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Celtic Fans Continue To Ponder The “Ibrox Snubbed” Story That Died.

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Whenever I take a couple of days off this site, there are two things guaranteed to happen; the first is that I will re-appear at some stage to write something instead of taking it easy and the other is that it’ll be during those days that a bizarre story pops up which I have to wait to tackle, although I’m itching to get stuck into it right away.

This is one of the ones I missed, and one of the ones I knew I would have to revisit; the bizarre story of the Aaron Mooy article which appeared online, at The Record, under Gavin Berry’s name, only to vanish like the proverbial fart in the wind.

The story claimed that Ibrox made a late bid for him, with Van Bronckhorst himself leaving several messages on the answering machine of the player’s agent.

That story definitely existed. There are screenshots of it everywhere. Berry wrote it, published it, and then someone pulled it and no-one has commented on it since. Why did Berry pull it? Because it was wrong information … or because he was told to?

We’ll get back to that in a minute. It’s an important one.

This happened days ago and the story seemed to have died. But an odd thing took place today; Alex McLeish claims to have heard “whispers” of an Ibrox interest in the player. He’s not the only one. Those whispers have been doing the rounds.

Is that what Berry heard? His information seems a lot more specific than that.

If Berry had that story, and if he had it cold, then why did it get a pull? Because let’s not kid ourselves, that’s a scoop and a half and any journalist would be delighted with it and they would be right to be. That story would have trended like crazy on social media and would have gotten the guy a lot of brownie points for putting it out there.

He knows all this, of course, which is why he did it in the first place.

If the story didn’t collapse because it wasn’t solid, then just what happened to it? Clearly someone above Berry’s head would have had to have taken the decision to spike it. What force could motivate a national title to bury a legitimate piece of news?

I think we’re entitled to speculate. And I think, furthermore, that in light of the BBC’s embarrassing and humiliating climb-down to Ibrox in the same week we’re entitled to be concerned about it. More than that, it brings into sharp focus the consequences of Ibrox’s media policy; if you’re paying for access to those sort of events you are, by virtue of that, compromised and obviously restricted in what you can say or publish.

Look, the minute you write that cheque you’re saying “we need you more than you need us.” And if the results of writing something that their club doesn’t like is that your organisation’s access gets revoked, you lose both the money and what it was supposed to pay for. You reveal yourself to be in a position of desperate weakness.

If the media’s coverage of the sport here is now essentially being dictated by one club, that’s a problem. If they can pick up the phone to an editor and express their disapproval with a factual story, and have it killed, that’s bigger than whether Van Bronckhorst called an agent and pleased with his player to sign for their club instead of ours.

That’s something we should all be concerned about. Their media policy creates a serious credibility issue for everyone who signed up to it … you are leaving your objectivity at the door, and for a journalist that has to be soul destroying.

Amendment; If as some have suggested, this was an internet hoax then of course the central question at the heart of this piece is answered; we, on the other hand, will not be removing this piece as a result. The central question may be resolved but the issue of Ibrox charging money to media outlets for access remains current, and problematic, and corrupting. And we’re not in the business of removing articles anyway … that, after all, is the point of the piece in the first place.

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6 comments

  • Larsson7 says:

    The MSM remind me of Bo Jo and the Tory Government,lies lies and more lies…….

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    James if there’s any KLUB in Scotland that has ANY influence on the press it’s DEFINITELY the zombie followers, they’ve threatened, abused and re-threatened anyone that says something even remotely degrading for their wee snowflake-sevconian ears, the poor deluded souls that they are.
    I’ve read many tales about ipox and the press over the years, NONE positive ALWAYS looking for an angle and bringing everyone/anyone down. SCUM BY ANY MEASURE.

  • SSMPM says:

    Seems strange to be even querying that the press are not independent given we all know the nature of their articles over the years, with the pro ibrox and anti Celtic slants and the motivation behind them.
    Of course though I agree that its worrying or rather continues to be worrying … more worrying still is that no one and no body in a position of power or influence is willing to do anything about it. Institutional orange-ism is simply being allowed to take over the meek and unwilling

  • Tam says:

    If a player signs for “the rangers” the SMSM will have us believe every club in the world wanted to sign them. If a player signs for CELTIC no one else was remotely interested in him that’s why we got him (SMSM). All made up of course. So that tells me that the Mooy story is “true”

  • Fun time frankie says:

    James I don’t know if you’ve heard this but allegedly, glasgow Lord provost Jac mc Laren is going to honour sevco with a civic reception for wait for it being 150 any news ?

  • NorthamptonTim says:

    Have BBC used taxpayers money to have a seat at the love nest

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