Ladbrokes SPFL use Level5 to dig into Celtic


Level 5, the PR company born out of the need to convince Newco fans to back one specific camp, have been given the Ladbrokes SPFL contract. Promotion of the SPFL is the responsibility of sponsor, Ladbrokes, who also pay for PR, this was not a decision by the league or member clubs.

Their brief is to manage the news and keep the words Ladbrokes SPFL in the news. Recent coverage has been a case in point.

Yesterday’s newspapers gave an excellent example of how this is operating.  Ladbrokes wanted their app promoted for free in the newspapers. Their Level 5 performed to task, the Evening Times ran with:

“Murdo was promoting a new Ladbrokes ’Track Your Acca’ app which allows punters to track their bets and cash out on the go – for full details log on to thegrid.ladbrokes.com”

While the Daily Record ran with:

“MacLeod was promoting a new Ladbrokes ‘Track Your Acca’ app that allows punters to track bets on the go – for full details log on to thegrid.ladbrokes.com”

Both a copy and paste from the press release.

Here’s the rub, though. The bait for both Ladbrokes adverts was Murdo having a go at two different Celtic players. The League’s sponsor is employing a PR company, who could have chosen any subject at 42 clubs, but they chose to have a dig at Celtic players.  Digging at Celtic players is one of the most reliable ways to ensure your comment runs in the newspapers.

That PR company just happens to be staffed by a former employee of a club who can hardly make a public comment without proclaiming their desire to bring down Celtic.

Ladbrokes got their promotion and two Celtic players were used as fuel, this is unacceptable. The League sponsor cannot employ a PR company who have enjoyed such a close relationship with a PR-dependent club, while undermining Celtic.

It is a fundamental conflict of interest and has to stop, Celtic cannot be cannon-fodder for the SPFL sponsor. Ladbrokes are representing the League on PR matters and cannot undermine the Celtic in this way.  The SPFL cannot allow their competition to be undermined by partisan promotion.

Let @Ladbrokes know your thoughts.

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  1. JJ,



    I think ss stats are league only.



    We’ve scored a few from set pieces too that won’t be included, obvs.



    I’m not sure if the stats include goals scored on the 2nd touch or more after a corner.





  2. lennon’s passion on 29th October 2015 1:41 pm



    I don’t need you to tell me what we sing at away games.


    Happy to compare my attendance record against yours: home , away, Europe – any time.



    I also don’t need a lecture on the Hunger Strike and I read Beresford’s book 20 odd years ago.



    My point is that it is always more vitriolic at Tynecastle – more IRA less Celtic and more nasty!



    If that stuff last night is what Celtic means to you we are clearly different kind of supporters.



    Stroll on!




  3. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on




    “I’m not sure if the stats include goals scored on the 2nd touch or more after a corner.”



    I am thinking if a goal is scored, without the ball having left the penalty area and within a few seconds of having arrived there, then it is a goal from a corner. In my mind`s eye i am seeing a few scored in such situations. I do accept , though, that the mind is very capable of playing tricks!


    Do you think we have scored more than one?




  4. “Do you think we have scored more than one?”






    Depends on the criteria neebs.




    I think we have scored from a corner in EVERY game. But I’ve got a happy clappy minds eye :)





  5. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    By the criteria I mentioned at 2:54.


    Like yourself, I feel as if we are ALWAYS scoring from corners!!




  6. The Battered Bunnet on 29th October 2015 12:02 pm






    One of the frustrating things I notice (and I’m not alone I’m sure) when we’re playing against ‘packed defences’ is that we actually allow them to pack.



    We repeatedly play the ball backwards through the retreating midfield of the opposition, giving them the time to regroup and reshape before we look forward.



    Possession is important of course, but not in and of itself. Possession at the back is unthreatening, particularly when the opposition is goal side.



    One view would have it that an attacking position is one where you are in possession of the the ball beyond the opposition’s midfield, and that chances are created when the ball is beyond the opposition’s defence. Whether you pass your way through, play it long, or dribble, you need to get the ball beyond their midfield, and beyond their defence. The means are dependent on the abilities of the players, and the ‘style’ or ‘plan’ of attack developed from there.



    Some good examples of that from us last night in the second half, but Hearts tried to do it from the get go and would doubtless have been the happier team at half time, despite having little of the ball. Only when we changed our approach did the game change in our favour. Bitton’s initial burst from deep for the first, and Griffith’s similarly for the second set up the chances.



