Nacho Novo is at it again. Today, an interview he’s given FourFourTwo has surfaced in which he repeats the ancient lie that he turned Celtic down to sign on at Ibrox.
The claim is, and the claim has always been, risible nonsense contradicted by the facts.
I have never been able to figure out who Novo is truly lying to here.
Is it the Ibrox fans, because he doesn’t want them to think he’d have signed for Celtic if the money had been right?
Is it the Celtic fans who he wants to mourn his “snub?”
Is he lying to himself, unable to take the hurt at being told that we didn’t consider him as valuable as he thought he was?
The press loves his version, although many of them are well aware that it is transparently fictitious.
Celtic’s manager at the time was Martin O’Neill; both he and the hierarchy at the club were adamant that Novo wasn’t worth the fee he demanded or the wages he thought he’d breeze up to Parkhead and command. He says Rangers proved they “wanted him more”; it’s code, and not well disguised code, for “they offered me more cash.”
At no point did it come down to a choice between Celtic and Rangers; that choice was never on the table for Novo.
He went to Parkhead for talks, the club heard what he was looking for and sent him on his way.
That’s the truth of it. He was snubbed. We were not.
He went across the city, signed for them and channelled all his bitterness.
Before long, he had swallowed their creed whole, and the Catholic from Ferrol in Spain turned himself into a twisted parody of uber-Protestantism, even making frequent sojourns over to Belfast to hobnob with the dregs of Ulster Loyalism, who he counts amongst his “friends” today where he’s a regular on their engagements circuit.
Novo is a loathsome little man, one of the vilest individuals ever to associate himself with the messy politics and nascent bigotry of this part of the world. It does something to the stupider folks who get tied up over there; I think he and Gascoigne are the shining examples of what happens when you put low wattage brain power in the vicinity of that toxic soup.
He lives in a world of utter fantasy because that lie he tells so regularly has come to define his life.
He’s repeated it so many times now I suspect that he believes it and doesn’t even question where his loathing of Celtic comes from.
Well it comes from coming to our club with a way too high opinion of himself and finding out that it wasn’t shared by the people he most wanted to impress.
Then, like many a jilted lover, he turned his hopes to hatred. It’s not unique.
Neither is he. A second rate player, the only thing Novo has ever excelled at is being a nasty minded little man.
At that, he genuinely holds his own.