THE organisers of a petition signed by hundreds calling on BBC Scotland to remove senior sports reporter Chris McLaughlin from his job are subject of a police probe.

The petition emerged as the BBC announced it had launched a fresh Ibrox boycott after Rangers banned Mr McLaughlin from the club ground two weeks ago.

Some have questioned the petition which was linked to a Bears Fightback blog set up on January 17.

The Herald:

Police Scotland are looking into a Bears Fightback blog, which was the subject of a complaint.

The blog said: "To all the haters, heed this warning. Your articles and comments are being noticed. We will notify the club of any untruths, inaccuracies or unfair treatment. If the club are unwilling to take action then we will.

"We will look into the history of each and every individual or company embroiled in this hate fest, and we will look to hurt you in any way legally possible. If you lose your business, your home, your husband or wife, your children or your freedom, don't say you weren't warned."

Police Scotland have confirmed they are looking into the  content of the blog which was promoted on a Bears Fightback Twitter account.

A spokesman said: "It has been reported to the police. We are aware and we are looking into it."

The Herald:

The blog has since been removed.

Some fans distanced themselves from the blog, while others dismissed them.

One blogger talking about any possible police probe said: "My guess? Nothing will be done because absolutely no crime has been committed, none!"

The blogger added: "It is still a blog with little taste and for me, it reflected badly on the author but what on earth was happening? "

Journalist Jim Spence, formerly BBC Scotland sports reporter, was amongst those who were vocal in their disgust at the blog comments.

The Herald:

The petition on in the name of Bears Fightback calling for Mr McLaughlin to be removed has received around 500 supporters in 24 hours.

The BBC imposed a boycott after the broadcaster was told two weeks ago that the reporter was again not welcome at Ibrox.

There was no BBC reporter at Ibrox on Saturday when Rangers beat Livingston 4-1.

The Herald:

The Bears Fightback petition complained that the BBC did not send a reporter to “the third most attended football match in the UK, and the most attended match in Scotland on January 16th 2016 due to this employee being banned from the stadium."

It added: "This is unacceptable."

The petition goes on: "This 'journalist' is banned because he has proved on multiple occasions that he cannot conform to the BBC guidelines on Impartiality."

Fans previously lodged their concerns about a previous BBC boycott which began with the club's 3-0 victory over Peterhead at the beginning of August. last year.

Mr McLaughlin was told he was not welcome after being accused of filing misleading and unbalanced reports by Rangers.

The Herald:

Some fans protested to the BBC and to the communications regulator Ofcom about the boycott saying the BBC actions were indicative of what they felt was a continued bias against the club.

BBC sources then insisted there would be no staff member going to Ibrox until the ban on Mr McLaughlin is lifted and they would rely on agency staff.

The BBC insisted they had no choice but to take action after Mr McLaughlin was told to stay away.

Rangers has previously said its concerns with coverage came to a head after a BBC report 'unfairly focused' on the arrest of Rangers fans after the club’s 6-2 win over Hibs.

The Herald:

The BBC dropped the nearly month-long boycott of Ibrox in August after Rangers agreed to drop a ban on the reporter following talks.

Rangers said it had reimposed the ban on Mr McLaughlin two weeks ago saying: "This is about balance and fairness. It is Rangers' view that after having asked for, and having been promised, exactly that - nothing more, and certainly not favour from this or any other reporter - it has not been forthcoming.

"The BBC know they are welcome but once again they, in their wisdom, have chosen not to attend Ibrox thereby denying licence payers the opportunity to see and hear from Rangers on a publicly-funded platform which is supposed to be for everyone.   Rangers fans are entitled to ask if this is an abuse of the BBC's privileged position."

The Herald:

The deleted Bears Fightback blog