Whenever a former player of ours, who works in the media, publicly states that he won’t be a “yes man” or “cheerleader” for our club I get worried. Not because our club was looking for such a person in the mainstream press, but because the matter obviously plays on his mind a bit. Has someone alleged differently? Is he worried someone might?
Mark Wilson did that this weekened, in his column for the Herald and Evening Times off-shoot The Celtic Way,
Wilson sounds like a guy who spends too long worrying about what other people might think, and that concerns me in a number of ways.
For the record, I don’t think Celtic fans want media “allies” who simply trot out the party line.
One of the things we like most about big Sutton and Hartson, Stan Petrov and others is that they are capable of rationally analysing our club when circumstances demand it.
They have criticised where that’s been called for. They have praised when it is deserved.
But nor do we want Andy Walker types, people who are so determined to seem “impartial” that they balance any praise with criticism that more often than not is underserved or so over the top that it can’t be taken seriously.
We call them Uncle Tims, because they try so desperately to fit in with their mainstream media “colleagues” that they turn the guns on Celtic for the slightest excuse. They have no credibility because we know what they are up to.
Wilson sounds dangerously close to that level with his article today defending his “impartiality.”
You know what?
Someone who is truly impartial and secure in what he or she is doing doesn’t have to defend it or vow to uphold it, they just get on with doing the job. If Wilson hadn’t said anything I’d have assumed he’s content with his performance … but he sounds like someone desperately second guessing himself and we’ve seen what comes from that.
Nobody wants a cheer-leader. We can do without them. There are still very serious problems at Celtic Park, and once again they are being disguised by the performances of the team and a manager whose appointment is in the news again and which I’ll be talking about later. Save to say that recent revelations don’t make me any more confident in our board.
So we need people in the media who care passionately about Celtic, passionately enough anyway to give it scrutiny when that is called for.
What we do not need are more hacks so in thrall to their new media paymasters that they chase cheap headlines and try to stay on the “good side” of the audience by subjecting to us to a harsher standard than everyone else, thus putting the boot into us every chance they get.
He conjures up at least one phantom when he talks about people in our support who use referees as excuses when they lose … maybe it’s been so long since we lost that it’s actually slipped my mind, but I don’t recall us doing that this season. At all.
What we want – and what we need – is basic fairness.
For honest-to-God analysis which says we’re brilliant when we are … and can be measured and reasonable when we aren’t.
I never thought Wilson was one of those, any more than I thought he was a “cheerleader” for the club. But someone’s been in his ear, and got him trotting out the kind of stuff that makes me despair.
This guy might be one for the watching.