Tony Mowbray’s appearance at today’s pre-match press conference was apparently to discuss Sunday’s match with St Johnstone but the agenda was far from McDairmid Park.
While it’s been a tough week for Celtic in medialand the club has the opportunity to set their own agenda and use the conference to communicate directly with supporters.
Talking about how news is interpreted and reported is a side issue, it’s tittle tattle and helps to fill spaces and time during quiet weeks.
For over a month now we’ve been bombarded with the news that Aiden McGeady is on his way to Birmingham City for £8m which would be ‘good business’ to some.
Adding to the menu this week Mark Venus did a McCoist in previewing a Scottish Cup tie which seemed to upset some folk and allowed himself to get dragged off in other directions before the Scott Brown rammy emerged.
All the while at Rangers it appears that not a single offer has yet been made for any of their players. A year on from almost selling Kris Boyd to Birmingham against his wishes to raise cash the club’s financial future is looking even more dodgy.
Almost five months on from David Murray’s decision to stand down as chairman there is no sign of a buyer, hardly a surprise since Murray has been looking to sell the club for getting on three years- again without a flicker of interest.
Three months on from Walter Smith being corrected for claiming that the bank were running Rangers they seem no closer to finding a solution with only a mysterious Florida based billionaire and property developer Graham Duffy showing an interest with neither having a credible or even a cunning plan of action.
Rangers only in-coming transfer of 2009 has ended in tears with Jerome Rothen desperate for an escape after two months into his Ibrox ‘career’.
There are serious and troubled times at Rangers, which are likely to escalate over the next week. Club’s that are interested in players at Ibrox are likely to make bids on the low side towards the close of the transfer window which the club may be forced to accept.
Rangers’ business model appears to require the income from the Champions League to break even over the course of a season, reducing debt through normal trading seems an impossibility.
Failure to sell any players this month will leave the wage bill bloated and cause further discomfort for the bank. On the park, whatever anyone’s opinion may be, Rangers are clearly ahead of Celtic.
They have a settled team with a defence that doesn’t give goals away cheaply and an ability to draw when they could lose and win when a draw could be expected.
Celtic seem to be the exact opposite. No longer is there any game that looks a banker win.
Away games are fraught with problems, two goals seem to be lost in every away match with home draws against Falkirk, Motherwell and Hearts sitting alongside three home defeats in European competitions.
If there is an area that deserves the attention and criticism from Celtic supporters it’s the on-field performances and results. Anything else is a side issue.
The next week, on the field as much as off it, will determine which club is in the best shape for the run-in to the season.
Gossip, distractions and body language never win points. A winning run from Celtic on the park can build a momentum that even the ‘strange decisions’ as Andreas Hinkel described them will find hard to break.
In the bleakest of circumstances Celtic found eight wins on the bounce to retain the title in season 2007/2008- repeating that run would drive Celtic into a commanding position and send confidence and morale sky high.