Yesterday, I said that the media was going to try every trick that it could in this, the year of the ten.
Roger Grieve of The Sun has never been a friend of ours, but the truly appalling spin he put on some of Lennon’s comments from the other day are worth examining.
Frank McAvennie, writing for the abysmal Football Insider site, has bitten down hard on this nonsense, and said that in this year, of all years, the fans don’t want to read that “every player is for sale” … the thing is, he accepts that “every player has a price” which is a different thing entirely.
No, seriously. I am not kidding around here. This isn’t just about a choice of words, those things don’t remotely mean the same thing. We are not hawking our players around, trying, desperately, to find buyers for them all. Grieve and his rag know this full well.
McAvennie leaped on the headline, not the actual story … which contains the words that really came out of Neil Lennon’s mouth.
My issue with McAvennie is that he didn’t even checked Lennon’s quote before he proffered his ridiculous opinion on it; he simply looked at someone else’s spin. My issue with Grieve is simple; he twisted our manager’s words into the shape he wanted.
Because, of course, what Lennon said was that every player has a value and if the club received an offer equal to, or greater, than that they’d have to think it over.
Nothing revolutionary. Nothing incendiary. Lennon accepts what the club does, and what most fans do; we’re in uncharted waters here, dangerous waters, and that nothing can be ruled out at the moment. I said yesterday that three players only should be considered unsellable – Edouard, McGregor and Christie – but if someone offered stupid money, and I mean really stupid money, for either of them then it would be mad to just dismiss it.
“Ideally we don’t want to sell our best players and we will remain steadfast on that,” Lennon said. “But if an offer comes in then I’m sure the club will consider it and do the best thing possible for the club going forward … It’s not just hard for me, it’s hard for all managers right now.”
And of course, he’s correct. Because unless your club is sitting on Manchester City style funds then your first team squad will be vulnerable to the typical lunacy. Sevco’s position is no different, it’s worse than ours by far, in fact.
It’s just that nobody over there is willing to actually say that out loud and the media does not want to write it anyway.
The double standard makes you sick.
I’m tired of the characterisation of Celtic as “a selling club.”
It is one of the most overused and least credible phrases in the football lexicon.
Every club out there is a selling club in that they do often sell footballers when they don’t want to.
Every club. Bar none.
The biggest club on the planet is still, arguably, Barcelona; even they knew they had to punt Neymar when the daft money from PSG was on offer.
It’s what you do with the money that counts.
They squandered their own opportunity to rebuild; ironically, one of the players they spent the cash on was Philip Coutinho at Liverpool, who that club didn’t want to let go. But Klopp used the bulk of the cash to sign Virgil Van Dijk, the move that arguably completed his team.
That’s what we did last season when we sold Tierney; we used the cash to rebuild most of the defence, and bring in Forster on loan.
Chris Sutton is panicking as well. He’s talking about how “massively massively concerned” he is that no business has been done yet.
That man needs to calm down some.
Yet Lennon said in the same interview he hopes to have something later this week; the transfer window hasn’t even been open for a fortnight and we’ve got more than two months of it to go. Whilst we all appreciate that some things need to be done sooner than later – a new keeper is a must, and top of the list, and fast – we certainly shouldn’t be flapping.
Honestly, I understand a little minor anxiety, but the media is going to be pulling this crap on us all the way through the autumn and a lot of folk are going to pull their hair out long before the window shuts if they start believing it all.
Lennon most definitely did not say that every player at the club is for sale.
Grieve has loyalties which are well known to every Celtic fan, and he owes us no favours.
Still, I do wish the club would hit back when we our people are so egregiously misquoted as this.
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