IN 42 years in print journalism I have never come across a worse failure of a newspaper to back a writer than that of The Herald and Graham Spiers.
I left The Herald four months ago on good terms and the paper had my loyalty for 28 years. Should a reporter get something wrong there is a duty to raise a hand and accept responsibility. But when a journalist insists on and can prove the veracity of a story an editor should provide full backing. That’s the deal.
Yesterday this apology was carried by the newspaper’s website: “In a recent column for heraldscotland, Graham Spiers said an un-named Rangers director had praised the song The Billy Boys.
“He also questioned the willingness of Rangers directors to tackle offensive behaviour, and The Herald and Graham Spiers accept this was inaccurate.”
But Spiers, himself a Rangers supporter who was once given police advice on threats from the club’s fanatics, did not and does not accept this. “My opinion – as expressed in my column – was based on a truthful account of my meeting with a Rangers director,” he insisted yesterday in a statement saying “the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe.”
A hard-line fans’ website swiftly boasted that the threat of withdrawal of £40,000 in advertising revenues by motor sales and coach operators Park’s clinched the climb-down. The owner is a Rangers director. I hope this is not true.
The irony is that this website  — the same unsavoury crowd who recently threatened critics and their wives and children — loudly trumpet the merits of the full bigoted songbook at Ibrox. The previous article proclaimed the Billy Boys football’s “haka” for the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community.
It used to be press passes and access which were threatened. If it’s advertising, who’s next?

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67 thoughts on “Who’s next in line for the bully boys?

  1. Well said Robbie! Need more like you . Disgraceful behaviour by the Herald. It’s like Woodward and Bernstein being cast to the wolves by Ben Bradlee half way through the Watergate affair under pressure from the White House. Shocking!

    1. The BBC?
      Are you joking,one only needs tae see the treatment of Jim Spence and Chris McLaughlin tae see what they think of both of them.
      The Bully Boys are a disgrace tae Scotland and I can only hope that mob of thugs disappear off the face of this earth once and for all,no wonder they’re called ‘Scotland’s Shame.’

  2. It comes as no surprise to us law abiding decent football fans ( who have no interest in re tweeting homophobic images, threatening to burn down starks park allegedly, sending bombs to Neil Lennon etc etc etc ) but there certainly is a rogue, bad, nasty element from a certain club. They are a disgrace to Scotland and the UK as a whole. Shame on the Herald!! LAT

    1. HA HA HA For disgrace look no further than the vile element in your support who wish that “soon there will be no Protestants at all” Do you have a mirror that fits your image?

      1. I remember those words being sung in the jungle, that was 40 years ago for Heavens sakes.

        Saw someone else post about the unacceptable & disgraceful behaviour at Mark Walters debut, my goodness, the whataboutery is desperate.

        We are talking about NOW with Graham Spiers. We are talking about NOW when TV company’s are having to apologise for the sectarianism and bigotry from the Ibrox support oozing into our living space. How do they attempt to remedy this disease?…………….move the mikes!!!!! Only in Scotland.

      2. Is that the same terrorist supporting crap we have to listen to every time Celtic are live on BT ? Don’t hide the fact that the Mark Walters issue was the most racist thing witnessed on national television. As you say Scotland , not some foreign country who thrive on Republican bigotry. Oh and the issue with Spiers and Haggerty was a legal one. Have a nice day….

      3. You have a stock of ‘reference data’ to reinforce your genuinely held held beliefs that you feel the world has missed.

        Just dissecting your post:

        “terrorist supporting crap” Guessing you are talking about Celtic ballads? Maybe like the ‘Boys of the old Brigade’ ? – who’s memorial the Queen laid a wreath, and bowed her head in respect at, a couple of years ago?
        Must really hurt but Sinn Fein/IRA are now democratically elected and helping to govern the province in the North of Ireland.
        “Mark Walters issue” – absolutely shocking, embarrassing, disgraceful. – Goram and Amaruso cases?
        “some foreign country who thrive on Republican bigotry.” Republican bigotry? -you got me there.
        “the issue with Spiers and Haggerty was a legal one.” – oh really?

      4. Behave yourself….your nonsense about Ballads is not washing with me. The songs sung at Parkhead are not Political. You obviously know nothing about why the Queen visited and laid a wreath, why did you pick B of the O B ? Why not the sectarian Roll of Honour? The Republic IS a foreign country. The NUJ has had to re call its statement because of the Legal aspect of the ‘ comments. Now run along .

  3. Unbelievable. Is this what Scotland has sunk to. Shows if anything that bigotry is getting worse at Scotlands newest club. Not as bad as them throwing lighters,hot drinks and cups of pee at away fans. Aren’t they just fine upstanding citizens.

    1. Talking of throwing things….Was your stadium not littered with a certain fruit when Mark Walters played his first old firm match? The worst case of racism ever witnessed in a British football ground…..but don’t let facts get in the way of a lie eh !

