Rangers’ press policy continues to polarise as the club’s reported decision to charge news media for press privileges at Ibrox is met with a mixture of celebration and criticism.
Many Rangers fans feel that enough is enough and want to see some level of change regarding the coverage of the Ibrox club in the mainstream sports media.
There is a feeling amongst many that not only will media outlets be more careful with their privilege if it costs them money, but that this move also highlights who holds the cards.
This comes after the Daily Mail revealed the Gers are charging up to £25k per year for access to the press room, with packages including exclusive interviews with manager Steven Gerrard and beginning at £10k.
In the age of direct communication, social media and digital news, Rangers are better placed than ever to produce news content on their own terms, with less reliance on the assistance of news media to spread messages. This is just a fact.
The media landscape has also changed, and Rangers clearly feel that if clubs want to profiteer off the back of exclusive content, then they can pay for it.
In an era of paid for interviews and pundits, paid for co-operation is something which has already been happening elsewhere to a much higher degree than many of the dissenting voices would care to admit.
This change is also especially relevant considering the nature of tabloid and sports media, where outlets present quotes in a sensationalist way or produce content which is behind paywalls.
Interestingly, the fact that this move appears to have gotten under the skin of rival journalists or supporters has done little to dissuade Gers fans around the concept. Quite the opposite in fact.
Rangers fans want change in the media and by-and-large many are saluting the club for doing something different.
Others have fears that Rangers want an agreeable media, with hyperbolic comparisons to dictatorships threatening to take the entire concept out of context.
There is a genuine point to be made here but I personally think it’s clear that Rangers don’t want vexatious, unfair or deliberately quarrelsome media in the building.
There’s a difference between this and supressing important information or fair criticism.
Rangers are also not some kind of public governmental body which has a responsibility to put up with journalists it clearly does not see eye to eye with.
Rangers don’t owe anyone anything and if I was running a business and someone was unfairly criticising it, I think I’d rethink enabling them to do so too.
Time will tell if this is a move which works for Rangers and one which the club will retain long-term.
But the Gers appear to now be looking out for the club’s best interests when it comes to the press, something which plenty of fans can empathise with, even if some journalists can’t.
Rangers fans have been criticising one major Scottish journalist for his take on the situation as he gave an analogy involving current Rangers chairman Douglas Park.