Greenslade Adds Voice to Claims of Press Aversion to 'Offensive' Football Chants

Claims that the Scottish media is choosing to turn a 'deaf ear' to offensive chanting among some football fans have been repeated today by Guardian media commentator, Roy Greenslade.

He was following up an article in yesterday's Scottish edition of The Times by its football correspondent, Graham Spiers, who has, on numerous occasions in the past, incurred the wrath of Rangers FC fans for criticising some of their behaviour. Yesterday, he was referring to Rangers' European tie last week, in Portugal, when offensive anti-Catholic chanting was said to have been heard from some quarters of the visiting support. 

Said Spiers: “So you would think it might be deemed quite a news story that such songs have come back into fashion at Rangers, as they definitely have, though the press in the main isn’t touching it.

“There are various reasons for this. First, it is a wearying topic, not so say embarrassing for modern Scotland. Two, there are some, no doubt, who will not want to embarrass Rangers or cause the club any trouble, especially as they might go far in this season’s Europa League. Three, a commercial media needs to keep it customers onside, whether they are bigots or not. So the refrain, ‘don’t touch that subject’, is sometimes interpreted as self-protection.”

Adds Greenslade: “Isn't the free press a wonderful thing? It is certainly to the credit of Spiers and The Times (which sells about 24,000 copies a day in Scotland) that they broke the wall of silence.” 

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