      1. They’re not called Scotland’s Shame for nothing.

        “This has to be said about Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”
        Ian Archer (journalist, 1970s), for full article see: link

        “The incessant bigoted chanting by Rangers fans at Hampden was shocking. Unarguably the most socially-backward fans in British football. The really damaging thing for RFC is, it’s not the mythical ‘small minority’. There appear to be 1000s upon 1000s singing these songs.”
        Graham Spiers (Journalist) on his Twitter feed commenting on the Huns in their league cup final appearance (March 2011) (match)

        COMEDIAN Andy Cameron was barracked by fellow Rangers’ shareholders yesterday when he asked the club’s chairman Mr John Paton to “come out and be honest” about the board’s policy towards Roman Catholics. Mr Cameron, whose earlier remarks about the calibre of the Rangers’ team had drawn laughs and cheers from the floor of the club’s annual meeting, was heckled and told to sit down. Minutes later, a number of shareholders milled round Mr Cameron and exchanged angry remarks with him.
        The Herald (Oct 2010); the above happened in 1985

        “There’s nothing worse than sitting in the dressing room at Celtic Park after a defeat, not a word being said, listening to them going mental next door.”
        Ally McCoist (ex-Rangers striker)

        “Rangers like the big strong powerful fellows, with a bit of strength and solidity in the tackle, rather than the frivolous, quick moving stylists like Jimmy Johnstone, small, tiptoe-through-the-tulips type of players who excite people.”
        Willie Waddell, Rangers manager 1972

        Brian Clough: “What team did you say you support again?”
        Man in the studio audience: “RANGERS!”
        Brian Clough: “That’s not a football team! That’s a gang of villains.”
        The irrepressible Brian Clough on “Sport in Question”

        “In every hick town in Caledonia across the pseudo nation, you can see the most ****** up scum who were shat into creation, where a blue McEwans’ lager top equals NO imagination!
        “Think you’re a success?
        “Your psyche’s a mess!
        “Your economy is in distress, you’re HUN-believable!!!”
        Irvine Welsh, the irrepressible novelist on his opinion about Rangers fans (1996)

        ‘It’s not that they weren’t penalties – it’s just that they’re the kind of penalties nobody else gets!’
        Not the View fanzine in 2003 after Rangers were awarded three penalties in their 2-2 draw with Dundee in May 2003

        “I’d just come from Italy and France which are catholic countries,very warm and friendly,and here I was in Glasgow with some of my team-mates [i.e. fellow Rangers players] hating catholics. I just couldn’t understand it and frankly found it ridiculous.”
        Ray Wilkins on an ESPN documentary said about Rangers (June 2007)

        Walter Smith, a two-time former manager of the club and now manager of Scotland, once said to me: “There is a Protestant superiority syndrome around this club . . . you can feel it.”
        Graham Spiers quoting Walter Smith (taken from his book on Paul Le Guen’s time at Rangers, 2007)

        “When I came here in 1964, we had no Catholics,” he said. “Not just the playing staff, anywhere. There was no bit of paper, it was an unwritten rule. David Murray changed that and it moved on significantly in 1989 when Maurice Johnston signed. You cannot clear up 80 years of sectarianism in eight months, but we are a huge way down the road.”
        Sandy Jardine

        It was not until the 1960’s that the burning issue of sectarianism reared its ugly head at Ibrox. A former player, Ralph Brand, made the sectarian policy at Rangers public knowledge and around this time the behaviour of Rangers fans was a real problem for the club. In 1963, Rangers fans jeered during the minute’s silence for assassinated Catholic U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Then, in 1967, then vice Chairman Matt Taylor was questioned about Rangers no Catholics policy and he stated that he felt that they policy was “part of our tradition….we were formed in 1873 as a Protestant boys club. To change now would lose us considerable support.”
        Vice-Chairman Matt Taylor of Rangers from 1960s

        To the Rangers fans: “Stay and vomit in your own home, urinate in the corner of your own sitting room, fight with your own neighbours Celtic (who deserve a medal for putting up with you) and foul the streets of Glasgow. Don’t come back to Barcelona, you’re an embarrassment. And while we’re at it, don’t play in the Champions League. You’re not up to scratch, either on a sporting or human level.
        There are noisy supports who, even though they drink large quantities of beer, make friends. Not you lot, because you turn everywhere you go into dumps. You are undesirables.”
        El Mundo Deportivo Newspaper on Rangers after the Rangers game v Barcelona in the Nou Camp (Nov 07)
        Full Article: “Don’t come back to Barcelona” (Nov 07)

