Alex Thomson on the Rangers omnishambles:
So now the dust has slightly settled and we are on the eve of another Scottish Premier League vote (barring another postponement), let us strip away all the froth and hype and see where we really are.
On Thursday, Ibrox was a deeply bizarre place. Over the phone Rangers tried to make out their “press conference” was for “sports reporters only”. Even over the phone they quickly realised from my incredulity, this was a non-starter.
So we got a “press diktat” instead. It’s a press conference where they read at you from a prepared statement and you are not allowed questions. A press conference without the conference, if you like.
The charming Ba’athist thugs in Baghdad used to do this in the 90s, I recall. Bosnian Serb commanders likewise. Congolese child-soldier commanders do it. Duff & Phelps did themselves no favours. Of course, they’re neither criminals nor mass murderers. But questions were banned, the Rangers press officer said, “Because we don’t want this turning into a circus.”
So why do Rangers FC and Duff & Phelps think the normal rules of a press conference are a “circus”?
I suggest because of all the difficult questions they cannot answer.
They cannot explain how the Old Rangers company will somehow be “cleaned up” when it is left, toxic, mired in debt and – according to three insolvency experts I’ve now spoken to – inevitably heading for liquidation by the back door.
They cannot explain how a club banned from European football for three years, and with a one-year player-buying ban, is supposed to retain its key players who can – and very likely will – move elsewhere in the summer.
Nothing was said of the Sky/ESPN Premier League TV deal. SPL boss Neil Doncaster says it’s up for renegotiation this summer, but four Old Firm fixtures are the lynchpin of it.