Good Evening. [And please vote ‘Clumpany’!]
I am sure it is just a massive coincidence that various Scottish media outlets have all started running negative stories about Joey Barton, how much he earns, how he’s a ‘bad lad’, and how he faces an investigation for betting on one forensically-identified Celtic match, just as he has fallen out with Sevco.
Some folk have expressed outrageous cynicism about this development. They have suggested that the press pack might inadvertently be acting as an unofficial arm of a PR operation. They have even gone so far as to wonder whether some media outlets might be trying to encourage Barton to leave a cash-strapped Sevco without having his lucrative contract paid up.
One wag even suggested that their agenda is so transparent that it is easier to see through than my good pal Alan. And you may remember that he is completely invisible!
The Clumpany has no basis on which to determine whether such cynicism is justified. It could all simply be a result of an unrelenting commitment to cover every angle of a story. Or it could be that no one working in the Scottish sports media ever liked Barton signing for Sevco, managed it to keep it well-hidden up to now and have only been shaken to comment by the imminent publication of his book.
In the Daily Record’s case, if they have only now discovered that Barton has ‘form’ for being a difficult customer, we can at least applaud them for realising it more quickly than they concluded that Motherwell-born Billionaire Craig Whyte had some cash flow issues…
Whatever the truth of the matter, the scale and forcefulness of the coverage is curious to say the least. In fact you can’t help but wonder whether it would be easier all round for a couple of the press pack to follow Barton wearing sandwich boards which say “P*ss Off Joey” and “Payoff? Careful Now”…
Or perhaps they should ask Barbara Windsor to adopt her ‘Peggy Mitchell’ persona, approach Barton in the street, and scream “Get outta my club!” in his face. Either option has to be cheaper than paying out £20k + per week for nearly another two years.
Here is a sample of some of today’s MSM delights:
I was particularly amused by the story highlighting how much Barton is earning. I am sure I remember similar coverage in relation to the wages of one-time SFL3 manager and latter-day gardener Ally McCoist…
Or perhaps not…
It was interesting to see Barry Ferguson piping up about Barton and the implications of his dressing room fall-out with a team-mate and his manager. Barry’s exploits with one-time Rangers manager Paul Le Guen, and his artistic finger gymnastics while sitting on the bench for Scotland make him an ideal commentator on such matters.
The Clumpany has seen some online chat suggesting that the Daily Record columnist could conceivably take over from The Warbmeister should he ever [*gasp*] leave the Sevco hot seat. We shall see what happens. However, I suspect that the Fawniverse might collapse if Barry became the manager at Ibrox, to the delight of those concerned with protecting Sevco’s public image in the face of an ever… errr… questioning media.
What might be less welcome, however, is if Ferguson became manager of the ‘same club’ and produced a letter from Rangers indemnifying him against the implications of HMRC’s pursuit of any taxes payable on EBTS. I have no idea if such a letter exists, but Barry may wish to acquaint himself with the concepts of ‘holding companies’, ‘engine room subsidiaries’ and ‘steaming piles of bullsh*t’, just in case… 😉
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