        ‘Terry Butcher had little idea of the sectarian divide he was stepping into when he arrived at Rangers in the summer of 1986 in a £750,000 deal.But he had been given an inkling as a young pro when he blessed himself before a match and fell foul of senior team-mate Allan Hunter, a Northern Ireland international Butcher said: “I recall one incident at Ipswich before a reserve game when I crossed myself, something I’d seen Alan Brazil do. “Big Allan Hunter was sitting in the stand and after the game he grabbed me and asked me if I was a Catholic. I told him I wasn’t. I was an English Protestant. Why, then, he asked, did I cross myself? “I told him it was for luck but he told me to remember I was a Protestant and warned me never to do it again – if I did, he would really sort me out. ‘
        Based on Terry Butcher’s book, surprising Ally Hunter would later have Celtic down for his testimonial (in 1981)

        “The people in that CCTV footage acted like a pack of wolves. Whatever happened earlier there was no excuse for this level of violence. ”
        Assistant Chief Constable Justine Curran, the match commander during Rangers’ shame in the UEFA Cup Final “Battle of Piccadilly” in Manchester (see link)

        “Celtc : Bohemian, Underprivileged.
        Rangers : Dour, Establishment.”
        FourFourTwo magazine describing the two clubs

        Lionel Messi, the Barcelona striker, accused the Scottish side of indulging in “anti-football” when the same goalless Ibrox scoreline was achieved against his own team in the Champions League. Now Mutu has expressed his own distaste.
        “I’ve never seen a team play like that at home before, but that is their game, their tactic, and what they believe in,” he said. “I thought maybe they would want to make more of a spectacle for the fans. For me, it was an ugly game. They were defending all the time and I just hope we see a bit more attacking, some spectacular”
        Mutu (Fiorentina) on Rangers just before 2nd leg game in UEFA cup v Huns (Apr 08)

        “The wife of a Rangers Supporters Club secretary from East Kilbride declared that she had been suffering from insomnia as a result of disturbing religious visions involving Johnston: “My blood is boiling. Is Mo Johnston going to run about Ibrox with his crucifix? I’ve though about nothing else all night.” David Miller, General Secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association was peddling an equally hard line: “I never thought in my wildest dreams that they would sign him. Why him above all? It’s a sad day for Rangers. There will be a lot of people handing in their season tickets. I don’t want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox. Rangers have always stood for one thing and the biggest majority of the support have been brought up with the idea of a true blue Rangers team. I thought they would sign a Catholic eventually, perhaps in three or four years time, but someone from the continent.”
        Quotes from Not The View Fanzine

        “Celtic have all the cool people supporting them. Rangers have me and Wet Wet Wet!!!”
        Alan McGee’s lament on the great truth (Alan McGee was the founder of Creation Records and the former manager of Oasis (who also happen to be Man City and Celtic fans)

        Interviewer: “Is Mo Johnston your most important signing?
        David Murray (Rangers Chairman): “We signed him as a football player firstly, and also to break the tradition of this club in not signing a Roman Catholic. That was wrong, ”
        Rangers Chairman admits they had a sectarian signing policy in interview (21 Nov 08)

        “He said I deserved more than that – I was going off. I’d never been sent off in my career and so I had this conversation with him. Basically I told him that, if he sent me off, he’d be demoted from Grade One refereeing – the lot. That was in the days when Rangers had a good relationship with the Scottish FA.”
        Football Bloody Hell by Patrick Barclay when it mentions a tussle between Alex Ferguson and John Greig (Rangers player) that results in Greig getting sent off. Greig who felt he deserved only a booking relates. Plus ca change….

        “….yes we’ve had some pretty rank poets over the years. Thomson was probably a Rangers fan in-waiting. Rule Britannia has no modern value and should be dumped in the dustbin of history. It celebrates sentiments and ideologies that have brought great shame on parts of ‘our’ collective British history. Anyone that thinks slavery is smart or justifiable or just a wind up should reconsider why this song still persists in parts of Neanderthal British life. Forget the ‘Hokey Cokey’ guff, Rule Britannia is a song that lords it over other races, celebrates institutionalised racism, and promotes racial supremacy and it should be banned. No correction it should not need to be banned. People should be so ashamed of its vile sentiments they would not knowingly sing it. Its hardly surprising that Rangers fans are the exception. No one else would want to sing this dated piece of imperialist cant. ”
        Stuart Cosgrove (Journalist)

        Sergio Porrini thinks Rangers could pick up a European trophy within the next three years. He said, “if we can overcome Gothenburg I think we can reach the quarter finals. And I believe that in two or three seasons Rangers could win the European Cup.”
        Sergio Perrini, Rangers Player… Daft idiot!

