AN appeal by Rangers supporters to the BBC Trust over comments made by one of the corporation's sports pundits Jim Spence has been thrown out.

The BBC Scotland presenter was cleared of a number of complaints made against him after he had provoked the ire of hundreds of fans by making references to Rangers as "the old club that died".

Mr Spence, who made the comment while discussing attempts to end a boardroom civil war at Ibrox on the Sportsound programme last September, was provisionally cleared of breaching accuracy guidelines by the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU).

Many Rangers fans contested the initial ruling by appealing to the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee (ESC).

But it has now issued its decision, clearing Mr Spence of any wrongdoing. The ruling states: "The committee did not believe that evidence had been presented that would lead it to conclude that the output had breached the editorial guidelines.

"The committee therefore decided that this appeal did not qualify to proceed for consideration."

The BBC received over 400 complaints when Mr Spence, while discussing the possible appointment of the ex-Ibrox chairman John McClelland, had declared: "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."

Upholding the previous decision, the senior editorial complaints adviser said she "acknowledged the strength of the complainants' feelings and noted that this was a matter that was highly significant to Rangers fans".

But the break-down of the complaints into six separate issues found the appeals "did not have a reasonable prospect of success".

She also noted that the editor of sport at BBC Scotland had acknowledged the comments by Mr Spence could have been better phrased within the live piece and had apologised for any offence caused.