Apparently, Kris Boyd and the new Ibrox CEO James Bisgrove did a nice wee bit of mutual backslapping last night on Sky. An “interview” between the two was shown before their game against Hearts.
Good God, can you even imagine how bad that would have been?
Boyd, who needs a team of advisors just to tie his shoelaces, expected to ask interrogative questions and get to the facts that the Ibrox fans need to make informed decisions about their club? You really do deserve the leaders you get, and Sky deserves the damage being done to its reputation by gruesome spectacles such as this.
One of the worst BBC Sports Scotland moments of recent years was when Tom English, for reasons known only to Tom English, decided to do an “in depth” interview with Boyd. It was so laughable even his own BBC colleagues openly mocked it.
Michael Stewart went on social media and branded it a joke.
And it was, a toe-curling piece of radio so soul sapping that the number of people who tried hard drugs for the first time must have peaked after it was aired. And bear in mind, that was English interviewing him.
Boyd as the interviewer? A thousand times more appalling.
So I didn’t watch it. I haven’t seen it.
I won’t watch it, even under threat of torture. (Even if someone straps me to a chair and puts headphones on me and makes me listen to the English-Boyd interview again. And I would rather dip my feet in acid than that.)
But from the pieces that have appeared on some of the blogs today – ours and theirs – I can get a sense of how ridiculous it was, and from only one part of the discussion.
The part on our ticketing battle with Ibrox and Boyd and Bisgrove trying to palm the blame off on somebody else. I am indebted to my fellow Celtic bloggers at 67 Hail Hail for their coverage of this earlier in the day.
They have gone where I fear for my sanity to tread.
And according to that site, and their writer Hamish Carlton, this is how Boyd chose to frame the question, and you’ll see right away that it’s not a question at all but his own peculiar stab in the dark.
He’s feeding Bisgrove the answer he wants, which is where Sky’s editorial department should have smelled the sour stench wafting off the whole thing and called it off.
“I think everyone connected with Celtic think it’s Rangers and everyone connected with Rangers think it’s Celtic … There are obviously other parties in the middle contributing to the 7 or 8,000 fans not being allowed to come to the grounds.”
And Bisgrove’s answer to this was, ““You’re exactly right, Kris.”
What happened next?
Did the fearless interrogator prod the interviewee for a clearer, more expansive, answer? Did he demand to know who these other people – who nobody has ever mentioned before now – actually are?
Of course he didn’t. He wouldn’t know where to start.
There are two issues which arise from this and both are important in their own way.
The first, obviously, is the utter absence of any journalistic criteria in setting up and doing a soft-seat, soft-ball piece like this. It’s basically pro-Ibrox PR, subsidised by Sky customers.
It’s a sign of a Scottish sports department which has no standards to speak of.
The second thing is that these two are basically at it, and creating an entirely fictitious narrative around this issue now, in part because I sense they realise that the argument has been lost.
How can they possibly win it after Celtic has pummelled them by refusing tickets and forcing them to do the same? And when Ibrox advertises a pre-season friendly on the same basis that this site has pointed out they could have used to guarantee our fans a proper allocation?
Boyd’s very question – if we’re calling it that – is preposterous and suggests that no blame should be apportioned anywhere.
Bisgrove’s answer, that Boyd is right to surmise there is a “third party” in all this, basically contradicts the premise of the question itself which is that everyone inside Parkhead blames everyone inside Ibrox and vice versa.
Why would they, if they know the mystery third party is what’s really in the way?
’ll tell you right now; everyone inside Parkhead does blame Ibrox and the reason is clear and obvious and known to every reader of Celtic fan media. This is entirely their fault.
They made this decision. Bisgrove himself has confirmed that they will only change it – they will change it, not the mysterious third party – when he has squared it with his own fans.
What we’re watching here is the evolution of a lie, and one that Sky has allowed to be birthed on their air.
That’s not acceptable.
They can throw whatever softballs at this geezer that they like, and use the Village Idiot to lob them … but they don’t get to flagrantly make up stuff about Celtic. That’s where our club should be demanding answers.
Before this season ends, I expect us to clarify whether or not we’ll be taking Ibrox tickets.
Right now I don’t think that there are any grounds for doing so. When their club is willing to spin this issue to absolve itself of blame, you can sense what their tactics will be in talks with us over fan safety.
It is high time we publicly put this lot in their place.