        Rangers have been dubbed “the stupidest club in Europe” by France Football magazine. Senior correspondent Christophe Larcher condemned Rangers in a scathing attack on Strasbourg’s opponents in the UEFA Cup first round. He said, “Rangers have spent fortunes on second-rate players and they keep getting knocked out in the first round of European competition. For these reasons they deserve the title of the stupidest club in the continent. As if further proof was needed, they went out against Gothenburg in the European Cup qualifiers after a 3-0 thrashing in Sweden.”
        Christophe Larcher (France Football) 3 September 1997

        “The famous Rangers Iron Curtain of the 1940s derived from the emphasis on physical strength which Struth had developed in the previous decades. Another potent factor was they were all Protestants, to a man (with suspicions over one or two). And it mattered, deeply. Hardly an eyebrow was raised in Scottish society about this exclusivity during the Struth reign. People largely acquiesced as simply a fact of life. And Struth himself, with a penchant for made-to-measure three-piece suits, a stern countenance and a master of moral rebuke, seemed to be the epitome of the Presbyterian High Tory for whom the tugging of the forelock was expected in an orderly, unchanging society.
        “Certainly people from both sides of the divide had a high regard for him as a man of principle, including Paddy Travers of Clyde, a Catholic with whom Struth had holidayed on the Isle of Man. And, ironically, there was a great bond between the man who effectively brought Stein to Parkhead, Jimmy Gribben the Celtic trainer, for whom Struth kept a “wee hauf” at Ibrox any time Celtic played there.
        “At that time he was not being forced to engage himself with the highly dubious morality of valuing people of another religion as not fit for purpose. With ample Protestant talent available to him, on the principle of “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”, life simply rolled on.
        “That is why the Struth legacy contains a crucial paradox for the modern Rangers. It can be interpreted in two ways. Without doubt the triumphs, the longevity, the production of great players, all point to a man of distinction and talent. On the other hand, from the baseline of supremacy and triumphalism set, he bequeathed the club a dilemma. The temptation to maintain the tradition was initially overpowering. Waddell and Wallace in the 1970s and 1980s began to see their recruitment options diminishing but were shackled by their own personal inclinations.”
        The Herald article on Bill Struth (link)

        “On the Rangers terracing on Saturday there was congregated a gang, thousands strong, including the dregs and scourings of filthy slumdom, unwashed yahoos, jailbirds nighthawks, won’t works, burro-barnacles and pavement pirates, all, or nearly all, in the scarecrow stage of verminous trampdom. This ragged army of insanitary pests was lavishly provided with orange and blue remnants…. Practically without cessation, the vagabond scum kept up a strident howl of the “Boyne Water” chorus. Nothing so bestially ignorant has ever been witnessed, even in the wildest exhibitions of Glasgow Orange bigotry……”The reporter went on to describe the assembled throng of Celtic fans.
        “These complaints do not apply to the Celtic brake-clubs (supporters’ clubs) whose members, reasonable sentient human beings, are models of decorum and possess official testimonials to their blameless behaviour…..They are fond of singing, and to this no-one can reasonably object. On Saturday, the boys sang to their heart’s content. They gave us so many rousing choruses. “Hail Glorious St. Patrick”, “God Save Ireland”, “Slievenamon” “The Soldier’s Song”…. When Cassidy’s goal made victory sure, it was fine to hear the massed thousands at the western end of the Ibrox oval chanting thunderously “On Erin’s Green Valleys’..”
        Man in the Know” from the 1920’s Glasgow Observer in one of his reports relating to an Old Firm game in 1924, (1924)

        “Friendly against Rangers , no such thing they’ll be on the rampage they are hooligans!”.

        “This has to be said about Rangers, as a Scottish Football club they are a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace. This country would be a better place if Rangers did not exist.”
        Ian Archer (journalist, 1970s), for full article see: link

        “The incessant bigoted chanting by Rangers fans at Hampden was shocking. Unarguably the most socially-backward fans in British football. The really damaging thing for RFC is, it’s not the mythical ‘small minority’. There appear to be 1000s upon 1000s singing these songs.”
        Graham Spiers (Journalist) on his Twitter feed commenting on the Huns in their league cup final appearance (March 2011) (match)

        COMEDIAN Andy Cameron was barracked by fellow Rangers’ shareholders yesterday when he asked the club’s chairman Mr John Paton to “come out and be honest” about the board’s policy towards Roman Catholics. Mr Cameron, whose earlier remarks about the calibre of the Rangers’ team had drawn laughs and cheers from the floor of the club’s annual meeting, was heckled and told to sit down. Minutes later, a number of shareholders milled round Mr Cameron and exchanged angry remarks with him.
        The Herald (Oct 2010); the above happened in 1985

        “There’s nothing worse than sitting in the dressing room at Celtic Park after a defeat, not a word being said, listening to them going mental next door.”
        Ally McCoist (ex-Rangers striker)

        “Rangers like the big strong powerful fellows, with a bit of strength and solidity in the tackle, rather than the frivolous, quick moving stylists like Jimmy Johnstone, small, tiptoe-through-the-tulips type of players who excite people.”
        Willie Waddell, Rangers manager 1972

        Brian Clough: “What team did you say you support again?”
        Man in the studio audience: “RANGERS!”
        Brian Clough: “That’s not a football team! That’s a gang of villains.”
        The irrepressible Brian Clough on “Sport in Question”

