The Celtic chairman Ian Bankier has today slammed the BBC, and in particular BBC Scotland, over their handling of the Paradise Papers investigation, which he termed “scuttlebutt” which had nothing whatsoever to do with the club.
This is one of the recurrent topics of the last week, but through all of it we wondered whether those inside Celtic Park felt the same way about as we did; that it was clear, deliberate, attack on the integrity of not only one of our directors but the club as a whole.
Bankier has left the fans in no doubt at all that inside the walls they view this exactly the same way.
They are livid over this, as they should be, as the fans still are.
“As a club we deeply resent association with the scuttlebutt that was Panorama.
It had nothing to do with Celtic and nothing to do with UK tax,” Bankier said, getting right to the heart of the matter in a way that leaves no room for dubiety.
As I said yesterday, the BBC works for the UK tax payers.
It is right to question the tax affairs of those living here and who should be paying their fair share to the exchequer.
They are also right to question how football in Scotland is funded.
But Dermot Desmond is based in Ireland.
The accounts in question are based in the Virgin Islands.
The company at the centre of this is based in Switzerland.
The connection to Celtic and Scottish football does not stand up because Desmond does not directly fund our club.
The only connection between the tax affairs of that man and Scotland is his shareholding in Celtic, and it was that the media wanted to highlight.
Our club’s name was in the first line – on the BBC website it was the first word in the headline – of every report mentioning his name.
This one is going to run and run, because Celtic are furious, Dermot Desmond is furious and the fans are furious.
I do not expect us to ban the BBC from Parkhead; the club has never done that, it has never banned entire outlets, but we are certainly not taking it lying down. There will be discussions going on. Our feelings will be made clear.
Co-operation isn’t just about letting people in to press conferences. It’s about a wider relationship.
That relationship has been damaged by this affair.
The BBC better take note.