All season long, so far, it has been in the air like a noxious fart that won’t dissipate no matter how many windows you open; the idea that before long the press would be linking our superstars with moves to England.
It was inevitable.
Less than 24 hours after we thumped the pretenders of Ibrox, the Scotsman is off and running with the story that Liel Abada is wanted by Crystal Palace. Celtic, who have him tied down for the next four and a half years, are said to be “reluctant to sell.”
Yeah, in the way that I’d be “reluctant” if someone offered me £50 for one of my kidneys. In short, I would probably piss myself laughing before putting down the phone.
You’ll notice that this story has emerged three days after the window has closed; how convenient, that Palace waited until then before leaking their interest to the press. I mean, you wouldn’t invent this (although someone clearly did.)
The Hootsman is not a serious newspaper of course; it’s the fanzine of Tory Scotland, with fewer readers than the average blog. (Fewer, by far, than this one and I’m not tooting my own horn here, simply expressing how little Scotland pays them any heed.)
But this stuff is like the virus we’re all still dealing with; once it’s in the air it will spread.
Before the night is out the story will have shifted from one of how Ibrox’s team was destroyed on the park to questions about how long we can hold onto the players who did it.
This is ring-and-run journalism, requiring not one iota of skill and not one ounce of courage.
It is a journalistic turd with glitter on the top of it and we should simply dismiss it and all the derivations of it which are certain to come.