        “In every hick town in Caledonia across the pseudo nation, you can see the most ****** up scum who were shat into creation, where a blue McEwans’ lager top equals NO imagination!
        “Think you’re a success?
        “Your psyche’s a mess!
        “Your economy is in distress, you’re HUN-believable!!!”
        Irvine Welsh, the irrepressible novelist on his opinion about Rangers fans (1996)

        ‘It’s not that they weren’t penalties – it’s just that they’re the kind of penalties nobody else gets!’
        Not the View fanzine in 2003 after Rangers were awarded three penalties in their 2-2 draw with Dundee in May 2003

        “I’d just come from Italy and France which are catholic countries,very warm and friendly,and here I was in Glasgow with some of my team-mates [i.e. fellow Rangers players] hating catholics. I just couldn’t understand it and frankly found it ridiculous.”
        Ray Wilkins on an ESPN documentary said about Rangers (June 2007)

        Walter Smith, a two-time former manager of the club and now manager of Scotland, once said to me: “There is a Protestant superiority syndrome around this club . . . you can feel it.”
        Graham Spiers quoting Walter Smith (taken from his book on Paul Le Guen’s time at Rangers, 2007)

        “When I came here in 1964, we had no Catholics,” he said. “Not just the playing staff, anywhere. There was no bit of paper, it was an unwritten rule. David Murray changed that and it moved on significantly in 1989 when Maurice Johnston signed. You cannot clear up 80 years of sectarianism in eight months, but we are a huge way down the road.”
        Sandy Jardine

        It was not until the 1960’s that the burning issue of sectarianism reared its ugly head at Ibrox. A former player, Ralph Brand, made the sectarian policy at Rangers public knowledge and around this time the behaviour of Rangers fans was a real problem for the club. In 1963, Rangers fans jeered during the minute’s silence for assassinated Catholic U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Then, in 1967, then vice Chairman Matt Taylor was questioned about Rangers no Catholics policy and he stated that he felt that they policy was “part of our tradition….we were formed in 1873 as a Protestant boys club. To change now would lose us considerable support.”
        Vice-Chairman Matt Taylor of Rangers from 1960s

        To the Rangers fans: “Stay and vomit in your own home, urinate in the corner of your own sitting room, fight with your own neighbours Celtic (who deserve a medal for putting up with you) and foul the streets of Glasgow. Don’t come back to Barcelona, you’re an embarrassment. And while we’re at it, don’t play in the Champions League. You’re not up to scratch, either on a sporting or human level.
        There are noisy supports who, even though they drink large quantities of beer, make friends. Not you lot, because you turn everywhere you go into dumps. You are undesirables.”
        El Mundo Deportivo Newspaper on Rangers after the Rangers game v Barcelona in the Nou Camp (Nov 07)
        Full Article: “Don’t come back to Barcelona” (Nov 07)

        ‘Terry Butcher had little idea of the sectarian divide he was stepping into when he arrived at Rangers in the summer of 1986 in a £750,000 deal.But he had been given an inkling as a young pro when he blessed himself before a match and fell foul of senior team-mate Allan Hunter, a Northern Ireland international Butcher said: “I recall one incident at Ipswich before a reserve game when I crossed myself, something I’d seen Alan Brazil do. “Big Allan Hunter was sitting in the stand and after the game he grabbed me and asked me if I was a Catholic. I told him I wasn’t. I was an English Protestant. Why, then, he asked, did I cross myself? “I told him it was for luck but he told me to remember I was a Protestant and warned me never to do it again – if I did, he would really sort me out. ‘
        Based on Terry Butcher’s book, surprising Ally Hunter would later have Celtic down for his testimonial (in 1981)

        “The people in that CCTV footage acted like a pack of wolves. Whatever happened earlier there was no excuse for this level of violence. ”
        Assistant Chief Constable Justine Curran, the match commander during Rangers’ shame in the UEFA Cup Final “Battle of Piccadilly” in Manchester (see link)

        “Celtc : Bohemian, Underprivileged.
        Rangers : Dour, Establishment.”
        FourFourTwo magazine describing the two clubs

        Lionel Messi, the Barcelona striker, accused the Scottish side of indulging in “anti-football” when the same goalless Ibrox scoreline was achieved against his own team in the Champions League. Now Mutu has expressed his own distaste.
        “I’ve never seen a team play like that at home before, but that is their game, their tactic, and what they believe in,” he said. “I thought maybe they would want to make more of a spectacle for the fans. For me, it was an ugly game. They were defending all the time and I just hope we see a bit more attacking, some spectacular”
        Mutu (Fiorentina) on Rangers just before 2nd leg game in UEFA cup v Huns (Apr 08)