    Incidentally, wee Forrest got a bit of a shellacking on here last night, and it’s a pity in some respects as he’s a very good player when fit and firing. Last night though he was neither prepared to play, nor firing.



    Example: First half, he tried to take the full back on 20 yards out on the right hand side, and lost the ball. It happens. The full back carried the ball up the park, promptly lost it at the halfway line, and in a jiffy, Forrest had it again in the same position as before, only this time the full back was 30 yards behind him, and he was facing the centre half.



    That’s a perfect situation: The instinct is to take the ball to the bye line beyond a defence that’s now absent a full back and a (beaten) centre half. Unfortunately, James chose not to, passing the ball in front of the defence, and losing possession again. That’s what happens I suppose when you’re trying to find your mojo after a few weeks out.




    I think the possession argument you have above is particularly apt in the SPL. Almost every team we play will try to weather the storm and hope to catch us on the break. Give them the ball and let them open up is one tactic. Firing long balls in is useless (unless Carlton Cole is deployed?) But as you say – we need creativity to pick the lock. Kris Commons is sometimes our only creative option.



    I like James Forrest and the barracking he gets is unhelpful – I’ve never seen a player improve when the crowd are on his back. I’d love to see him take the next step forward, but I feel I’ve been watching the same player for a long time and there’s not been the step-change kind of improvement I thought we’d see. Sometimes a player needs to move to a different club/environment to improve himself. I’m working if it’s time for James to look at that possibility.

  7. JJ,



    Well, yes. We’ve scored more than one then.



    This must be the criteria as most claimed we lost a goal late on from a corner v Malmo




  8. Kris Commons hits a great corner. So why doesn’t he take them all?



    (When he’s on the pitch obviously. Well, someone would’ve said he often gets substituted …)

  9. Paul



    Ladbrokes have contracted the PR out to the Level 5 folk.



    Ladbrokes would not have been involved in the minutiae of the PR strategizing.



    The Level 5 contractors will have had a SLA with a delegated authority to promote the App first and foremost using their “experience and knowledge of market”.



    Mister Ladbrokes will not like adverse publicity – like your expose.



    Level 5 have screwed up on their first mini campaign for their new client.



    Wonder what their contract says about either party cancelling?

  10. Pretty good result last night.


    I believe that icon of Caring Conservatism, Iain Duncan Smith , has unearthed yet another gem.


    He apparently considers it a jolly wheeze to have Jobcentre employees stationed at food banks to advising those in receipt of well meaning charity on how to obtain employment.

  11. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    My email to Ladbrokes ( posted here in the hope of encouraging others to improve upon my offering.):






    I believe, albeit unintentionally, you have, in Level 5, selected a PR company for which the large Celtic support has very little respect.


    The early promotions of Ladbrokes by level 5 invariably accompanied negative articles about Celtic. I am sure that alienating the Celtic support was not Ladbroke`s intention and you might now consider the wisdom of your PR choice .



  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    !!Bada Bing!! on 29th October 2015 3:21 pm Craigy Bhoy declared bankrupt…thought he was a billionaire – ———–


    Not surprised he’s bankrupt if all his investments were as bad as Rangers. I mean – £1 for that pile of junk???

  13. Craig bankrupt,cant be right,



    By the age of 26, Whyte was already Scot land’s youngest self-made millionaire. Now, 13 years on, and in charge of a vast business empire, his wealth is off the radar.

  14. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    I’ve decided to start gambling so I can boycott ladbrokes



    On the corners stats- i don’t think we score from many set pieces either

  15. Starry Plough



    Happy Buffday.



    Do some in La Suisse pronounce it Starry Pluff?



    Hope you are having a grand day.

  16. Diving heiders….



    We don’t score enough.



    When was the last one?



    It’s taking the shine of winning for me.





  17. Once big Carlton get’s a game not only will the “scoring from corners stats” improve, I imagine the scoring from cross ba’s will also improve.



    Hope so anyway.

  18. Delighted for wee Leigh the Bhoy Griffiths. The two goals last night were in the top class variety. He made and scored one and made the other. Two incisive runs and a wonderful finish for the first and a great ball on a plate for Rogic for the 2nd.


    I have bleated at times about this Bhoy. He may not be world class but he is a goal scorer. I have said since before he was signed that he scores all types of goals. If you Youtube him you will see the variety he has scored at all levels.


    A goal scorer is a goal scorer is a goal scorer.


