A Daily Record sports writer who quit the paper with a stinging attack on rival journalists and bloggers over their coverage of the Rangers FC tax case has landed a new job – as the club’s head of PR.
Jim Traynor announced he was leaving the paper after 37 years last week in a column that took aim at some journalists’ “rabid desire to help bring down Rangers, a fierce desire that, sadly, was widespread”.
He told readers that he had not been sacked or made redundant and was asked to remain with the paper, adding: “my conscience won’t allow me to stay in our profession”.
Traynor, who worked at The Herald and the Daily Express before joining the Record, said 2012 had been a “twisted and bitter year during which Scottish football, unable to deal with the Rangers crisis in a civilised manner, has tried to tear itself apart”.
Rangers entered administration in February 2012 and was later placed into liquidation following its tax dispute with HMRC, when its assets were sold to a new company.
But last month the ‘old company’ won its appeal against a bill from HMRC over its use of Employment Benefit Trusts (EBTs) from 2001 to 2010, though HM Revenue and Customs announced it is to appeal the decision.
Traynor was critical of the “anonymous bloggers” who said “over and over Rangers would be done for cheating the tax man”, in particular the award-winning Rangers Tax Case blog.
“Even now so many – and I include some fellow journalists – still cannot bring themselves to accept Rangers did not cheat the tax man by using EBTs,” he wrote, adding: “Perhaps in time more will be written about this kind of hack and the rabid desire to help bring down Rangers, a fierce desire that, sadly, was widespread.
On Saturday Rangers announced Traynor will join the club as director of communications from early next year.
“James will be head of media and oversee the development of all media platforms including Rangers TV, digital, online and print publications,” it said.
“James joins Rangers following a distinguished journalistic career with The Herald, Express and Daily Record newspapers as well as being a presenter with the BBC.
“In his role at Ibrox, James will be supported by the Rangers Media editorial team, the press office and external media advisers, Media House.”