        “The wife of a Rangers Supporters Club secretary from East Kilbride declared that she had been suffering from insomnia as a result of disturbing religious visions involving Johnston: “My blood is boiling. Is Mo Johnston going to run about Ibrox with his crucifix? I’ve though about nothing else all night.” David Miller, General Secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association was peddling an equally hard line: “I never thought in my wildest dreams that they would sign him. Why him above all? It’s a sad day for Rangers. There will be a lot of people handing in their season tickets. I don’t want to see a Roman Catholic at Ibrox. Rangers have always stood for one thing and the biggest majority of the support have been brought up with the idea of a true blue Rangers team. I thought they would sign a Catholic eventually, perhaps in three or four years time, but someone from the continent.”
        Quotes from Not The View Fanzine

        “Celtic have all the cool people supporting them. Rangers have me and Wet Wet Wet!!!”
        Alan McGee’s lament on the great truth (Alan McGee was the founder of Creation Records and the former manager of Oasis (who also happen to be Man City and Celtic fans)

        Interviewer: “Is Mo Johnston your most important signing?
        David Murray (Rangers Chairman): “We signed him as a football player firstly, and also to break the tradition of this club in not signing a Roman Catholic. That was wrong, ”
        Rangers Chairman admits they had a sectarian signing policy in interview (21 Nov 08)

        “He said I deserved more than that – I was going off. I’d never been sent off in my career and so I had this conversation with him. Basically I told him that, if he sent me off, he’d be demoted from Grade One refereeing – the lot. That was in the days when Rangers had a good relationship with the Scottish FA.”
        Football Bloody Hell by Patrick Barclay when it mentions a tussle between Alex Ferguson and John Greig (Rangers player) that results in Greig getting sent off. Greig who felt he deserved only a booking relates. Plus ca change….

        “….yes we’ve had some pretty rank poets over the years. Thomson was probably a Rangers fan in-waiting. Rule Britannia has no modern value and should be dumped in the dustbin of history. It celebrates sentiments and ideologies that have brought great shame on parts of ‘our’ collective British history. Anyone that thinks slavery is smart or justifiable or just a wind up should reconsider why this song still persists in parts of Neanderthal British life. Forget the ‘Hokey Cokey’ guff, Rule Britannia is a song that lords it over other races, celebrates institutionalised racism, and promotes racial supremacy and it should be banned. No correction it should not need to be banned. People should be so ashamed of its vile sentiments they would not knowingly sing it. Its hardly surprising that Rangers fans are the exception. No one else would want to sing this dated piece of imperialist cant. ”
        Stuart Cosgrove (Journalist)

        Sergio Porrini thinks Rangers could pick up a European trophy within the next three years. He said, “if we can overcome Gothenburg I think we can reach the quarter finals. And I believe that in two or three seasons Rangers could win the European Cup.”
        Sergio Perrini, Rangers Player… Daft idiot!

        Rangers have been dubbed “the stupidest club in Europe” by France Football magazine. Senior correspondent Christophe Larcher condemned Rangers in a scathing attack on Strasbourg’s opponents in the UEFA Cup first round. He said, “Rangers have spent fortunes on second-rate players and they keep getting knocked out in the first round of European competition. For these reasons they deserve the title of the stupidest club in the continent. As if further proof was needed, they went out against Gothenburg in the European Cup qualifiers after a 3-0 thrashing in Sweden.”
        Christophe Larcher (France Football) 3 September 1997

        “The famous Rangers Iron Curtain of the 1940s derived from the emphasis on physical strength which Struth had developed in the previous decades. Another potent factor was they were all Protestants, to a man (with suspicions over one or two). And it mattered, deeply. Hardly an eyebrow was raised in Scottish society about this exclusivity during the Struth reign. People largely acquiesced as simply a fact of life. And Struth himself, with a penchant for made-to-measure three-piece suits, a stern countenance and a master of moral rebuke, seemed to be the epitome of the Presbyterian High Tory for whom the tugging of the forelock was expected in an orderly, unchanging society.
        “Certainly people from both sides of the divide had a high regard for him as a man of principle, including Paddy Travers of Clyde, a Catholic with whom Struth had holidayed on the Isle of Man. And, ironically, there was a great bond between the man who effectively brought Stein to Parkhead, Jimmy Gribben the Celtic trainer, for whom Struth kept a “wee hauf” at Ibrox any time Celtic played there.
        “At that time he was not being forced to engage himself with the highly dubious morality of valuing people of another religion as not fit for purpose. With ample Protestant talent available to him, on the principle of “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”, life simply rolled on.
        “That is why the Struth legacy contains a crucial paradox for the modern Rangers. It can be interpreted in two ways. Without doubt the triumphs, the longevity, the production of great players, all point to a man of distinction and talent. On the other hand, from the baseline of supremacy and triumphalism set, he bequeathed the club a dilemma. The temptation to maintain the tradition was initially overpowering. Waddell and Wallace in the 1970s and 1980s began to see their recruitment options diminishing but were shackled by their own personal inclinations.”
        The Herald article on Bill Struth (link)

