The Daily Record has hit back at Rangers after the football club accused the paper of pursuing an “anti-Rangers” agenda in an all out attack on the media on Saturday.
Rangers' statement – headlined ‘For the avoidance of doubt’ - came amid speculation of financial turmoil at the club and prompted a social media frenzy.
The statement said the club could not “waste time” responding to “every blog or ridiculous claim against this club”, adding: “Nor can we react to every journalist and publication who appear to pursue an anti-Rangers agenda, publications such as the Daily Record which today boasts yet another headline which does not accurately reflect what manager Ally McCoist said in his press conference yesterday.”
The Daily Record’s Keith Jackson responded in an article published on Monday, saying: “Saturday’s official statement was another indication of just how confused this outfit has become.”
But the swipes didn’t stop at Rangers; Jackson then went on to accuse the Scottish Sun of taking “scraps” from the table of former Rangers owner Craig Whyte – who led the club to liquidation last year – while The Daily Record had focused on proving Whyte was a “liar and a cheat”.
But in a twist to the bizarre feud, at the helm of the Rangers PR battle is Jim Traynor, who infamously heralded Whyte as a ‘billionaire’ in a Daily Record front page splash in 2011 and left his position as a senior sportswriter at the paper in December 2012 to direct PR operations at Ibrox.
It emerged in February in a Channel 4 News blog that Traynor had apparently sought editorial approval from Whyte himself before publishing an article during his time at the Daily Record.
The Rangers statement went on to attack fan-led media sites, saying the club’s lawyers would be devoting time to monitoring “flights of fancy”, before hitting out at “anonymous obsessives” who speculate about the club’s woes on social media.
In a strange PR move, the club drew attention to one story in particular circulating fan-media questioning the ownership of the some of the club’s key assets before going on to tell fans to ignore it.
“We urge fans to treat these idiotic and lumbering articles with the contempt they deserve. Better still, ignore them completely,” the statement said.
The club signed off with a swipe at its former PR agency, adding: “Finally, Jack Irvine of Media House does not speak for this club.”
It emerged last week that Rangers had ended its contract with Media House after seven years, replacing the agency with Keith Bishop Associates.
Irvine has featured heavily in a stream of private correspondence being released from anonymous Twitter account Charlotte Fakes in recent months. The documents reveal conversations between Irvine and a number of individuals involved in the crisis at Rangers. The police have launched an investigation into the leaks.