Do you remember the guys from Heart & Hand?
Yeah, these guys.
Well, they have the distinction of being the focus of part of the SFA statement from yesterday which attacked the Ibrox club for the way it has behaved in relation to Willie Collum. It was these guys, with their shady history, that the Ibrox board used to push out the story that they had demanded Collum not be in charge of any further games involving the club.
The SFA was rightly furious both about the breach of the meeting’s confidentially and the grotesque sight of the club trying to whip up the fan-base against one of its officials. For all the SFA is culturally compromised, something like this will leave scars that last.
“We note posts from a recent official media partner of the club’s, detailing requests from the private meeting that were immediately rejected,” the SFA statement read. “We would ask that club representatives show greater responsibility in such matters, especially in the context of recent incidents in European football that have compromised the safety of match officials and led to widespread condemnation.”
Heart & Hand responded with a truly bizarre reply, but one that – I will freely admit this – I was nearly busting a gut laughing over.
They took a shot at the SFA, sure, but they couldn’t resist a dig at us as well, the Celtic sites, although none of this shambles is anything at all to do with us, and their club has dug itself into this big hole all by itself.
“Dear @ScottishFA,” this bizarre missive ran. “We are not an ‘official media partner’ … that was a one season thing … We are constantly referred to as such on Celtic websites right enough, so it’s pretty telling on where you are getting your info.”
What a statement. Was that meant to be their big fire-breathing response? The head-shot? Pretty weak, if you ask me, and how daft of them to bring us into this.
Because I, for one, plead guilty.
Of course, I do. I do call these sites “official club media partners” and I always put it in quotation marks just as if I have here. There are two reasons why I do this; one is practical and the other is comical.
The practical reason is simple; I want to remind people that their club and these outlets are linked on a far deeper level than Celtic has linked up with any of our sites and that’s not a good thing. I like my relationship with Celtic just fine; it’s hands-off.
The club trusts the blogs and occasionally helps us with stories. But it recognises our independence and respects that. We have access, but in a limited way … if we had more access our sites might come to depend on it and then we would no longer be independent, we’d be on the leash and none of us is.
But these Peepul have opinions and state things so embarrassing at times that it is important to remind folk that the club considers them important and representative of the fan-base as a whole, which is very clearly a dreadful mistake.
Because that link works both ways.
They are not only dancing to the club’s tune almost all of the time but they are capable of dragging the club down into the deepest gutter, which is why I opened with that newspaper front page … and I think that’s important to highlight.
The comedic reason is that I find it extraordinary that when the club conducted that experiment in the first place that fan media outlets actually paid the money, as if the club doesn’t rake in enough cash from these folks with MyGers schemes and all the rest of it.
To charge a fan media organisation for the “privilege” of covering the team elevated piss-taking to bravura heights and I have always marvelled not only at how brazen that is … but that they got away with it.
Talk about insanity.
Basically, you’re paying to leave your objectivity at the door, and I never cease to be amazed that none of them realised that’s what they were being asked to do, and because the act of paying for access is to say to the club “we need you; you don’t need us.”
And yes, I love to rub their faces in that, because it’s an expression of disrespect for them and they don’t even recognise it as such, which tells you everything you need to know.
So I enjoyed that Tweet from them, and I was quite pleased to hold up my hands and say they have me bang to rights.
But that I’ve now had to explain to them the sheer contempt that lies behind affixing that tag to them is not surprising in the least. These are not the sharpest tools in the box. They are, to put not too fine a point on it, absolutely thick.