        “On the Rangers terracing on Saturday there was congregated a gang, thousands strong, including the dregs and scourings of filthy slumdom, unwashed yahoos, jailbirds nighthawks, won’t works, burro-barnacles and pavement pirates, all, or nearly all, in the scarecrow stage of verminous trampdom. This ragged army of insanitary pests was lavishly provided with orange and blue remnants…. Practically without cessation, the vagabond scum kept up a strident howl of the “Boyne Water” chorus. Nothing so bestially ignorant has ever been witnessed, even in the wildest exhibitions of Glasgow Orange bigotry……”The reporter went on to describe the assembled throng of Celtic fans.
        “These complaints do not apply to the Celtic brake-clubs (supporters’ clubs) whose members, reasonable sentient human beings, are models of decorum and possess official testimonials to their blameless behaviour…..They are fond of singing, and to this no-one can reasonably object. On Saturday, the boys sang to their heart’s content. They gave us so many rousing choruses. “Hail Glorious St. Patrick”, “God Save Ireland”, “Slievenamon” “The Soldier’s Song”…. When Cassidy’s goal made victory sure, it was fine to hear the massed thousands at the western end of the Ibrox oval chanting thunderously “On Erin’s Green Valleys’..”
        Man in the Know” from the 1920’s Glasgow Observer in one of his reports relating to an Old Firm game in 1924, (1924)

        “Friendly against Rangers , no such thing they’ll be on the rampage they are hooligans!”

  4. If graeme really feels as aggrieved and hung out to dry by his bosses as he should feel..he has one decision to make and one only.. Stay with them and sell your soul or resign and expose them for the cowards they are

    1. David,
      Why do you think the editor made a decision to apologize. Could it be that after investigation felt he had no alternative. That would suggest no name to corroborate statement. Wise man I would say to editor.

      1. Robbie,
        I have. On my point of comment, it related to” an unnamed Rangers director ” Would decision taken relate to not naming. If I felt aggrieved I would and I’m sure you would. Logic …no.

  5. What a complete and utter load of drivel writing. Released back into the wild after 42 years…..maybe you should just return to your hovel. Mr Spiers for the umpteenth time has got it wrong again…..simply because he ignores facts

    1. Lots of journalists are speaking out in support.

      Those at the Herald however have been ordered not to comment. Given that someone has already been sacked for being supportive of Spiers on twitter, its hardly surprising his immediate colleagues are keeping quiet.

  6. If his fellow journalists say nothing they will be picked off one by one. There is a guiding word between National and Journalists.

  7. Not many in the industry supporting Speirs ….. A man with no ethics. A troll, who manipulates half facts, made up stories to provoke ….. He has been caught telling lies in the past. What Rangers have done is bo different from what clubs in Scotland having been doing for years …. DUNDEE Utd, Celtic, all without the hysteria surrounding this.

  8. Robbie, the initial racial abuse (banana’s, etc on the pitch, etc.) of Walters was at Tynecastle, followed by Parkhead …..

  9. Robbie, you really are wasting your time with the Two Cheeks. The reality is they are the shame of Scottish football – BOTH of them. Even the Deportivo de la Coruna fans raised a banner at one of their games underlininf the farce that the Two Cheeks have made of the game.

  10. It appears that some Rangers fans are opposed to any level of journalistic scrutiny or criticism of their club. You know, the kind of scrutiny that (if previously present in Scottish sports journalism during the Murray era) could have prevented the club piling headlong into a financial apocalypse a short while back.

    They’d rather stick their fingers in their ears and hum The Billy Boys.

  11. Will be interesting to see if the NUJ get involved in this, If the Herald get away with this then every Journalist carrying out honest reporting is under threat, I suggest Robbie you contact your Union expressing dismay at how your former Colleague has been treated.

  12. You say Mr Speirs can prove the veracity of his account. If this is true then why has he not done so?
    He has provided no facts only his story.
    If he has proof why has he not provided it?
    He looks like a liar by his own actions.

  13. The remarks about threats to critics and there wifes and children is misleading . One Twitter account that was active less than a week and still using a egg as it avatar. Could have been anyone .no proof of it even being a rangers fan. Clearly a nut job. Even if it is a rangers fan ,it is a joke to conceive this as a threat .

  14. I’m really confused who is this football club you are all talking about? didnt this club curl up and die in 2012 and sevco be born from its corrupt ashes?

  15. Excellent post, Robbie. Thank you for standing as a witness for truth and journalistic integrity. That is to your great credit. Sadly, some responses show the enormous amount of work Scottish Society still has to do in eradicating hatred towards others.

  16. Sofarcharity:

    “Behave yourself….your nonsense about Ballads is not washing with me.” – There’s a shock?

    “The songs sung at Parkhead are not Political.” again, there’s a surprise?

    “You obviously know nothing about why the Queen visited and laid a wreath” – OK, I thought i did, I thought the lady showed great respect and dignity in respecting people who had laid down their lives for what they believed in?

