announced it; neither did.
The media has never questioned Sevco’s assertion that it no longer applies, but there is not a single bit of evidence to support it.
Apparently that’s not considered significant.
Let me repeat; the best verifiable information that we have is that the Sports Direct contract with Sevco, which was of an open-ended, annually renewing, nature, was and is still valid. No official announcement from either company refutes that and no legal proceeding has taken place in which it was nullified.
Other than a statement from a company which has repeatedly told lies on this very subject, there is not one shred of public information to the contrary.
For the benefit of a proper understanding, let me point out that Sports Direct’s claim tonight could easily be construed as a wilful strike at Sevco’s ability to sell shirts, given the mood amongst the Ibrox fan base and their total unwillingness to have anything to do with Ashley or his company.
That’s called tortious interference.
Their claim of exclusivity has not been made frivolously, as some in the Sevco support seem to hope.
It is an actionable claim if untrue … this doesn’t seem like someone’s idea of a joke.
Yet Mark Hendry finds Sports Direct to be making a “bizarre” claim.
I think it’s tragic that a sports journalist is so unable to join the dots on this, when the truth seems perfectly obvious.
But it’s a truth that would undermine not only Sevco but the media which regurgitates every word out of Ibrox.
I can see why it’s difficult for him to comprehend.
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