Date: 7th February 2018 at 5:23pm
Written by:

If you’re not yet sick of reading about Morelos – and let’s face it, although this has been entertaining it really has started to grate a little – stick with me through another article on the matter, and this one has to be written because it offers a sterling example of the way journalism in this country works.

This is about Chris Jack and his piece in the paper the other day.

No-one will be surprised to learn that it was a pro-Sevco puff piece of the worst sort. But the assertions in it were so ludicrous that I feel the need to dissect it bit by bit so that you might understand just how bad it really is.

So the article itself, I will put in italics. My own comments will be below them. You can judge for yourself just how bad his article was, and gauge the quality of “journalism” that continues to “flourish” under the “leadership” of Neil Cameron.

Here we go then.

Thanks for sticking with me.

“If (Sevco) had decided to cash in on Alfredo Morelos, there would have been eight million reasons why they could have justified the decision. There was only a single argument to keep him. That was the most important one, though.”

Okay … that article surmises that the story was true and not a lot of clap-trap invented by a Sevco PR rep. Did you notice that he went with the highest possible figure there, the £8 million number which is so obviously fraudulent that even Del Boy Trotter wouldn’t touch it?

“It was football rather than finance, points rather than pounds, that drove the thinking at Ibrox and now only the Colombian can prove that (Sevco) made the right call.”

Even if you accept the premise of the story – that the club had this offer and turned it down – that argument makes sense at only one club in Europe, and it’s the one playing out of Ibrox. A club which is bleeding money from every orifice cannot afford to reject that kind of cash.

Finance rules football, or at least it does everywhere else. It’s called sanity, and you just know that if we don’t qualify for the Champions League groups next year we will get the whole orchestra playing the “Celtic need to sell key players” song, every verse and the choruses too.

“If the choice had been taken out of Graeme Murty’s hands completely, the Light Blues boss could have had no complaints. His perspective on the field was just as important as Dave King’s off it, however.”

This is the opener for what you just know will be an article in praise of the genius of the glib and shameless liar. Jack is a frequent, and vocal, cheerleader for the South African tax crook, and might be one of the few people in Scotland who takes him literally, at his every word.

For those who dispute that “there’s a fool born every minute” I give you Exhibit A.

“Having £8million in the bank and no striker to lead the line would have made no sense for (Sevco) and severely jeopardised their chances of finishing second in the Premiership and winning the Scottish Cup this term.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret, Jack; they have no chance of doing that anyway. But this assertion that there would have been “no striker to lead the line” is plainly bollocks; Sevco has no fewer than five strikers on their books right now. Five. But that inconvenient fact might cast some doubt on the story and the spin he’s trying to put on it.

“Indeed, it could have proven to be the beginning of the end for Murty’s chances of being boss beyond the summer.”

Murty has no chance of that anyway.

His appointment has “part time” and “failure” stamped all over it.

He’s already dropped 17 points since taking charge.

“The arrival of Jason Cummings and return to fitness of Kenny Miller could have compensated slightly for the loss of Morelos. But the on-loan Nottingham Forest forward remains unproven in the Premiership and the Ibrox veteran has just four goals from 18 appearances to his credit this season. The football case, therefore, didn’t stack up.”

Amazing paragraph. Amazing. Because the same writer wrote this about Cummings a little over a week ago; “The forward has netted just four times in 17 outings for Forest but has a proven track record in Scottish football and will add to the attacking threat in Murty’s side.” The paragraph fails to mention Dodoo or Herrera at all, although one remains amongst Scottish football’s highest paid players. Oh yes. No joke that, as I’ll discuss in an article later tonight.

“As far as King was concerned, that was the key consideration and Murty was put under no pressure to sacrifice his star striker. That is not to say that Morelos won’t be sold in the future. At the end of the day, every player has a price and a right moment to make a move but this wasn’t the bid or the time for (Sevco).”

Ha! There we go. King is the hero of the hour. He put the team before the financial wellbeing of the club, therefore he is to be applauded. And this is the start too of the hype machine going into overdrive about this player so they can punt him in the summer. Quite how they will explain why he’s eventually sold for less I do not know … blame the player himself, probably, and how “unsettled” he’s been since these stories broke.

“There are two scenarios at play between now and the end of the campaign and it is at that stage that events over the last week will come to the fore once again.”

And now we get to the real crux of it, and you’re going to love it.

