Rangers bans BBC from press conference

What went wrong at Ibrox? Picture: SNS
What went wrong at Ibrox? Picture: SNS
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THE row between the BBC and the Rangers owner Craig Whyte escalated yesterday when the club banned the state broadcaster from recording a post-match press conference.

Rangers had already withdrawn co-operation from the BBC after what the club claimed were “repeated difficulties” over its treatment at the hands of the broadcaster.

Until yesterday the club had not allowed the BBC to attend post-match press conferences, which are normally open to all accredited media.

After the club’s 4-1 victory over Dunfermline Athletic, listeners to Radio Scotland’s Sportsound programme heard BBC reporter Chris McLaughlin state that a Rangers press officer had stopped him recording. A witness said: “He was asked to remove his microphone and the conference carried on.”

The dispute with the BBC follows an apology over the way the broadcaster edited manager Ally McCoist’s remarks about sectarianism, a documentary focusing on club owner Whyte’s financial history and allegations that the club’s owner had lied in a court case about his financial dealings. Last week, Whyte denied the allegations and accused the BBC of conducting a “witch-hunt.”

Meanwhile, the Crown Office said last night that it would “consider the Sheriff’s findings” after Whyte was described on Friday by a judge as giving “wholly unreliable” evidence at a civil trial over unpaid bills.

Sheriff Nigel Ross said he could not decide whether Whyte had lied or had been forgetful in the witness box during a legal row with a roofing firm owned by Albion Rovers manager Paul Martin.

His testimony before Glasgow Sheriff Court was “contradicted by virtually every other piece of evidence”.

Whyte was ordered to pay £86,000 plus eight per cent interest.

In a statement on the court case yesterday, the Crown Office said: “We will consider the Sheriff’s findings.”