Rivals lose the plot with cash for access media stance as Celtic take progressive steps

By John McGinley

July 12, 2021

As Celtic take progressive steps welcoming fan media into the building for access to the manager, players and Chief Executive, it seems Rangers are losing the plot.

As reported by The Daily Mail, the Ibrox club are set to charge newspapers an eyewatering £25,000 fee for access to pre-match press conferences and matches.

For that kind of cash they’ll also get five ‘exclusives’ and a sit-down interview with manager Steven Gerrard, journalist Mike Keegan reports.

Keegan, who describes the situation as ‘worrying’, reckons the response of outlets is said to be ‘cool’ regarding the arrangements. Though, apparently, Rangers are happy with the direction of what they are calling “media partnership packages”.

For me, it’s a ridiculous development that flies in the face of transparency and fairness.

From Celtic’s perspective, it could well be a positive, to be honest. If papers refuse, it will only free up space on the back pages for Celtic to get their stories and snippets of information out. We’ve seen the Bhoys continue to use that tactic over the years.

It all comes as Celtic look for new, progressive ways of communicating with supporters. Rather than inflict strange control and cash measures on the so-called ‘mainstream media’, they are simply opening the doors to fan outlets such as 67 Hail Hail.

It’s still a developing relationship but so far the club have dealt with us, and others, on the level. They don’t dictate what we ask, they don’t ask for money and they help us bring insight from players and other Celtic staff directly to our audience.

That’s how it should be done. It’s not perfect and there are still little problems to be ironed out, but it’s nothing like this cash for access nonsense.

Dom McKay has ushered in a new fan media stance at Celtic / (Credit – Celtic FC)

Putting up a paywall, which there is no sign of Celtic doing, would only restrict the information coming out of the club to our detriment as supporters. Rangers fans shouldn’t be happy with the reported Ibrox stance, though no doubt some will buy into the divisive nature of the proposals.

It remains to see how all this pans out. If I was the editor of one of these newspapers, I’d quickly be getting my side of the story out there. Now that English reporters have picked up on this, it’s all out in the open. Will there be a backbone shown from the media?

Interesting times ahead.

In other news, Celtic talent Adam Montgomery names the Lennoxtown coaches who’ve helped his development most.