Today’s Daily Record headline about our two Norwegian players being cleared to play against Hibs at the weekend was one of those that got my back up, because it was so obviously dishonest. It said that our players had gotten “a reprieve to play.”
Which, I dunno … I just found absolutely offensive.
Nobody should be working at a national title who doesn’t what words mean, and I’m certain that the sub-editors at these titles know exactly what they are doing. You cannot rise to that position in any kind of media organisation without knowing the simple stuff.
In this context, the word “reprieve” refers to an escape from punishment as I’m absolutely positive people at The Record know full well.
Using that word in the headline implies that our players have gotten the benefit of mercy in spite of wrongdoing … and that’s just a fact, that’s what that headline implies, and that is why I am not happy about it and why our club shouldn’t be.
Because, of course, our players didn’t do anything here except be in the vicinity of a deadly virus.
There was no wrongdoing here of any sort.
The correct decision has been made here, nothing more.
Neither our club not our players should consider themselves fortunate or lucky nor anyone imply that we’ve been done a favour here or given some special treatment; those things are manifestly untrue and any implication to the contrary is, by definition, a lie.
This might seem like a minor thing to fixate on, but actually it’s not.
It’s important that the record be set straight on this kind of thing, because I guarantee you at some point in the future some SPL boss whose team is deprived of a player due to this bug is going to point to this incident and talk about how unfair and unjust it is, and some in the press will agree.
“Why don’t we just have consistency?” they will wail … when in fact, that’s not the issue here at all, that the regulations here have been followed properly and our players allowed to play because there’s simply no logical reason not to let them.
Let’s not forget, when our club got slapped down over the Bolingoli thing we had done everything right and we informed the respective institutions and bodies immediately that we found out that he had breached the guidelines.
We were punished in spite of that, whilst another club got a pat on the head after their own players violated the same rules … an act which nobody seems to want to say out loud was perhaps even more egregious than what Bolingoli did as there’s no excuse available to them about the rules being new and unfamiliar or the policies of government and football being unclear.
Throughout all of this crisis, Celtic has behaved with the utmost probity and the deepest sense of responsibility.
Nobody can deny this.
Except, maybe, The Daily Record, who’s use of the word “reprieve” is an insult to the work we’ve done and continue to do.