30 July 2015

Chris McLaughlin called to task by RST over match delegate report

by Shane Nicholson | Executive Editor

One of the sideline highlights of Rangers' 6-2 bashing of Hibs at the weekend was the BBC's Chris McLaughlin shooting his mouth off about info he'd received from match delegate George Douglas, who just happens to be the ex security supremo at Celtic Park.

Fill your boots, Chris!

McLaughlin's final claim of handling this the same as he would any other club is of course laughable. There are two times he has words to report on Rangers: 1) when a supporter does something stupid; and 2) when he reads his emails from Jack Irvine.

In fact, the last time Chris mentioned "arrest" on Twitter in context of football fans was back in July of 2011. You'll never guess what club is was focused on...

All this aside, the obvious question arose as to how Chris could possibly get his hands on the info in the match delegate's report prior to even the SPFL, and what police did he possibly talk with to confirm his information as all subsequent reports had seven fans arrested and zero identification as to what team they support.

Of course McLaughlin, behind a story on the BBC's website with no byline, filed a report typical of his past work:

How oh how was intrepid reporter and wholesale Irvine jockey Chris McLaughlin able to garner such complete information? Inquiring minds would like to know, including now the Rangers Supporters Trust.

The RST has written to the SPFL tonight seeking explanation as to the conduct of its match delegate on the day, including whether it is "common practice for SPFL match delegates to approach journalists and 'offer' them detailed information on the contents of their match report." They go on to ask: "If not can you explain why the match delegate saw fit in this instance to approach the media to highlight one aspect of the contents of his match report?"

Obviously, despite McLaughlin's rather ridiculous arse-covering explanation, it is not the status quo to have match delegates giving briefings before their report has been filed with and reviewed by the SPFL. Poor Chrissy Mac, the hard-working nose-to-the-ground reporter that he claims to be, may have finally gone a step too far.