Kevin McKenna is a great guy. He has written a great blog for this site, on Neil Lennon.
He has appeared in Celtic documentaries and written things for books.
He is one of us. That is a fact.
Kevin has Celtic in his heart and his soul.
But what a mistake he made this weekend. What a mistake his newspaper made.
I saw this coming, and I wrote about it last week when The Record was the first paper out of the gate to subtly attack us over our embrace of the government’s wage guarantee policy. I knew other outlets would follow. I just didn’t think Kevin McKenna would.
But it actually makes sense if you know Kevin and his politics. He is a socialist and believes in community and shared responsibility. It’s easy to see why Kevin thinks a major football club, and especially one with millions in the bank, shouldn’t be taking advantage of a government scheme to help business, especially when senior players and executives won’t cut their own salaries.
He went over the score though, and the paper slapped a headline on it which tried to paint us as some kind of disgrace.
Nobody wants to focus on the big picture here; all Celtic’s employees are still being paid in full. Not one of them has had a cut to their wages.
Not one of them has to worry about whether they will survive the next few months.
The Herald did not even do the most basic fact checking on it; they said that Celtic had cut the money of the staff. We did nothing of the sort, of course. The government scheme will pay 80% of it for those earning under £2000 a month, but Celtic will make up the rest.
The article got it wrong, pure and simple, and The Herald has apologised for it.
They had no choice. They made a mistake and they’ve paid for that.
When a football club gets into trouble it is usually all those staff in the back of the house who are the first to find themselves out of work. Celtic is fortunate that we don’t have to do that. We have done something to protect ourselves and the staff … for God’s sakes, Celtic has been a model for the way a civic organisation should behave.
We’ve paid our taxes. We’ve paid our dues. This government scheme maintains the integrity of our football club, a club which brings a lot of money to the local community and to Scotland as a whole. Why should we be ashamed of using it?
Honestly, I will give us stick when we deserve it … I often do. But in this case the press is taking shots at us just for the sake of it.
The Herald owed us an apology. I am glad we got it.
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