PO Box 306, Glasgow, G21 2AE, Scotland
Celtic and Rangers media press conference hypocrisy
Saturday, 31 October 2009
Tony Mowbray seems to be learning fast about the agenda pushed by the football media in Scotland. Mowbray had the temerity to leave a press conference following the 0-1 defeat to Hearts in the prestigious CIS Cup before hacks had finished grilling him - cue headlines declaring that Tony Mowbray “walks out of press conference”.
Quite how a person is supposed to leave a press conference in any other manner is not explained by the drooling hacks who pen this shite, but contrary to some of them, Walter Nosurname does not levitate from the room; he only does that trick when passing over water (unholy). Of course the insinuation here is that the Celtic manager threw some sort of tantrum because grubby hacks deemed that the time he devoted to answering their agenda-ridden leading questions was too brief.
On the other hand, in the wake of two 1-4 humpings at home in the Champions League, failure to beat Hibs at home in the SPL and the club being mired in dire financial difficulty - placing its very existence in some uncertainty - when asked about the most serious issues affecting a Scottish club in the past 15 years, Nosurname came out with the eloquent Wilde-esque response “Gonnae just pack it in. Otherwise I’ll just walk away”.
No dissenting voice in the press about this fragrant lack of respect or perceived succumbing to pressure that was implied in the case of Mowbray.
As it happened the Rangers manager did indeed leave the media room mid-question, after one naive poodle forfeited all Winalot rights by asking, “Did you ever think you would see a time when Dundee were spending more money than Rangers”.
Nosurname simply got out of his seat muttering something incoherent as a deep shade of purple spread across his cheeks and steam began to emanate from his ears. Still no aspersions cast at the Dignified One though, for this little show of impertinence.
Nosurname had even managed to slip in a subtle piece of sexism by accusing one hack of putting a “female twist” on a question which he deemed unworthy of an answer. You may recall the furore after Gordon Strachan had made a reference to childbirth to a female member of the Laptop Loyal (possibly the very same hack), resulting in furious demands for an apology from the club and compensation for the subsequent injury to the poor little flower’s feelings from the likes of Ewan Cameron.
But this is Sir Walter, so nothing to see here, move along quietly.
A look at recent press conferences involving Celtic (Tony Mowbray, Barry Robson) and Rangers (Walter Nosurname) provides an interesting insight to the Laptop Loyal agenda.
To set the context - each of these press conferences took place not long after Rangers had lost 1-4 at home to Unirea Urziceni, beaten Dundee 3-1 in the CIS Cup then drew wth Hibs 1-1 at home. Attendance at the home Champions League game was an extremely disappointing 12,000 below capacity, the team were roundly booed throughout the match and there was mass exodus of fans in the second half.
Celtic had lost 0-1 to Hamburg, beaten Hamilton Accies 2-1 and lost at home to Hearts 0-1 in the CIS Cup. The attendance for the Hearts Cup tie was very low, albeit for a much less prestigious competition than the Champions League, and there was some booing at the final whistle.
So, very similar circumstances surrounding both clubs, other than the fact that one is in complete financial meltdown with no guarantee of its survival, but I’ll just pretend I’m Chick Young and gloss over that for the moment.
For those unfamiliar with Orwellian Laptop Loyal speak I have provided a translation of each question
Tony Mowbray post-match interview questions following defeat to Hearts in the CIS Cup:
Actual Question: “Bad result for Celtic what was your overall assessment of the match?”
Hackwatch Subtitles: I’m just easing you in gently Timmy
AQ: “What was your view of the penalty incident?”
HS: A great chance for some ‘sour grapes, manager loses it under pressure copy’ if he questions the decision. He doesn’t. Damn. I’ll try again.
AQ: “Both teams created chances, did you feel that your team created enough chances to win?”
HS: This is the kind of inane question that would get that wee shite Strachan wound up. Celtic only had about 20 shots on goal as opposed to 3 from Hearts. Hopefully Mowbray will get all flustered as well, giving me the chance to write some ‘bad-tempered manager losing the plot’ copy. He doesn’t bite. Damn. Time to bring out the big guns.
“You said before about the lack of quality that you have in your side, was that a case of it showing itself again tonight?”
HS: I know this is completely out of context and basically a downright lie, but I’ve got to get some sort of reaction out of you to make you look really bad to get some good ‘club in crisis’ material.
