Rangers 'Withdraws Co-operation' with the BBC

Rangers Football Club has announced it is “withdrawing co-operation” with the BBC following what it descrbes as “repeated difficulties the club has encountered with the BBC this season”.

The decision comes ahead of a documentary to be aired on the BBC on Thursday, which has been described as appearing to be little more than a “prejudiced muckraking exercise”.

In July, the BBC apologised for justaposing two separate clips from a media conference which appeared to suggest manager, Ally McCoist, was smirking at the idea of fan violence.

Says a statement issued by the club: “Rangers Football Club is withdrawing all co-operation with the BBC as of today. The decision has been taken due to the repeated difficulties the Club has encountered with the BBC this season.

“The Club was forced earlier in the season to suspend co-operation with the BBC over its serious misrepresentation of the Club manager's position on violence and sectarianism. There have also been other instances where the BBC's reporting on the club's affairs has been neither accurate or fair.

“Furthermore, over the last few weeks the BBC has been involved in making a documentary about the Club which appears to be little more than a prejudiced muckraking exercise. Efforts to ensure that reporting of the Club's affairs should be balanced and fair appear to have been in vain.

“The Club believes that the BBC has on a number of occasions now demonstrated a pre-determined negative attitude towards Rangers and its fans and its journalism has fallen well short of acceptable standards.

“The decision to end co-operation with the BBC has been taken very reluctantly but the Club feels it has been left with no other option.”

On its website, the BBC quotes a statement from the Corporation, as saying: “Rangers FC has made a number of assertions in relation to our journalistic standards, including a claim of underlying bias against the club. We completely refute this allegation in the strongest terms.

“All of our reporting of matters pertinent to the running of Rangers FC reflects the high standard expected of the BBC, an organisation that places an absolute value on the accuracy and impartiality of its journalism.

“The club has also made specific criticisms of a documentary scheduled for transmission at 19:00 on BBC One Scotland on Thursday 20 October.

“We have assured them that rigorous editorial standards will be applied and nothing will be broadcast that is not both accurate and in the public interest.”