“He’s an apologist, he’s a charlatan, he’s a Rangers puppet, he’s a cheerleader, that’s what he is.” Chris Sutton on Derek Johnstone on last night’s Superscoreboard on Clyde1. Brilliant radio and a long time coming for Johnstone.
And of course all listeners to that show know that Sutton was 100% right. Johnstone did champion Craig Whyte. He did proclaim Charles Green and aided in fleecing ordinary Rangers supporters in a share issue that was all to do with making the spivs rich and he did support McCoist’s wasteful reign as Sevco Rangers manager when the former St Johnstone striker was picking up wages of around £600k a year for managing a start up business’s football club in the lower divisions of Scottish football.
Interestingly former Celtic No 7 Davie Provan had something to say today on the fact that former Rangers players never criticise their old club. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why it died?
Provan, in an interview in the Herald today referred to the argument that former Rangers players can be reluctant to criticise the Ibrox club no matter the circumstances.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that is true,” Provan said. “You would have to ask them why this is. Maybe there is an unknown code they subscribe to but it’s almost a given that former Rangers players won’t slag off Rangers.
“When David Murray was taking the club deeper into debt, you still had not one of them sounding the alarm bell even when Hugh Adam sounded the claxon. It was still, ‘That’s Sir David, steady as you go.'”
Of course former Rangers players come and go as far as prominent media profile is concerned, but Derek Johnstone, as he said himself last night, has been around for 25 years doing what he does and that is champion the latest Ibrox Administration. David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green and more recently the convicted criminal Dave King have all used Johnstone to keep the Bears onside – and just look where it has got them!
Another point on Johnstone’s retort where he mentioned his 25 years of true blue propaganda. He said that in that time he never needed to have two bodyguards to attend any ground in Scotland. This was a reference to Sutton needing such protection for his visit in midweek to watch the latest Ibrox club play Queen of the South in the League Cup quarter final tie.
Celtic blogger and published author Paul Larkin this week received a visit from Police Scotland and was advised that there was a credible and serious threat to his life because he writes what he does.
Others such as Neil Lennon, Jim Spence, Phil MacGiollaBhain, Trish Godman, Gary Allan QC, Eric Drysdale, Turnbull Hutton or Angela Haggerty could all tell you that they would have a fairly decent and informed idea why BT Sports need minders for their pundits.
Sutton certainly didn’t have any minders with him last Sunday in the fish and chip shop in Aviemore when he chatted away happily to supporters, signed autographs and had photographs taken with younger supporters including my boy.
The former Celtic and Blackburn striker called it as he saw it last season on the suitability of Ronny Deila to be Celtic manager. He said Ronny wasn’t up to the job and can look back at that time, look you in the eye and tell you he was right.
Had a former Rangers legend like Derek Johnstone spoke out about Murray and Whyte maybe he wouldn’t have to sit there every night and pretend his club didn’t die.
Recently UEFA cleared up the matter about whether Sevco Rangers, founded in 2012, is the same club that existed prior to the liquidation event that happened that year. The clarification came from the man that matters at UEFA. You would imagine that this would be big news and journalists would be desperate to do their jobs and try to secure an exclusive.
Tom English at the BBC was offered such an exclusive not once but twice.
He wasn’t interested. Perhaps he doesn’t fancy needing two bodyguards just to go along and report on a game of football?