[I think BTM’s response is worthy of inclusion here, and demonstrates that he is well up to speed with the media agenda in Scotland]
“No I’ve never talked about a lack of quality in my side, I think the team’s got a lot of quality in it. I’m constantly misrepresented by the media in Scotland. What I’ve said on given days is that we lacked quality in certain areas and that’s always been from me on specific days. Mischievous journalists want to say that I’ve questioned the quality of the footballers. I’ve never done that. But that’s fine, listen... I accept and work under the environment I’m working with”.
[Back to Laptop Loyal speak:]
That was close, but not quite good enough for some ‘Celtic paranoia/Mowbray blasts the media patter. One more big push to get the bastard.
AQ: “There was plenty of boos at the end there, we all heard them [although certain other chants like Famine Songs, Slurs on Scottish Football’s greatest ever manager and racist chanting we have a bit more trouble hearing for some reason]. What do you say to the fans who aren’t buying into the Tony Mowbray revolution?
HS: Great. Get him to have a wee dig at the fans just like when Strachan said they don’t know anything about the game, produce a few banner headlines and that’ll soon get the Celtic fans on his back. Damn. He didn’t rise to it. I’ll just have to make do with a “Mowbray storms out press conference headline”.
Walter Nosurname post-match interview questions following defeat to Unirea Urziceni in the Champions League:
AQ: “Walter. Don’t know where to begin with that. Could you explain what went wrong?”
HS: Walter. I am as gutted as you are your Eminence. I’ll start with a suitably vague question which will allow you to expand at length with any excuses and avoid any specific questions about tactics or your own shortcomings. Blame the players if you want. That’ll work.
AQ: “Dan Petrescu said that the missed penalty was the turning point of the game. Would you agree with that?
HS: See what I did there? A completely inane questions about what might have been, that allows us to say that the result boiled down to one incident in the match and was basically a result of pure bad luck. Again this easily avoids territory that might cast some doubt on your magnificent tactical decisions your Lordship, and if we want to really push the boat out, we could claim that really we kind of deserved to win the game like we did against Sevilla.
AQ: “Is that a low point for you as manager of Rangers, the lowest point?”
HS: I’m playing out of my skin here. It’ll be succulent lamb to go with the Winalot this week. To follow follow up the previous inane question, a question completely irrevelant to tonight’s game which allows the Dignified One to ramble on about whatever he likes and avoid any responsibility for tonight’s result.
AQ: “How do you think that leaves you in terms of qualification from the group?”
HS: Always finish on a positive. Remind the teddy bears that mathematically they can still qualify from the section even though this is less likely than Rangers signing Danny La Rue in January and him to scoring the winning goal in the Champions League final in May. Appeasement of the fans is top priority so that Walter and Sir David are never held to account and I can get my tummy tickled in Sir David’s office over a nice Bordeaux.
Barry Robson pre-match interview questions a few days after defeat to Hearts in the CIS Cup:
“What’s the story with the home form?”
HS: Celtic are shite aren’t they? Come on Barry. They’re shite aren’t they. Oh, and by the way when it comes round to the return game against Hamburg we’ll be starting on the shite away record in Europe again too.
[Random stat which demonstrates how easy it is to make something look really negative to fit your aganda: Rangers last 3 home Champions League games - P3 W0 D0 L3 F2 A11 PTS0 Somehow this wee stat has escaped the attention of the Scottish media]
AQ: “Is it harder on those nights when the stadium is a third or a quarter full and you can hear everything that’s coming off the seats”
HS: Come on Barry. Say something bad about those plastic paddy fans of yours. After all you used to be one of us.
AQ: “How frustrating is it when you go on these sequences, what is it, 2 out of 9 you’ve won at home. You come back into training, what can you do to vary it?”
HS: I know that 4 of these 9 home games were against European teams like Arsenal who could give Hamilton Accies a run for their money, but we are the media and we have teams of researchers who can go away and dig up all this shite for us to be used in evidence against you. I think Celtic are coming up for the longest ever period in Scottish Football without scoring from a corner and I’ll get Cecil to check that out straight after this interview so we’ve got ammo for the next one. Hopefully those gullible Sellik fans will sap all this in and start getting on your case.
AQ: “Do you think, in the current climate, the problems of the Old Firm are exaggerated when you don’t win a game?”
HS: Time to take the foot off the gas a wee bit to provide “balance”. See how I mentioned “the Old Firm” there, to make it look like Celtic’s financial problems are just as bad as ours.. I mean Rangers? I’m no daft eh.
AQ: “Do you think the strikers are going through a confidence crisis?”
HS: My pen is poised, ready to pounce with a ‘Celtis in Crisis’headline. Damn. Seems like Barry is no daft either.
AQ: “Have you noticed a difference in the manager over the past few weeks when things haven’t been going well?”
