Scottish football journalist Graham Spiers has branded Rangers’ most recent press conference a “farce” amid claims fan media have not been pressed the club enough on the current Covid-19 situation.
Fans, rivals and the press alike have been left in the dark regarding a series of Covid-19 positives at the club which were confirmed by Rangers earlier in the week [Rangers].
Ahead of the club’s trip to Armenia to face Alashkert in the second leg of their Europa League Playoff, tabloid newspapers did a headcount on the bodies travelling across Europe.
Leading fan media Heart & Hand would later release a playing squad list with James Tavernier, Calvin Bassey, Ryan Kent, Scott Wright, Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin the players in isolation.
Gers manager Steven Gerrard is also in isolation as the club face a crunch double header against the Armenians and Old Firm rivals Celtic this week.
The Gers are keeping their cards decidedly close to their chest and Spiers took the opportunity to criticise those at a Gary McAllister press conference for not pressing the club on the matter.
At the same time, Spiers once again took a dig at the club’s controversial media policy which demands outlets pay to gain access to the Ibrox press room despite broadcasters being present.
Were there many journalists at this Rangers presser?
A number of pressing, key issues of the last 24 hours left totally ignored. What a farce.
If "fan media" is the way Rangers FC want to go, fine, but there must be more enquiring supporters who find this totally unhealthy. https://t.co/PQ5DxFGwGU
— Graham Spiers (@GrahamSpiers) August 25, 2021
“Were there many journalists at this Rangers presser? A number of pressing, key issues of the last 24 hours left totally ignored,” said Spiers.
“What a farce. If “fan media” is the way Rangers FC want to go, fine, but there must be more enquiring supporters who find this totally unhealthy.”
Now with limited questions, it’s hard to tell if those involved in the presser wanted to point their questions elsewhere, had assumed the club were not going to divulge any further information regarding the positives, or had been briefed on this already.
But whatever the case, the journalist – who isn’t mega-popular amongst some Rangers fans – has drawn criticism for the statement:
Definitely were some non fan journalists there but if you think Rangers were going to say who had Covid and who were contacts you are deluded. Any such questions would have been blanked for obvious reasons. Another veiled attack on fan media.
— Ibroxonian72 (@ibroxonian72) August 25, 2021
Love how much this agitates you 😂 if you think McAllister was going to name names then you’re more out of touch than I first feared. It’s a waste of a question. What scrutiny do you want? He explained all protocols have been followed etc, it’s inevitable people test positive
— Joey (@joey_invincible) August 25, 2021
The MSM don't ask about the pressing, key issues anyway Graham do they? We got everything we need from that press conference, the club were hardly going to come out and tell us who tested positive and whos a close contact are they?
— stuartrfc (@stuartreidrfc) August 25, 2021
And yet it's still very popular with fans, and alas you are not.
Has your publication still not invested in your ability to attend pressers and ask said difficult questions??
That's a shame, isn't it Graham?
— BarLoch⁵⁵ (@barloch76) August 25, 2021
On the outside looking in. Dinosaurs need not apply https://t.co/8zTJu50fYl
— 55imon (@simon1872) August 26, 2021
One of the reasons fan media is better than these so called journalists.. why would you waste the time asking questions you know aren’t going to get answered… utterly pointless exercise https://t.co/z68sm6H9XW
— Charlie (@c7harlie) August 26, 2021
Put the hand in the pocket, pay the premium & take centre stage to ask all these pressing, key questions you want to ask then diddums https://t.co/4gDVYfmmXw
— Rab White (@RabWhite) August 26, 2021
It’s always this, but never give any examples of the questions they would have asked if there. As when they were at conferences, they never asked anything of note. https://t.co/Rus0xQk3II
— Louch (@StephenLouch) August 26, 2021
MEGA DIDDUMS https://t.co/rFLBjregGD
— The Famous (@___thefamous) August 26, 2021
How would you know what pressing, key issues fans want to hear? You stopped trying to be a football journalist many moons ago. https://t.co/x26Rw9DL5a
— Cammy Bell (@Beatthatbeat) August 26, 2021
The simple answer to Graham’s question is yes, there was mainstream media in attendance. Of course he knew that, but it’s far easier to aim his barbs at the little guys than his professional peers. https://t.co/Rn04VEmYC3
— Zimmerman (@zimmerman_72) August 26, 2021
— Adam. 🤙 (@AMG1872) August 26, 2021
What were the pressing, key issues you’d have liked to seen raised, @GrahamSpiers?
Genuine question. https://t.co/lJ3Ul77cde
— Craig 💙 (@MonsterBear86) August 26, 2021
Rangers are heading into the clash with Alashkert depleted but not down hearted as the Gers look to progress to the Europa League groups for the fourth season on the trot.
However, there is some hope that some of those players self-isolating could be released in time for the Old Firm clash with Celtic.