30 April 2012 - 12:11pm | posted by | 27 comments

Sportswriter Hugh Keevins claims intimidation after criticising Rangers FC manager on radio

Sportswriter Hugh Keevins claims intimidation after criticising Rangers FC manager on radioSportswriter Hugh Keevins claims intimidation after criticising

Daily Record and Sunday Mail sportswriter Keevins, has revealed how he has been intimidated after criticising Rangers FC manager, Ally McCoist, on a radio news bulletin.

In a blog post, Keevins wrote: “This is how the intimidation business works.

“You appear on a radio news bulletin on Thursday morning and say Ally McCoist's too late with his statement distancing himself from those who're threatening the members of the SFA Judicial Panel for imposing a transfer ban on Rangers.

“The damage has already been done is the message.

“In the afternoon there comes a civilised call from the Ibrox Press Office in response to complaints made by the fans about the opinion you've offered.

“That night the e-mail arrives beginning with the message: ‘It's time for Keevins’."

Keevins continues to explain that he had written a piece stating that McCoist had been correct to ban the BBC until an apology was recieved, as he had his own image to consider outside of football.

Keevins continues: “It wasn't written to curry favour with the manager and saying he was too late to say he was disgusted with the fans' tactics of intimidation wasn't intended to be inflammatory.
“It's possible to see two sides of a story, unless, of course, you're a fundamentalist.

“It was a statement of fact about Ally because Strathclyde Police had already begun the job of advising the panel members on matters of personal safety before his press release hit news rooms everywhere.

“And the vigilante movement which has sprung up will now continue to have a malevolent affect on the game.

“I know of one man who was asked to be part of the Appeals Panel sitting in judgement of Rangers' year long transfer embargo and has declined the request.

“His answer was to the effect that he had something, anything to do that day, whenever it is, rather than turn himself into a human sacrifice.

“And at this point the game's rule of law breaks down. We've actually succeeded in making professional people involved in the game shy away from offering sound advice on sensitive issues in case their families are targeted for abuse, or worse.

“The refusenik is a high-profile member of the Scottish football community, well versed in current legislation, whose input would have been invaluable in the decision-making process.

“An erudite contribution which, I may say, was likelier to have seen the Ibrox club's sentence reduced than upheld if he'd been willing to run the risk of losing his anonymity.

“But Scottish football has now added gangsterism to sectarianism and racism on our list of things to be ashamed of, so the innocent won't take the risk of becoming victims of irrational behaviour.”

“What else can you call the threats delivered to those who made the original decision to ban Craig Whyte for life and fine Rangers for bringing the game into disrepute, as well as imposing the signing ban designed to last two transfer windows?

“The clamour to name and defame wasn't an appeal for full disclosure. The only reason you want names made public is to cause people discomfort.

“No wonder the Old Firm launched their retro kits on Thursday. The past encourages more positive images than the present or the future."

Keevins then began to look to the future for Rangers, and claimed that the club's fans were 'hell bent' on reprisals for the club's punishments, including boycotting away matches.

“Either way, the game's seriously damaged and it won't recover. We are looking at the beginning of the end for Scottish football, and you can make as many jokes about the Grim Reaper as you like.
Come back and see me when crowds have dropped to an alarming low.

“We've descended to a new low in this country and we haven't reached the bottoming out point yet.

If it isn't people going to prison for attempting to harm Celtic's manager it's others seeing fit to spread alarm because they disagree with a decision democratically arrived at and subject to an appeals process.

“The rest of the UK can look forward to tomorrow [Monday] night's Manchester derby, having first of all thrilled to the two Champions League semi finals in Madrid and Barcelona.

“We bring the world threats, intimidation and police intervention as well as the absolute certainty that today [Sunday] will be a long 24 hours for our emergency services.

“In other words, we're selling a freak show.”

