Why an adult broadcaster gets respect

Last updated : 22 March 2012 By McPhail



How refreshing it was on Monday evening to hear a show on Rangers which offered not only reasonable discussion but also avoided ill-informed hysteria we are so used to when hearing about the crisis inflicting Scotland's greatest football club.


It has been all too common for years now that any debate or discussion on Rangers omits the people who matter.  I don't only mean supporters of the club but the norm these days with Rangers as the topic is to hear from the likes of Devine, English, the Discredited Journalist or a host of BBC Scotland pundits.  None of these people are putting forward the Rangers view and it's now expected that a Rangers discussion will be led by non Rangers people.  It beggars belief that we as a support have put up with this for so long.


Monday's night show was broadcast by Radio 5 Live rather than BBC Scotland and it did some very simple things that made it worth listening to:


1. The host didn't want to be the centre of attention.


2. Many of the panel were people who had relevant experience (Gordon Smith having worked with Whyte, a football administrator, Henry McLeish who has led a review of Scottish football).


3. Supporters were invited along to ask questions and supporter representatives were involved in the panel.


Point three is key.  When discussing Rangers you have to involve the people that matter.


Comments from Twitter suggest BBC Scotland employees were very much on the outside looking in.  Some even queried why the show wasn't indulging in hyteria, presumably due to the lack of questions from the intellectual heavyweights of BBC Sport Scotland such as Chic Young and Billy Dodds.  Having never provided any insight on football whatsoever and having an ego that greatly dwarfs his ability, Chic exists only to provide Jonathan Watson with material for New Year.  Add in Richard "I was brought up to hate Rangers" Gordon and you have the level of quality we're used to from BBC Scotland.  These people should not have a major role in a discussion on Rangers.  Ever.


Much like the (English/UK) ITV coverage of our later UEFA Cup stages in 2007/08 highlighted how poor Scottish sport output can be, the Radio 5 Live special on Rangers simply reminded us of how patheticly childish the likes of BBC Scotland and many of their media peers are.  A grown-up debate is simply beyond the ability of people who only want to generate hysteria and feed their own egos.  Then you have to consider those who are happy to forego any professional integrity to work only as the puppets of those in charge of other clubs.  It is utterly abysmal.


Worldwide the BBC generally epitomises quality and standards.  BBC Scotland, however, doesn't.  The chasm between Pacific Quay and the rest of the BBC is massive and I trust those down south will recognise the positive feedback from a show on Rangers which was free of the twisted venom of BBC Scotland.  If you haven't done so already then drop an email to BBC Sport (not BBC Sport Scotland) to mention this.


I'll finish with a reminder to Rangers supporters that the BBC is legally bound by a charter covering both impartiality and quality of broadcasts.  If you don't feel the output reflects this then learn the BBC complaints process, fire off some comments and take it as far as possible.  We deserve better.