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Celtic keep the door closed on BBC Scotland

There was no invite to BBC Scotland to interview Gustaf Lagerbielke at Celtic Park today.

On Wednesday Celtic announced the signing of the defender from Elfsborg with an invite going out to a number of media outlets to speak to Brendan Rodgers’ latest signing.

Sky Sports, STV and Radio Clyde were all there, as were a number of fan media outlets but there was no sign of BBC Scotland, by far the biggest media outlet in the country.

Since Brendan Rodgers was presented to the media at the end of June the invites haven’t gone out to the state broadcaster leading to speculation about how that situation had developed.

Nothing has ever been confIrmed but most informed guesswork points to the sneering, dismissive reaction of Tom English to the appointment of the former Leicester City boss to replace Ange Postecoglou. Overstepping the mark.

The Chief Sports Writer of the State Broadcaster could hardly hold back his contempt for the decision, parking any attempt at professionalism to unleash his own dislike for all matters Celtic.

Last season BBC Scotland apologised and made English backtrack after he claimed that Celtic expressing their sympathy over the death of Shane Warren was a crass act.

That incident resulted in him calming down for a short period but the anger and resentment was just left to simmer as the man known affectionately as House Paddy by BBC colleagues resisted the temptation to do what comes most naturally.

English has been kept away from the BBC’s direct coverage of Celtic so far this season. The BBC does have a contract with the SPFL for exclusive live radio commentary of Premiership matches which Celtic have honoured.

Commentary positions are provided with exclusive pre and post match interviews with Rodgers, before the match against Ross County the Celtic manager gave the BBC the exclusive news that Carl Starfelt was expected to leave the club.

There doesn’t seem to be any obvious solution to the stand off, for seven years the BBC didn’t directly cover anything from Ibrox over a dispute caused by reporting from Chris McLaughlin.

With no obvious climbdown the two parties got together after changes in the executive at Ibrox, coming at the same time as they stopped charging media outlets for basic access.

Igniting the issue further was an Irish podcast that English took part in using his BBC sound equipment.

He seemed very off guard during the podcast, almost as if he was sharing small talk with chums in the BBC canteen. Clearly unburdening a lot of resentment he claimed that Rodgers would be livid at not getting the Spurs job that Postecoglou left Celtic for.

On Sunday the BBC will have radio coverage of Celtic’s League Cup tie at Kilmarnock, English is likely to be preparing for coverage of the egg-chasing World Cup in France.


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