Comments

30 Apr 2012 - 22:44
Sam Dunbar's picture
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but people like you prattling on about it make it worse when are you going to learn ally done nothing wrong, then we have lennon saying rangers should accept their punishment christ hes the last one that should comment on punishment only thing i agree scottish football will die

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2 May 2012 - 16:51
petes21228's picture
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@ im afraid ally knew what he was doing and why should rangers not accept its fateS after all they agreed with the rulesbefore it affected themam Dunbar

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2 May 2012 - 17:13
Sam Dunbar's picture
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@petes21228 where did i say rangers shouldnt accept their fate what i said and i repeat is every man and his dog jumps on the band wagon to have a bite all these so called politically correct people who do no wrong just make me sick

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30 Apr 2012 - 22:52
watpf99055's picture
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why was there a £70k donation to raith rovers to pay players donated days before their chairman would have been ineligible to sit on handpicked COORS BREWERS lynch mob. Why was a man heavily linked in a cricket racketeering plan and has never denied the fact passed as fit to run Scottish FOOTBALL

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30 Apr 2012 - 23:14
larky12426's picture
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listening to u is a freak show

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1 May 2012 - 00:24
Locut69625's picture
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If in fact Mr Keevins was threatened he should immediately have informed the police , as should anyone in a similar position . He could then produce the alleged threats and name names rather than use it as an excuse to write and editorial . He has called in the past for openness from Rangers throughout this whole sorry saga . If indeed he is justified in his feeling of persecution then the authorities will deal with the perpetrators as they have with others . If however he just doesn't like being asked awkward questions or criticism then I suggest a change of vocation . The choice is yours , it is at the moment , a country where freedom of speech is allowed.

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1 May 2012 - 01:29
Retai12701's picture
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Pretty rich from your average Celtic supporter. Intimidation? You mean of referees? Your tactic, not our's, amigo.

As you perfectly well know, McCoist was simply asking for transparency. May as well ask Mr Lunny. BTW who is he related to at Parkhead?

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1 May 2012 - 01:56
jimle10772's picture
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And sensationalist "journalism" hasn't done anything to aid bringing about this freak show? And Hugh Keevins hasn't been one of the worst exponents of this tabloid tat over the years? How many times over the years have sensationalist non stories about Celtic, Rangers or Referee's been held on to then printed the day before or on the day of old firm matches? How often have the gutter press fanned the flames then poured over the minutest details of the results in faux disgust and self riteous indignation? Sadly the world we all live in nowadays has twitter, facebook et all where keyboard commandos spew their bile. No-one can excuse the actions of these imbeciles but at the same time when no-one is reporting exactly what threats are being made and no-one is being arrested how can anyone even know how serious a matter this is or if it's just the latest in a long long line of tabloid exageration. I'm not saying no threats were made to anyone and I'm not saying this type of thing should not be taken seriously, what happened with Neil Lennon last year shows how deranged people can become. What I'm saying is clamp down quick and make arrests, report facts rather than innuendo, have some journalistic integrity.

"The absolute certainty that today [Sunday] will be a long 24 hours for our emergency services".

Was it?

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1 May 2012 - 06:47
stwbl95608's picture
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If I critised someones family member, then I would expect them to come right back at me, and it would be well deserved. This is the same.

If was fined in a court of law, I would expect to see and know the judges name as he hands out my sentence. And at least be able to see the members of the jury. In the SFA kangaroo court, neither was the case. For all we know Lennon and Lawwell could have been on the panel.

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1 May 2012 - 10:34
andys19264's picture
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How can decision makers be said to be part of a democratic process when only media people are allowed to know who they are? Hugh's article, which is a good if chronically late one, only falls down on this point: here it sounds as though he is complaining about a threat to the media's privileged access.

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1 May 2012 - 11:05
tamth66837's picture
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He was that intimidated he had to show his photo otherwise 99.99% of the population would have wondered who he was! He's typical of the Scottish sport media at the moment, just another lickspittle for the you know who and what cabal now esconced at Hampden. If the people who made the decision regarding the punishment of Rangers had complete integrity there would be no issue with their judgement. However, when you understand their backgrounds and who 'selected' them it is not difficult to understand the anger that decision caused. The Raith Rovers chairman should not have been allowed near that panel but that is the SFA's version of transparency; it's like trying to see through the cludgie windie wearing dark glasses, you know there's someone there but have no idea who the hell it could be! It is interesting that, for appartchik Keevins, democracy is exercised behind closed doors by people unknown that nobody has voted for! Find yourself a dictionary ya dumplin' you're not fit to be on the muppet show!

