Back when Michael Beale took over as the Ibrox boss he gave a series of press statements which were so deranged and out there, so cynical, that I nicknamed him The Mooch, after Trump’s notorious, short-lived Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, whose downfall was assured because of his own daft statements out of his own big mouth.
I have used the nickname ever since and over and over again he has justified it. Yesterday was no exception. The thing is, although the nickname is basically me dissing him the truth is that the media which covers him is more deserving of scorn than he is. It is obvious when this guy is bending the facts to suit his narrative; his mouth is moving.
I can barely believe the nonsense he trotted out when he sat in front of them yesterday. The only reason I do believe it is that some of the hacks have talked the same garbage. The Ibrox club does not need to qualify for the Champions League? They do not require the money? So they can afford to allow Celtic to grow the finance gap? Their non-participation will actually assure us an even bigger cut of the cash, as we won’t need to share the TV pool.
So what the Hell is this moron talking about, why is the media letting him away with it? Almost every person in the media, even some of those who’ve said this, know it is patently untrue.
They might be worried about seeing the team get dismantled in the Groups as they were in the last campaign, but they have to know that the money is too good and that their club most definitely needs it. The Mooch himself knows his budget was given to him largely on the proviso that he built a side that was good enough to make those Groups.
People in their boardroom – those who approved that spending – must have been aghast. Imagine how they feel hearing him dismiss the possibility of a Champions League exit as no big deal. They have spent money the club does not have, and they only did that on the caveat that they would get it back with qualification for those Groups.
The Mooch loves to make excuses. He loves to try and deflect. He loves to point his finger at other people and comment on what they are doing, but he hates proper scrutiny. Which is probably why he loves being at Ibrox, because he doesn’t get any.
But their club cannot afford to leave that money on the table, and they definitely cannot afford for us to make it whilst they don’t. That’s crazy. Even with our board and their aversion to spending anything extravagant, we’re going to spend more than £20 million in this window, and although we got a chunk for Jota that’s still insane for Scotland.
And the fact is, with Champions League cash this year we’re going to be able to spend big in January if we need to in order to make sure we can do it again next summer if we have to.
If we’ve won the title they are in even more trouble because the next Champions League campaign will be worth more than ever. They definitely cannot afford for us to get that. If they don’t get to the Groups next week they are in trouble, because they can’t spend in January like we can and that window might be the one which wins the most important title in years.
Only he would get away with that. No Celtic manager would ever be able to say that and have the media basically all nod in silence, which they might as well have. A Celtic manager who said that would be crucified by the press and accused of getting his excuses in early. A Celtic manager isn’t allowed to lose one of these ties, far less talk about it this way beforehand.
Bear in mind, when Ange Postecoglou went out of the Champions League he was told – not asked, but told – by the BBC just seconds after the final whistle that it was “a catastrophe”. He had been in the job five minutes.
If was his third or fourth game. He didn’t have his signings in place. The Mooch has had plenty of time to get his ideas across, and he has spent big this summer … for what? To play in the Europa League? That’s a joke and everyone knows it.
But nobody says it. Which is an even bigger joke.