Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville have a lesson to teach Celtic

By Graham Luney

Cliftonville's Champions League adventure against Celtic will live long in the memory and not just for the players.

It was an enlightening experience for the hacks, particularly the merry band who travelled to Parkhead with Tommy Breslin and his team.

While it was a dream tie in many ways for the Reds the first game at Solitude in particular required a huge amount of organisation – unprecedented for an Irish League club – but they rose to the occasion.

The press were well looked after too. Celtic didn't quite roll out the welcome mat in similar fashion.

There was no media officer to direct journalists to the press conference room or inform them of the internet access code.

Cliftonville operated a 'mixed zone' allowing journalists to interview players after the game at Solitude but that's not on Celtic's radar unless Uefa order them to.

It may have been a professional v amateur battle on the pitch – with Neil Lennon's Bhoys showing their class – but the club that raked in over £20m from their Champions League campaign last season could pick up a few media tips from their Celtic cousins.

What the Hoops did provide though – rather amusingly – was a full range of alcoholic beverages in the press conference room.

And to think they complain about the standard of journalism!

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