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Watch Rodgers react as his Tactical Tutorial is breached by Keith Jackson

On Sunday night Graham Spiers let the cat out the bag when he discussed the rapid deterioration in relations between Brendan Rodgers and the written media caused  by a breach of trust by Keith Jackson.

Non-broadcasters is probably a more accurate description than ‘the written media’ with Celtic generally setting aside time with their manager and a player exclusively for the use of the rapidly shrinking newspaper market.

The gist of the issue is that Rodgers thought that an Off The Record explanation to newspaper reporters illustrating how he has this season’s Celtic team playing in the same style as they were for two seasons under Ange Postecoglou would remain provate..

Clearly the Celtic boss was irked by the perception that the quality of football and results this season were a downgrade on what the fans were watching and enjoying a year ago.

It is arguable over whether newspaper reporters like Jackson are the best outlet to get that message over, what is very clear is that the briefing on February 27 was for background information only. NOT FOR PUBLICATION.

On February 28 there wasn’t a mention of the ‘Tactical Tutorial’ anywhere, everyone in the room had complied, Celtic beat Dundee 7-1.

The following day Jackson discussed the briefing on a Daily Record ‘Celtic’ podcast but elsewhere there was still no mention, no other newspaper had dropped the slightest hint.

On March 1 the landscape changed, Jackson rarely contributes on a Friday but for whatever reason Daily Record readers were given the low-down on what had happened on Tuesday afternoon. It didn’t portray Rodgers in the most flattering of light- trying to convince reports that nothing had changed.

It seems that Jackson’s peers were fuming at his decision to go public, their own readers and Sports Editors would have been asking questions but they would have realised that only the Record had decided to publish a ‘story’ that had been sitting for three days

Rodgers appears to have taken the breach of trust very seriously, probably even more so since he was questioned on his Tactical Tutorial by Sky Sports, Tuesday’s briefing was now very much out in the open.

2 minutes 50 seconds

Listen it wasn’t a masterclass, I’ve been here since July and all that I’ve heard about has been the change in style, the change in system, the change in lots of things.

I just felt that it was maybe just worth pointing out that absolutely nothing has changed in terms of system, in terms of style and what has been asked.

Obviously you need evidence in terms to show that, so it was just a case of an off the record football chat with some of the guys that turned up.

I said to them a few weeks back that I would do it because they on a number of occasions have brought up the style…

I’ve heard players positions have changed and none of that has happened, it was just to demonstrate and show some evidence of that.

Earlier in the day Jackson had discussed the Tactical Tutorial that he had attended with others but only Daily Record readers were informed of:

First he had to deal with the whole sexism sideshow. The awkward aftermath of a post-match interview gone wrong at Fir Park.

But, as soon as he had got that toe curler out of the way on Tuesday afternoon, Brendan Rodgers rolled out a huge 78in touch screen TV and ran through a tactical tutorial for the benefit of a small band of written press.

For half an hour or so, Rodgers replayed clips of various Celtic goals scored over the past two seasons. Four under Ange Postecoglou. Another four from this season, all scored on his watch. And the similarities, it must be said, were really quite striking.

Inverted full-backs creating space for wingers to get down the side, crossing the ball for three runners – one attacking the front post, one at the back and one in the middle.

The point the manager was attempting to ram home was that, despite the common consensus, Celtic’s attacking strategy has not changed all that much since Postecoglou took his Angeball with him to Tottenham. If it has changed at all.

While Rodgers was quite light hearted in his interview with Sky Sports he has clearly been angered by Jackson’s decision to share details of an Off The Record explanation from the Celtic boss.

It doesn’t look good when the image presented is that the current Celtic boss is attempting to convince reporters that he is doing things exactly the same as his highly successful predecessor.

While Jackson and the Daily Record are still on the scene it is hard to see Rodgers holding a similar exercise for any branch of the media, certainly not the daily newspapers.

SPFL regulations require clubs to provide pre and post match media conferences for broadcasters as well as one-to-one interviews for rights holders such as Sky Sports and BBC Scotland there is no obligation to provide newspapers or anyone else with access to the manager and players.

As a courtesy daily newspapers get their own slots from Celtic despite their dire circulations levels with the Record selling just over 50,000 copies a day, during 2023 the Herald averaged daily sales of around 11,000, it is safe to say that they will now be selling under 10,000 a day.

Under Iain Jamieson, Communications Manager, Celtic have very much been tied to the previous century when newspapers were delivering to massive audiences.

The reality of 2024 is that access to news has never been easier, with newspaper sales falling off a cliff Jackson’s act of self destruction removing another brick from the crumbling wall.

CLICK HERE for Celtic fans reaction to Tom English claims.

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