This article would have been very different had I written it last night, when I fully intended to. Jack Fitzwater the Livingston defender, who is leaving the country after three years at the club, had an alleged pop at our Japanese striker on the way out the door … he called him a “dirty player”. This story appeared in a national newspaper yesterday.
But although he said it – he freely admit that – he claims that he’s been quoted out of context. Remarks he claims to have made in a light-hearted way, and actually, even as a backhanded compliment, were instead blown up into an attack on our player.
Fitzwater is not a happy man. Neither were some of us who read the comments yesterday, but such is his anger I’m happy to accept his version of events. Not only does it seem credible, but it’s perfectly in keeping with the way some people in our media behave.
They will generate an anti-Celtic story, if they can, by any means necessary. They do not hesitate to do it whenever the opportunity arises. Fitzwater has learned what many knew already from bitter experience. Our hacks are a thoroughly deplorable shower and the opportunity to write a big, bad story about someone at Celtic Park is one they won’t resist.
It happens every now and again. They do it to people inside the club all the top; there were a number of these stories last season involving the former manager.
One such occasion came last season when a national title twisted Postecoglou’s words to make it sound like he and The Mooch were in complete agreement on VAR; this was true only if you were ignoring just about every word the Greek ever said on the subject. The idea that he and the Ibrox boss were on the same page on it was wholly ridiculous.
They are particularly fond of doing this to people at other clubs who happen to mention us. When Barkas spoke recently to talk about he had been made to feel welcome in Holland, at the club where he was out on loan, the media turned that into an attack on Celtic although you really had to work hard to turn it into one in any way, shape or form.
But they have no shame whatsoever, as Fitzwater has found out today. People should be very, very careful whenever they talk to this lot … especially when discussing Celtic. You never know what way your words are going to be spun against you … and us.