The mainstream media’s access to Celtic players remains consistent despite their dramatic decline in circulation, readership and audience. Celtic supporters have moved to sites like this one and/or several others for their daily Celtic news.
Yet these Celtic fan media news sites have very limited access via the club and next to none at away grounds including the national stadium,. Inviting the fan media sites and podcasts to get involved in 2021 in retrospect probably no-more than a token gesture from the club, a nod to the reality but no more than that.
In Ange Postecoglou’s first season Celtic introduced a media rota for the Celtic fan media which was mostly on Zoom due to the virus situation still lingering and that remained the case for the two seasons that Ange was at the club.
The pre-match media conferences were held on Zoom and the participating Celtic fan media sites would be allocated their slot to attend the zoom conference and ask a couple of questions at the end after the broadcast media had their chance. The newspaper guys have their own pre-match conference which the fan media don’t get invited to.
Post match at Celtic Park the participating Celtic fan media sites get their place on the rota – The Celtic Star was in after the recent game against Dundee and last season a highlight was taking a seat in the front row (to the annoyance of the hacks) after the 3-2 win over theRangers when both Beale and Tavernier came in to complain about their disallowed goal for the Morelos push on Alistair Johnston and to claim that Jota handled the ball for the second Celtic goal (he didn’t). It was only me laughing at them and it certainly seemed to unsettle Beale more than Tav!
Year three and it’s a similar format for the first team, there’s been no review with the fan media (Celtic were worried at the start whether the fan media would misbehave but that’s clearly not happened) and the status quo, of a sort ,remains.
The pre-match press conferences are now in person, either at Lennoxtown or at Celtic Park and with Celtic fan media participants spread far and wide – for instance some are based in Ireland – so it’s a bigger ask to get to Lennoxtown to ask Brendan when Carter-Vickers is going to be fit and back in the team.
After covering the Celtic FC Women’s team extensively for three seasons and being continually frustrated by the club in numerous matters, we politely asked for a review of the fan media situation for the women’s team at the end of last season, as he had several concerns which we wanted to discuss with the club in order to improve the situation. That request was completely blanked by Celtic, ignored. Treated in a ‘How Dare You” manner.
So as we await for a response from Celtic, there has been no women’s coverage on The Celtic Star this season, which is hardly the way to build the awareness of the team because no other media outlet covered the women’s team like The Celtic Star has done for the previous three seasons. The ball remains in Celtic’s court on that one.
That’s three red cards in two games, it is not a good look is it?
Remarkable after watching his performance, his wonderful goal, the team’s composure after going down to ten men, that this was the first thing that came to mind. Joe Hart’s dismissal was correct but there was no malice in his challenge, he had played his entire career without getting sent off so perhaps it was always going to happen at some point. It’s just part of the game. What’s not a good look is asking that question! It was then followed up by asking the Japan international this:
Were you due a goal?
Here’s Daizen’s answer to their first question….
“It was great to get the result against Livingston. But that was the second game in a row we had to play with fewer players and that is something we are going to have to think about. We are going to have to think about how we manage situations – because if that was a Champions League game it would have been even more difficult.
“I’m happy with the victory but we have a lot to think about as a team. We don’t want to have these situations again. Injuries happen in football. We cannot do anything about it and the important thing is how you deal with them. When it comes to yellow and red cards – that is something we can manage. We need to play intelligently. We are doing well right now but we have to be careful not to get players sent off as it makes things difficult.”
And Daizen Maeda’s response to the second ‘due a goal’ question…
“It wasn’t just about the goal. I was purely playing to keep contributing to the team and helping us get the victory. I was thinking, at some point, it is going to come. I was very happy to finally score at the end. When I was playing as a winger I was managing to get into some good positions. When I went up front I knew that I had to get the goals for the team so I managed to get into some nice positions and eventually, I managed to score.”
The remaining questions were all fair enough starting with this one. Celtic played with nine for 30 minutes in Europe in midweek and for 60 minutes against Livingston, you were a man down. Are you not shattered?
Daizen’s reply: “Was I feeling tired? No. Nothing. Not at all. Even if we had extra time I could still run. It’s no problem! I let the fans down in the Champions League game as we couldn’t get the result. We had to put it behind us and concentrate on the league game. I was very happy to give the supporters a good result and performance.
“We have a week to prepare for our next match so hopefully we can continue in the same form next time. Whatever has gone on before, we cannot look back. There is a time to talk about it but then we move on. There are a lot of positives to take from the win and we will be looking to do our best next time out.”
This question about the pitch was next: Livingston is always a difficult game, especially on that pitch, isn’t it?
“When you are playing at the Champions League level, you can’t really make any excuses about the physicality or the pitches. We have to treat the domestic league exactly the same. We have to focus on our own style and show this is the way we can play, and this is how we win. Hopefully, we can show that more and more in the coming weeks,” Daizen replied.
Next was this question about the Champions League: Can you carry this form into the Champions League?
Daizen replied: “The most important thing in the Champions League is confidence. We lost the other day but there were some positives in the performance. For me, I think it’s important to get results in the domestic league as that will allow us to take confidence into the European games. Winning in the league is important first – then we can take belief into the European matches.”
Next this question about Brendan’s praise for Daizen: The manager praised you highly and raved about you after the game how does that make you feel?
Daizen’s response: “The manager has started me in recent games, even though I didn’t score. I am grateful to him and that shows that he trusts me. Even before the game on Saturday, he told me I was going to score. I was very happy to repay his faith in me.
And finally they asked about Brendan’s intervention at the end of the match when the young Celtic supporter ran onto the pitch and was rescued by the manager: Did you see the incident where the manager helped the young fan who’d come onto the pitch?
Daizen saw it, alright: “We saw him on the pitch at the end with the young supporter! You can see he has a lot of passion for this club. It was a big victory and you could see what it meant to him.”
A moment of magic from Daizen Maeda in Saturday's victory over Livingston! 🪄
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) September 25, 2023