Mark Pirie, at The Daily Record, has today manufactured an anti-Celtic news story out of an innocuous remark made by the coach at Atlanta who signed Giorgios Giakoumakis recently.
When I saw the headline I found it more than a little odd; “Celtic dealt veiled Giorgios Giakoumakis dig as Atlanta United chief vents on visa woes after transfer delay.”
I thought to myself reading that, “Surely they aren’t subscribers to the Global Conspiracy Of The Unseen Fenian Hand?”
Because they’d need to be to believe that our club has anything whatsoever to do with who gets work permits and how they are processed. There is quite literally nothing Celtic can do either to slow that process down or speed it up.
On the other hand, if Atlanta, say, didn’t have their paperwork in order, that could slow it down to a crawl and cause all sorts of problems for them. I’m not saying that happened here, but if he’s not got a work permit sorted out yet then there’s a mess somewhere.
Pirie seems to be suggesting that they’re blaming us, so I obviously had to read the article for myself to find out why they’d be doing that and – surprise! –they are doing no such.
He claims that it’s a veiled dig?
Well you can say that again.
Veiled if what that word has come to mean is “not actually there at all.”
So what did the guy actually say?
Well, first, the whole article reeks of Daily Record hypocrisy. The upshot of it appears to be that Celtic were naughty by “holding out” for a transfer fee instead of a loan with an option to buy. I thought that was our right, as the club who holds his contract, as the team which got him on a long term deal, but apparently we broke some kind of footballing covenant there.
“The American side were initially keen to land the Greece international on a loan deal with bonuses triggering a permanent transfer to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” Pirie writes. “But Celtic would hold firm in the talks until the Eastern Conference side met their valuation of the towering frontman, which led to the transfer rumbling on well beyond the end of the transfer window in Scotland.”
Shame on us, right? How dare we do that!
He goes on to write the following. “Lagerwey has appeared to shift the blame on to Celtic for the issues facing the striker, telling the Atlanta Journal: We’ve had to reset some things. Obviously, you’ve seen us move a number of players out … Would we have loved to have done (the incoming deals) earlier? Sure. But given the amount that had to come out before we could bring anything in, I think we wound up in a pretty reasonable spot. And we’re very excited now about the season.”
Maybe it’s just me who doesn’t see the least reference to Celtic in that statement, veiled or otherwise.
Maybe it’s just me who sees only a guy doing an honest-to-God assessment of where his team is and who was fully aware of the realities of the situation. They had to sell before they could buy, which is how it works at most clubs.
To get an anti-Celtic story out of that is quite some achievement.
Pirie has basically written a work of fiction here and his paper has slapped a headline on it. It is a desperate attempt to get hits and clicks and that’s all it is, and it’s become an industry norm.
No wonder that industry is almost dead on its feet.