Ange’s “These people are not your friends” Warning and the Notable Exclusion of Fan Media from yesterday’s Press Conference

At last week’s press conference for the Celtic B team coach, Tommy McIntyre fielded questions from a mix of mainstream and fans media. It was an excellent press conference and it helped draw out information on how the process between the two Celtic squads would work ahead of the season. It was educational and informative and much of the drawing out of information was down to the Celtic Fan Media in place. Meanwhile the mainstream journalist from the Scotsman got involved in a spat with McIntyre that perhaps indicated a level of discomfort for the MSM being surrounded by Celtic supporters and a little out their comfort zone.

Yesterday’s MSM press conference, sadly this time without the fan media present saw some members of the press emboldened to resort to the time-honoured cut and paste and twist approach we’ve become accustomed to over the years.

First up the Daily Record’s Steven Mair conflated two separate quotes from Ange Postecoglou to engineer negative headlines. We have the link if you wish to read it, or don’t, and the press conference itself for you to compare and contrast.

The headline says it all.

‘Ange Postecoglou admits Celtic hesitated in transfer market as boss insists ‘it doesn’t take a genius to figure out’, Daily Record 

What the headline does is choose to lead the reader down the path that the Celtic manager was talking exclusively about Celtic’s transfer dealings so far. Instead, it mixed two sections of the interview, one talking about the transfer processes and challenges in the current environment and the other around the difficulties with the lack of strength in the players available for selection ahead of tonight’s game.

Was it an attempt to create division, was it a dishonest interpretation of the manager’s words or was it an honest mistake? Only the journalist and his editor could answer that. Whatever it was it wasn’t a true reflection of the manager’s message. And that can be dangerous if others follow suit.

And we saw that almost immediately, as once again in the spirit of habit another journalist followed up by twisting the words further, indeed creating one in particular that was never said to further create an impression of an angry manager firing warning shots to a Celtic board. Then going further still by indicating Celtic’s new manager was on the verge of a dressing down from Celtic’s principal shareholder as a result.

“‘Dermot Desmond doesn’t like it when journalist(s) suggest the club had been frugal or indecisive in the transfer market. Ange might be getting a phone call’” Tom English, BBC 

This time the BBC’s Tom English decided to add layers to the MSM deception by indicating Ange Postecoglou had accused the Celtic board of frugality in their transfer dealings as he declared on social media ‘Dermot Desmond doesn’t like it when journalist(s) suggest the club had been frugal or indecisive in the transfer market. Ange might be getting a phone call’.

Now I’m not aware Tom English even attended that press conference, instead the BBC sent Nick McPheat, and as such there is either an element of mischief making, or the BBC’s chief sportswriter not fact checking his impression of the press conference by clarifying with the man sent to the Presser. Either way it’s a bad look for a journalist of such seniority and with such responsibility to report accurately. It appears at least as if he is trying to put words into the mouth of the Celtic manager and encourage a narrative that the manager is already pushing his luck with the Celtic board. And these guys still wonder why there is a market for Celtic Fan Media.

The Celtic Star editor attended the fans media press conference and was attacked in the mainstream media and even by some of our own support and fellow fans media outlets for making Ange Postecoglou aware that members of the MSM were not his friends. I wonder what some of those people think after seeing yesterday’s press conference and how the MSM have since reported on it. Are they now aware the MSM response to deride that opening statement of the Ange Postecoglou unveiling was because it was close to the bone?

And of course Ange Postecoglou got his first experience of managing Celtic at the weekend with a Scottish referee in charge. As it was a friendly nothing much was made of Kevin Clancy’s remarkable decision to award a penalty against Scott Bain for effectively standing still with his arms out. Ange was warned about guys like Clancy too, was he not?

READ THIS FROM JAMES FORREST ON THE CELTIC BLOG…As Ange Was Warned, The Media Is Already Twisting The Celtic Manager’s Words

There is content Celtic Fan Media wish to create. The dearth of tactical questions for instance from the MSM in comparison to countries like Germany and Italy is a gap in the market and Fan Media can quench the Celtic supporters’ thirst for managerial insight on such subjects, but there is also age-old problems Celtic face. Fans Media, as the Celtic Star editor did, can play a part in highlighting outside influences with agendas for a manager new to his environment. Going by yesterday’s press conference it should have been a case of being forewarned being forearmed and even if Postecoglou wasn’t convinced at the time he will be now.

Celtic s manager Ange Postecoglou shakes hands with Callum McGregor: Photo: Andrew Milligan

It was unfortunate that yesterday’s press conference was not attended by Celtic Fan Media, after all the mixed approach of Tommy McIntyre’s B team conference last week showed that format could work. For Celtic after yesterday’s attempts to twist the words of Celtic’s manager it may well be the club will consider the advantage of having both Celtic Fan media and MSM in attendance.

Maybe the Leigh Griffiths situation was a factor in the failure to invite some of the Celtic Fan Media guys to attend yesterday’s press conference which of course included the new Celtic captain Callum McGregor.

Such an approach may well ensure members of the mainstream press with an agenda to drive discord think twice knowing they will be pulled up online and called out when both parties meet again. It wouldn’t take long for those with an agenda to be left without a name and Celtic could counter the approach we saw yesterday with that one simple adaptation to future gatherings.

In the meantime, if anyone should be concerned about their mobile ringing and a warning shot delivered by Dermot Desmond, I can think of a couple who our main shareholder may prioritise over Celtic’s new boss or indeed anyone in the Celtic Fan Media.

Niall J

About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parhead's gates.

4 Comments

  1. Journalists look for sensationalism and any dirt they can dig up to distort a story, they do not give a jot who they offend as long as their point of view is put across.For them to write a story that a Celtic star was sitting in his back garden with his wife and children having a cup of tea and orange juice,to them thats no good, now if the same star was in his garden with an eighteen year old sipping wine and drinking cans of beer with loud music blaring out of a ghetto blaster, that is what his editor wants as the ghouls will rush out to buy the newspaper and he will get a pat on his back.They do not care who they may offend or who’s lives they may ruin as they’ve got their story and move on to the next culprit.

  2. David Potter on

    This is all very deplorable, but there is one way and only one way to solve the problem and shut everyone up – and that is by good performances on the field. I remember the “invincible” season of 2016/17. Everyone was everyone’s friend then, and even the Daily Record had to shut up. Mind you, there is another way of dealing with the Daily Record and that simply involves keeping money in one’s pocket!

  3. It’ll be interesting to see what Ange’s reaction to this example of Scottish media skullduggery. He seems like a no-nonsense sort of bloke so hopefully there’ll be bans for offending rags. Permanent ones with any luck….

  4. Nobody in the MSM has been harder or more dismissive towards Ange Postecoglou than our own James Forrest.

    Sometimes the Fan Media is not your friend either.