Today, Scotland’s premier band of novelty bog-roll issued another thinly veiled attack on Celtic, by seeming to accuse us of trying to change the terms of the Lewis Morgan transfer deal. That deal is just about signed and sealed; it is expected to be finalised tomorrow when the player will put pen to paper on the move to Parkhead.
That move has been long planned. Chick Young of BBC Scotland was the first to report on it, several weeks ago. He was clear as to what the terms of the deal were – that Celtic would purchase the player and loan him back to the club.
The St Mirren manager and their managing director subsequently confirmed that a deal along those lines was agreed.
As was reported on this site, Brendan looked at various options following the injury to Jonny Hayes; the two he refused even to consider were revising the deal for Morgan or exploring mechanisms for cutting short Ryan Christie’s loan deal at Aberdeen; Brendan’s contention was that those deals had been agreed – the Morgan deal in principle – on a good faith basis and that other clubs should not suffer for what was Celtic’s misfortune.
It seems that last night a journalist popped a question to a St Mirren official Tony Fitzpatrick along the lines of whether or not a club could sign the player in this window, without the loan back. He gave the expected, and wholly reasonable, answer that the player’s staying at St Mirren for the rest of the season was non-negotiable.
The thing is, no-one had ever suggested negotiating it.
Yet The Daily Record spun this as “a warning” to Celtic. STV’s “rumours” website, taking its cue from The Record’s brazen attempt to spin a lie, repeated the fiction tonight.
STV, as many of you are aware, once signed a commercial digital broadcasting deal with an Ibrox club, which some of its own journalists openly said was a violation of their impartiality.
This is reprehensible, gutter level stuff of the sort The Record excels at. I repeat, so as there is to be no misunderstanding; Celtic did not at any time suggest that the player join us immediately. We did not attempt to renegotiate a deal that had, but for signatures on the pieces of paper, already been agreed between the player and the two clubs.
Both Celtic and St Mirren have handled these negotiations with the utmost consideration for one another and the best scenario that suits all parties.
Morgan himself has behaved with impeccable professionalism throughout, continuing to score goals and turn in excellent displays for his club. The question about Celtic taking him straight away was wholly unprompted and had exactly zero basis in fact; it was put to the St Mirren official to generate a fictitious impression.
The move should be completed tomorrow, at which time I’ll have more to say, but for tonight this is yet another example of how our media bends facts and pursues agendas.