The programme was broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live at 19:00 on March 19.
The ongoing financial problems at Rangers Football Club have been making headlines for several weeks now, with one of Scotland’s biggest football clubs facing the very real prospect of liquidation, but after listening to this two-hour 5 Live debate that suddenly doesn’t sound like such a terrible thing.
Broadcast live from Govan, Glasgow, and moderated by charisma-free sports presenter Mark Chapman, the show saw a panel of ex-players, journalists and financial experts discussing the boardroom mismanagement which has led the club to enter administration following the non-payment of a £9 million tax bill.
Despite being broadcast before a live audience of fans, the show had nothing of the excitement or atmosphere of other similar outside broadcasts by the station. The assembled audience was happy to discuss the ‘passion’ and ‘enthusiasm’ of Rangers fans, but failed to show any evidence of it.
The expert guests did little better –many explanations for the club’s sudden decline were covered extensively, but in a manner more suited to a post mortem than lively sporting debate. Tedious explanations of the club’s past management woes were trawled out, but to a level of detail which assumed an intimate knowledge of the business workings of Scottish football.
Clearly struggling to fill two hours of airtime conversation soon turned to the perennials talking points of any analysis of Scottish football – should the Old Firm play in England? And are the clubs doing enough to combat sectarianism?
Anytime these old chestnuts are trotted out you know you’re onto a loser, but the conversation still managed to limp on to 9pm, when in a hasty attempt at a conclusion the panel unanimously declared their belief that the club was still too big to fail, and would continue to exist as a dominant force in Scottish football.
Which raises the question, what exactly was the point of all that anyway