Date: 7th January 2020 at 4:36pm
Written by:

There are no fewer than five stories today in the media relating to Celtic and strikers.

Three of them at least are absolutely ridiculous.

One of them probably is.

I don’t even know what to say about the fourth except that if it’s true people at Celtic Park better be well aware of the media firestorm that awaits us should the result of it go against our club.

This is the media at its finest; dissing Celtic.

But you see, we encourage this kind of thing.

Because as the old political maxim goes, when you aren’t feeding the beast the beast is feeding on you. The media has to fill pages. I understand it well. Had we wheeled our Sporar as a signing already we wouldn’t be looking at headlines saying we could lose him.

That’s the first of the stories of course, and it’s basically his club or his agent playing games in the media by reporting the interests of other sides. It’s designed to give us a little poke and get us off the fence, and you know what? I welcome it.

Because honest to God, we take an almighty time to get anything done at this club and time is not on our side.

Are other clubs interested? Probably.

I reckon there’s something in this one, although as I said what I see more clearly is a club and or agent playing games and trying to shake us into action.

If we lose Sporar I will honestly laugh my head off, although I won’t find it in the least bit funny as we scramble through the B, C, D and E options in a desperate bid to bring someone in as the clock ticks down.

I sometimes feel it’s going to take one of those windows, and the disastrous consequences of it, to finally rid us of the cast of Heated Driveway Productions.

I can only repeat what this site and others have written already; if Lawwell screws this window up and we pay for it with the loss of the league title then he is going to have to answer for it more even than the manager is.

He can depart this club with polite applause if we deliver ten or he can leave it hated and despised if we fail; following Resolution 12 and with the board’s failure to challenge the SFA and reform it now crystal clear, those are his only options now.

Nobody is commissioning statues for him no matter what he believes or wishes for.

The rest of the stories, bar one, are manifestly ludicrous. We’ve apparently been quoted £12 million or thereabouts for a striker in France’s second tier. The media has no way of knowing if that’s the actual fee of course, but the story is just plain daft.

You’d think if there was a scintilla of truth in it that it would be the end of that particular tale.

Yet there are reports in France that we’re one of two clubs which have made a concrete offer … clearly nowhere near that figure, although as I said the other day we’ve recently shown a willingness to go that extra mile when the player is worth it.

Maybe that’s not an entirely ludicrous story … but that price tag certainly is.

Another story concerns Billy Sharp. This one has been growing arms and legs all through last week, and yet there’s not the slightest, tiniest, shred of evidence that we’re interested in the player. Yet this is the second day – the first was away last week – I’ve read headlines saying he’s rejected a move to Celtic Park. It’s the same story as last week’s, in effect, and there was no actual evidence to support it then or now. This is people taking a punt, and a stupid one.

I don’t think we are going to spend £1.6 million on a 34-year-old. Indeed, I would be appalled if we even considered it.

The story I kind of believe – I know there’s one more incredibly ridiculous one, I’ll get to it – is the one involving Stoke’s young striker Tyrese Campbell. The Record and a couple of other papers say Sevco has joined the race to try and sign him.

Why is this believable?

Because Celtic has sent scouts down there and it’s not the first time the Ibrox club has found out who we were watching and then moved for them.

It’s so much cheaper than doing your own work.

Campbell is available at the end of the season on a pre-contract, unless Stoke is able to secure him on a new deal or find a buyer. If Celtic really wants this kid and Sevco beats us to his signature, the media fever is going to be high, high, high and especially if he’s a good player.

I have to be honest, I don’t care one way or another, knowing nothing about him at all.

But we’ll eat a tipper truck full of dirt if he rejects us to move to Ibrox.

It will generate stories about how the tables have turned, about how they are seen as a bigger draw … all the usual nonsense. So if there’s any truth in our interest we best firm it up or walk away, publicly, to the pursuit of other targets or get ready for the inevitable whipping.

Our PR needs a lot of work at times.

The final story of the five involves Odsonne Edouard, and says he wants to leave the club in this window but that Celtic will not let him.

This story is absolute bollocks, with no one fact or word of truth in it.

It originated on a blog called 90mins.com, which proves that our desperate hacks read all of this stuff and cherry pick from it whatever they want.

The writer claims it as an “exclusive” but you can read dire nonsense like this – the story contains not one quote, not one source of any kind, not one verifiable fact – anywhere. I could claim that Edouard is happy at Celtic and would stay for ten more years if we paid him enough; is that an exclusive?

I would be making it up. Apparently that’s no barrier.

Odsonne Edouard has not asked to leave Celtic, and even if he had there would be no “dilemma” for the club to consider at all. There is no prospect – none, nada, nil, zero, zilch – of French Eddie being sold before this window closes. It is a nonstarter.

Constant media speculation is what we have to look forward, and the only way to silence any of it is to get business done.

We had hoped for something by now.

The manager had too.

As per usual, others at the club are dragging their feet.

This is the result of that.

Our new quiz is out, where you get to be the SFA official in a number of scenarios …. please share it.

1 of 10

A Celtic player goes in for a 50/50 ball and the oppositon player comes over the ball with his studs raised and takes it and snaps the Celtic player's leg in the process? What is the correct response?