Yesterday a couple of the sites did articles on Stephen McGowan’s Daily Mail story where he seemed to reveal details of Celtic player contracts which only someone with an inside track would know.
I’ve written about the leaker at Celtic; that person needs to be identified and ripped out of the club by his or her hair. But is the leak responsible for every story which finds its way into the public domain?
McGowan’s story yesterday painted Celtic as a penny pinching club intent on replacing Juranovic with a player of lower quality. It read like a snide and bitchy piece, quite pitiful in the way it sought to make Johnston seem like a lesser option; has McGowan seen enough of the player to make a judgement call like that? Of course not.
He also repeated the wholly ludicrous suggestion that Juranovic’s agent accepted a “verbal promise” that the deal he and the player signed when we acquired him would be renegotiated. The implication is that the club has done this guy wrong, by low-balling the offer for him. That makes this a malicious report … but is it a malicious leak?
Let’s be blunt; if McGowan is working off a leak then the leaker is not just someone who wants to look good to a couple of hacks but someone actively intent on doing our club harm, and as such I echo what my friends in the blogosphere have written.
McGowan was a favourite of the club when Lawwell was CEO, and whilst it is tempting to see the hand of that man in every dodgy deed I don’t see anything in the article which suggests that it’s the work of a leaker.
He makes a claim that two other Celtic players are on double the salary of Juranovic but I’ve read stuff like that before and it wasn’t based on leaks but on nonsensical sources like Football Manager and similar.
Equally, this could be the sacked agent bleating to McGowan, and that makes as much sense as anything does. But something makes more sense even than that.
What was immediately obvious was not the content of the piece but the tone of it; it could be the work of a journalist who no longer gets access to juicy info from inside the club doing an angry hatchet job on us instead. It reads like one.
Everyone knows that if you aren’t feeding the media you risk the media feeding on you instead, and there was a reason I used to call McGowan “Lawwell’s pet hack”.
But Lawwell hasn’t been CEO for a while and this club runs a bit differently than when he was there … tame hacks might no longer get the stories they used to, and I can understand why that would annoy them.
I’ll tell you this much; it wasn’t a leaker who steered McGowan towards his contention that we are trying to replace Juranovic on the cheap. That came from the journalist himself and his own view on what’s going on here.
So there’s certainly some bitterness at play here and that might be important to consider.
That and the certainty that someone at Parkhead has definitely been talking to people they shouldn’t be … and that person still has to be found whether they’re behind this or not.