    Lay them up and he will put them away. He has now added more to his game. I have rarely seen him dribble with such ability and close control like last night.


    Whether Ronny is the right man or not has been discussed at length on here many times BUT what is clear is that Leigh is the bench mark of progress under Ronny Deila. He is the player that he can use as the yard stick to other players about what can be done to progress, learn, improve and get rewards when working hard and living well.


    Will Leigh have a lapse? He is no brain of Britain. He is a daft wee Hibee from Leith. It wouldn’t be unusual for him to go out and get bevvied and maybe get himself in the press. His attitude seems to have changed for the better though. He had the tenacity and foresight when asked to work harder by the coaching staff to knuckle down and do it. He has delivered too.


    Leigh Griffiths is just a good footballer. He is a very good goalscorer and now he is showing it in the Celtic team and it would appear he has silenced some of the punters who have called for the club to resign former favourite and goal machine Gary Hooper. Now I was a huge Gary Hooper fan. I am a fan of goalscorers. There is nothing better than watching a prolific goalscorer go to work and at Celtic we have been blessed with many greats. Gary wanted to leave. The last 6 months he was here his body language intimated he wanted to leave and he gleefully took his move to Norwich. Bigger than Celtic? Better place to play than Celtic? I suspect Gary may regret that one in years to come. Not a big fan in Gary ever coming back or many other players for that matter. I always had confidence Mr Griffiths had the tools and ability to show he was good enough to play and score goals for Celtic.


    Does Griffiths need a partner? I certainly think he would benefit from one but then it is a personal view and my preference not to play with 1 up front. I prefer more than one player in the attacking role and think that maybe Carlton Cole with Griffiths would give him more time and space in the penalty area and ultimately more goals.


    Delighted for Griffiths and for the gaffer mostly I am delighted for the Bhoys who went to support us last night and see two special goals that always make a midweek journey to a rivals ground much more enjoyable on a cold October evening.


    Hopefully there is more to come from Leigh I think there is. I think we have seen the emergence of a fantastic Celtic goalscorer over the last few months and the Bhoy has the Celtic world at his feet at the minute. Hope he takes everything coming to him because although he has been prone to daftness I think he is a great wee fella and have heard he is by people who know his family.


    There is a lot of stick given out at times to some of our players but where it is due credit must be dished out.



    Hail Hail Leigh



    On a side note I look forward to reading Brendan’s book on the Celtic early years. Me and my father gave him a lift back to Clydebank after a CSA meeting about 15 years ago as we remembered him from Celts For Change and also his Celtic Dream Team video appearance when selecting Celtic’s greatest team to that time which the much criticised in some quarters John Collins was part of much to my surprise at the time and I was and still am a big admirer of JC (sorry Brendan if you are looking in – Haha).


    A very fine Celtic supporter and from what I have heard a very fine book. Look forward to reading it and wish him the best of luck with it. There are hundreds of books on our fine club and I never tire of reading them and this one interests me very much because the early years are somewhat looked over in other publications. Wish Brendan every success with it and WC well done on making the CQN book services available free of charge.







  19. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Craig Whyte profile: The Scots billionaire on the brink of taking over the club he loves


    00:00, 18 NOV 2010 UPDATED 19:01, 1 JUL 2012


    Exclusive BY KEITH JACKSON



    Craig Whyte started playing the stock market at the age of 13. By the time he left school he had more than £60,000 in his bank account.



    Today, aged just 39, this financial whizzkid from Motherwell stands on the brink of pulling off the biggest deal of his life – and finally bringing the curtain down on one of the longest-running sagas in Scottish football.



    Record Sport understands self-made billionaire Whyte has entered into the final stages of negotiations to buy control of the club he loves from Sir David Murray.



    And he’s still one year younger than captain Davie Weir.



    A deal worth around £30million is now believed to have reached such an advanced stage that sources say Whyte, a high-roller who splits his time between a home in London and the idyllic Castle Grant in Grantown-on-Spey, could even have the keys to Ibrox in time to fund a major refurbishment of Walter Smith’s top-team squad in January.



    The news will delight Rangers supporters who have been fretting over the future of their club while having Celtic fans running for cover, ever since Murray first slapped a For Sale sign on the front door of Edmiston Drive around three years ago.



    As the club’s financial health deteriorated to such an extent the banks moved in to control the purse strings, a series of false dawns came and went.



    First, a consortium headed up by the perennial loser South African-based tycoon Dave King came to the fore only to fail to meet Murray’s asking price.



