From the Guardian, a balanced look at why they are trying to kill this book!
"Scottish Sun cancels book serialisation after Rangers fans jam switchboard
In an unprecedented act, The Sun has cancelled a book serialisation the day after blurbing it and running an interview that praised the bravery of its author.
The Scottish edition of the paper had planned to start running extracts today from a book entitled Downfall: how Rangers FC self-destructed by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain.
But within 24 hours of its lengthy puff announcing its serialisation the paper ran a leading article explaining that it had changed its mind.
The decision followed the jamming of its switchboard as hundreds of Rangers fans called to complain while others took to Twitter. Rangers itself lobbied the paper and threatened to ban Sun journalists from its ground. There were also physical threats made to The Sun reporter who wrote the interview with Mac Giolla Bhain.
Before I unravel this remarkable tale, I must declare an interest. I read a draft of the book and provided an approving quote that appears on the back cover.
The story stretches back four years. Mac Giolla Bhain was the first journalist, and, for much of the time, the only journalist, to chart the financial dramas that led to the demise of Rangers football club.
The fact that he worked outside the Scottish media establishment to tell the twists and turns of the tale in a blog is hugely relevant. Indeed, a crucial part of the story involves the initial failure of Scotland's journalists to investigate the internal shenanigans at Rangers.
For his trouble, Mac Giolla Bhain suffered from persistent verbal threats from people calling themselves Rangers fans. As his name suggests, he is Irish, though he was born and raised in Scotland. He moved to Donegal in the Irish republic 15 years ago.
Once Rangers went into liquidation in February this year, it was natural that Mac Giolla Bhain was selected by a publisher - Bob Smith of Frontline Noir - to write about the scandal. Ironically, it was a Sun staffer who originally recommended Mac Giolla Bhain to Smith as the possible author of a book about a different topic.
Mac Giolla Bhain was well known to The Sun, having previously freelanced for the its now-defunct stablemate, the News of the World, and having a high profile in Scotland due to his blog.
The Sun's Scottish editor, Andy Harries, admired Mac Giolla Bhain's work and, on hearing about his book, made a swift decision to buy the serialisation.
He planned to run two successive spreads and one of his staff, Simon Houston, was assigned to interview Mac Giolla Bhain. The result, as shown in this screen-grab before it was taken down from the paper's website, was hugely sympathetic to the blogger.
It stated that he had broken "one of the biggest stories in Scottish football history" and revealed that he had been the "target of sectarian hate from extremists" and had been subject to "sinister death threats" which had "left his family living in fear."
The article, announcing the book's serialisation, predicted that it would "shoot straight to the top of the Scottish bestsellers list, with pre-sale orders already through the roof."
It described Mac Giolla Bhain as "an internet phenomenon" who, in May 2010, handed the News of the World "the story which rocked Scottish football by revealing that the taxman sent Rangers a demand for a staggering £24m... one of a string of predictions Mac Giolla Bhain made about the Glasgow giants' perilous financial state which came to fruition."
Within hours of publication, Rangers fans - or people who call themselves fans - began calling the paper and tweeting. Evidently, some of them mentioned a controversial posting by Mac Giolla Bhain on his blog in April this year.
Headlined The Incubator, it was a satire on the bigotry of many Rangers' fans. In so doing, it employed obviously offensive images.
Harries and some of his senior staff were said to have been alarmed by the blog's implications. In a rapid about-turn, Harries decided to pull the serialisation despite the puff promising to run it.
Aware that he could be accused of giving in to pressure from Rangers supporters, he published a leading article to explain his about-turn.
We knew Mac Giiolla Bhain was "a controversial figure", it said, but "it was clear from the book he had written that he had a story to tell. And we felt it was a story that needed to be told to you, so that you could make your own minds up. So that you had a chance to read the behind-the-scenes details about the downfall of Rangers. So that you had a chance to see where the blame lay for the collapse of the club."
But it went on to argue that Mac Giolla Bhain's single blog posting "undermines the entire industry" and that was the reason to cancel the serialisation of his book
It stressed that the decision was "NOT because of the social media backlash" and "NOT because of the internet bullies... but because the author - previously unbeknown to us - is tarred with a sickening sectarian brush."
The leader continued: "We believed Phil Mac Giolla Bhain to be a proper and sound journalist. Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson obviously agreed and wrote the foreword in the book. He was wrong and so were we."
I called Harries, who refused to comment further, simply saying: "I stand by what I wrote in my leader."
Given my belief in the credibility of the book and Mac Giolla Bhain, I took wide counsel on the affair from those who support him and those who do not, and from staff at the Scottish Sun.
The general consensus is that Harries made a bad call initially by agreeing to serialise a book that was bound to upset Rangers fans. (I understand that the cancellation has resulted in scores of calls and complaints from rival Celtic fans throughout the day).
But Harries, though English, has been in Glasgow for 25 years and is said to understand the sensibilities in a city divided by football and faith. I understand that he still believes in the book's authenticity.
