01 August 2014

Paul Tyrrell: If they were the Khmer Rouge where will you rank us?

By Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

Just who is Paul Tyrrell, the ex-Man. City, ex-Liverpool, ex-Everton PR aficionado? A man of many words? A man of many paychecks? A man of the people?

Certainly the first two.

Paul's been on the scene at Ibrox for a while now in a consultancy role, filling in when Jack is unable run to his poodles at the BBC with another boardroom exclusive. Granted, Mr Irvine is busy serving the interests of his Greenock-based clients the now; nary a moment to issue a hastily arranged Friday evening press release on the Rangers website.

In steps Mr Tyrrell.

It's been since April that Paul was first mooted to have joined up to the chorus of PR men the board currently employ, leaving his gig with BBC North to grace us with his presence. How his debut has gone is open for question. Certainly, unlike his predecessor, he knows how to upload an image with a Sunday evening statement. Chalk one up for Paul.

But where does he stand with the fans? Ah, this is the question the esteemed Mr Tyrrell would surely like left in the shadows.

You see, Paul's no time for supporters, the people who pay his paycheck no less. No, he's more concerned with placing them in neat little boxes, ones labeled "political radicals," "Trotskyist independents" and "a sporting version of the Khmer Rouge".

These were the comfy labels Paul ascribed various Liverpool supporters during his time working for Tom Hicks and George Gillett, Jr. at Liverpool. He spent all of seven months on the job there before resigning to form his own top-notch PR firm, once which attached itself to Everton in 2011.

It didn't take long for Paul's true feelings about football supporters to come out, and he was sent packing from the Everton Director of Communications post in June 2013, not long after the disastrous unveiling of Everton's new badge. Of course the move was not directly tied to the leaked dossier in which Paul compared fans challenging the failed Hicks/Gillett regime at Anfield to totalitarian governments, but hey-ho. Six of one, half dozen of another.

Mr Tyrrell, if granted the full time post and chief PR shill for the board (Or is it the 'Football Board'?), will surely be capable of following in the footsteps of assailing fans who dare question the motives and tactics of his bosses that Mr Irvine so relishes in. Yes, the fans of Rangers may still be the largest shareholders as a body, but what does that matter when your paychecks are signed by men put in place to protect the interests of the still largely nameless Blue Pitch Holdings, Margarita and their £50 million war chest-bearing partners? Certainly Paul's first move will be to tell the board (or Football Board) to clarify the position of using Auchenhowie as security for short term loans to see the Club through its Championship campaign, seeing as that would solve a potential PR nightmare with no trouble at all.

In any case, welcome Paul! Your tenure can't be any worse than Mr Irvine's, though with that said it has all the potential to be just as toxic and volatile. Here's hoping you have your enemies list well under lock and key this time. We'd hate to see you end up back at the BBC again.