Yesterday, as everyone is aware, the Celtic fan media got to meet with, and question, the brand new manager and the new CEO.
I’ll write more on the conference itself and how I found both men later on … suffice to say, for now, that I’m more impressed than I expected to be.
I thought there were a lot of interesting things said and even more interesting things hinted at in what was said, and unless I’m very, very wrong we’re on the cusp of a total overhaul.
The fan media were excellent yesterday.
I came with a list of questions I wanted to ask both men and every question on that list was asked by somebody in attendance.
At the top of my list of questions for the manager was to find out if he was in full control of the football operation.
He was asked that shortly before I got up to ask mine.
The second question on my list would have been about how aware Ange is about the unique environment he is about to walk into.
The first guy to get up, Dave from The Celtic Star, asked that.
Indeed, Dave did a lot more than that.
He made sure that our new manager got the goods on exactly how things work in this bizarre football culture, and as such I think it was one of the most important contributions of the day.
That’s a divisive opinion, but I come down squarely on his side no matter what some of our fans think and no matter what the hacks believe … and their bitchy, bitter coverage of that question demonstrates clearly how necessary it was.
Dave’s first point was bang on the nose; Ange Postecoglou has no friends amongst the press and he should beware the Scottish media’s version of scrutiny.
He should not assume that our club will get a fair shake in front of the SFA either.
The Daily Record accused Dave of hitting the new boss was a conspiracy theory.
Ewan Murray of The Guardian seemed to suggest that Celtic should never have permitted the question.
These types of attitudes are why our fan media is streets ahead of the mainstream press not only in how it covers our club but in how it covers the wider game.
The press reaction reeks of ivory tower arrogance.
Its tone is malicious and spiteful and jealous and angry that we have a Celtic hierarchy which realises that our role is now just as important as theirs is, and they have never welcome our presence on the field far less in their penalty area, which is where we’re now camped and where we are staying.
Celtic fans know full well that Ibrox is the beneficiary of mind-bending refereeing bias.
It’s not even something most of us debate.
We know full well that much of the media carries the reek of succulent lamb, it’s no longer even something people question.
I find it a bit rich, frankly, that the same press which pushed Ibrox’s dodgy dossier two summers ago and which swallowed, whole, the rabid and paranoid nonsense out of their director’s box, thinks it can lecture us on pushing “conspiracy theories” on our own club.
It’s not our club which dwells, permanently, in the half-light of such ideas.
It wasn’t our directors who spent months foaming at the mouth and alleging that the SFA and SPFL were out to get them.
It’s not our club which adopts the hyper-aggressive – and utterly fraudulent – tone of victimhood because it has, at its foundation, a grotesque lie about how the Scottish game, and indeed Scotland as a whole, is out to get them.
The media ignores this of course.
It’s only a conspiracy theory when it comes from our fans, no matter how much weight of evidence there is to support it.
Dave was correct to lay this out.
The manager is walking into a strange football environment where the press wilfully ignores obvious issues and inflates non-existent ones.
The media also, occasionally, flat-out lies about our club.
The BBC suggested yesterday that the manager had called our current need for players “an emergency.”
They retracted it after the utter falsehood was called out by our supporters online.
This didn’t stop The Sun from repeating the same lie this morning.
This is what we’re up against.
This is what our two most senior officials are now up against.
That makes Dave’s point relevant and, even more so, important.
Ange and Dominic McKay have two choices here in their respective roles; they can either be alert to this stuff and call it out when it happens – along with all the cheating and corruption which we know full well goes on – or they can “take it on the chin” like Mowbray did.
Like Lennon did to an extent last year.
Like Lawwell did for too long.
If these two men decide to go that way we’re asking for trouble and it will not be long in coming.
If they choose to heed the warning and understand where they are and what surrounds us, they will be better off for it and so too will Celtic itself.