One of his senior staff told me that he was "devastated" on reading Mac Giolla Bhain's "incubator" blog posting and felt he was in an impossible position.
But two experienced non-Sun journalists, both of whom did not favour serialisation, read the situation differently. They believe Harries was shocked by the hostility of Rangers fans and feared a possible sales boycott not unlike the one that the paper suffered after its infamous accusation against Liverpool fans following the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy.
He was therefore relieved to find an excuse - the blog posting - in order to effect a change of direction.
That view is strenuously denied by Harries's senior colleagues. They say he is genuinely heartbroken at the turn of events. He felt he couldn't "defend the indefensible" (Mac Giolla Bhain's blog) by facing down complaints from Rangers' fans.
"He found himself in an impossible position," said one. "He just felt he couldn't justify going ahead."
Naturally enough, Mac Giolla Bhain is furious too. He believes his April blog posting was so obviously satirical that Harries has used it to get himself off the hook. Several journalists agree with him.
He said: "I think this is a dark day for journalism in Scotland when a major title can be forced into self-censoring in this fashion.
"The most worrying aspect of this are the threats aimed at Simon Houston who interviewed me. An attack on a journalist is an attack on journalism and, ipso facto, an attack on democracy"
I understand how a book like this would upset Rangers fans, but this is literature!!! I don't agree or believe in all books but no matter the subject every book has a place. They log historical events, information etc. This move by the hardcore element is for me a step too far. I feel the Sun's decision to withdraw from the serialisation will only give the hardliners from Rangers, or from any team for that matter, a level of belief that they can dictate the press, it's scary. The upside of this is that the author and the publishers will be rubbing their hands. The coverage this work has recieved is nothing short of huge. The unhappy Rangers fans who fought to stop the Sun have all but put this book at the top of many Scottish football fan's shopping list. You can't buy this kind of promotion, well done Rangers fans!!!
what is truth alex? do you think what macgiollabhain is writting is truth? i hope this book is a lot more truthfull than the claims of death threats and the like which he claims and was completely dismissed by the strathclyde police.
Just a pity its written by a proven bigot and liar with an inbred hatred of all things Rangers. And a bit like your good self Alex has an ability to make up fantasies re threats that have the same common end place that Strathclyde Police found no evidence to back up your made up claims.
I will not read the book as the real story is how Rangers were driven by a bank division led by a Celtic supported to be sold to a known conman for £1 and then had confidential information leaked by HMRC.
balance newspaper the guardian??? are you for real on this one. roy greenslade balanced, no cant be said in the same sentance about his man. greenslade is certainly not given a balanced view jj. his views on this article im afraid are tainted with and by his political views. we quick look over his writtings will tell you were his loyalities lie. a man who attcked a fellow journalist henry mcdonald a man whose family i happen to know in a most shamefull way. and as a side footnote did have death threats issued against him and who did live under this constant blight and did happen to have them confirmed by police unlike the author of this book who seems to fantasise about perceived threats. greenslade classifies as satire the description given by macgiollabhain to a certain section of citizens of this kingdom as pissed stained urinated infected disease spreading diseas ridden deformities. now when these citizens run into hundread of thousands he is attacking a lot of people. now someone who sees this as satire is not balanced, and objective, and a look into his personal held views would tell anybody that on this subject matter of macgiollabhain he could not or better put would not be objective. satire it certainly wasnt. hate filled it certainly was, and if this article was written about any other group of people i am certain the author of such hate filled bile would be before a court of law. i am sure, as i write rangers supporters have already, under the new hate laws made this information aware to strathclyde police. i read the piece of your balanced writer yesterday and could not believe that this man endorsed such vileness and heionous writtings, but from greenslade i suppose i shouldnt have expected anything else as all i can say it was manipulation of the highest order something i believe that this man was very good at. daily mirror punters will remember how he made sure no one was able to win spot the ball. balanced?? i would say this piece by the author greenslade was as balanced as daily mirror readers had of winning spot the ball!!!
alex what would i need to buy the book for? what new enligtenment can this man now offer? please tell as your namesake came up to glasgow to unveil the smoking gun with so much bluster and fanfare and all we got was a damp squib. im sorry mate but the whole saga has been well documented and if any thing else is to come it will certainly not be in macgiollabhains book mate. do yourself a favour and keep your money in your pocket and troll the internet for all what you need to know about the rangers story
As long as it's Rangers and Rangers fans that's Ok to write and print anything this scum author writes about. If on the other hand it was about celtic or the IRA, you would not be so fast to support the author then would you. This book is nothing but racist bigoted tripe.
alex theres an old saying never judge a book by its cover but we can judge a book by its author. and if you have 5 minutes read his blogg the incubator. now after reading this i would think any reasonable person could understand why rangers supporters would not buy this mans book or even read it. it would be a bit like asking the jewish nation to read a book by a former SS soldier turned author