The Herald’s Apology to Rangers FC

I feel I need to explain the context of The Herald clarification/apology published today regarding my column about Rangers FC and the fight against bigoted chanting.

Rangers took exception to a column I wrote in which I questioned “the mettle” of the current club board in tackling offensive chanting.

This opinion was based on the fact that, at a meeting I attended at Ibrox Stadium on August 31st 2015, a Rangers director told me that he thought The Billy Boys was “a great song”.

I subsequently expressed my dismay at the director’s comment in an email exchange with Rangers. There was, and is, no question of me calling any Rangers director a bigot.

Rangers duly complained to The Herald about my column. As the weeks passed a dispute arose, and the pressure brought upon the newspaper became severe.

The Herald told me repeatedly that they now had to find a way to a public resolution with Rangers. Having searched many avenues to reach an agreement with the club, the newspaper ultimately denied my request to withhold any clarification/apology until my own position was clearer.

The Herald has never told me that they disbelieved my version of events.  I also retain the highest regard for Magnus Llewellin, the paper’s editor who has tried to resolve this problem.

My opinion – as expressed in my column – was based on a truthful account of my meeting with a Rangers director.