    Then, in March this year, London based property developer Andrew Ellis emerged as the frontrunner and was granted a period of exclusivity in order to get the deal done.



    But Ellis, now part of the consortium, did not have the financial clout to back up his bold promises and his bid collapsed, leaving Rangers firmly in the grip of the Lloyds Group.



    Exiled Glaswegian King was then talked up by some not me or the Daily Record once more as the possible saviour , but he was also engaged in a long-running battle with the tax man and while those issues remained unresolved, he too looked l ike an increasingly unlikely white knight for a club now engulfed by crisis.



    But yesterday, quite out of the blue, Record Sport learned a new man is at the table and that a deal to end Murray’s 22-year reign is ready to be completed.



    And that man is a relative boy.



    By the age of 26, Whyte was already Scotland’s youngest self-made billionaire. Now, 13 years on, and in charge of a vast global business empire, his wealth is off the radar.



    Whyte is a venture capitalist who has made his millions from playing the markets – a skill he secretly began honing in his first year at Glasgow’s Kelvinside Academy. In one of his few interviews he revealed how he immediately regretted going to the private school – because he despised playing rugby.



    He said: “I hated the discipline of it. It was a rugby-only school, which I didn’t play as I was interested in football.” Whyte worked weekends for his dad’s plant hire firm. And he saved up his wages to fund his habit of gambling on Stock Exchange.



    It is said that, by the time he left school, he had more cash in his bank than any of his teachers.



    At 19, he was in charge of his own hire plant.



    Now he owns his own castle – one of the most historic buildings in Scotland. And very soon he could be adding Rangers to his portfolio. It remains to be seen if Whyte’s move to capture the club will f lush any other parties out of the woodwork because – despite their failure to strike a deal with Murray – King and his consortium have yet to throw in the towel on their own ambitions.



    They had put together a package worth around £18m but this was flatly rejected and Ellis drove the price up when he agreed to pay Murray more than £30m.



    The club’s debt has been reduced by around £10m since then but the selling price remains the same.



    Now, quite clearly, Whyte believes he will be able to close the deal and the young gun must have said enough to impress Murray, who has stated all along that he will only sell the club to the right people – men with enough money to take the club forward.



    Who knows? Murray may even regard Whyte as something of a kindred spirit. They are the embodiment of the same values; Honest, Trustworthy, reliable and not to be taken lightly.



    After all, Murray was himself aged just 37 back in 1988 when he launched a takeover of the Ibrox club.



    It was the beginning of one of the most successful periods in Rangers’ history but Murray’s aggressive pursuit of European glory eventually saw him writing the kind of cheques that his club could simply not afford.



    Now Whyte is bringing his money to the table but it remains to be seen if he will adopt the same scatter-cash approach as the man who has owned the club for the past two decades.



    But if he brings in even half of the number of trophies Murray delivered then the fans are unlikely to be complaining.

  20. natknow



    Wee Jamesie is 5 ‘9” . 24 years old and all the Celtic player he’ll ever be.



    A short 5’ 9” and a very youthful 24, he remains the best of what Celtic youth has offered in a right good few years, but unsurprisingly hasn’t yet been whisked away to the EPL. This is because Celtic signed him long term, on his potential.



    How about James Milner the subject of numerous multi million pound transfers?



    Quite a similar player IMHO and a millionaire through moves.



    The differences between the two are many, Jamesie rarely has a big target to hit with crosses, James Milner always does.



    But James Forrest’s biggest flaw is in how he hits the ball, underweighted, overweighted he tends to hit through the ball flat, and very rarely flights the correctly weighted pass.



    It’s a style and he’ll never alter, it’s why we have him, his head goes down when he gets beaten, loses confidence when he’s very regularly, double marked.



    Try and buy him? – no bidders.



    Value £10 million minimum EPL prices apply



    p.s. ‘remember the £5m for VVD and I’d bite your hand off posters?’




  21. My friends in Celtic,



    It is blatantly obvious that RD and the management team have improved LG. To Leigh’s credit he has listened and learned to such an extent he is now among the first names on the team sheet.



    Now is the time for RD et al to really show who’s boss. Any players not accepting and participating in his philosophy or disrupting the harmony must be shown the door .



    All our players can improve if they follow Leigh’s example. They don’t have to win Mastermind just listen and do what is asked.




  22. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on




    that was before he was sports journalist of the year.