Another night in the shady history of the Scottish sports media.
Three stories I want to briefly run down here; one in the Daily Mail, a publication so loathsome I would rather someone took a dump on my coffee table than leave a copy of it lying there instead, one about STV’s newfound enthusiasm for lower league football and one about Andy Walker.
Neither will exactly shock anyone.
The Daily Mail story is first; they’re running an article about how Sevco were snubbed by Ross Wilson. They claim that Stuart Webber has also turned down the Director of Football position at Ibrox. Hilarious stuff, and it might go some way towards explaining why the mood there has turned and their board has decided to kick the idea into the long grass.
The writer of this article must have gone out for his tea or something after writing the first paragraph.
Either he slipped something extra into it or one of his colleagues spiked him, because when he sat back down at the typewriter or word processor he wrote something so utterly twattish that at first I thought I was being trolled.
Apparently Webber and Wilson both turned Celtic down this week too, “leaving the two Old Firm giants in disarray.”
It’s been a long time since I could identify so many nonsensical assertions in one line. But there it is. Three separate pieces of sheer garbage in eight letters. Who knew you could do that with the English language? It almost demands respect, even admiration, except that it’s clearly the product of a very powerful hallucinogen.
Old Firm? Sevco referred to as a giant? And Celtic, in disarray.
Holy God. I mean … what? Eah?
it gives “Crisis? What crisis?” a whole new meaning, am I right?
I’m not linking to this ludicrous guff. I’ve already tweeted my disbelief and the writer, who I’m not even going to name (you’ll never have heard of him; I’d never heard of him, and if you have you read The Daily Mail more than any person should) but I don’t need to. You can surmise, from that one line, just how deranged it is.
Let’s move on.
That’s the kind of article that makes your head thump.
No more than STV does though who, along with The Daily Record tonight, have taken a fascinating interest in lower league football. In Qatar.
Neither has covered the Scottish Development League in months, which is amazing as there’s a genuine ding-dong battle going on there right now, a five way title fight involving Celtic, Ross County, Hibs, Motherwell and Hamilton.
We’re fifth in that battle group right now, but with a game in hand. And although we’re sitting on 42 points that’s only four off the top. This is one Hell of a battle, and the media – which forever goes on and on about youth football – has covered none of it.
But they are amazingly up on what’s going on 4500 miles away, where Sevco’s (apparently) in coming manager has just “masterminded” a 10-1 victory “in his final game.” Does he also run their youth team, then? Because this is the first I’ve heard that, but then I’m not bang up to date on my Qatari football. Few people are, I suspect.
In case anyone cares, his team have played twelve games already. They sit in fourth place having won seven, drew twice and lost three. Mid-table form at best. He should fit right in here in Scotland, where that’s the best he can hope for.
I find STV’s sudden interest in this amusing more than anything else, especially on the day when I wrote an article querying their early morning tweeting. I was pleased that they drew attention to their sports newsroom in such a wonderful and instructive way.
Which brings me to the last of the stories from tonight, which is Andy Walker popping up as the latest hack to land himself a cutesy gig via Level 5. Today he was at Hampden with Ally McCoist, promoting Ladbrokes latest wheeze, a sports show which apparently you can get on their Facebook page. I find this particularly interesting. Will McCoist be on it? Will Walker? I neither know nor care, but Level 5 handles all this stuff for Ladbrokes, so this is essentially their gig.
No-one will be surprised that Walker has turned up on their payroll. It explains more than a few things. There have doubtless been occasions recently when he’s done work for them and it hasn’t blipped on the radar, but today this one has because McCoist’s statements to the media during the event got on the telly and drew attention to it.
Scottish football is an incestuous little place, and at the centre of it is a PR company run by a lout which has far more influence than is healthy, especially considering that it got its start as a vehicle of Sevco and continues to work for them.
Tonight, ladies and gents, this is our media … in all its gory glory.