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1 May 2012 - 14:43
micke57714's picture
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its like the mafia at the big house, if anyone comments on anything, they are up in arms about it, i am a celtic fan, and feel stronly that rangers as a club have been hard done by, and my heart goes out to ally............ok there were wrong doing for years at the club, and the ones who caused all this should be brought forward to answer for the disaster they have caused, this is a country of free speach after all and if someone decides they want to comment, they should do so, this isnt ally,s fault its his first year as manager, and all the years he gave rangers as a player dosent justify what he has on his shoulders today.............

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1 May 2012 - 17:52
llynn20587's picture
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Threats of violence and intimidation cannot and should not be condoned. If Hugh Kevin’s feels threatened report it to the police and let them take the appropriate action.

Rangers have and will pay dearly for the maladministration of the club over many years. The mendacity of the previous board and their apparent aversion to pay bills settle accounts is beyond believe and difficult to comprehend. Shame on them but it is the everyday diehard supporter who is bearing the brunt of the relentless vitriol spewing from “fans” and hacks with their own agenda.

Rangers and a fair hearing not to be believed if credible reports appearing in various internet media outlets regarding the relationship with Lawwell and Regan are proved to be true. I’m sure the great investigative journalists and the BBC will expose all. But don’t hold your breath. The truth will always out

There is something odious running through Scottish society at the moment and many are using the Rangers debacle to have a kick at other institutions.

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1 May 2012 - 18:11
berna63792's picture
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I rarely agree with anything Keevins says but reasoning with your average Rangers supporter on this seems to be about as thankless a task as herding cats.

Firstly, Keevins is right about McCoist. The people at Rangers already knew who was on the panel as their club's representatives were making their case to them. Secondly, this nonsensical analogy with courts of law has been circulated and regurgitated by the hard of thinking.

We do indeed know the identity of those who pass sentence in court cases – but not not the jurors who make decisions. We knew all along that Lord Nimmo Smith presided but for the very good reasons demonstrated by the hordes mobilised by Ally, their identities are not published. That was a procedure agreed to by Rangers.

But don't try to tell a Rangers fan that their numerous infractions should attract any punishment that they can't themselves define. No, it's far better to collectively self-define as victims when anyone has the temerity to apply the rules to a club that so nonchalantly broke them and have “legends” like Sandy Jardine whining that “everyone wants to have a kick at us”.

Keevins has himself, as mentioned by others, been one of the most relentlessly inflammatory journalists in Scotland and has relished his notoriety. But as someone who is delighted to have left Scotland's shores behind, I can say that this is portraying the image of the country in the worst possible light internationally.

But then as Rangers fans say – no one likes them, they don't care.

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1 May 2012 - 19:32
young75550's picture
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So first of all the Ibrox Press Office contact you,Mr Keevins about complaints made against you. Can we ask what your response to these complaints was or does that come under sensationalism once again. Now we read about an email with what you seem to be putting across of having an underlying threat of what we are led to believe is against you. Are we to take it that this email was sent to the relevant authority intimating that in your opinion that this was a threat against you. Or once again is this sensationalism.

Now we come to your criticism of Ally McCoist,as a manager of a football club does McCoist not have the right to ask for accountability when decisions directly affect his club,after all it isn't to long ago that another club and that clubs manager was asking for and received accountability,without a lot of criticism from yourself.

What may i ask is the difference when McCoist asks for the same latitude or does this once again just apply to one fotball club and manager.

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2 May 2012 - 02:54
allan18575's picture
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What a greeting faced get. Hugh, a life-long fan of Sporting Integrity FC, posts a completely untruthful rant suggesting that McCoist was inciting violence against the SFA.

Typical Keevins waffle. So what if folks got offended by such obvious malicious propaganda against the Rangers manager?

Keevins is a poisonous parasite that has been corrupting the scotttish media for far too long now. Time he retired and let some proper bo journo who might actually be willing to work for his bread take over.