    “why did you pick B of the O B ? Why not the sectarian Roll of Honour?” – OK, lets take the Roll of Honour then. This is a ballad about 10 men who starved themselves to death for their principles/cause. No matter what the cause, surely even you must respect that?

    “The Republic IS a foreign country. ” – ?

    The NUJ has had to re call its statement because of the Legal aspect of the ‘ comments. – Lets agree to let this develop.

    Now run along . Pfffft!!!!

  17. Sofarcharity seems to labour old wounds instead of like mr spiers trying to better society please so far stop going down the road of whose wrong is worse the fact is they are all wrongs and the sooner they are tackled the better a start would have been to back rangers fan mr spiers

  18. Thank the Lord I’ve never been an ‘Old firm’ football fan. I have plenty of friends who are but thankfully I’ve never had any interest. I’ve managed to cruise through life without hating too many people, and definitely never because of their religion. What an absolutely ludicrous thing to hate anyone for.

  19. Sad times. Good for Spiers for protecting his source. I wonder how that director is feeling about that. Maybe he should own up himself. Hope you are well Robbie. You’re missed at the Herald.

  20. The level of hatred some people have in Scotland is unbelievable sometimes. It never fails to amaze me what continued success does to opposing enemies state of mind. Keep up the hatred it drives us on.

  21. Had a quick look through this and really does prove bigotry is alive and well and majority of it comes out the east end of glasgow most seem to forget or try and dismiss flare throwing,disrespect of our war dead,glorification of terrorism all of which backed up by football associations that have issued many a fine for. There is an element of a lot of teams that is undesirable but majority are decent why continue to focus on the bad and ignore the good is it any wonder we never move on.

    1. “Is it any wonder we never move on”

      Written by someone under the name Bill Struth (the architect of the Rangers FC sectarian employment policy).

      It really is laugh out loud stuff by the desperate bigots at times.

  22. I was a journalist in Scotland for many years and worked across tv and radio. I never forget my last interview with the then Rangers chairman Lord Murray of Cardenden. I went in with thirty questions about bad signing, terrible injuries to key players, the comparison between Walter Smith and Dick Advocaat. It was one of the toughest interviews ever done with Murray who’d been bullying journalists for years. I edited a compelling interview yet was astonished that it didn’t lead the programme. In fact it was moved down the running order. Luckily I was leaving Scotland in a month. The interview ran and Lord Murray never spoke to me again. The power of Rangers is incredible. I have no doubt this was the case with Graham too.

  23. if I read all these comments and reactions…I fully understand why Scottish clubs are playing no longer any role any miore in international football…..remaining in the past…..sad..

  24. Well I am not surprised at the behaviour of some of the Scottish football fans. As an Irish protestant I was and am disgusted at the singing of songs like \the Famine song. It has made me more careful when I meet Scots I didn`t previously know. Who can I trust having lived here for over 40 years? Ireland had a population of about 8m pre famine. Today it is 5m’ About 1.5 m protestants died in those awful years A few years ago I wrote to someone called Bain, who was associated with Rangers ,offering some advice to help clear up this racist, disgusting and primitive behaviour. In cowardly fashion he didn`t reply
    When I was working in France, Russia and Romania they were baffled that one so called Celtic nation could behave in this way against other Celtic people. Well how many Scots see themselves as Celts? Few did when they took the hand outs to plant Ulster (nine counties) with people to help England stamp out Celtic culture. Fewer still during the Irish rebellion when they joined the Black and Tans with the sole purpose to terrorise Irish women and children – for money of course
    Please do not confuse me with the pseudo Irish in Glasgow. Some of them think they are more Irish than I am and some of them haven`t even been in Ireland
    I just wish the Scots would deal with business at hand and show some courage – either way – and either vote to stay in the UK or go their own way. Why attack people from another country without knowing why you are doing it

  25. The Herald Editor received legal advice that if sued (presumably for defamation) they would lose. When in your 28 years of journalism did you ever support a journalist defaming a member of the public. This has nothing to do with bullying and everything to do with a good journalist in Graham Spier’s letting his standards slip because he has spentvtoo much time in the company of certain bigots and xenophobes who make vilifying Rangers fans their past time – I am referring to Haggerty, Cosgrove. Are you now to join that sad little band?

  26. Why is nothing at all said in your piece about the legal advice The Herald editor received? I know you have left journalism but does your blog not require balance if you wish it to be respected? I presume the legal advice was on defamation? I presume you don’t support journalists who defame members of the public?

  27. Why no mention at all in your blog about the legal advice The Herald received? What happened to balance? I presume the advice was that they could not defend a threatened defamation action? Do you consider people who require to seek the redress of the law to clear their name when it is defamed by journalists to be bullies?

      1. I,and many others out there know the director involved and I’m pretty certain a good few others do as well,however,it’s not up tae me tae name and shame.

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