In this afternoon's press conference, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hit out at The Scottish Sun, following what Lennon deemed as trying to 'stir up some sort of controversy that isn't really there'.
The Scottish Sun reported on its front page that Celtic first team coach Alan Thompson and Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor went for drinks at a pub in the West end of Glasgow on Wednesday night.
But Lennon labelled the article a 'nothing story' and that the paper's attempts to stir up controversy was 'disgusting'.
Lennon said: "The media are the ones who say that more should be done to put away the sectarian element. I’ve been there myself when Allan’s been in and held his company for 15 to 20 minutes and it’s a very difficult thing to do in Glasgow sometimes."
He added: "But every now and again it happens and now, all of a sudden, one of the tabloids want to make a whole big thing about it."
He told the press conference at Lennoxtown: "One of my staff and Allan McGregor frequent the same pub. Wow. It only sort of stirs it up in my eyes. What I think they’re trying to do is stir up some sort of controversy that isn’t really there. I think it’s disgusting."
The article in this morning's Scottish Sun written by Robert McAulay quoted unnamed club insiders and claimed that Lennon had 'flipped' when he discovered that Thompson had been out for drinks with the Ibrox goalkeeper.
McAulay also claimed that Chief Executive Peter Lawwell was expected to speak to the manager and coaching staff about the incident.
What incident though? Two members of two different clubs out on a Wednesday night in the same pub, that's not an incident, it is called socialising.
The unnamed [convenient] insider claimed that: "Lennon's not a happy man. Thompson goes out for a fairly substantial drink the night before a training session — and with someone from the opposite side of the Old Firm. It's not clever on a couple of levels."
And again McAulay produced a quote from another source, this time a senior source at the club, who added: "The club know of stories surrounding some of the coaching staff's lifestyles away from Celtic Park. They have been spoken to about this before, but the club felt at that point it was not affecting the jobs they were doing.This may change now."
"Two blokes going out for a booze-up together shouldn't really matter. But these are very well known faces in the Old Firm. They have to be particularly careful with their behaviour, both with members of the public and keeping in mind the kind of jobs they have to do."
Again what behaviour? Nothing happened, they went out for drinks and then returned to their respective homes later that night. There was no trouble at all, yet the quotes and the report in the Scottish Sun is trying to paint a totally different picture - now why is that?
The article then ends on Thompson's previous convictions for drink driving, yet Thompson was not involved in any criminal activity on Wednesday night. The article then briefly talks about McGregor's infamous 'Boozegate' scandal, but the major emphasis was placed on Thompson's part in going to a pub where McGregor was also.
This 'article' comes a day after Iain King published an exclusive interview with Rangers owner Craig Whyte, who had taken exception to the Sun's rival paper the Daily Record producing an article on Whyte's dealings with Ticketus and the sale of season tickets. An article that failed to ask the big questions, that failed to ask the tough questions for fear of losing their exclusive article.
It's not the first time that the Scottish mainstream media, nor specifically the Scottish Sun have resorted to dramatising events surrounding Celtic. Case in point I wrote an article on this very blog back in July 2011, after some Rangers fans had paid for a plane to fly above a game that Celtic were playing in down in Australia. It was entitled Is the Scottish Media stirring up the hatred towards Neil Lennon? You really should read it again to refresh your memories, if you haven't read it yet it does make for interesting reading.