No matter which way you cut it, the story of the day is the one that nobody in the press is going to explore too deeply, even if you put a gun to their heads.
It’s the incredible allegation, last night, from the CEO at Hibs, that a “whistle-blower” who ran to The Daily Record to tell a story of how their players broke virus protocols in an Inverness hotel was “from the blue half of Glasgow.”
That story is remarkable, and already the Ibrox fan sites are screaming blue murder and demanding that their club report this conduct to the governing bodies in an effort to have the guy sanctioned.
What are they going to do?
Ban him from the director’s box for two games?
I doubt he will care.
I had never heard of this guy before last night; he is worth watching.
I was actually unaware of the details of what he was talking about; they have helpfully been provided by an Ibrox fan site which laid the full story out there.
This guy was so angry at seeing Hibs player walking about unmasked that he couldn’t wait to phone his favourite newspaper.
A Glasgow based paper with a pro-Ibrox slant.
The guy is, apparently, a self-confessed Ibrox fan.
I wonder how many other times he’s been out and seen people without masks on.
A few I’d wager; I certainly have on my own travels and adventures. Perhaps he complained to the hotel staff, but he didn’t call the police although these guys would technically have been breaking the law.
No, he called a national newspaper. And the SPFL.
A concerned citizen?
Perhaps yes, if you were willing to make that argument you could certainly do so, but the Hibs CEO doesn’t think so at all.
He accused the guy of deliberately trying to cause trouble for the club, and of chasing a few headlines for himself.
Of course, I’m not going to do anything of the kind … but the Hibs CEO certainly seems to think that there was a lot more to this than simple civic concern. His suggestion that it was from “the blue half of Glasgow” appears, to me, to be a nod and a wink to the wise.
Maybe I’m crazy.
Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t really there.
But Hibs next match is against the Ibrox club, in a cup semi-final no less.
If you wanted to swing that one and you had information which could damage Hibs, The Record is who I’d call.
Because if the tabloid rag in question was hoping to do a few favours for its Ibrox brethren (and when are they not?) and they started banging the SFA and the SPFL’s door to take action against Hibs for these alleged offences … well you might as well hand Ibrox that tie.
And you know what else?
They play them again just weeks later … and whilst the bans (probably) wouldn’t extend that far (three matches is what the Aberdeen players got, but critically, Ibrox players were banned for six games and seven games during separate incidents and a ban that length would also take in the league game) it would certainly be disruptive to have so many players effectively not playing competitive football for many weeks.
This is the fishiest of fishy stories.
And I bet we’re not finished with it yet, because Ibrox’s moon-howling PR wing will be hard at work crafting a response to it, doubtless one loaded down with poison and urging that the governing bodies towards and investigation and action.
I’m not going to claim, of course, that there is collusion between the club and this “whistle-blower” but I bet it feels a lot like it to those at Hibs who are trying to sort through this messy situation with no ideal outcome for their club.
I mean, maybe the chief at Hibs is wrong.
Maybe we’re wrong to see a connection between the complaint and their next opponent … but if it looks like it and smells like it, you surely don’t have to taste it to recognise what it is.