If there is one trend in our media which is easily identifiable it is that Celtic must always be on the end of a negative. One of the most commonly used tactics is for the press to literally invent transfer stories involving us which they know are going nowhere.
Then, when those stories have generated a little heat and the player gets a move they can write the most famous Celtic transfer story of all; the “Celtic have been snubbed” story.
There is plenty of evidence of this online today.
At least two players where transfer stories about us have sprung up are now being linked to moves to other teams. There was not the least bit of evidence that either of those players actually interested Celtic in any way, shape or form.
But that’s sort of the point. The “Celtic snubbed” story doesn’t need to rely on evidence, only a paper trail leading from the media itself.
Time after time already the media has been caught doing this. Numerous players have sat in front of the press at their new clubs amidst those stories and flatly denied any contact with Celtic at all. There is never a word of retraction from the press.
The big one today is about Ko Itakura; I’ve said from the start that story smelled like the media putting two and two together to get five. That he’s Japanese and that he’s contracted to the City Group is all the “proof” that media requires to write their stories about Celtic’s interest, this in spite of not one word out of Parkhead indicating that it’s true.
The story actually doesn’t fit at all. The reason Ange went out and signed Kyogo, Hatate, Maeda and Ideguchi is that he watched all these guys play the last couple of seasons. It doesn’t indicate a preference for Japanese players.
The whole idea that it’s the nationality of the footballer that makes all the difference is nonsensical. Ange has probably never seen this guy in the flesh, so the interest in him was always more speculative than realistic.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the press from writing a rash of stories today about how we face “competition” for his signature. Nowhere in any of these article are the words “provided Celtic is even interested in the player in the first place” – which to me is the all-important qualifier which ought to be in every single one of them.
The “Celtic snubbed” story they would really enjoy, of course, would be the one about Rabbi Matondo. I wrote about that a week or so ago, a story which has very little in it to suggest that it’s true. He plays wide left, where we’re about to spend a lot of money on Jota and where Maeda has proved to be an outstanding asset.
The thing that they love about this story is an alleged link to Ibrox; their dream is to be able to write something wherein a player apparently has the option of both clubs – whether we’re truly interested or not – and ends up signing for them.
Not that I believe Matondo – a player who would cost proper money and has real interest from other clubs – will end up at Ibrox anyway. But nor did I ever really believe for one minute that he would end up at Celtic Park. There are a lot of agents out there playing games, and the media – as per usual – is playing its own.
Ignore all of it. Or try to. The hacks will not make it easy.
They throw different names into the hat every day, and they do it, in least in part, so that they can follow those stories up with nonsense like that which is filling the media this afternoon.
They have no idea what we’re doing behind the scenes.
Last season, almost every major signing caught them totally by surprise. It will be the same this year. In the meantime, don’t pay a blind bit of notice to “Celtic snubbed” stories … this is their stock-in-trade.
Our club is due to play a high profile friendly for The Holy Goalie soon … how well do you know our Polish players? Take the quiz and find out. It’s a nice way to relieve the boredom of the Silly Season.