Whenever I hear a story that sounds, in the blogging sense, like it’s too good to be true, I always take it with a pinch of salt. I heard one today, and it’s worth examining in some detail.
Broken down, the story goes something like this; it was a Clyde 1 hack who “inquired” of UEFA as to whether or not we had broken registration rules with respect to Abada.
There are two questions to ask here.
First, is the story true? Did that actually happen?
The only evidence that it did appears to be a tweet he sent “informing” us that the player had been registered the day before and that everything was above board.
Second, if he did do it, was this a malicious inquiry or simply someone in the broadcast journalism business soliciting information so that they could pass it on to anyone who might be interested in it? You know, someone in that profession actually doing their job?
It’s not as daft as it sounds.
When I emailed UEFA to find out about Ange Postecoglou’s UEFA license after it became obvious that the club wanted him as manager, I did that because that was critical information the supporters needed to know.
It was a contributory factor in the length of time it took for Ange to finally start the Celtic job, and because the ex-Ibrox footballer Muscat had waited months to get his issues resolved it wasn’t something we didn’t need to worry about.
So not every inquiry of this sort is inherently vindictive.
Except, in the case where I emailed about Postecoglou the debate was being had already. There was a lot of contradictory information in the public domain, and I simply thought that we needed to get to the bottom of it and find out what the facts were.
In this case, who realistically believed that we hadn’t done our due diligence?
Who actually believed that Celtic would have screwed up so badly? Even without our board and their penchant for mistakes, does McKay strike you as prone to those sort of errors?
I didn’t even bother querying it, because the idea of it was just so absolutely ridiculous. Celtic may have shown a nerve-shredding tendency to make a mug of things of late, but there was no way that I believed, even for a second, that we’d done that.
So really, was the query strictly necessary?
The UEFA website might not have had the up to date information on it, but even then I never seriously believed that we had made such a momentous and costly mistake, and especially not when we’ve benefited from similar screw ups in the past.
In that respect then, I think anyone who was responsible for running to UEFA with this “inquiry” was less interested in public information than with some other motivation.
Knowing the press as we do, it’s very tempting, and very easy, to see it as someone thinking they could take a free shot; if it scores, great, but if it doesn’t then no harm done anyway, right? You can almost hear the wheels rotating.
Which brings us back to question one; did it actually happen?
Is the Clyde guy merely relaying information he’s heard somewhere else, or was he the one who chased it up?
I’ll tell you this; someone in the mainstream media chased this up.
Someone actually asked UEFA this question, and I am 100% sure of that.
The likes of Tom English and Keith Jackson would have found it easily to believe that Celtic are such a shambles because of their own inherent biases … that’s why so many of us find it easy to believe that someone in their business would have done this.