The Lord Haw Haw of Radio Clyde is gone
It may have came as a surprise to many, but Radio Clyde’s resident Rangers cheerleader Derek Johnstone has called time on his appearances on Clyde Superscoreboard after three decades spouting what his paymasters at Ibrox wanted him to peddle.
The Rangers Club Ambassador who doubled down as the Lord Haw Haw of Radio Clyde, took to his column in the Evening Times to bid farewell to his time at Clyde.
He said: “They say that all good things come to an end and that is the case with my time at Radio Clyde and on Superscoreboard.
“After almost three decades on the airwaves, I’ve decided not to take my seat in front of the microphone this season. I’m sad to be moving on after so long and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it over the years.
“I worked alongside the likes of Jimmy Sanderson, Gerry McNee and Paul Cooney and I met some fantastic people during my time with Clyde.
“I have had some great times and it was certainly never dull addressing the big issues with supporters that always had an opinion.
“I always called it as I saw it and I was firm but fair when talking about matches, managers, players and some of the issues that have come up in the game over the years.
“I am disappointed to be leaving at this time but I wish them all the best for what promises to be another really interesting season in Scottish football. There will certainly be plenty of talking points.”
Surprisingly, there was no fond farewell or last broadcast for DJ to say a proper goodbye to those at Clyde Superscoreboard and its listeners. Was it a case of he jumped before he was pushed? Or has something happened behind the scenes which resulted in him being shown the door?
Despite appearing alongside veteran journalist and broadcaster Hugh Keevins for several years, there was no goodbye from DJ for his regular partner on the shows. Strange indeed.
Keevins, however, took to twitter saying: “I say a fond farewell to my pal Derek Johnstone. My favourite bit was when he gave our youngest a Rangers walkman as a present. She attended Notre Dame High School at the time. Much merriment in the classroom!”
Mocking Chris Sutton over threats to his life
For many listeners of Clyde Super Scoreboard, when they think of Derek Johnstone they remember his on air argument with former Celtic striker and BT Pundit Chris Sutton.
It was one of the most cringeworthy pieces of commentary that has been heard since Jim Traynor and Chick Young argued with one another live on BBC Sportsound over who was the biggest Rangers PR poodle.
Johnstone’s diatribe that day included mocking the former Celtic striker after his employers BT Sport were advised by Police and Rangers officials to hire bodyguards for his safety at Ibrox.
Instead of Johnstone supporting his fellow pundit and denouncing those who threatened Sutton, the Rangers club ambassador instead used it as a tool to attack Sutton after he was at the wrong end of Sutton’s criticism over Johnstone’s unwillingness to criticise anything about his Ibrox paymasters.
Johnstone, who is a paid Rangers employee through his hospitality work, has over the years defended and even supported David Murray, Craig Whyte, Charles Green, Ally McCoist and the current board and management team at Ibrox. His work on Clyde One and his paid employment with Rangers has clearly shown that there was a conflict of interest, as Johnstone [according to Sutton] ‘fails to tell the truth’ and acts like a ‘Rangers puppet’.
Johnstone’s disregard for the safety of Chris Sutton at his beloved Rangers shows the level of the departing Clyde pundit - all because he was told a few home truths.
Neil Lennon comments
Another Celt to fall foul of Derek Johnstone is current Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who himself had to hire a bodyguard, because he was attacked by a Hearts fan on the touchline at Tynecastle after celebrating his side scoring a goal against the Edinburgh side.
Lennon - who has faced everything from death threats to physical assaults to bullets and bombs being sent through the post to attacked in front of his dugout - brought it all on himself according to Johnstone, because of his comments in the press and his ‘antics’ on the sidelines. Those antics being celebrating goals and those comments were criticising refereeing decisions which were wrong in his eyes – like every other manager does.
During his one year at Real Radio with Ewen Cameron, Johnstone acting as a co-commentator alongside Cameron covered the Hearts - Celtic game at Tynecastle in May 2011, during which Lennon was attacked.
Rather than condemning the Hearts fan for invading the pitch or even for attacking Neil Lennon, Johnstone focused on the Celtic manager who fought off the attacker. Claiming that the Northern Irishman ‘needs to watch himself as he got involved with the fan’ and that he was ‘kicking out’ at the Hearts fan and that he was ‘going to be in trouble’. Nothing was said by Johnstone about Lennon being the victim - even when Cameron tried explaining that Lennon was the one being attacked.
Has Johnstone ever apologised to Lennon or Sutton over his comments? Or has he simply sneaked out the back door like the coward that he is? I doubt his ego would allow him to front up and apologise.
Johnstone’s departure from Clyde is no great loss to the radio station. His time on the station was less and less, with the likes of Alex Rae, Fraser Wishart, Roger Hannah, Mark Wilson and Gordon Dalziel all appearing more regularly.
What now for Radio Clyde’s very own Lord Haw Haw? Appearing more on Rangers TV alongside Uncle Tom? Linking up with Ewen Cameron again for his football podcast?
Will his paymasters be satisfied with him merely writing for the Evening Times? After all they’ve got that covered already with their mouthpiece Chris Jack in the house.
Whatever the future holds for DJ there won’t be many tears - other than those down Govania Way - and Scottish Football will have one less cliche-ridden propagandist covering it.
‘Ibrox calling, Ibrox calling’.