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The Return of the ââ?¬Ë?Corduroy Crusaderââ?¬â?¢ ââ?¬â?? Graham Spiers Starts His New Job


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One would be forgiven for thinking this Saturday was considered an exciting day because of the last Old Firm game of the season at Ibrox. After all, thousands of us will descend on our spiritual home to once again support our team in one of the worldââ?¬â?¢s greatest derbies. Unfortunately, word reaches me that, among us after an enforced period of ââ?¬Ë?gardening leaveââ?¬â?¢, shall be the one and only Graham Spiers ââ?¬â?? ex-ââ?¬Ë?Heraldââ?¬â?¢ Chief Sportswriter and new ââ?¬Ë?Timesââ?¬â?¢ columnist - well the Scottish version (with itââ?¬â?¢s, erm, ââ?¬Ë?compactââ?¬â?¢ readership anyway). Ergo, considering the SPL title has already been won and lost, perhaps all the excitement will occur when reading Spiersââ?¬â?¢ pre and post match musings?

 

It�s been a while since we�ve read this charlatan�s brand of half-truths and ill-informed rhetoric so can Scotland�s self-appointed sectarian sheriff make a valiant return at the place where he made his name (and essentially lost his job) singling out Rangers as the sole perpetrators of sectarian offence in Scotland?

 

The stench of hypocrisy will of course be evident as Spiers cheers on his favourite ââ?¬Ë?remarkable human beingââ?¬â?¢ Neil Lennon who will play in his last Old Firm match. Spiers has always had a lot to say about the bigotry problem but does strangely prevaricate when it comes to the double standards of the Scottish mediaââ?¬â?¢s best-loved victim. One rule for some and one rule for another certainly applies when one considers Spiersââ?¬â?¢ partiality (or lack of).

 

Itââ?¬â?¢s also very interesting to note the Scotsport (yes, that high-quality football analysis show!) pundit has also spent the last few months writing a book about the Paul Le Guen saga. As if we werenââ?¬â?¢t all tired enough of what happened in the first half of this season, it appears in ââ?¬Ë?PLG ââ?¬â?? Lââ?¬â?¢Enigmaââ?¬â?¢ (Mainstream Publishing) our favourite failing hack will discuss why the Frenchman couldnââ?¬â?¢t succeed at Ibrox. Despite no official status and little or no relations with anyone at the club or Monsieur Le Guen, Spiers feels the need to bore us with his usual variety of self-appointed opinion based on little knowledge of how the game works. A ââ?¬Ë?Samuel Johnsonââ?¬â?¢ prize winner or car boot sale door stop? You decide!

 

So what can we expect from Spiers in his new book and more importantly his new job at ââ?¬Ë?The Timesââ?¬â?¢?

 

Well, ever since his ââ?¬Ë?Scotland on Sundayââ?¬â?¢ days in the mid 90s Spiers has enjoyed putting the boot into our club. From scurrilous attacks on club legends like Jock Wallace, Davie Cooper and Bill Struth to unfair and inaccurate ramblings about the support at large, Spiers wrote article after article on sectarianism and specifically Rangers. Some argued these articles were necessary to remove the problems we faced. However, the intensity and frequency of the pieces when compared to clubs with similar problems just wasnââ?¬â?¢t conductive to such a valued campaign. If one looks at some of the language in the Spiersââ?¬â?¢ archive, the conclusion can be reached that this wasnââ?¬â?¢t a man attempting to fix a problem, but more a coward throwing insults in favour of sensationalism.

 

I donââ?¬â?¢t think many Rangers fans have ever denied the challenges we face as a support but surely itââ?¬â?¢s the responsibility of the critic to offer solutions to help us successfully face these challenges? Itââ?¬â?¢s also imperative that we are not singled out in order that the whole problem of bigotry is attacked ââ?¬â?? not just one part of it. Unfortunately, Spiers has never done either to any great extent. Yes, heââ?¬â?¢s taken part in one conference about the subject (no solutions offered though) and yes, he has written the odd article about other clubs; but never once to the same extent as his regular attacks on Rangers.

 

As such, can we expect any different this Saturday? The problem of bigotry and discriminatory singing is still part of Scottish football. Rangers� fans though have made huge strides in the last year and have successfully removed much of the problem chants from the away support. They have done this not because of the likes of Spiers and his ilk but in spite of them. Meanwhile, the clubs with similar dilemmas that Spiers has chosen to minimise or even deliberately ignore, still have their problems. From sectarian and terrorist sympathising songs from Celtic fans, to songs about the Ibrox Disaster from Aberdeen fans, to racism from Motherwell fans, to homophobic chants from Hearts/Hibs fans; bigotry is still rife in the SPL from many clubs out with Rangers.

 

This summer will see a new SPL rule introduced to punish clubs for such singing. This may go some way to helping remove these problems but only if the rule is applied across the board and from a neutral perspective. The questionable Scottish media will have their part to play regarding this and Graham Spiers (love him or loathe him) will be at the forefront as usual.

 

Will we be reading an informative, impartial and accurate Graham Spiers this weekend? I genuinely hope so but I also doubt it. After all, these valuable virtues don�t always help make journalistic careers. But, as we saw when Spiers was sidelined at the Herald, not having them can also end and/or limit said careers.

 

What�s it to be, Graham?

 

http://www.gersnetonline.net/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=402&Itemid=1

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Nothing to add other than excellent article. If Speir's alienation of the Rangers support really did have something to do with him losing his position at the Herald, then, just maybe we could expect a more balanced slant on things now.

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I thought that, for Spiers, that was a pretty well-balanced article - yes, he made his obligatory snide remarks towards Rangers but he did counter-act them with statements that the majority didn't condone the sectarianism.

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Guest Spunkmeyer

Sorry but I hate him, come to think of it I hate most journo's these days. :uzi:

 

I hope his lovers condom bursts. :devil:

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I thought that, for Spiers, that was a pretty well-balanced article - yes, he made his obligatory snide remarks towards Rangers but he did counter-act them with statements that the majority didn't condone the sectarianism.

 

Sorry craig it was not balanced whatsoever.

 

He makes the usual defence for Lennon and makes the usual attacks on the Rangers support.

 

How can someone write about bigotry in an Old Firm game and ignore Celtic's part in it? Not to mention Neil Lennon's own high profile example of said bigotry.

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Sorry but I hate him, come to think of it I hate most journo's these days. :uzi:

 

I hope his lovers condom bursts. :devil:

 

He'll be able to spit it out without swallowing.

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