Irresponsible Rangers conspiracy coverage dominates right on cue as referee pressure builds
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers conspiracy coverage rears its head as Premiership restarts

It seems not even the winter break could put paid to the masonic conspiracy surrounding Scottish football as Rangers and penalties are brought back up right on cue.

In a conveniently appropriate timescale Rangers have been shown to be the side ‘awarded the most penalties in the Premiership’ as the Scottish top flight prepared to get back underway this week.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As the title pressure ramps up, the pressure on referees will too, aided by some in mainstream Scottish football journalism playing on these ridiculous stereotypes for cheap clicks.


Posted in the Scottish Sun and the Glasgow Times – and then being carried by anyone else who fancied leveraging paranoia against website traffic – the story concerns ‘official CIES observatory data’ which claims Rangers have had the most penalties since the 18/19 season.

Shock, horror. The team with the most attacking prowess and who is in the opposition penalty box more than any other gets more penalties than anyone else.

Go back a couple of years and we’d wager the picture is also very different.

But this law of averages is not the motivation behind this sort of coverage in Scotland, something we’re becoming embarrassingly used to as the fun is drained out of the game whistle blow by whistle blow.

It is a not-so-subtle nod to the ridiculous notion that Rangers, the masonic lodge, the referees and the SPFL are all in cahoots to prevent the right honourable Celtic winning any prizes.

Constant coverage of Rangers penalty conspiracies irresponsible and unhelpful

This is mania once consigned to the deepest darkest recesses of Kerrydale St or Twitter now irresponsibly making its way into digital copy.

I have empathy for the situation surrounding digital journalism and I’m well aware of the substantial traffic such stories can bring to websites.

But we all seriously need to consider what we’re saying here. The referees are not cheats, by suggesting they are you bring the game into disrepute.

I don’t recall any of this nonsense as Rangers battled their way back up the divisions and Celtic were galloping to title after title either.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

If there is some kind of penalty conspiracy propping up Rangers then it is the worst sporting conspiracy of all time and has in recent years been an abject failure.

But whilst we expect this brand of psychosis from the most unhinged followers along the Gallowgate, trying to find comfort as Rangers continue to win matches, journalism should surely be holding itself to a higher standard.

By playing on this waffle you give the conspiracy some level of authority and weight, justifying it and rationalising it in the heads of people who – if we’re honest – are just upset Rangers are the ones getting the decisions.

Rangers fans too have been quick to call out the conspiracy in the past and pointed towards a Hampden horror show as evidence that it does not exist.

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