Let me ask you this; how many more people can The Daily Record talk to, and ask about John Collins’ comments?
Having gone through every manager in the SPL, and Stuart McCall, they started talking to players.
Now they’re trawling for commentary by pundits and rent-a-quotes who want to make names for themselves.
Today, I have to scorn the writings of Murdo MacLeod.
But before I do I want to take issue with The Record, which is, as per usual, resorting to its own brand of gutter “journalism”.
They didn’t even bother to talk to MacLeod himself; they instead lifting his comments whole off his Ladbrokes News blog.
But hey, they credited that for once.
I’ll get back to them in a while.
Let’s move on to the piece.
MacLeod’s tirade ticks every box for the ludicrous Scottish hack pack.
For a start, the writing is shockingly, horribly bad, like the worst of his Daily Record days writ large.
It is contradictory, starting out by saying he understands where Collins is coming from but still thinks it is disrespectful.
Talk about headline chasing.
If he understands where Collins is coming from and knows what Collins is getting at then he knows full well it isn’t disrespectful at all.
He then checks the “Celtic need Sevco for a challenge” box, which of course invalidates anything further that he has to say as he is simply echoing what Collins did but in a less subtle manner; Celtic are the biggest club in Scotland and don’t really get the same test they get in Europe.
Aberdeen put up a “good fight” last year he says.
This can’t be the same Aberdeen who lost the league by 17 points can it?
Who were effectively handed a running start because we were so poor?
We were sitting sixth in the league in October for God’s sake.
He then really starts to ramble, losing himself in his own dense argument, with crap about how Celtic can’t go signing players from other Scottish clubs and then complain about lack of competition, and that we can’t on one hand slag the quality of the Scottish game and then poach its players.
“You’re saying the rest aren’t good enough, but then you go and sign them?” he asks, in a sentence clearly missing much in the way of editorial scrutiny.
And of course, that’s not what Collins was saying at all.
Maybe it’s me who thinks that this argument – which others have attempted, although most of them with a little more finesse – is a piece of nonsense.
We clearly signed a few of the best players in this league, players who were stand outs.
Not every Scottish player is of the calibre of a Gary Mackay Steven or a Stuart Armstrong, so using them as some kind of benchmark for the rest simply isn’t going to fly at all.
There’s a reason we went for them and not, for example, John Rankin.
Furthermore, Collins wasn’t complaining about the level of competition.
How many more times does that have to be said, over and over again?
He was commenting on the gulf in quality between Scottish teams and those we play in Europe.
That’s all. Simple.
As to this notion that it will be our “own fault” if we fail to go through; who else’s fault would it be?
Collins wasn’t attempting to offer us an alibi here. No-one was.
All in all, this has to be one of the worst examples of “journalism” I’ve ever read in my life.
Appalling in every single way, and Ladbrokes must have money to burn (of course they do!) if they are paying him to write this kind of crap.
All the furore over this really does piss me off.
Because, as I said in my piece for On Fields of Green last night, the overwhelming smell that comes off of all this is hypocrisy.
If the issue here is Celtic’s disrespect for other Scottish teams – even after Collins said, explicitly, that he was not intending to be disrespectful – then we’ve done no more than the hacks themselves do day after day after day after day.
And MacLeod isn’t immune to the hypocrisy disease himself.
Underneath his incontinent badly written rant about Collins is another badly written piece, part of the same “column”.
You want to know what the man who is castigating our assistant manager for having no respect for Scotland’s clubs published on the same page?
An article entitled “If Sevco sign Scott Allan the Championship title race is over.”
There we have it then.
No point in playing the games now.
If that deal goes through (it won’t, and he says that himself, which kinda makes me wonder what the point was) then wrap the trophy up and drop it off at Ibrox.
No need to bother with the season.
Need I labour the point, about treating teams with disrespect?
MacLeod and The Record, of course, have history.
He wrote a column for them for quite a while, and there’s one other connection that makes me wonder if this piece is part of a concerted attack on Celtic just for the sake of it.
MacLeod is one of a number of ex-players and ex-hacks who helped to launch Level 5 PR, the company run by two ex-Sevco employees, one of whom is Jim Traynor.
They are currently working as the PR arm for the club and for Dave King.
Maybe I’m just paranoid.
Or maybe I can smell something in the air that stinks even more than hypocrisy.