The Rumour Factory Produces Toxic Stuff At Times. Why Do Celtic Fans Spread It Around?

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In all the years I’ve been doing this blog – in all the years I’ve been blogging – I have never once published a story about a Celtic player’s private life. I have never even commented on one that wasn’t in the mainstream media. Let me explain why it would be stupid to do that.

First, if a Celtic player – or manager – really was up to all sorts, in his free time, in Glasgow, which is one of the most scrutinised football environments on the planet, do you believe for one second that the mainstream press wouldn’t know about it? And that they wouldn’t write it?

Do you think these people are our friends and allies, or that they would keep it quiet out of altruism?

Given half a chance they would embarrass us to the maximum.

The press is not even beyond printing highly dubious stories about our support, as I’ll get to later. If you think they’d miss a chance to stick in the boot you are dead wrong. This is the principle thing right here. Anything that causes us disruption would be seized upon.

Furthermore, this is the era of mobile phone cameras and endless tittle-tattle.

If you reckon one of our staff, stumbling around drunk every night, would not be filmed and uploaded and shared you haven’t been paying attention. First it would be all over the internet and secondly it would be all over the papers. To believe otherwise is ridiculous.

There’s another reason I don’t do this kind of thing; I am not in the business of spreading innuendo about Celtic staff. Who needs the attack dogs of the mainstream press and the Sevco Twitterati when our own supporters are so eager to believe, and disseminate, every lie and outrageous slander out there?

Do these people never stop to think before spreading this guff?

I stopped trying to understand it years ago.

Some people like to sound as if they are “in the know”.

Do you notice that most – not all, but most – of the blogs, many written by people who do have sources close to the action, avoid this stuff like the plague?

There’s a reason for that too.

Even when some of us do have information – such as when Leigh Griffiths had his breakdown – there’s no public interest in putting that out there.

Even the media didn’t write that stuff; it was a guy going through personal hell.

Even they had enough restraint to know that was not something to be picked over by a vampiric audience desperate for self-validation in the only manner they know how; huddling over accounts of another person’s misfortune. When even our press wouldn’t touch it, what does that tell you?

One blog, of course, continues to buck this trend and publish outright trash disguised as “news.” It boasts of sources and locks its wisdom behind passwords. Yet its writer specialises in trashing his own readers. Those who continue to fund this disgrace – “supporters” are only allowed that title if they pay £120 a year; a subscription to the magnificent cultural magazine The Atlantic, including all ten print editions, is £60 – well on their own heads be it.

If I wanted to pay to get behind a paywall and read xenophobia, homophobia, obsess over people’s sex lives and goggle at right-wing commentary and outright lies I’d subscribe to The Sun. The Daily Mail is still available for free online so there’s no need even to bother.

I am not accountable for what other people do, only for what I do and I wouldn’t touch the stuff that site runs with a 20-foot pole. It’s not news. It’s not even gossip. It’s disinformation or outright lies that could do our club and all in it immense damage if they were believed. The kind of person who would do that, for money, is not a friend of this club or its fans.

It’s high time the majority of our fan-base learned to ignore this kind of trash.

The number of times every day I’m forwarded emails, by Celtic supporters, which contain nothing but dirty allegations about our own footballers and management team … it’s astounding to me and horrific in equal measure. I really wish people would stop doing it.

I wish Celtic fans would stop smearing this excreta all over the internet. A couple of our bloggers have written about this subject already – I did a piece on it in October – but based on the avalanche of it which has deluged some of us over the festive period this still needs to be said.

Do you think you’re doing your club any favours?

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