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1 May 2012 - 20:51
billm10731's picture
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As a Rangers fan i am finding all this becoming very boring, the problems the club have are the clubs own doing end of,but the problem now everyone wants a kick at them rules are in place and if broken you know the punishment, but all of a sudden new rules are being raised but not enough information how and when they might and i say might be brought into play,and here lies the problem a governing body not fit for purpose.

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1 May 2012 - 22:37
Emmam85361's picture
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The sensationalist scottish media enjoy rubbing up the idiots and they respond - see above comments. As for knowing who was on the panel, mr mccoist knew. Why does everyone else need to know? Rangers voted it thru too.

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1 May 2012 - 22:48
young75550's picture
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No doubt you will have irrefutable proof that McCoist knew who was on the panel. The reason people should know who was on the panel is as football fans who pay out a lot of money they are entitled to look towards their club to push for accountability as to who is making decisions that affects the running of the club they support.

Or did you miss all this about transparency and accountability from Lennon and Lawwell in the not too distant past.

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1 May 2012 - 23:03
Emmam85361's picture
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Well his rep at the panel surely told him no? Oh aye I must be a tim as I'm looking at something rationally.

Scotland's a small place, they all know each other, he was stirring it and the twitter support fell for it.

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1 May 2012 - 23:21
young75550's picture
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Where did i mention the word tim or suggest that you were a Celtic supporter. First of all neither you nor i know if the Rangers rep told McCoist who the panel was but whether he did or not is immaterial. The whole object of accountability in Scottish football, which was pursued by Celtic at the time of the refs strike,was to bring an openess to the paying customer of the game to allieviate accusations of collusion.

McCoist was asking the question on behalf of the club and the support,which was his right to do. If there have ben threats,and as of yet there has not been any definitive proof that there has,then McCoist can't be held responsible for any such action. What do we do,censor what football managers can ask or challenge in decisions that affect their club.

Behave yourself,he had the right to ask,he asked the question and was given the information. If there was a fear of intimidation i very much doubt that the SFA would have given such information out.

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1 May 2012 - 23:30
Emmam85361's picture
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Insinuation, same as mr mccoist.

The point of the panel is its independence and anonimity, same as for jurors. He had a hissy fit, took the huff and threw his toys out the pram. It doesn't matter who makes the decisions, all clubs agreed to it and they should accept it as binding. Otherwise there's no point in being part of that group.

Back to topic tho, this highlights the relationship between media sensationalism be it through phone ins, newspapers or twitter that has to stop. Goading people to get a reaction = sell more papers backfires as is being seen here with mr Keevins and nationally with news corp.

It's time this country moved on from these practices, fans and managers to grow a pair and accept teams loose, managers don't like decisions and after all- its only a game.

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2 May 2012 - 01:26
whmsm15740's picture
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all of these comments reinforce what he's saying,they are also infant in their logic.

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2 May 2012 - 08:30
Roger Boyce
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Keevins has been known to distort the truth. Just as with C4's Thomson I suspect the police will find the claims to be unsubstantiated

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2 May 2012 - 08:30
Roger Boyce
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Keevins has been known to distort the truth. Just as with C4's Thomson I suspect the police will find the claims to be unsubstantiated

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2 May 2012 - 11:04
bpate66072's picture
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Hugh, a great deal of fault lies with us, the Fourth Estate. When last as writers, did we all agree on ANYTHING?

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2 May 2012 - 18:09
tamth66837's picture
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Jurors sit in the court in full view of everyone else in the court where they are 'scrutinised' by everyone in the court. They are not hidden from sight even when they sit in judgement of the most heinous crimes.

Judges, in our law courts, sit in full view. Their names are known. Joe Punter can find out everything about them just by googling their names.

So, spare us the bullshit about how the names of the 'judges' on the SFA panel should be kept from the public eye. If you don't have the courage of your convictions resign your position and allow someone who has to take up the position.

It is precisely for openness and integrity that our law courts are open to Joe Public. He can wander off the streets anytime he feels like it and watch the judicial process in action, he can see all the players and gets to be there for the result.

The SFA and the SPL should try it sometime but that will not happen whilst the present incumbents are in residence.

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