Yesterday, Tom English had a pop at Celtic fans for lionising the fan media at the expense of the mainstream press. His contention was that it was possible to support the work that we do without necessarily decrying what they do themselves.
It would be a good point if he wasn’t so full of it.
English was being disingenuous as per usual, because in fact what he was talking about was not fans simply praising the supporter media outlets but defending them from the relentless bitchery and snarking of mainstream personalities including English himself.
He and his colleagues saw their chance to take a shot at all of us in the aftermath of the fan media conference a fortnight ago, and they weren’t going to pass it up.
The thing of it is, that was a hugely successful event which the fan-base as a whole appreciated and enjoyed.
The almost deranged response from the mainstream press was not a surprise in the least, because the idea that fan media should be taken seriously by clubs appals them and challenges their positions … they once had the monopoly on all this stuff and enjoyed being able to make and break careers and even twist words and lie with impunity.
They can’t do any of that now, because too many of us are watching them.
English seems to think we see the whole mainstream media as our enemies.
It’s not true and it never has been.
There are several people we take seriously and respect hugely, even some of those who have had a pop at us lately. Scottish football has one or two actual journalists in its ranks, and we know who they are.
Some of them do a thoroughly professional job.
Take the guys at The Athletic for example; there are great writers there and I have read many great articles on that site and couldn’t tell you what clubs some of them support because they are capable of keeping their emotions in check and sticking to the facts.
English has a cheek pretending he’s standing up for the mainstream press; twice in my memory, he has abandoned colleagues when the heat was on them because of online hate mobs.
It happened with Graham Speirs and it happened with Michael Stewart.
What was their crime? Speaking truth to the Ibrox power.
But that’s the biggest no-no in Scottish football at the moment, and indeed for as long as I remember.
Because, of course, it was an Ibrox director who not a half a week ago talked about “settling scores … on and off the pitch” as though he was a warlord who had just completed a coup and was looking forward to settling up with those who had opposed his incoming regime.
I mean, if the hacks were looking for something worthwhile to sink their teeth into they could start there; with tackling Bennet’s garbage about the great crime that was done to his club, putting the toxic Victim Lie under the microscope at last.
But that, of course, would mean challenging the other great untruth at the centre of the sport, the Survival Lie, and none of them have the bottle for that.
English knows that Celtic fan media and Celtic fans in general don’t hate the media just for the sake of it.
When he and most of his colleagues were hiding under the bed we were the only ones standing up for Michael Stewart and lobbying the BBC for his re-instatement.
We backed Speirs when he resigned because of the way his publication turned its back on Angela Haggerty when she was being subjected to the most horrendous abuse.
Where was English during that one?
Keeping his head down with the rest of the gutless wonders.
We’re taking no lectures from this geezer, and every word that has been uttered in support of the fan media in the last few weeks, every one of us appreciates it beyond mere words.
The media’s reaction to the very fact of that press conference tells you how worried they are about their own status.
It’s all they care about, and finally it’s under threat.