As regular readers will be painfully aware, TalkSport is probably my least favourite media outlet south of the border.
Today they had Souness on there, to ask him about Celtic’s qualification for the Champions League groups and to ask him that old usual cobblers about whether our dominance was good or bad for the Scottish game.
Of course, he didn’t disappoint, offering up some shamefully duplicitous comments.
First, his assertion that Celtic’s squad is weaker than it would have been with a strong “Rangers” in the league is palpable goddamned nonsense. Celtic’s transfer strategy is not built around our domestic challenge or lack thereof and he knows it.
It is built around the hard reality of life in the shadow of the EPL and a spending era which has gone absolutely nuts.
We cannot compete with clubs who can pay players £100,000 a week.
If someone at Celtic Park thinks they can get that kind of cash and wants to chase it there’s exactly zero that we could do to stop them, short of hanging onto their registration until they walk out the door for free, and a player being offered that kind of money is not the sort you want to leave on a Bosman.
I am sick and tired of this puerile garbage that says we are weak if Sevco is.
We are a Scottish club, and when you look at our squad right now and the fact we’re punching well above the weight of a team that plays in this country you can see how ignorant, or frankly dishonest, Souness’ claim actually is.
We just bought a South African international, to say nothing for the purchase of Ntcham who looks a class act in every way.
Weaker for the lack of a challenger?
Ahem, I think not.
But this is the garbage Souness and others are allowed to get away with time and time again, because it drives a narrative, it moves an agenda, that which says Scottish football is a backwater without the “big two”, which is a loathsome concept.
One of the “big two” spent ridiculous sums on unaffordable players and paid the highest possible price for it.
And their “success” of the final years would never have been possible without one last, grotesque, act of cheating … the EBT years.
TalkSport would have served their audience better asking about those, and they had the perfect guy sitting there in the studio, who could have got them right to the heart of the matter in a way few others would have been able to …
Souness had an EBT, and his is one of the most inexplicable of all because he got it whilst he was working somewhere else, in England actually, in the very league which TalkSport endlessly talks up. And he wasn’t the only one; as RTC pointed out this very week, Walter Smith got one whilst he was in the EPL as well.
I’m willing to bet that the TalkSport audience is largely oblivious to this, although there’s clearly a massive story there, which they would be highly interested in. The presenters would have had one hell of an exclusive on their hands had they just asked him what he got the money for.
Scouting, said Rangers at the time.
Tell us more Graeme.
Tell us how you plan to deal with it when HMRC lands on your door, and asks you for the money you owe them.
Who knows what would have happened?
We’ll never know. Because TalkSport would rather peddle utter falsehoods than explore some of the darkest moments in the history of the game here. They are, in their way, just as bad as the Scottish hacks on whom they rely for their skewed view of our game.