The Daily Record, in an article today on the news that English football is to get an “independent regulator” – which this website wrote about yesterday – discussed the merits of one particular part of the proposals, the creation of a “shadow board” where fans would get to scrutinise major club decisions.
For the most part, the article reflected the facts and laid out a good case for why the shadow board idea is a good one and would find favour with fans.
I’ll get to some other facts on it later, but let’s focus on the Record for now.
It claims, as that paper has so many times, that Celtic “jumped the gun” and that we did some sort of rebranding, when the Australian tour games were organised, in order to promote it as the AngeBall Tour.
The claim that it was Celtic who did this is a familiar one, as it’s been trumpeted from that rag over and over again.
But like a lot of other things which The Record has written over the years, it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In fact, this is a confection of Ibrox’s, which the Record continues to parrot as if it was a fact. But Celtic did no such thing.
For openers, Celtic did not “jump the gun” in any way, shape or form. The Australian media were the ones who jumped the gun. Reporters over there had the story locked down.
They knew every detail of the games, and they were the ones who went public.
Our media followed suit shortly afterwards … and they covered it exactly as the Aussie press had written the story. And it was the Aussie media who promoted it as Ange’s homecoming, and for perfectly obvious reasons. He’s a national hero over there and the focus on him was as obvious as it was inevitable.
Once the Scottish media was covering the story there was no point whatsoever in Celtic remaining silent about it.
Furthermore, The Record continues to call this an “Old Firm game abroad”.
Not only did Celtic very purposefully not call it that, but we didn’t even mention the name of the Ibrox club in any of the initial publicity and we very clearly forbade the use of that term in any of the official promotional materials. An online ticket retailer used the term once. Celtic made sure that it was the last time the phrase was actually put out there.
The Record as ever makes it look as if we hastily threw something together in order to get our announcement out first. Absolute nonsense.
It is clear – absolutely clear – when you look at the information Celtic released, including the videos and interviews of Ange, that we had been preparing for a formal launch for a while.
Those clips and the graphics and all the work had clearly been done some time before … and so we’d have been calling it the AngeBall Tour even if we’d held off until the organisers themselves went public with it.
We could only have taken that decision with the organisers on board.
If the Ibrox board really did believe that they were equals with us on this, that they were anything other than the side-show, then more fool them.
The Australian media knew who their focus would be on at once.
The organisers knew Ange was the big selling point. For the big man to return to his native land as a league title winning boss, as seemed more and more likely … well just how did Ibrox ever believe it could get an equal place in the spotlight?
“The fact Celtic reportedly jumped the gun with their announcement and branded it as manager Ange Postecoglou’s homecoming infuriated those on the other side of the city,” the Record writes, and you can see the problem at once.
That sentence should not have word “fact” anywhere near it. They have used the word “reportedly” which offers ambiguity … but if you’re doing that you can’t call it a fact can you?
Our club will take its licks when we do something wrong or get something wrong, and whilst I didn’t agree with us playing the match, and whilst I believe that they only got away with it because the whole event was framed around the manager, it became increasingly clear that Celtic on their own could not have pushed that line.
The Aussie media made it clear within hours of Celtic’s formal announcement that they saw this as Ange’s homecoming – indeed, as I’ve said before, they saw that before we announced it – and that Celtic would not have been able to prevent this interpretation from taking hold even if we had wanted to.
It is time the Record stopped whinging about it, and about time they stopped taking their cue from Ibrox on every little thing. Celtic did not “jump the gun.” It was not Celtic who branded this “the AngeBall homecoming tour.”
It played to our advantage to have the event marketed that way, but that was something the Aussie media played the greater part in.
I can understand why this burns people at the Record and at Ibrox … but they need to stop bitching about it and pretending that it was Celtic’s decision.