HS: Well I can’t get you to say anything negative about the Celtic fans or your team-mates so now I’ll start on the manager. After all, that is some shitey run of form you’ve had over the past few weeks that has seen Celtic plummet to the top of the league.
AQ: “From your point of view, is it maybe a problem that the team hasn’t had a settled 11 for a number of games?”
HS: If at first you don’t succeed... There’s a ‘Robson blasts Mowbray headline’ here, I can almost touch it!
I’ll have one last go at a ‘Robson blasts Celtic fans’ headline
AQ: “You did say that a lot of fans had come out and supported you, but at the end there was some booing. What would your message be to the fans who are maybe a little restless?”
HS: Nothing. I guess we’ll just have to concentrate on the ‘Dave King set to save Rangers in squazillion pound deal’ headlines.
Walter Nosurname pre-match interview questions a few days after home draw with Hibs and win over Dundee with the club continuing to experience financial turmoil:
AQ: “If you can get a winning run together would this help bring the squad together?”
HS: Come on Wattie, We know you can do it!
HS: Give us the nod and we’ll fill our papers with hype about the latest batch of young Gers superstars that Sir Alex/Big Eck/Mark Hughes are going to swoop for in a £3million deal. This’ll keep the fans distracted for a while.
AQ: “Would you be more inclined to play him (Danny Wilson) in an SPL match now?
HS: I’ll ask anything but questions about finance, low crowds, fans leaving early or fans booing Master.
AQ: “The youth system is arguably more important than ever. Are the crop of young guys coming through, are you now seeing the real benefit of Murray Park these days?”
HS: You didn’t quite give me enough to work with re the superstar wonderkids headlines your Lordship. I’ve also given you a chance to bum up Sir David and waffle about how brilliant Murray Park is and more better and more expensive than any other training ground in Scotland ever ever.
AQ: “I think you used the word stagnation [these hacks are never quite so vague about statements made by Celtic managers are they?] a week or so ago in the sense that you haven’t been able to bring in new players. Is the enthusiasm that comes with bringing these young guys in a way of avoiding that?”
HS: I am playing an absolute blinder here! I am a certainty for my succulent lamb and claret this week. I’ve asked you a potentially quite tricky question, although framed in such away that you are in no way responsible for the situation, and then I’ve gone and provided you with the answer!! All you have to do now is waffle on about how there are some good young players coming through but how it’s important not to rush them. This allows you to manage the expectations of the fans by presenting just enough of a tantalising glimpse of a much improved future, whilst at the same time playing down the immediate impact these players might make before they are flogged to the likes of Brentford.
AQ: “Difficult game last week and then a difficult game this week. Come the end of the season do you expect Rangers and Celtic will still be in the top two”?
HS: I’ll give you a wee rest by asking a frivolous question a 5 year old could answer and has no relevance to immediate problems of severe urgency besetting the club. Again you will be afforded the luxury of rambling on at will. I’ll cough loudly if you begin to fall asleep mid-sentence Master.
AQ: “Do you feel that it’s harder now for Rangers or Celtic to win the league because the gap has narrowed?”
HS: Oh dear, I’m not sure if I’ve overstepped the mark between acceptable sycophancy and sheer laughing stock. I can assure you my intentions were pure Sir Walter. I was only trying to appease the fans by emphasising the challenge facing you, in the face of competition from huge spending Unirea, Hibs, Motherwell and Hamilton Accies.
End of press conference.
Now to re-cap, both sides have had disappointing results recently, reduced crowds, disgruntled fans booing events on the park although the problems are worse for one particular side where booing was a constant feature of the whole game and in which more than half the fans left the ground well before the end of the game. This club is also mired in an almost unprecedented financial crisis given the extent of the debts in question.
So let’s score the performance of the Scottish media in raising these issues:
In two interviews - Scottish media references to:
Booing from the crowd - 3
And misrepresenting the manager’s comments - 1
In two interviews - Scottish media references to:
Booing from the crowd - 0
And misrepresenting the manager’s comments - 0
Must be “Old Firm bias” again.
One for the comedy collection to finish with:
“Aaron held his head in his hands as his sickening spot-kick miss saw Spain crash out of the Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday. But the winger reckons he’s nursing a bigger regret after failing to win over Walter Smith. Aaron joined Gers on a two-year loan deal from Valencia in August 2008, but returned to his homeland in the summer to be shipped out to Second Division Celta Vigo instead. Despite starting just one game for Gers the 20-year-old insists he will forever treasure his spell at Ibrox”
Gareth Law, The Sun.
More paranoid ranting available at www.celticparanoia.blogspot.com
TONY BANANAS & HACKWATCHER