There are rules in this trade and they can be irksome.However, they are there for a reason.
Off The Record, like the protection of sources, is non-negotiable.
If I cannot abide by these rules then the output of this site on the Rangers story over the last few years would not have been possible.
Within the Celtic quarter of Planet Fitba there is an area where truth seems to disappear.
The Section 111 Triangle seems a baffling place.
It is where fact meets conspiracy theory.
I have found that the latter will always flourish if the former decides to remain silent.
People who are Conspiracy Theorists believe in two things.
One, governments are competent.
Two, that those in power can keep a secret.
Dear reader I cannot believe either proposition to be true, simply because I’ve been on the planet for too long.
I don’t think that football clubs fare any better than governments when it comes to the conspiring lark.
What nurtures the conspiracy garden is a culture of secrecy from those in power.
However it is usually deployed to conceal incompetence rather than malevolence.
If mistakes have been made then it is almost always better to admit to them rather than construct an alternative narrative that does not reveal frailty or hubris.
The job of the journalist is to ask important questions of those in power on behalf of those who cannot do so on their own behalf.
Recently, as many of you will know, Steven Cairney the ex-media officer of the Affiliation of Celtic Supporters Associations made a series of allegations on a podcast against the club and, more specifically, the Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell.
In an instant it showed the democracy of new media and how it could change the angle of a story.
In terms of full disclosure I have met with Mr Cairney and we have a mutual friend going back many years.
During a long telephone conversation a few days ago I told Steven that I found his story to be both credible and measured.
He recounted the details of a meeting he claimed to have had with Peter Lawwell at Celtic Park late last year.
The conversation with Steven ended with me agreeing to send him some interview questions which I did.
On the basis of what I had heard on the podcast where Steven had made his initial allegations I spoke the club’s PR department and put some questions to them.
The initial agreement I received was that I would have answers by last night.
I was then promised the answers this morning.
So far no luck.
Here are the unanswered questions that are currently with the club from a recognised, accredited journalist.
Moreover a journalist who has attended several club press conferences in the past.
I think these questions are fair and proportionate.
Here they are:
Is it true that Celtic FC have been passing on personal information about supporters to the police?
If so, did the police make this request of the club?
What kind of information is passed to the police?
Did the police have a court order to acquire this information?
Does this provision of information to the police only concern those supporters with seats in section 111?
What are the club’s responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 regarding information that is held on supporters?
In a recent podcast Mr Steven Cairney (ex-media officer with the Affiliation of Celtic Supporters Clubs) stated that he attended a meeting in December 2012 with Peter Lawwell and Ronnie Hawthorn. At that meeting, Mr Cairney alleges that Peter Lawwell said the stewarding in Section 111 would be relaxed at the next two home games in order that “the Green Brigade gets enough rope to hang themselves”.
Is it true that Mr Lawwell did say this about the stewarding levels at Section 111 and the Green Brigade?
So far these questions remain unanswered.