You know what our media is starting to sound like to me?
One of those sad-sacks who spends his or her life going round to the neighbour’s house and gawping at all their fancy stuff, and trying to get invited to their parties so they can have a shot in the hot-tub and recline on the fancy leather seats.
They cannot enjoy their own lives or their own surroundings because every waking moment is spent in a kind of wearying, grinding envy and sick fascination with the house next door.
Let’s be honest, friends in Celtic, we have never been blessed by a great and crusading media here. If we were then the scourge of racist singing from the Ibrox support would have been erased decades ago. Someone might have asked David Murray where the money was coming from. There might have been scrutiny of refereeing before now.
No, we’ve never had it exactly good here but by God it has been better than this. Better than the press corps of the present time, surrounded by people who see our game up here as nothing but a poor imitation of the one down south.
They do not debate its merits, but highlight its faults over and over again. They have a strong sense of what I’ve called on this site The Cringe. They are ashamed of the sport they cover, whereas I am just ashamed that such people as these cover it.
They should want every good player in Scotland to stay here and every good manager to be here to enhance our game and see our clubs develop better until we’re back punching in Europe, but they have fallen into a role that even their counterparts down south don’t play; that of uber-boosters for the bloated English Premier League.
Look at the English media and how they cover their game.
Many of them think it’s obsession with money is grotesque and the panic that sets in at clubs who are seen to be struggling, and that forces them to sack managers creates a circle of fear and greed which gets worse as time passes.
They recognise the steady creeping influence of oligarchies who are hoovering up clubs and who the game should not want near it. And the influx of such huge wealth has created a vast divide between the players and the fans such as has never existed before. The wave of off-field scandals involving young guys with way too much money and time on their hands is only going to grow until it taints that entire league. There is no end in sight.
Our media worships that league and all in it. Some of its clubs and their fans have wholly unrealistic views of themselves as “big teams” because they suddenly have oodles of cash; many of them haven’t noticed that they are the same mediocrities they’ve always been, only now they have the swagger of wealth. Most of them will never win a thing.
The thing is, this appalling and utterly wrong-headed view is shared by the press here. They genuinely think that these clubs are our equals and that they hold an attraction for everyone in the game. It is the only football environment in the world where “success” is measured in a top four finish or staying a “member” of their wee club.
That league rewards managers well. But it’s a graveyard for many careers. The only consolation is that the money is so remarkable that most of these guys need never work again, but for a manager like Ange, who might only get one chance at it, it’s a dangerous place.
Only a handful of chairmen have the patience for long term solutions; had Ange got off to a start in the EPL like he made at Celtic I have no doubt he’d have been under real pressure. He may even have been sacked before he was properly established in the job. Even teams out-with the EPL who have taken a “punt” on a boss can act rashly because their board’s see a chance to reach the Promised Land go begging. It is a madhouse.
But our media worships it like an obsessed consumer sucking up to a guy in a boat showroom who actually has the money to buy a boat. If there was a sniff of a chance of going riding out on the waves they would kiss feet and I don’t even want to think about what else.
Our media and its EPL love-a-thon makes me sick.