“Postecoglou: Celtic aren’t interested in further January signings” screams STV. “
Ange Postecoglou: No more Celtic signings planned in January” screams Sky Sports News.
You’d think that is definitive, right? Indeed, the Celtic boss was absolutely emphatic in what he said, and he actually told the hacks who were assembled there that he doesn’t lie.
But the media does lie. And it misrepresents.
Instead of focussing on the specific words that came out of the manager’s mouth they have chosen, yet again, to interpret what he actually said. This guy talks about as straight as anyone in the history of the game here. There is no need to add-on or reimagine or read between the lines with him.
And they do it again and again and again and again and again.
So what did Ange actually say?
That all the speculation up until now, linking with the club with multiple names has been garbage. The “20 names” the internet invents tomorrow will be garbage.
When there is something concrete, they will know it from him.
“As we speak right now, there are no other offers or people I have spoken to,” he said.
This is a disavowal of all the current names doing the rounds.
The key phrase here is “as we speak right now” which professional journalists should understand full well.
“So the 20 names that come out tomorrow are all lies and fabrications,” he said.
Again, an explicit reference to circumstances as they stand right now. Since there is nothing else on the horizon, any suggestion that we’ve made bids for people is untrue.
“Or they’re from people at home bored and Googling names and throwing them up there, or agents trying to get a little more value for their clients,” he said.
Again, perfectly straightforward. With the Australian about to sign for Middlesbrough we’re not currently in talks with anyone else, and certainly not anyone else whose name is in the papers.
“I can’t be any clearer than that, and what I won’t do is lie,” he said. He’s right.
He couldn’t be any clearer if he tried.
And he followed up with this. “There’s no one else we’re talking to, there’s no other offers, no one else I’m showing interest in. If that changes, I’ll let you know.”
Again, explicit. “If that changes, I’ll let you know.”
If we had decided that there was no further business to be done, what would change?
What would there be to know?
This is the complete opposite of saying that we won’t be making any further moves.
He explained the deal that’s broken down was “something that came up” because he knows the player well; Ange has talked about as straight here as he possibly can.
What he did not say – what did not come out of his mouth – is that with a fortnight of the window left to go that we will do no further business. He did not say that we will not make further moves, just that there’s nothing on the horizon yet.
So where is the media getting that from?
They are inventing it.
They are taking his words and instead of a plain text reading of them – which our manager has surely earned – they are elaborating, twisting and fabricating meaning that he almost certainly did not intend.
Sky’s headline at least come closer to the mark, in that there’s nothing specific on the table at the moment.
But STV’s is an outright piece of fiction.
We were willing to spend £3 million on the Australian midfielder.
That should tell you that this is a position where the manager thinks we need some extra cover.
It would have been strange to say the least if he had said that the business for this window is done … but he didn’t say that at all, no matter how many headlines scream that he did.