BBC Scotland has thrown its support behind embattled sports pundit Jim Spence, the National Union of Journalists has claimed.


Mr Spence has faced calls to be axed and is thought to have received abuse via social media sites over comments about Rangers.

It follows rumours he had made moves to quit the BBC. Mr Spence, a host of the popular Sportsound show, was said to have applied for voluntary redundancy.

The broadcaster is cutting staff numbers in a process it is billing as 'Delivering Quality First', which will see up to 120 jobs going by 2016/2017.

It is understood Mr Spence met with senior BBC management yesterday and was given support.

In a discussion over the appointment of four additional non-executive directors Mr Spence said on Sportsound: "John McClelland who was the chairman of the old club, some people will tell you the club, well, the club that died, possibly coming back in terms of the new chairman."

BBC Scotland denied Mr Spence had claimed Rangers had 'died' but apologised to "those who were offended by this". A BBC Scotland spokesman said the broadcaster could not comment on individual staff members.

But Paul Holleran, NUJ organiser for Scotland, said: "The BBC has offered its total support to Jim. We don't condone the threats and disgusting emails and texts that he had received and find it totally unacceptable that a journalist has been treated this way."

Mr Spence tweeted: "Thank you for your overwhelming support, a huge thank you to the NUJ and to many in the media and blog and zine movement."

l Rangers could announce an extraordinary general meeting by Friday, with the board yet to reach agreement with a group of shareholders seeking change.

The investors want former Ibrox director Paul Murray, Sandy Easdale - brother of current non-executive director James - and accountancy expert Frank Blin appointed as directors. The group have also proposed the return of ex-chairman John McClelland to the board.