“If Morelos continues his current form and can get near 25 goals for the season, his value will undoubtedly increase and the offers on the table will surely come from more established and appealing divisions than the Chinese Super League.”

First, it will take a minor miracle for Morelos to reach that goal tally, and even if he does reach it, I’m afraid 25 SPL goals isn’t going to be viewed as anything particularly spectacular south of the border or anywhere else.

When a player is being judged only by that criteria there is no guarantee that he will end up anywhere special.

Who was the top scorer in the league last season, and where is he now?

I’ll tell you; it was Liam Boyce, with 23 goals.

He’s at Burton Albion and he didn’t cost anywhere near £8 million.

And besides, this nonsense about the “appeal” of the Chinese league – or lack thereof – is just stupid when you consider that Morelos was desperate to go … because of the money, which made it attractive enough to entice players from the EPL not that long ago.

“It is only a few weeks since the 21-year-old revealed in an interview back in his homeland that he has ambitions of playing in the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A in the future. If he wants to realise those dreams, he must perform for (Sevco).”

He can forget about La Liga, but if Morelos really had attracted a bid of £8 million from China he would be easily good enough to merit a contract with a lower-case EPL team, and then, if he has the talent, he can go wherever he likes.

This idea that he “must perform” for Sevco is a not-so-coded warning, but it bears no relationship to reality. If he’s good enough to command that fee clubs know he has potential, and they will understand a dip in form with all the stuff swirling around him.

They will also consider the shabby organisation at Ibrox and factor that into their thinking.

“The best way for Morelos to get the move that he wants is to continue doing what brought him to the attention of Beijing Renhe in the first place and that is score goals. If his attitude is right and the performances follow, both he and (Sevco) will be able to name their price come the summer.”

And now we come to the point; this is a message to the player that he should now forget about being denied his dream and knuckle down … so he can get the move he’s not been given this time. An argument without logic. And this idea that club can “name its price” in the summer reeks of the lunatic ward. They will be lucky to get half of the phantom £8 million, whether he hits those 25 goals or not. The simple truth is, he’s just not worth the money.

“The Gers will make a healthy profit on the £1million they paid HJK Helsinki for his services and Morelos will earn the kind of sums he desires.”

The paradox escapes Jack completely; if Sevco pay him crazy money in his “contract renegotiation” then no club anywhere will want to touch him; that means his chances of getting a move to a better club are less likely than they are right now.

This is the bind Sevco has locked itself into with their crazy talk about £8 million fees and £60,000 a week wages.

“The other side of the argument does Morelos no favours at all. If he reacts in a negative way, which Murty is confident he won’t, then he will find himself out of the team and making headlines for all the wrong reasons.”

Ha! Wishful thinking to a fare-thee-well.

First up, Morelos wants a new deal. Sevco will either give him that or they won’t.

But whether they do or not, they cannot afford to have the guy sitting on the side-lines where his value will depreciate week on week. If Murty thinks for one second those above him at the club will allow that – and if Jack believes it – they are both crazy.

“In that event, and if the bids don’t come in the summer, both Morelos and (Sevco) could be left thinking ‘what if?’, but the striker could regret it more than the Ibrox board.”

Nonsense of the most obvious sort.

Morelos and his agent hold all the cards here; there is no way the club will not increase his wages significantly in the next few weeks, to keep him sweet, and when the bids don’t materialise in the summer he will be, nevertheless, be perfectly content to sit on his vastly inflated salary and there’ll be nothing the club can do.

“The model of buying low and selling high is one that Rangers must master in the coming years if they are to close the financial and football gaps to Celtic. It is about knowing when to cash in and knowing when to keep. Only time will tell if Rangers have passed their first transfer test.”

And this, of course, is the fantasy that got us here, the idea that Sevco can replicate our success by doing what we do.

Except that they only half understand what it is that we do and have done, believing it’s all about slick presentation, public relations, hype and “holding out” for the price we want. The idea that this takes effort, that extensive scouting is necessary, that difficult choices are required, that this whole thing costs money and time and isn’t based in any way on luck isn’t what they want to hear, so of course they don’t hear it.

Jack doesn’t hear it either. Instead he hears the sweet soothing voice of Dodgy Dave King. It’s never dawned on him to wonder if what he’s hearing is fact or fiction; this guy is a True Believer, and following the leader is all the guy knows how to do.

Join the best Celtic Facebook Group there is right here.

Like our Facebook page and comment on and share the articles by clicking here.

You can also follow us on Twitter at @The_Celtic_Blog