The BBC Owes Tom Boyd & The Celtic Fans An Apology

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Last night I was sent a link to a recent BBC Sports Scotland podcast, where there was some discussion of Ronny Deila and Tom Boyd’s defence of the manager.

The comments from the panel, including Tom English and Graham Spiers, were absolutely appalling, and unbecoming of the national broadcaster.

They also verged on the libellous, and Spiers, in particular, ought to be more careful than that.

There was general sneering about Boyd’s opinion, and a suggestion that he’s voicing it only because he’s an official club “ambassador.”

Kenny MacIntyre, believe it or not, even went and got a dictionary and found a definition of the word that includes the phrase “an authorised messenger or representative.”

He seemed to think that was “Case Closed.”

Maybe, whilst they were at it, they could have looked the word “liquidation” up in there, you know just so they were fully on board with the rest of us.

I’ve rarely heard of something as full-on spiteful as this, and it shocks me because Boyd is one of those guys everyone in the game likes.

They weren’t finished there, either.

Tom English then launched into a truly remarkable spiel against his own industry, for giving Tom Boyd’s comments so much coverage in the national newspapers. He said this was “guff, pure guff”, and that it was “daft” for the papers to have done so.

Then, hilariously, in a moment that will live long in the history of our game as one of those Ironic Moments In Scottish Football, he actually said – and I am not making this up, friends – that the press should not be giving over space and time to what “was not analysis but PR.”

Ha! If I hadn’t been so bent over laughing I would have been angry instead.

This morning, I am. In fact, I’m furious.

As I’ve already written, I respect Tom but disagree with him on this occasion. I think he was wrong. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t believe for a second his comments were those of a man who’d been nobbled or told what to say; Boyd’s loyalty to the Celtic boss goes back to October last year and there’s nothing unusual about what he said this week.

Boyd’s motives notwithstanding, this was an astonishing and wholly unwarranted personal attack from the BBC against our former captain and now a senior official at our club.

Boyd was doing little more than standing by the man in the dugout, who the rest of the show was devoted to savaging in the most scandalous, personal way.

The BBC and other outlets have spent months putting forward people happy to say our manager ought to be sacked.

Whilst some of our fans, myself included, have come around to that view the media has been pushing this line since last season, and the motives are clearly not football related.

Now, Boyd has broken ranks and offered a dissenting voice.

I can understand why they want to shut him up.

The national broadcaster has behaved disgracefully here.

But it’s those comments by English, about how the media should not serve the interests of PR, that will endure long after the rest of this controversy has receded into memory. He, himself, has been guilty, time and again, of repeating and regurgitating some of the worst public relations trash I’ve ever heard in my life. He is a frequent pusher of the Survival and Victim Myth’s and a fully paid up, unquestioning, devotee of the Cult of Dave King, and so are many others on the program.

This was a new low for our national broadcaster.

They owe Tom Boyd an apology for this character assassination.

They owe the rest of us one for insulting our intelligence.

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