The media were at their worst this week, as we all well know. If they weren’t trying to have the game replayed they were publishing every excuse that anyone connected to Ibrox could be inspired to make. And along the way they published a series of pieces about the atmosphere at the game itself was lacking. Lacking what? Poison, in my view.
But the press wanted to keep the debate going, and one of the people they decided to quote was Tom Boyd. One newspaper scandalously headlined his claims with a reference to how Celtic should “wave the white flag.” Words that never came out of Tom Boyd’s mouth, as I am sure I don’t need to tell you. They really have no shame our media. None.
In fact, Boyd said nothing whatsoever that came as any surprise to me or most other Celtic fans. He said that there needs to be a solution by which we can get full allocations back into these guys. Bear in mind, I do not support that view at all; I much prefer Celtic Park without their bile polluting the airwaves. But Boyd has not said something controversial here.
The media continues to talk as if there is some intransigence on both sides here. The solution Boyd wants to see is exactly the same one that our club wants to see. They did not to drag his name into this as if he was telling our club to get around the table. He works in the Celtic Park media team. He knows full well what our policy is. All he did was articulate that.
But the press tried to paint it as if this was some revolutionary suggestion that we should be paying attention to as a club, as if we are the roadblock here and this is one of our own lecturing us about it and begging us to see sense.
It’s so flagrantly dishonest. It’s such a cheap line of attack, using our own guy, and that’s exactly all that it was. Just another avenue down which to come after us. The article in the Record, from Gannon, repeated the lie that Ibrox refused tickets out of concern for the safety of their fans instead of saying what we all know; it was concern for their reputation.
Celtic has said it in public. Celtic has said in private. Officials from our club have said it to select journalists. The manager has said it. Players have said it. Every one of the blogs knows about it and has written it; Celtic wants things to go back to how they were.
We are not the ones standing in the way of a deal. Any other outcome compromises the safety of our supporters and threatens to escalate this situation, and we have made that clear to the club that started all this in the first place, the club which is wholly to blame.
Instead of writing that – and analysing some of Ibrox’s nonsensical excuses for why that can’t happen, such as this guff about fans in those seats (you simply sell those seats at £100 discount and make it clear that the Celtic game isn’t covered) – they would rather continue to push this as a “plague on both our houses” for which we are partly to blame.
Their attempt to dragoon Boyd into that narrative was as dishonest as it was stupid.